Curtis Creek to Randolph – fast and fun

Thursday , November 09, 2017 - 5:00 AM

LYNN R. BLAMIRES, special to the Standard-Examiner

I always enjoy learning about a new trail, so when one came up in a conversation with Mike Sheridan of Ogden, I was ready to go. I talked my neighbor, Don Erekson, into going with me.

We loaded up and headed to Monte Cristo to meet Mike at the snowmobile parking lot near Ant Flat Road on Highway 39. Together we drove to the Curtis Creek Trailhead about two miles past the Monte Cristo Guard Station.

As we unloaded I noticed that we had a mix of ATVs and UTVs. It was 37 degrees at the time, but we were at just below 9,000 feet in elevation. The sky was clear with plenty of sunshine so we hoped things would warm up.

Leaving Curtis Creek, we headed north past Eccles Peak on a winding track that took us through a mature forest of huge pine trees. We turned right at Arbs Basin where the trail split.

We took the Lamb Canyon Spring Trail which is a diversion from the main trail that took us deeper into the woods. It is a little more technical with a lot of big roots in the trail to cross, but the scenery is well worth it.

Stopping at a point where all the views were below us, we took time to do a slow 360- degree turn and take in the panoramic view. I was about to burst into song, but I remained in control. Don thanked me later.

Several springs support the wildlife on Monte Cristo. We passed Running Water Spring and Six Bit Spring before joining the main trail at Roundup Spring. We continued past Willow Sink Spring, Elk Sink Spring, Joann Spring, Chuckhole Spring and Kearl Spring before turning east on the road to Randolph.

The aspens had all shed their leaves and with scrawny limbs cast skeleton-like shadows across the trail. We picked up the pace because the trail was smooth and fun to ride.

I love the sounds the engine makes at different speeds. When I am going slowly traversing more technical terrain, I can hear the clutches working the drive belt. As I pick up speed, there is a point where the motor gives off a harmonic note that is music to my ears. At that point, I am in the zone and the shadows flash past me as I negotiate the curves in the trail.

The Old Canyon Road was straight on the way into Randolph. I increased my speed creating a whistle as the wind passed through my helmet. A smile crossed my face changing to a grin hidden by my full face helmet. We were riding alongside Brewery Fork Creek, but I didn’t notice it.

Arriving in Randolph, we rode some back streets until we reached the city park. Randolph is a quiet little town of fewer than 500 people, but big enough to be the Rich County seat.

Riders who ride the Shoshone Trails know Gator’s. It is a little burger joint with a good reputation. Interested in a hot meal, Don and I went in to order. It felt a little like a soup episode on “Seinfeld.” There was only one lady taking orders and cooking food. A large chalk board listed the menu which we studied in preparation for making our order. We had watched the process long enough to know that if you asked questions, you went to the back of the line because as she said, “I am the only one here.” The food was good and worth the wait.

Back on the trail, we went around Little Creek Reservoir on New Canyon Road. Coming in on Old Canyon Road and riding out on New Canyon Road, I wondered what inspired those names. This new trail took us on a winding track back to Roundup Spring.

This time we stayed on the main trail back finishing a ride of 75 miles. With the exception of the side trail we took at Roundup Spring, this trail is suitable for jeeps. When you go take plenty of water, keep the rubber side down, and enjoy a fast ride to Randolph.

You can email Lynn Blamires at quadmanone@gmail.com.

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