**Long-time friend of NOHVCC Max Reid prepared the following article. For those who don’t know Max, he retired from the Forest Service ten years ago, but his passion for OHV recreation and the Paiute Trail in Utah remain strong.
Well, shiver-me-timbers! A boring Fall day was delightfully interrupted by a phone call. Caller ID says it’s Dan Kleen. What the heck! I haven’t heard from Dan in a month of Sunday’s. I was so excited, I almost dropped the phone trying to get my fat fingers to accept the call. “Dan! how the heck are ya?” It was so good to hear his voice as he asked me if I wanted to go for a ride. “Sure!” I say, wondering how the heck we would manage a riding connection between Iowa and Central Utah. Come to find out, Dan and his sweet wife Joan, had pulled into the Richfield KOA the night before; they had their Razor off-loaded and idling. Twenty minutes later we were sharing hugs and handshakes and our impromptu riding adventure was off and running.
Day one, as a shake-down, we ventured west of Richfield to the Devil’s Armchair. We kicked up a lot of dust, as we enjoyed the beginnings of Fall. The Maple are bright red. The Aspen are thinking yellow and the Oak are hesitating their way towards golden brown. Colors are running behind this year. I suspect it’s because of the exceptionally wet winter and spring; the cold of Fall hasn’t yet set in. Needless to say, it was a delicious ride.
On day two, we trailered to Fremont Indian State Park, just 20 minutes south of Richfield on I-70. High on Dan’s Bucket List was to ride ‘The Max Reid Trail with Max Reid’! Off we went up the Max Reid segment of the Paiute #01. Hope was that we would find less dust and more Fall colors. We were not disappointed! A healthy cross breeze was our riding friend as it helped to dissipate the dust. The colors were spot on! It was fun hosting my good friends, watching them experience a little of what makes Utah’s Paiute Trail the best-of-the-best.
I had the pleasure of showing them the famous Silver King Mine and an afternoon tour through Old Kimberly. I was literally out of breath telling them one story after another, every stop bringing back a memory of one sort or another. They appeared to enjoy it all; maybe they both have just fine-tuned their acting skills!
I was excited to show them our latest Interpretive Grant project at the Old Belknap Ranger Station. This interpretive project was completed using an RTP grant and lots of volunteer labor. Championing the RTP program for many years through his association with NOHVCC and the RTP program administrators out of Washington D.C. (thanks, Christopher Douwes!), Dan was excited to see an on the ground project. I’m confident he will give a good report to Christopher and the many folks who work to make funds available so we can maintain our trails and preserve the rich history of this area.
It was so good to see Dan and Joan out enjoying themselves. Dan has been a champion of the sport for more than 25 years; 19 of those years as NOHVCC’s President. Joan is his constant sidekick and best friend. They read each other’s thoughts. It was fun to see them both in their element.
Over a steak dinner, our conversation went well into the night as I quizzed Dan about all NOHVCC’s cadre of the past. He also shared the issues of the day and all the things they have planned for the then upcoming NOHVCC Conference in Reno, Nevada. It was fun and encouraging to hear that NOHVCC is still in the mix of everything good when it comes to responsible OHV recreation.
It should be noted that the Paiute Trail System was developed over the years with the input and encouragement of good folks including NOHVCC. They have made the journey a lot easier, helping us navigate the maze of questions and issues as the Paiute Trail was nurtured into the system it is today. The process was made a whole lot easier because there were good, dedicated, hard-working people like Dan Kleen and NOHVCC willing to help every step of the way.
Thanks for the visit Dan and Joan… Thanks for the reminiscing about good times past… Thanks for riding with me and adding to my memory bank.
Happy trails until we ride again!
~An ole’ Paiute Trail Ranger~