I tried to make this story have a happy ending, I really did. I am the type of guy that does not like things left unfinshed or unresolved, so this story is one of great frustrations for me. It all started when…..
Our local club, the Moose ATV Club of Fort St John BC decided to do a run to Stewart Lake on Sunday to showcase the major trail upgrades we have done this year with funds obtained from the Job Opportunities Program and the National Trails Coalition. With close to 300 kilometers of trail now upgraded and the additions of 5 Rest Stops added, the end of the season was a prime time to go.
Now, usually, what happens is we post a club ride to the website, and the day of the ride we meet at the Taylor Esso and head out. But, things being the way they are at work I ran out of time to update the web so I really didn’t expect many riders the morning of. My bad, but hey, I was busy. That excuse works for many so I thought I would try it as well.
The Thursday before the ride I am talking with a friend and he asks if Pam (my wife) is coming along on the ride and that is the phrase that started this whole unhappy story.
So in reality, it’s all his fault. Well, maybe not, but I’m gonna blame him anyways…….
That night I tell the wife that she should come along and the first question or statement (not sure which) out of her mouth is “thats fine, but what are we gonna do with the kids?” Well, having an additional two people in the family (its not that I forgot about them. Really) means having to find either a sitter for 8 hrs on short notice, or having to bring them along. This is where the brain kicked in and before I could stop myself, I said….
“This would be a great time to rent a Rhino from Peace Country Rentals, its not that expensive and all of us could go at one time, a great family outing and……”
(this is the part where I noticed the house just managed to drop 20oC as she started to glare at me so I shut up)
“There is no hope in hell you are ever going to catch me in one of those “golf-carts-on-steroids”, I have no use for them, don’t wanna learn to drive them, don’t wanna be involved in them.”
(I was hoping that at this time the house would start warming up but no such luck)
As any been married way too long and not gonna push the issue husband, I decided to drop the issue and not mention it at all on Friday. I was trying to figure out who would be coming along that may not mind having a spare kid with them in their side X side, or where we could drop the kids off for an “extended play date”. Neither situation seemed to be coming to a positive end, so I resigned myself that once again I would be traveling solo or having one of the kids hanging onto the back of me during the ride.
Saturday morning comes along and out of the blue, Pam says to me, “What time do you have to pick up the machine from the rental place?”
“What machine” I reply playing dumb (something others accuse me of doing all the time)
“Uhh…….. we don’t need one cause you’re not going.”
“Well if you give Sean your machine he could double one kid and you take the other in the Rhino.”
“Well……” I reply, racking my brain “I guess about 4:00pm would be a good time. (need the machine for Sunday)
“Okay, I’m going to come with you” she says, which immediately I try to find out her angle. And couldn’t.
At four o’clock we are at the Rental Shop watching the lot guy bring our machine out. I hand the helmet over to the wife and tell her that this would be a great place to try it out. Big lot, not much to hit in that area, FLAT.
“Not a hope in hell” she replies while I wonder why it suddenly dropped twenty degress again.
On the way home, while I am trying my best to sell Ice Cubes to the Eskimoes (and not succeeding) she mentions that maybe if we go down to the river flats she will try this thing out. (Did they just place an order??) We head down to the flats by the Beatton River and unload the machine. I hop in the drivers seat and tell her that we will make a few laps around the area and then she can try. Up hills, down hills (not large ones) low range, high range, left turns, right turns, forwards, backwards we do it all and then switch places.
She handles the machine quite well and then informs me that she will come along on Sunday but……..
(Oh God, Buts are never a good thing while talking to the Misses)
“Don’t expect me to enjoy it!”
Don’t. Expect. Me. To. Enjoy. It.
Its funny how six little words can have such an affect on a guy.
Sunday morning rolls along and we load up the kids, the quad, the side X side, food, drinks, propane bbq (did I mention the cookout we were gonna do?) and a score of other items. Off to the gas station we go.
Now in all fairness, you have to remember that my wife has never driven an ATV and has never attended a large quad ride before so she is a little concerned. And has every right to be. Riding in a group as a new rider can be very intimidating for those never having been in this situation before.
We find out that there is going to be approximatly 15 people joining us, and at the designated time with all known riders present, off we go to the trailhead, a long procession of trucks and trailers hauling all sorts of gear. We arrive at the trailhead and unload while noticing a large group of riders milling around. It seems that they too are joining us for the days endeavor, so now my never-been-in-this-situation-before wife now has to show her skills in front of all these people as well.
Off we go,down the trail to the first large mudpuddle, where my wife decides there is no way she is going to go through that. Which shows she has good sense as no one else wanted to go through it either. We used the bypass trail, and helped those that did not like the small slope or two narrow trees they would have to pass through (yes she was one of five) get their bikes around.
I did not see much of her the next 40 klicks as I was near the front guiding the group. Once we arrived at the lake I showed her where to park so we could set up the barbeque and once the machine was shut off, she hopped out, removed her helmet and….
“HOLY COW WAS THAT FUN! DID YOU KNOW THESE THINGS ARE SO MUCH FUN? THESE THINGS ARE AWESOME! BOY, I HAVE BEEN TO THE LAKE NOW ON ECONOMY AND I HAVE BEEN FIRST CLASS AND MAN… YOUR QUAD SUCKS! THIS WAS FIRST CLASS ALL THE WAY! THESE THINGS ROCK! NEVER GETTING ON THAT QUAD OF YOURS AGAIN! MAN, HOW CAN YOU EVEN RIDE THAT THING?”
Can Am 800’s do not “suck”.
Economy?? What the hell is she talking about?
When did the aliens snatch my wife and replace her with a look alike?
The rest of the group seemed to take great enjoyment out of her spiel and enthusiasm. Me, not so much. I’m still trying to figure out the “sucks” part……. After a good lunch of burgers, hotdogs, and small chocolate bars for dessert, we pack up the gear, clean up any garbage and head home. Pam decides that Kendra, Greg’s wife, should come along as well, and Greg can take our daughter on his bike.
Long Story short…..
Greg’s getting a SxS too it seems.
The end of the story.
Oh. For those of you wondering what the “unhappy” ending is……..
We now argue over Rhino, Ranger, Prowler or wait for the new Can Am’s.