Spring City, Utah’s City Councilman Cody Harmer had a special connection with the Rector/Dragon Loop ride, which was offered during the annual Outlaw ATV Jamboree held Thursday through Saturday in Vernal.
Harmer said his grandfather, Carlyle Workman, was the last child to be born in Dragon.
“I had a lot of family spend time in Dragon, but I never had the opportunity to go out there with my grandfather,” Harmer said on Friday night at Buckskin Hills Motorsports Complex. “I wanted to come and take the ride now.”
Harmer did the Dragon ride on the second day of event.
“It was a phenomenal experience and the most amazing ride I have ever been on my entire life,” Harmer added. “Our guide was amazing. He just took us to so many places. He was knowledgeable. He knew everything about everywhere we went.”
During the ride, Harmer and his group unloaded at Duck Rock then had a 15-mile ride on gravel roads through the rugged, but beautiful Book Cliffs to the historic mining town of Dragon. The riders then went up Dragon Canyon and down Rector Ridge.
“I'm pretty sure my grandfather was there when we were hanging out in Dragon,” Harmer explained. “It was a pretty special feeling. It was way better than I thought it was going to be.”
This was the first jamboree Harmer has attended, but it won't be his last.
“We have done a lot of riding my entire life, but we have never been to an organized jamboree,” Harmer said. “I can't wait to go to other jamborees. We are going to make this an every year event for sure. We are also going to try to attend as many others as we can.”
Rusty Ruff from Vernal was also a first time participate in the Outlaw ATV Jamboree. Ruff had some friends involved in the jamboree and that's how he got hooked on the idea. Ruff signed up to ride on the Musket Shot Spring Loop (Baja Ride). The ride was fast-paced and went below Blue Mountain and across the Colorado border.
“It was amazing,” Ruff said. “We had one spot where we were going over 80 miles per hour. It was on a nice groomed road.”
The jamboree attracted 135 machines. People came to Vernal from Michigan, Wyoming, New Mexico, several from the Wasatch front along with a number of local riders.
“So far people I have talked with everybody is loving it,” Uintah Riders All Terrain (URAT) member Carlene Slaugh said. “They have gone to trails they have never seen. They don't realize how many trails we have in the Uintah Basin. The reaction so far has been very good.”
The jamboree offered 10 different trails. Slaugh said the two most popular trails were the Josie Morris Trail and the Outlaw Range Ride.
“The Outlaw Range goes up to Stringham's Cabin and the Josie Morris goes out by her cabin,” Slaugh said. “Josie Morris was so big in our community that is one of the reasons it is popular The Stringham's Cabin is very popular because they were a big name in Vernal a long time ago. A lot people are related to them.”
Slaugh said the jamboree couldn't have happened without the volunteer help from members of the URAT club who were the trail guides.
“They spent a number of hours proofing the trails,” she said.
Naples City policeman Leonard Isaacson was one of the trail guides for the jamboree.
“The opportunity to take people outside of our community, tell them stories, while building relationships is just awesome,” Isaacson said. “It's a good thing to do. The people come here to find out everything that is going on. They are spending money in a community, which helps our community. All the way around this a win-win opportunity.”