As the majority of the Antelope Valley battled traffic and crowds while shopping for last minute Christmas gifts on Chaos Saturday, members and guests of the High Desert Four Wheelers were serving their community by cleaning the beloved Rowher OHV Trail near Bouquet Reservoir. Hundreds of discarded bottles, cans, trash, and broken vehicle parts were collected on the club’s Adopt-a-Trail, potentially revealing that the trail makes its users thirsty, and a bit forgetful to pack out what they packed in. An estimated 250 pounds of trash was collected by 16 volunteers over a 4-hour period.
Volunteers for this season’s clean-up arrived in a variety of off-road rigs built from mild to wild, seemingly built to reflect the personality of its owner. Four generations of Wranglers, a built Cherokee, a caged Toyota, and even a Forest Service Suburban occupied by the famous Adventure Cat participated in the event. Dirk Starksen, our club’s president, towed his custom-built cargo trailer, painted Baja Yellow to match his Jeep JK, to haul the collected trash and it was nearly full by the end of the 24-mile trail. Temperatures warmed up to the mid-50’s, and a light breeze and high clouds kept us cool as we stopped every few feet to gather litter. High bolsters on my Mastercraft seats made exit and entrance into my lifted LJ-Rubicon a bit challenging, but the effort was worth it to restore the trail to its natural beauty. You can contact the club to learn what was the most common item found, but we might not be able to explain it.
Rowher is a spectacular trail in our local area and offers steep hill climbs, descents, optional routes for more capable rigs, and incredible views throughout the route. Although there are a few bypasses, successful passage requires properly aired-down tires, correct lines, and traction aids to overcome a few technical spots as you navigate the steep terrain. For the second year, I had the personal pleasure of winching my son in his modified XJ through the first real hill climb, where a front locker will likely appear on his Christmas wish list. It was a great time on the trail and getting the vehicle a bit dirty, volunteering a few hours of time, and even unwinding the winch was an awesome way to spend the day. The High Desert Four Wheelers and California Four Wheel Drive Association challenge you to Tread Lightly and leave our trails cleaner than you found it.
Kelly (Ke-Bob) Indihar is a member of Cal4Wheel and the High Desert 4 Wheelers.