Saturday, July 5, 2008

Deam Wilderness

I was on the phone with my eldest Son while he was reading my blog Perfect Horses and Kids. He was having a wonderful time talking to me on the phone while being online at lightening fast speeds, he was telling me how fast he could pull up a page, then saying things like, "I have high speed internet and you don't.", he is just warped and cruel like that.

Anyway he was laughing as he read my blog about hauling horses in the bed of a pick-up truck, and he said that I should blog about how we used to make our kids ride under the horse instead of on top. I will tell that story in a future blog.

The area that we rode in was a national forest and back then there were no restrictions on where you could ride, you could make a trail wherever you wanted to. That area is now called the Deam Wilderness and the horseman's camp is called Blackwell.

We made most of the horse trails with motorcycles when I was a kid. My Dad and Uncles would haul motorcycles in and ride through the woods. They were logging there back then and they left big piles of sawdust and wood shavings everywhere, those were just perfect for playing with motorcycles on.

Can you even imagine a national forest that you could just use like it was yours? My Dad and Uncles drove their nice family cars and trucks back into the forest on logging roads and I remember getting hung up with those big old cars that were heavier than tanks. No one had 4-wheel drives back then.

We would sometimes get stuck on the frame of the car in a rut that was deep enough to hide a ferris wheel in. My Uncle would just jack it up and run the car off of the jack. You couldn't tear those old solid cars up.

My family would sometimes haul horses into the Deam Wilderness area and drive back a log road and just camp by the first pond we came to. We would spend a couple of weeks of vacation time swimming, riding, fishing and frog gigging. No one ever bothered us there, unless it was family coming to visit.

We didn't have to worry about hikers or DNR people walking in on us because nature, natural resources and conservation weren't popular back then. The only people that wanted to get out in that area were people like us and there weren't many people like us, we were way ahead of our time.

So while my eldest Son may rub in his high speed internet connection to me, I can always make him green with envy by talking about driving back to those ponds and spending a couple of weeks of seclusion in the summer. Not having to stay on the beaten path but being able to wonder where ever you wanted to go. That is something that he will never be able to do, well, at least not legally.
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