This trip was courtesy of Mattawa tourism and it was AWESOME!
“So do you girls want to ride along first or drive them?” we are asked.
“DRIVE!” we all exclaim, in unison, with that ‘duh’ tone in our voice.
IT’S ATV DRIVIN’ TIME!
I’m up in Mattawa, Ontario. For those of you that don’t know, Mattawa is in Canada, about 4 hours north of Toronto in the woods. It is a tiny town with a surprising cultural history, a million biting black flies, fresh air and pine trees, and oh yea, a TON of ATV trails. It is right near Lake Champlain (in Ontario – not the one in Vermont) – which the estate we are staying at, Moosehead Estates, actually sits on the shores of (but that’s a totally other post).
TODAY ITS ATV DAY!
The closest thing I can say I’ve done to driving ATVs, is the time I flew a helicopter….so yea I’ve done nothing like drive an ATV before. I guess you can count racing a car around Ecuadorian hairpin turns, doing donuts in golf carts at Great Woods, or speeding around in the Mirage’s Cushman as closer activities, but still nothing compares to having the power of an ATV, with the engine revving between, and heat shooting up, the inside of your things.
Yea, it’s hot!
It doesn’t take me long to get use to the ATV. After our safety, and “This is how to make your ATV go and stop” lesson, we turn over the motors and, holding back my intense desire to just gun this thing, gingerly press the throttle with my right thumb until my ATV jumps forward. I’m actually driving this thing, and it is AMAZING!
The first thing we do is go on a little ‘test trip’. We head up the street to a little round path where we can practice braking (the pedal break does the back tires, the handle break – like on a bike – does either the front 2, or all 4 tires , depending on the ATV).
We more jump the ATVs back and forth up the dirt path a bit while we get used to how they handle. Honestly, I’m just playing with the throttle to feel the pickup, having fun feeling the horsepower of this beast, kicking up dust behind me, and trying to do so in a way that doesn’t scream “I like to go fast”.
But I’m being good. I mean, I don’t want the guys to stop me from riding for driving like an idiot before I even get to start. And I also have my sister’s voice running through my head “You’re going to get hurt if you go to fast”. It’s really annoying.
It is really fun gunning the ATV then slamming on the brakes, because, you know, it’s good feeling how quickly these things can stop, say, if I’m heading head-first straight towards a tree.
We get to the little circle area and just go round and round. I creep around the turns at first, thanks to my sister’s voice still telling me to slow down, but I slowly start speeding up to feel how these things can take corners. I know I am still going really slow compared to the instructors, but this is new. So we do a few laps, and we all pass the “I’m going to cut in front of you real fast and you have to stop without hitting me” test on the first try (woo hoo)!
About 15 minutes later, Arienne, from SeeYousoon.ca, Christen, aka “The Diva” from DivasandDorks.com, our amazing instructors; Jeff – Economic Development Officer for Mattawa Voyaguer Country, Mark from ATV Fanatic, John from Mattawa Sports, and Rex of Rex 4×4, and I are all headed out for some ATV fun!
And yea, I’m making you wait to read all about it. HA!
About Dani Blanchette
I am a freelance travel and music photographer and creator of GoingNomadic.com.
I love music, food, and exploring cities without guidebooks. I’ve flown a helicopter, hitchhiked down the east coast USA, and once snuck into the back of a zoo (in Serbia) and pet a lion.
I am always up for an adventure, and sometimes I videotape them.