By Stacy Fisher
Photos by Larry Richardson
Ride nearby at Fort Sage Recreation Area: Click for info: http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/eaglelake/fortsage.html
Ride near Westwood on Snowmobiles: Click for Snowmobiling Maps, info:http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/lassen/maps-pubs/?cid=fsm9_034457
Article Below: A Quad Ride from Westwood to an Old Taylorsville Mine
What better way to enjoy the backwoods than riding a quad all-terrain vehicle, trekking through the great outdoors with friends by your side?
Now retired, Larry Richardson has been a Westwood resident and master carpenter for 40 years. Once a month he and his crew head out on a new journey to sights unseen.
“It’s just a bunch of guys, mostly retired, getting together who want to go out and have some fun,” Larry shares.
“We’ve all got quads or motorcycles, so we pick a new destination, figure out the best route, and off we go to have an adventure.”
Their most recent jaunt led them to an old gold mine called the Lucky S Mine near Taylorsville in Plumas County.
“There’s a road that goes right up to it,” Larry says. “It was our first time going there. One of the guys had a map so we didn’t have any trouble finding the place.” They started their excursion from George Young Park in Westwood and followed the Moonlight Road to Lights Creek Road, “which got us to Taylorsville then up the hill to the old mine.”
The guys pack drinks and sandwiches to take with them on every journey, They brought their fishing poles and some extra fuel so they could make a day of it. “We went up to beautiful Taylor Lake, which is further up above the mine and went fishing and just enjoyed the beautiful sights all around us.”
Other destinations have included Antelope Mountain Lookout and Eagle Lake, a 100-mile round trip from Westwood. “And we’re planning another tour to Seneca next month to check out the old gold mines there, too.” From that location they plan on continuing to Caribou Lake, a reservoir that supplies electricity to Sacramento.
“We take cameras with us because we see a lot of wildlife on these trips. On the way to Eagle Lake, for example, we spotted a badger, deer, antelope, lots of coyotes, birds like the Sandhill Crane, and eagles. That’s what’s nice about riding a quad, you’re off-road so you can look around and see all the wildlife that you come upon. You’re basically in the middle of it.”
Larry says they meet other people on the trail all the time doing the same thing. “It’s all about camaraderie, making new friends, going fast and having a blast.” So far, their outings have been daytrips, “but we’re planning on an overnight expedition before the weather turns … Our quads can easily carry tents and other camping equipment.”
Jaunts are rough on the body, Larry admits, because riders bounce around a lot on the dirt trails, which aren’t always even. “You ‘eat’ a lot of dirt on the way and end up looking a bit like a raccoon by the end of the day. But it’s all worth it when you return home to share your experiences with your family” and friends.