ATV Adventure Group
Getting Off the Beaten Path
Adventure involves exploration: getting off the beaten path and seeing something new, reconnecting with nature, pausing everyday life for a bit. And one of the best ways to explore, says Adventure Guide Kendell Kroeker, General Manager and Owner of Casper Mountain Motorsports, is on an all-terrain vehicle (ATV).
"It's a fun activity to take part in," he says. "ATVs are very easy to operate, and they can go a lot of places. You can get up in the mountains and really cover a lot of ground and get to some places you might not otherwise be able to get to. It's just a lot of fun!"
An avid outdoorsman, Kroeker knows what he's talking about. And his customers agree - one entire wall of his business is covered with over a thousand snapshots of people standing next to their new ATVs. Young, old, male and female, the one thing they all have in common is a desire to get out and have a little fun. "Really, just about anybody that enjoys getting outside and enjoying the outdoors" is how Kroeker describes the typical ATV-er. "You get the diehard motorcycle type that also enjoys the ATV, and people that just enjoy going camping with their family. Just about anybody seems to fit the profile of an ATV owner."
And Casper is a great place to set off on an ATV adventure. "We've got just tons of things to do here," Kroeker says. "I mean, we've got a mountain close by where you can get up and do some camping and hiking, and there are plenty of places to ride ATVs. There's lots of fishing, lots of hunting in the area, and ATVs are useful for those things."
The ATV-ing opportunities in Casper and the surrounding area are many. Casper Mountain has plenty of multi-use trails to explore, and just outside the west side of town is the Poison Spider Bentonite Pit (307-261-7600) that will challenge even experienced riders with its rocky and steep sections. Residents of Casper or anyone planning a lengthy stay can also apply for a membership to the Casper Dirt Riders Motorcross and ATV Club; their private track offers everything from novice- to professional-level trails. "And of course, there's all kind of private land around," Kroeker says. "If you have available access, there are great places to ride."
Experienced riders already understand the freedom that ATVs can provide, but beginners may not realize how easy it is to adopt this pastime. "There's no special license or anything that's required," Kroeker says, other than a $15 offroading permit, available at Casper Mountain Motorsports. The funds help support and maintain trails and riding areas in the state. Beyond a permit, all that anyone needs is a desire to explore, a commitment to safety and a healthy dose of common sense.
"Make sure you know how to operate the machine, make sure you're operating it within your safe controls and not pushing it past your riding ability," he advises. "If you're going on the backroads, make sure somebody knows where you are going. And be prepared for the weather that might come up! Wyoming's weather can change quickly, so make sure you have gear and water if you're going to some remote area. Other than that, just use common sense when you go out...and have a lot of fun!"
In Kroeker's view, not only is Casper surrounded by opportunities for outdoor adventure, it also has plenty of choices for in-town exploration. "We've got the Nicolaysen Art Museum downtown, we've got the Casper Ghosts Minor League Baseball Team, the Wyoming Cavalry Indoor Football Team, movie theaters, local performing arts companies and things...there's just lots to do!" he says. "You don't have the crowds and things of some of the big cities, and you have great wide open places to get outside and enjoy."
He also recommends some of the local dining establishments. "One thing I really like about Casper is that for a smaller town in Wyoming, you wouldn't necessarily think it's got some great restaurants - but it does. There's a lot of local places that we really enjoy eating at," he says, including Mongolian Grill on the east side of town, House of Sushi in downtown Casper, and Armor's Restaurant on the west side of town.
Having moved to Casper from Denver, Kroeker definitely appreciates all that Casper has to offer...and his customers do, too. He hears plenty of positive feedback from people who enjoy ATV-ing, but says "my favorite stories are just hearing about the fun that people have. It's just hearing how people enjoy getting their families together and taking everybody camping - enjoying the things they can do on an ATV together with family and friends."
- He's a family man:
Kroeker and his wife Christy have been married for eleven years and have two boys.
- He's committed to serving Wyoming:
I recently announced my candidacy for the Wyoming House of Representatives, District 35. If I get elected, that will be an interesting challenge to serve the people of Wyoming."
- He loves Wyoming's seasons:
I like variety...but I think if I had to pick any day out of the year, a perfect Fall day is probably my favorite. You get nice weather to enjoy the day, and then cool evenings.
Sometimes I wish the winter didn't last quite so long. About the only downside to living in Casper is the wind in the winter.
- Cool music to ATV by:
I suppose it depends on what I'm doing. If I were going out riding or racing, probably something faster and a little more uptempo. I always say that U2 is good music for anything, so I can't go wrong there.
- Maybe not-so-cool music to ATV by:
If I'm going for a ride up in the mountains, I might say a song like "Rocky Mountain High" by John Denver.
- Favorite vacation:
Probably when my wife and I went to Alaska. We spent the week fishing out of the lake, and nothing tastes as good as fresh salmon that you pulled out of the lake for dinner!