The Original ATV

The Original ATV

While I was still in the military I was working at Building 1, Air Force Space Command Headquarters, Peterson AFB, Colorado.  I had walked over to another part of the building to visit with a friend of mine.  When I arrived at his office he had a TOPO map spread over his desk and he and another fellow were talking and pointing at a section of the map.  They both had all terrain vehicles (ATVs) and they were planning a weekend trip into the mountains and looking for trails that were open to off-road vehicles.  I was interested in what they were doing so I started talking with them about different trails and roads.  I didn’t know the other fellow too well so I explained that I didn’t have an ATV, I had equines.  Well, that opened up a can of worms.

He didn’t like that there were roads closed to vehicle traffic such as wilderness areas.  He felt he should have the right to drive his Polaris anywhere he wanted on Federal lands.  I, however, staunchly disagreed and explained why it was important to have places that were off limits to mechanized travel. I told him I hoped there were still wild places for my kids to take their offspring some day.  This didn’t sit too well with him.  I could tell I had struck a nerve and I wasn’t the first person he’d had this conversation with.  He called me an “elitist” because I had equines and not everyone could do what I do and go where I go.  In his mind that wasn’t fair.  I told him that I too have an ATV, I have the “Original ATV”. Therefore, I could go to many more places than he could on his noisy Polaris ATV.  

As time went by, I thought about that conversation and the term “Original ATV” kept coming to the forefront.  For me, the name had meaning beyond the obvious.  First, it had historical significance.  For at least 6000 years equines have helped mankind discover new lands and explore new places.  Second, it had a human connection.  ‘Original ATV’ expressed the deep kinship human beings have with equines.  The relationship mankind has had with equines has improved and sustained civilizations.  It is on the backs of horses, mules and donkeys that nations were built. 

Later, I had the idea to create a logo.  I used a picture I had taken of my son leading one of my BLM burros (Sabina) and her image has made people smile all over the US.  When I go to shows I sell dozens of hats.  Folks who have equines immediately relate to “Original ATV”.  Even though they don’t know the back story of how I came up with the logo they seem to agree that a little burro is certainly THE Original ATV.


And now, you have the backstory.


  • Terry Skillin

    Looking forward to more donkey talk! Thanks!-Terry (box is going to the mail today.)

  • shawn

    ‘Original ATV’ a most charming sentiment. Looking forward to my first trek with burros.

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