Moab Easter J*** Safari 2000

Here are some shots of our week in Moab for the 2000 Safari. We drove some of the best terrain in the area, this was our schedule:(ratings range from 1-4 1/2, with the fun stuff starting at about 4)

Monday: Cliff Hanger Trail (3 1/2 rating, I would say close to a 4)

Tuesday: Pritchett Canyon (4 1/2 rated)
Wednesday: Golden Spike (4 1/2 rated)
Thursday: Fix trucks, check out booths and rest up (1 rated)
Friday: Hells Revenge and Potato Salad (4 1/2 rated)
Saturday: Gold Bar Rim/Golden Spike and Moab Rim (4-4 1/2 rated)
Sunday: Poison Spider Mesa (3 1/2 rated)

Overall, a great time was had by all. We wheeled with great people, had minor breakage on the trail, and relatively decent weather. We did have some trail conflicts with other groups that were a little discouraging. With the number of groups trying to close our trails, it's more important than ever to stay on the trails, not tear things up too bad, be polite to other users, and generally not supply any ammunition to the enemy.

Some of the problems we saw were just related to more people than ever attending the event, and more people that aren't familiar with the trails themselves. There are more and more bypasses opening up to go around hard spots, or just to drive over off-trail obstacles. After a little erosion many of the "easier" bypasses are harder than the trail itself! We tried hard to keep our group out of the way of faster moving vehicles and still had people blazing off the trails to get around us.

Some of the other problems we had were most likely directly related to the number of empty beer cans in the floor boards of fellow (not with our group but we're all in this together) wheelers and the corresponding behavior. We're not above enjoying some cold beverages from time to time, but too much was too much. We witnessed some really stupid actions that while mildly entertaining will end up giving all of us a very bad name. Some photos of one incident have been posted in the event coverage on off-road.com.

Anyway, time to step off my soapbox and get some pics up!

Here are some shots of our Pritchett Canyon run:

This is Troy Fulk's early K5 goofing off on the Rocker Knocker. It had just rained, so everything was still pretty slick and we really thought we were going to have to winch everyone up this spot. This really isn't the right line, in fact, I don't know if it's drivable at all, but he gave it a shot! He's running some kind of stompy motor, a TH350 and a Doubler with the 14 bolt rear (Detroit), D60 front with ARB. Tires are 39.5's I think.

Below is our entire group at the top of Pritchett, ready for the long ride out. Off-Road magazine came along for the ride in a stock Humm-Vee, but had to bug out a little early to take care of some business in town. Hummers work pretty well for stock vehicles!  You should be able to find some more shots in Off-Road when the Easter coverage issue comes out.

As you can see, we had a pretty good variety of vehicles, everything from the token CJ5 to several longbeds. The variety made for a lot of fun getting everyone through the trail.

We did have some breakage, one Bummer ARB front locker shed some gear teeth, one GM broke a main leaf on a front spring (also on a Bummer), a couple of roasted power steering pumps (the early K5, and a Ford longbed, a bent tie rod on the FJ40, two broken fusible hub clutchrings and a "capacity reducing" dent in the rear diff cover on our K5 and a broken rear axleshaft on a Toyota truck.  I think that's about it.  Oh, yeah, the former IFS shortbed separated the front driveshaft on the Rockpile.  Everyone was able to limp out surprisingly well, so it really just made it more interesting.

Golden Spike Trail (Wed)

We had fewer vehicles on the trail with us for this run, some due to breakage, etc, but it worked out well enough, we were still on the trail till nearly 9:00. The Golden Spike trail is actually a short connection between the Poison Spider Mesa trail and the Gold Bar Rim trail. It happens to have some really fun obstacles to play on though. It's home to the Double Whammy, the Golden Stairs, the Golden Crack, and lots of other smaller "no name" rocks. The Poison Spider side has some fun stuff too. Some of the parts you have to drive just right to get wheels in the air, but it's still fun.

This little ledge is right on a turn, so you can hit it just right to get a longer vehicle pretty twisted. It's pretty hard to see since the angles not just right, but it's about 3-4 feet high, depending on where you hit it.

Robert took a little twistier line...

The next obstacle up is called the Wedge, and really isn't a big deal if you drive it right. You can vary the line a little and have some fun with it though. This is Jed Matthew's solid swapper IFS shortbed. It twists pretty well as you can tell!

I never did get it to lift a tire here, not very exciting!

This is more like it!  It was Robert's 1st time in Moab, so he listened to his spotters really well, and ended up with some air time, all good natured of course! Really, on most of the terrain, you have to drive just right to get a wheel up, so we had some fun with it.

The next obstacle, or fun place, is the Crotch. A pretty innocent looking piece of slickrock, but shorter rigs are able to get some major air under the front left, and even pinch a little seat! That's where the shot of our K5 on the first page of the site came from, Tim's blazer did pretty much the same thing. I did drive straight out of my "pose" though. :-)


The "Launching Pad" (Below) is another pretty innocent looking chunk of rock, till you get on it. Driving down is kind of steep, but then you look up, and up, and up.  Then when you're going up it, it's really steep, and there's a little hump in the rock just to keep the heart pumping.  Really, it's not to bad, not even dangerous but still a pretty good ride.  The only shot we have is our blazer on it, so we'll show it, we didn't do very well taking pictures this year, and only have some of the available shots.

It's really that steep, the camera's not tilted.

Now we have a whole bunch of "crossing the crack" shots. Most of us drove across a little bit wider spot a little farther up than the normal path, but Larry took his hybridish longbed over a tricky lower route.

The light was pretty flat here, this is about as twisted as it gets for Larry. The word "functional" comes to mind.

Here's Dirk, our Moab resident trail guide making it look easy. As usual.

This shot's just a scenic one. This is why this is one of my favorite trails. Not that I get that excited about looking at the front of a suburban, but it is a good view.

That's all the shots of this trail, it started getting a little late, so we pretty much just made time through all the really hard stuff. The longer trucks had the typical hard time on the Golden Stairs (a wheelbase thing), but at least Dirk put on a good driving show. Everyone just walked up the Double Whammy, even Tim, I think this was his 1st time up, and it may have been Russ's 1st time also. It's kind of tough in a vehicle under 110 inches. At least it's possible for a Blazer, anything shorter should probably just take the go-around.