Hole in the Rock Trip - OCT 2010

The Hole in the Rock trail roughly follows a 1870's vintage Mormon wagon route through the heart of Utah's canyon country near Lake Powell.  The trail starts in a somewhat remote area near Hall's Crossing on Lake Powell and is about 35 miles each way on the dirt.  The terrain is not terribly difficult, I've seen it rated around a "3" on a 1-5 scale but good ride quality is important since you'll be in the truck for a lot of hours and a rear locker helps you get through the harder stuff with a lot of hassle.  Vehicle reliability is a pretty big deal since it's easy to be 100+ miles from a parts store on this trail.  Here's a view from the office chair:

 The truck for this trip worked out to be our "Cheap Truck" since we had plenty of family and friends for the kids to ride with and it was a great chance to do some testing on a new ORD leaf suspension.  There are some more details on the Cheap Truck here.  It's still running the old 37" Goodyear MT radials but the springs have been swapped out to a ORD custom front pack and a re-built stock 1/2T rear pack.  Shocks are Bilstein 5125's front and back.  We added crossover steering to keep up with the flex from the new front springs and replaced the old pipe rear bumper with a clean ORD version since we figured it would hit the ground from time to time on a truck this long.  The side saddle tanks were pulled out and one of them was bolted to the front of the bed to keep it safe.  We also changed to a Quadrajet carb so the thing would run clean on hills.  The whole truck worked beautifully.

One of the other trucks on the trail was local buddy Brian Allen's '74 K5 that had us wanting a nice K5 again here and there.

Brian fixed up the body then added some 3/4T axles with a Detroit 14 bolt, H2 wheels with some 35" Toyos and a 4" lift.  Overall pretty basic and just fine for this trail and lots like it.
One nice feature of a longbed or K5 is the space.  We ended up with quite a bit of gear IN the big trucks and a lot more ON the little jeeps.

We pulled our ARB rooftop tent from our orange crewcab and bolted it to some simple mounts on the vintage double tube rollbar.  I like seeing it on the old truck with the 80's style build since they're usually found on more upscale "expedition" rigs.  The ARB tent is relatively new to us but we've definitely found it to be a handy item.  It folds out into a nice tent in a few minutes without finding a flat and smooth piece of ground.  The sleeping pad stays in when it folds so setup and takedown are pretty quick and easy.  Pretty awesome overall.

This is the "chute", one of the more memorable slickrock climbs on the trail.  I can't imagine trying to wrestle a wagon up this.

We did have a couple repairs to make, one of them being a broken front leaf on the early Toyota truck with us.  We used our Hobart Trek 180 battery powered welder to tie enough of the leaf pack together to get the truck out.

That's all for now, gotta run.