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Moab 2005

Well the journey has been made, and its ended far too soon. Nine of us braved the long and arduous flight to Moab. For three of us it was the third time in 4 years that we had made the journey, for the rest... the first.

Despite this being the Mid Sussex LAND ROVER club web site, we were in fact going to be driving Rubicon Jeeps... all nicely kitted out with air lockers front and rear, 4inch suspension lifts and for extra comfort air conditioning.

April 2nd - Mark and Sarah who got engaged the week before Moab on their week in San Francisco met John, Ed and Martin at Salt Lake City airport and drove to meet me at Moab. It was about 12:30 am when they pulled in - that day had been a long one for all of us!

Moab 2005 - Moab Rim

April 3rd We picked up the Jeeps at around 10 am.. and headed for the trails.. 2 per car. Martin and Ed headed out front at the start of "Hells Revenge" - it took most of the day, with some hairy moments! The trail starts off on a narrow fin of slickrock which climbs to about 50 feet, its narrow - just about wide enough for a jeep - and only a jeep. The trail lies in the Sand Flats recreation park. The trail climbs quite high and the views are quite spectacular.. one early view is that loking down on the infamous Lions back. Ever present is the backdrop of the snow capped La Sal mountains to the south of Moab, and there are also several vantage points overlooking the colarado river. There are several tricky spots on this trail, none more so than aptly named "Tip-Over" challenge. All obstacles successfully negotiated, we even managed to get a car up the first level of the "escalator", an alternative optional obstacle on the trail.

Later that day, most had the first chance to climb up the Lions Back.. I think Mark would like to forget his moment when he did a wheelie near the top!

It was about 4am that Steve, Brian and Christine came rolling in after their delayed flights.. I had stayed up (propped up at Zax bar for most of it!) with the keys - so another late one for me!

April 4th - All present and correct - and we had also met up with Jake and his mate Greg. Jake, from Sandpoint in Idaho had met up with us on our our very first visit to Moab in 2002, and we had also met up in 2003.

Moab 2005 - Poison Spider

With a convoy that now consited 4 cars we headed out on the "Poison Spoider" trail. Named after a tale of little girl who is allegedly burried on the trail, she had apparently been bitten by a poisonous spider. This trail has some nicely named obstacles - "the waterfall" and "the wedgy", has a sandy "play" area, and before doubling back on itself, a fantastic overlook, affording great views over Moab and route 191 that we had driven into town on. The day ended badly with the Blue 2004 Rubicon going in to have a CV joint replaced - Steve had "heard" something up with the car all day, but on our return from the trail, the noises emanating from under the car became excrutiating, and we limped back to town where we exchanged cars. The rest of the day the newcomers were given an oportunity to go up the "lions Back" and also do a part of the "hells Revenge" trail that they had missed the previous day. We all headed for food in the Moab Diner later that evening.

Moab 2005 - Poison Spider Moab 2005 - Poison Spider

Moab 2005 - Cliff Hanger

April 5th - "Cliff Hanger" was to be our first trail today. This had been the trail that we had started on our first visit to Moab in 2002 and thought that it was impossible. Then in 2003, we had made a full day of the 8 mile trail ( 4miles each way), which for me had been one of the best off-road days I had had. It was a bit of a dissapointment therefore to find that this trail had been literally flattened out. From the first rocky climb down into Kane Creek, to the section which gives the trail its name, a narrow ledge where cars pass perilously close to the edge of a steep cliff! - Now instead of a dangerous 4 foot drop which tilted the car towards the "Jackson hole" and the almost 2000 ft drop, we had an almost "paved" way.. probably this has been due to the need to get service vehicles up to repair supply links.

The views afforded at the end of the trail, meant that at least we had our lunch in picture postcard surroundings.

Moab 2005 - Cliff Hanger Moab 2005 - Cliff Hanger

Moab 2005 - Moab Rim

Later that day we traversed the "Moab Rim" trail. This trail starts as it means to go on! The obstacles start very soon after starting out, with the trail seeming to tip the cars over into the Colarado river below.

An interesting feature was the "cave" where someone has placed an arm-chair! - spooky! A trip to Zax for Pizza was also greeted with a request for ID's - so not all had a beer.

April 6th - day 4 of our off road adventures - and a long day planned. We start off on the "Poison Spider" trail, but about 1/3 into the trail, turn off onto the "Golden Spike" trail, this like the "Moab Rim" trail was virgin territory for us all! There are numerous obstacles on this trail, and Brian even manages some fuel tank scraping! Names like "Launch Pad" - a near vertical climb after a steep descent, "Skyline Drive", "Golden Stairs", "Double Whammy", and then of course the main obstacle "Golden Crack".

There is also a great view of "Jeep Ach" - so called because of its shape - similar to that of the basic Jeep. The trail ends at the head of "Gold Bar Rim" trail - a difficult trail in its own. Here we had the obligatory picture of all the Jeeps under "Mushroom Rock". Eddie McStiffs provided the nourishment - but not much in the way of decent service!

Moab 2005 - Golden Spike

Moab 2005 - Fins and Things

April 7th - the last days outing for Mark, Sarah and John as they are travelling home at 4am tomorrow so another early start. Some took the opportunity to have a morning off and just 5 of us in three Jeeps hit the "fins and Things" trail. As the name suggests, this trail is dominated by large sections of undulating slick rock which do indeed look like the fins on the backs of dolphins or I suppose more aptly for the region, fins on the backs of stegasaurus.

Jake and Greg rejoined the group in the afternoon for a trip over to "Flat Iron Messa". I took time out in town looking for a river tour whilst the rest were occupied with "Easter Egg Hill", "Tilt and Whirl" and a crazy section above "hatch Watch" where you are literally inches away from the 500 foot drop off to the right! - yep spotters were out on that one! - Beer with food this evening - a visit to the Moab Brewery - vunderbar - we book a table for tomorow as well!!

April 8th - Back to 2 per car, and for our second drive of "Moab Rim" - well its a challenging drive and close to the hotel. In the afternoon we hit "Metal Masher" - what lovely names these trails have! After eating lunch on the outlook over "Gemini Bridges", we headedout on the "Metal Masher" trail proper! Some hairy moments that required the use of the strop brought from UK, as we headed up "Rock Chucker". Carrying on from here we missed out "Mirror Gulch" instead opting to go to the scenic route to "The Widow Maker". We had an "entertaining" time here watching a group of "red-neck" coloradians in their somewhat modified vehicles - several nearlycame a cropper!! - we had several video recorders waiting to cature the event! - in the end they all made it - and helped us up as well! - Food in Moab Brewery!

Moab 2005 - Poison Spider

Moab 2005 - Moab Rim

April 9th - Oh dear - the last day - the time had flown by! and early morning revisiting "Hells Revenge" was followed in the afternoon by a visit to "steel Bender". ( this is the trail where we thought we were lost in 2002!) This time we navigated correctly through the trail and its many hairy obstacles including several water crossings. Despite wearing t-shirts, we had all packed jumpers and indeed needed them - as half way into the trail - it SNOWED! luckily not for long - but Greg was seen doning his thermals! - its a bit cold for the Californians! Food again supplied by Moab Brewery!

Opposite - Martin gets airbourne on Steel Bender

Moab 2005 - Poison Spider Moab 2005 - Poison Spider
Moab 2005 - Poison Spider Moab 2005 - Cliff Hanger
Moab 2005 - Poison Spider - Wedgy backwards Moab 2005 - Cliff Hanger
Moab 2005 - Cliff Hanger - Escalator Moab 2005 - Lions Back
Moab 2005 - Lions Back - coming down brrrr Moab 2005 - Moab Rim
Moab 2005 - Moab RIm Wedge Moab 2005 - Flat Iron Messa - Easter Egg Hill
Moab 2005 - Lions Back - coming down brrrr Moab 2005 - Golden Spike
Moab 2005 - Golden Spike Moab 2005 - Gold Bar Rim

Well a Great holiday was had by all. Thanks to Jake for leading us through the trails - will have to meet up again! lets hope you get to make it to the UK next year! Mike.

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