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Moab 2009 - Stories and Pics #945953 05/19/09 05:01 PM
Joined: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,702
BigSwede Offline OP
Roll Me Over
Got home yesterday, on the strength of a strong tailwind from Des Moines…did wonders for my gas mileage.

What a great trip! We had outstanding weather all week, probably the best I can remember for ZuZoo, and a larger group than last year. My Trooper did very well, running five trails, including three tough ones, without anything worse than a blown power steering hose (drove home sans power steering…not a big deal at all).

Saturday and Sunday I convoyed out to Moab with Greg from Minnesota and Gil & CeCe from Chicago, meeting in Des Moines. They were a good group to travel with, and we made good time to Denver. On Sunday we took our time, running Loveland Pass instead of the I-70 tunnel, stopping for a “Charcoalburger” in Glenwood Springs, and running scenic byway 128 into Moab.

Monday: Gil, CeCe, Tom and I hiked the Fisher Tower trail in gorgeous weather. It is a 2.2 mile hike to the overlook, over rough terrain. We enjoyed it very much, watching some rock climbers scaling the very top of one of the towers. We even enjoyed the wrong turn I took getting there, ending up on what turned out to be Onion Creek Road, as it took us across the creek numerous times through the canyon.

Tuesday: As few other Isuzus were in town yet, I tagged along with 20+ vehicles on the VX run to Dome Plateau. Although mostly a milk run, Todd Adams took us to various interesting points in the area, including caves, petroglyphs, dinosaur tracks, overlooks, and one deceptively difficult hill climb “Again and Again Hill”, which was a series of ledges half buried in powdery dust. The dust made for difficult traction conditions, though everybody made a valiant effort to get up the stairs.

Wednesday: I led a mixed group of nine vehicles on Kane Creek Canyon trail. This is a fun trail mixing difficult ledge climbs with numerous stream crossings and sandy creek bottom runs. It had been 8 years since I had been on this trail, in fact the very first trail I ever ran in Moab. By all reports it was a lot more difficult now, and I cannot argue with that assessment. Several washout points along the road offered a real challenge to the open diff vehicles (Mike’s 89 Trooper and Justin’s VX), with no way to attack the rocks without lifting a tire on each obstacle, so some strapping was necessary. The LSD-equipped VXs were generally able to make it, however, and Jay’s FJ has a locker.

We had been hearing about the long ledge climb ¾ of the way through the trail all day from the UTV group that was also on the trail, they were dubious of our groups ability to make it up without a lot of strapping. It was a challenge, but I am proud to say everybody made it up without a strap. Shortly thereafter, the “local” VX (Cragar?) met us on the trail, and joined us for the trip out, playing on a few tough ledges. It had been a long day so most of us were content to watch. Jack let sister Diane drive his VX on the last major obstacle of the trail, spotting her down and up a series of ledges. She did well, certainly didn’t inflict any more damage than Jack would have…

Thursday: I ran Hells Revenge with Fernando & Emily, Reed, Jack, and Greg. Another beautiful day, despite hordes of UTVs everywhere. Highlight was Fernando & Emily running Hell’s Gate in his SAS Amigo with a crowd of 50 or so UTV folks watching. Among the comments heard “What is that?” “I think that’s a Suzuki.” and “Oh my God, there’s a dog in there! I would never run that with my dog!” (apparently bringing your girlfriend is OK, though).

Friday: I finally got to run Moab Rim for the first time, lead by Fernando & Emily along with Reed in his Amigo, Morgan in his Jeep, and Travis in his monster SAS Rodeo. Kammy rode shotgun with me. After all the build up I had heard I was a bit apprehensive about this run, but reality was not nearly so bad. It is rated about the same as Golden Spike, a trail I have run a couple of times successfully, and I was able to run this one too. The trail does feature some tippiness that is not pleasant, but I was never fearful of rolling into the Colorado River as some had made it sound. The trail featured several nice overlooks of Moab, and a sandhill climb that none of us could conquer. Travis made it the farthest on his 40” tires.

Saturday: I ran Cliffhanger, again lead by Fernando & Emily, with a lot of spotting by Corbin (Fernando and Corbin are two of the best spotters ever, BTW), along with Reed, Travis, and Corbin’s monster Amigo (Deanna, kids, and dog in tow). Keith & Tia and their son Keiran (sp?) rode along. This is another trail that has gotten more difficult in recent years. I had run it once before, 4 years ago. Now I would have to say it is every bit as difficult as Moab Rim, albeit with somewhat different difficulty factors. The trail was very busy this Saturday, with lots of bicycles, UTVs, and other trucks on the trail. It was a hot day, and Tia handed out water to some grateful bikers at the far end of the trail who had used up their camelback water.

Highlight of the day was Deanna driving their Amigo up the exit stairs, when one of the front brake lines blew and she began to roll backwards down the steps, despite her foot to the floor on the brake. Calling to Corbin for help, he calmly instructed gave her steering instructions which she followed perfectly, keeping the Amigo straight and averting a possible flop before coming to a stop at the bottom.

My Trooper performed very well on these tough trails, with the only carnage being a serious power steering hose leak that fortunately did not develop until near the end of the trail. I am very happy with the setup I have, the relatively low lift and wide stance combined with ARB lockers and 35” tires making for a capable and relatively un-tippy Trooper. The outboard placement of the tires saved me significant body damage more than once, not that there isn’t enough of that already.

All in all, an outstanding trip! Apologies if I missed any names above, let me know and I will edit. I will be posting up pictures in the next few days, although I didn’t take as many after I broke the viewscreen on the camera. Mental note: take camera out of pocket before laying on gravel to look under a broken Trooper.

Which reminds me: I would like to pass on major kudos to Dave (Gizmo42) who not only drove Mike to Grand Junction to pick up a clutch kit for his 89 Trooper after breaking down on Fin’s ‘n Things, but also sacrificed a day or more of wheeling to help him install it while laying on the campground gravel. That is above and beyond the call of duty, sir!


Steve Carlson - 95 Trooper LS expo rig
Serenity now!
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Re: Moab 2009 - Stories and Pics [Re: BigSwede] #945954 05/19/09 10:24 PM
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 207
Triathlete Offline
Wheeler
Here are some from the VX site (including mine)...
MOAB PICS <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" />


Billy
VEHICROSS.INFO
'99 Vehicross 3"OME lift Torsion bar crank Ball joint flip 31" BFG AT's (everyday)/MTR's (wheel'n) Trooper skids OBA...more to come!
Re: Moab 2009 - Stories and Pics [Re: BigSwede] #945955 05/20/09 02:12 AM
Joined: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,702
BigSwede Offline OP
Roll Me Over
Loveland Pass
[Linked Image]

Fisher Tower hiking trail
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Can you spot the rock climbers?
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

I'm the one on the left
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]


Steve Carlson - 95 Trooper LS expo rig
Serenity now!
Re: Moab 2009 - Stories and Pics [Re: BigSwede] #945956 05/20/09 02:12 AM
Joined: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,702
BigSwede Offline OP
Roll Me Over
Hangin' at the Red Rock
[Linked Image]

Larry meets Menace
[Linked Image]

Dome Plateau - overlook
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]


Steve Carlson - 95 Trooper LS expo rig
Serenity now!
Re: Moab 2009 - Stories and Pics [Re: BigSwede] #945957 05/20/09 02:13 AM
Joined: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,702
BigSwede Offline OP
Roll Me Over
Kane Creek - Greg
[Linked Image]

Kane Creek - Can you spot the Proton?
[Linked Image]

Hell's Revenge
[Linked Image]

Fernando approaching Hell's Gate
[Linked Image]

Fernando amazes UTV crowd
[Linked Image]

Greg runs Bodysnatcher
[Linked Image]


Steve Carlson - 95 Trooper LS expo rig
Serenity now!
Re: Moab 2009 - Stories and Pics [Re: BigSwede] #945958 05/20/09 02:14 AM
Joined: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,702
BigSwede Offline OP
Roll Me Over
Moab Rim
[Linked Image]

Lunch at the overlook
[Linked Image]

Morgan tries the sand hill
[Linked Image]

My only pic from Cliffhanger - lunch at the overlook
[Linked Image]


Steve Carlson - 95 Trooper LS expo rig
Serenity now!
Re: Moab 2009 - Stories and Pics [Re: BigSwede] #945959 05/30/09 03:15 PM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 351
Mr. Mojo Offline
Mudrunner
Sweet pics Steve! I really like the points of view and angles you chose for the wheeling shots. Moab can be a difficult place to take good pics that show scale and difficulty because of the sheer size of the place.


98 Rodeo
00 4Runner

--I swear its just over the next pass !!--

--"Courage is something you can't be afraid to have." - Frank Burns
Re: Moab 2009 - Stories and Pics [Re: Mr. Mojo] #945960 05/30/09 09:34 PM
Joined: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,702
BigSwede Offline OP
Roll Me Over
Thanks! I never take as many pictures as I like, because I am always driving...but you're right it is sometimes difficult to convey the scale of the place.


Steve Carlson - 95 Trooper LS expo rig
Serenity now!







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