|by: Randy Burleson
'98 and '99 were GREAT! Let's make 'Zu Zoo bigger and better in Y2K!
May 4-7 2000 Moab Trail Ride
Maps, Directions, and Specifics
We started up a small Moab Zu Zoo 2000 Discussion Forum specifically for discussing this event. Please read the specifics below, but feel free to post any questions you have... or just tell us if you are looking forward to making the trek to 4-Wheeling Mecca.
Moab is pretty small, so it shouldn't be hard to find your way. We'll have a map up shortly. You can also check the April 1999 issue of Four Wheeler magazine for a 3-page story on 1998's event.
Camping and Lodging
Portal's Prices, Per Night
Two People on a Tent Site:
RV Site (Water & Electric):
We'll be camping at the Portal RV Campground in Moab. We're taking over the back row of Portal -- the one that backs up to their overflow field. With this setup, we'll have an access road through the middle of 'Zu Zoo main camp with RV sites on the north side, tent sites with small pavilions on the south side, and overflow tent camping in the field beyond the streetside tent sites (lots of room to the south!). This should allow us to stay in one big lump, sharing communal fires, dinners, and fun. Cabin-dwellers will have a bit of a walk, but that's the price you pay for comfort! Facilities include: a nice playground for the kids, clean restrooms and showers, a laundromat, picnic tables, covered patios, and shade trees.
Call early... the tent sites on the street and cabins are sure to fill up fast! Especially since the TLCA Cruise Moab event is scheduled for the same weekend. Be sure to tell them you are with the 'Zu Zoo group or Isuzus, or near Randy Burleson.
If they don't pick up, leave a message and they'll call back, generally that day! Portal is clean and well-kept! They may not be the cheapest place in town, but they are definitely one of the nicest. Check out their webpage for pictures and a description of their amenities!
Here's the directions (print them out and stick them in your truck!):
If you wish to stay at a hotel, many of the Moab hotels are listed at http://moab-utah.com/. You can also call 1-800-635-MOAB for visitor information or other important inquiries. These folks are loaded with information and can answer most questions or refer you to someone who can.
The specific arrival times are also yet-to-be-determined, but we'll soon hammer them out. I'll try to be there this time early enough to shake hands with people and do introductions, instead of rolling in at 3:30AM when everyone else is asleep.
Right now, the following folks are confirmed (percent surety of attendance, name, truck, email address, location):
If you aren't on this list, please RSVP by email to email@example.com.
From past experience with group camping and running trails, the biggest bugaboo is usually communications. People inevitably end up late or early, and ten different rigs in ten different places would be bad. To that end, we'll have three major means of communicating.
Schedule of Events
We're purposefully trying to keep this loose, so the plan currently includes only 3 trail rides and one dinner event. If you stop by the campsite or leave a message on the message board, more can probably be arranged.
Times will be finalized as we close in on the event. They'll also be posted in the campground, under the 4x4Wire banner, on the message board. If the schedule changes, the Message Board will be the place for the most current information.
The degree of difficulty depends on what the group wants, so we may have to adjust these plans when we get to Moab, based on the composition of our Isuzu group.
I know that there will be a few folks like myself, who dislike body damage, but love challenging trails. There will probably also be folks who have been off-road before and are up for a challenge, but want to stay out of body shops. Again, with the cost of Isuzu parts, who can fault them for perfect paint? There will probably also be a handful of folks who have never been off the road before. The trick will be pulling them all together in an event which is about Isuzus and the fun we have with them rather than being a testosterone-charged demolition derby. The trails around Moab should afford drivers with different skill levels whatever degree of difficulty they desire.
Things to Bring on the Trails
CB radio: We're lucky to have multiple experienced Moab folks along, and you'll enjoy the ride more if you can listen on the CB. Trail leaders use their CBs to tell you about the geography of the area and historical sites you may encounter along the way. They also use them to inform you of dangerous sections to stay away from and help to keep your trail group together. CB radios can also help if you get lost. CBs are a vital communication and safety link, so if you don't have one, get one. You can do this for well under $100.
Safe Tow Points: Everyone should also have tow points installed at either end of their vehicles. Properly installed tow hooks or receiver hitches really help, and improperly installed tow points can be catastrophic. Please do it right.
Food, Drinks, and Trash: Lunch, water, sodas, and snacks are your responsibility so make sure you bring enough for you and your passengers. You will be on most trails for 3-4 hours and some rides last longer if major breakdowns occur. A garbage sack is a must. Please leave any alcohol at the campsite; there is plenty of time after the ride to drink back at your campsite or hotel.
Toiletries: Our campground has full facilities, and Moab is a booming town, so you can find a place to take care of your busines pretty easily - they even have flush toilets
You risk body damage when you park in your grocer's lot. My truck's black paint can lure errant shopping carts from blocks away. Parking in that grocer's lot is an assumed-risk activity. If the shopping cart dings your door, you don't sue the grocer. Four-wheeling is a similar assumed-risk activity - but the shopping carts on the trail take the form of boulders and trees, and can be a good bit meaner to your paint job.
We've selected several trails that bone-stock vehicles can survive, with cautious spotting. For the folks who completely unwilling to take body damage (and that's completely understandable with 30K rigs!), odds are we can find passenger seats in other rigs. I'm not out trying to scuff my rig, in fact, I try damn hard to avoid that outcome. In '98, the only damage I received was a fender dent -- from a fender-bender, not an obstacle! If it happens, though, I get over it. Dents add character, right?
Before we lock our hubs, I'll be asking everyone to sign 4x4Wire's waiver. I know this isn't much fun, but please read it and make sure that you can sign it when you get to the trailhead. Drivers need to assume responsibility for themselves and the occupants of their vehicles.
Moab's weather is known for its unpredictability. Late spring temperatures can range from 50 to 80, and rainstorms, even snowstorms can suddenly appear and disappear. Dress in layers and bring a blanket just in case you end up stranded. Just because it is not raining on you doesn't mean the storm you see in the distance won't effect your trail. This is the desert and you are on slickrock. The rain has to go somewhere. Many of the ravines will fill up with 2-4 feet of water and mud after a 1-hour storm. Click here to check out Moab's seasonal averages.
Easter Jeep Safari
"Those folks interested in a bigger taste of red rock are invited to join the Easter Jeep Safari.
Now is a very good time to get on the Red Rock 4-Wheelers mailing list for the Easter Safari paper. Last year it was 56 pages of very good info including trail descriptions of all the trails that are run. The paper is free for the asking. The club can be reached in one of two ways: 1.) A letter asking to be put on the mailing list sent to Red Rock 4-Wheelers, Inc. P.O. Box 1471 Moab Utah, 84532-1471 or 2.) calling 1-435-801-259-ROCK ( 7625 in numbers ).
There is a type of lottery that one must go through in the registration process. The trails are limited by the B.L.M. as to vehicle numbers. Once you get the registration paper it will explain this process but there is a limited time to register. The papers are mailed out in January and to get into the lottery you must send your registration back six to eight weeks before Easter. I don't know the exact dates this year. The fees for 1998 were $35.00 for registration and your first trail, with $15.00 for each additional trail. There has been some grumbling about this, but if you have never been to Moab and want a guided tour, it is cheap. It is also less expensive than some of the other events around the country. No one makes any money off this, as we are all volunteers. For people not familiar with this event, it is the largest gathering of four wheel drive enthusiasts in the world, with over 1600 vehicles going out on 27 trails on the Saturday before Easter, with trails being run for nine days.
Even though it is billed as a "Jeep Safari", it is open for all makes of true high clearance four wheel drive vehicles. This includes Isuzus but I don't see enough of them at the Safari. The 31 trails that are run range in difficulty from hardly needing to put it in five wheel drive, (2 1/2 rated Chicken Corners) to hard core extreme (4+ Pritchett Canyon).There is even one of the 4+ trails (Behind The Rocks) done in reverse direction one day which makes it insane. There is a predominance of 3 and 3 1/2 rated trails that are able to be driven in stock vehicles by skillful drivers. So there is something for everybody at the Moab Easter Jeep Safari."