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Photos Return From Moab


I Drive By Brail
Elite Explorer
Moderator Emeritus
February 18, 1999
Reaction score
City, State
Montrose, CO
Year, Model & Trim Level
'95 Bronco '80 Toy
Return From Moab (Warning: LONG)

What a weekend! I met up with Gerald just west of Gand Junction Thursday afternoon and departed on one of the best weekends of wheeling I have ever had. After setting up camp I met up with Gerald, Diff Wack Daddy, offroadKC and his guest in a Jeep TJ and headed out to Potato Salad Hill. The TJ gave the hill everything he had and with a couple tugs by Gerald made it to the top. We then went to Dump Bump and again with a little help the TJ tackled the bump. By then it was getting dark and I headed back to town while Kevin (offroadKC) and crew headed over to Baby Lion's Back.
Friday morning we all met up at City Market. The SuperStock/Modified group lined up and headed to Porcupine Rim. We had 6 rigs in our group, myself, offroadKC, the token Jeeper, Goliath, Marty196 and Positive Vibes. Porcupine Rim was a fun trail with a few challenging obstcles and went over without a hitch (even with me leading :eek:). After Porcupine Rim we headed back toward Fin's N Thing's. We stopped for a quick lunch and then tackled the South end of Fin's. We played on several of the optional climbs and blasted through the sand washes. We then headed for the North side and after poor map/direction reading (by yours truly) we decided to skip the top end of the trail and just head to the end and play on the fun stuff. We played until 5:00 or so then headed back to town.
Saturday we met up again and headed out to Elephant Hill. The SS/Mod group lost Positive Vibes and gained Two Tone X. The 75 mile drive to the trail head was well worth it as it has to be one of the best tests of a SuperStock rig I have seen. We again ran the trail with out any problems and had a great day.
Sunday the groups got all mixed up and only 2 SS rigs (myself and offroadKC) followed GJarrett through Steel Bender. We had a great time and I was able to make it through the entire trail without any assistance (other than Gerald's spotting). Unfortunatley, we did experience some carnage. On one of the last obstacles Gerald decided to see if he could climb it and ended up blowing his right CV axle and cracking the rack housing. The rack wasn't hurt bad enough to effect its function and after a duct tape band aide Gerald was able limp out in 2wd and we repaired the damage back at the camp ground.
This was the toughest 3 days of wheeling I have ever done, each day harder than the next. The one thing that proved itself over and over again (for me) was the value of my rear locker and my rocksliders. Without thoes I would have never made it through Elephant Hill or Steel Bender.
Like I said before I had a blast and want to thank everyone that attended.
Final head count was 13 vehicles (10 Explorers and 3 Jeeps). Though turn out was small, it didn't deter us from having fun.
That's it for the SuperStocker/Modified report, I'll leave the rest to the Big Dawg's to fill in.

Moab Pics

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Nice report. Can't wait for the pics.

That sounds great...I am loving the duct tape fix of Geralds truck lol.


Sounds like you had a blast. :D

Great write-up, looks like you all had a great time!

Glad to hear other than a few hicupps, everything went grand.

Great writeup Mike.
Sounds like you guys really had a good time. :D
Hopefully next year I will get to go.
Can't wait to see the pictures!

What trail is this? Looks like major pucker factor! :eek:


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Originally posted by RangerX
What trail is this? Looks like major pucker factor! :eek:

it's cliffhanger.

Originally posted by RangerX
What trail is this? Looks like major pucker factor! :eek:

I did nitice on the way home that my drivers seat is missing some padding in the cheek region. That obstacle had major pucker factor going down it, then we remembered we had to go back up it on the way back.:eek: :eek: :eek:


That's the Launch Pad on Golden Spike.

I finally made it back, will upload photos tonight and put them in the photo thread. I am SWAMPED at work with a week's backlog of emergencies to deal with, so it may be awhile before I post much about the trip.

Except to say - Cliffhanger must have really changed since Charles Well's book was written. Two obstacles were way over my head and made it the hardest trail I've run so far in Moab. Yes that obstacle DID get our undivided attention, and that trail was every bit as scary as Moab Rim, if not moreso. The scenery was breathtaking.

I finally have a chance to sit down and recount the events of this weekend.

Last Thursday I left Phoenix for Moab. Char was to drive up the following day in the VW since she could only get two days off work. My trip to Moab was great, an easy ride at 70-75. The ride took about 7.5 hours.

Friday morning we all met at City Market to stock up on last minute supplies, air down etc. The Big Dawg run for the day was to be Cliffhanger.

The description of Cliffhanger didn't do the trail justice. Obviously the trail was in worse shape then when the author had seen it. This is to be expected from any trail you may read about as the forces of nature and machine can radically change a trail very quickly.


Immediately upon reaching the trail we we had to descend a steep hill loaded with ledges. One of the Explorers pulled a rear driveshaft apart, another had a problem with their Airlocker and a third dropped out as well, but I don't recall why. Our group was now down to 4 rigs.

Our first real obstacle came about halfway into the trail, a set of ledges made up of broken up slabs of rock. There were loads of holes and crevices to wedge a tire if you happened to slip off line. Unfortunatley Gerald did just that, wedging Herc between a couple ledges. After a bit of winching Herc popped up the obstacle.

The extraction of Gerald's truck was by no means the highlight of this obstacle. What REALLY got my attention was a mountain biker. I had just finished taking a shot and had my back to the hill. Suddenly I hear the chain and gears of a bicycle coming down the hill at high speed. Just as I turn around I see the biker sailing off a 4ft ledge which was situated around a blind corner. When the bike landed the front wheel washed out from under him and he went down into the ground head first. He stopped dead, without sliding so most of the impact was absorbed by the side of his head.

Thankfully he was wearing a helmet, but he was really shaken. When he got up he was gagging and wasn't able to catch his breath. Once he started breating normally he stood up and within a second his knees buckled and he nearly hit the ground. I grabbed the waterbag on his back to help steady him and another guy grabbed him buy the arm. It took us a little while to convince him to sit down since he was very confused and incoherant at that time. Thankfully he came to his senses in a short time.

Next up, the "big" obstacle of the trail, Cliffhanger. This was the most intimidating obstacle I have ever conquered. If the obstacle was anywhere else a mistake would only mean dented sheet metal. A mistake or mechanical breakage here could easily be deadly. The view from that ledge road was worth the trip in itself.


This trail is a dead end so you must pass over the ledge road both ways.


About 2/3rds of the way out, Kevin heard a squealing noise from his left front wheel. Kevin jacked up the truck and found the wheel to be locked solid. It turned out that the inner wheel bearings race became welded to the spindle and the cage and rollers had begun to get chewed up.


I pulled out my spare D-44 bearings, but we found my '80 Blazer bearings to be a different size they his '79 Bronco bearings. Gerald drove back into town to pick up bearings and a seal while we waited with Kevin on the trail. After Gerald returned the truck was quickly reassembled and we finished our run with our headlights on at about 7pm.


It was a long day and I was ready to relax at the Moab Brewery. Unfortunatley fate had a different idea. You see Charlotte was due in Moab by now and she was no where to be found. I had last spoken to her at 2pm from our lunch break location. She was halfway between Flagstaff and Tuba City at that time.

I had called her cell and no answer. I called my voice message and no messages. Suddenly my phone beeps with a voice message alert and there are 3 messages. I call the voice mail box to hear a frantic Char telling me that our VW threw a check engine light and a glow plug light in Tuba City and VW told her not to drive the car any farther. For some reason I was not able to retrieve these messages earlier. Her next message told me she had got a hotel room in Tuba City... she had Room 2:rolleyes:

I told Char not to worry and that we would figure out how to get her out of there. I had decided that if I had to pick her up I would just pack up and go home after that since she was half way between the 2 locations, about 4 hours away. When I told Kevin, offroadkc, that I planned on leaving Moab for the weekend he suggested to have his friend Seth go pick up Char and bring her back to Moab for a small fee. I jumped right on that and Seth took off at 10pm to pick up Char in Tuba City. They returned to Moab at 6am... Unfortunatley they got a ticket for 92 during the late night road trip. Char and I want to thank Seth and the couple that drove out with him for all their help. You saved our weekend.

Well that's it for the first day!!

Great writeup Rick! Are you going to continue with the second day or wait for someone else to write about it? :)

Someone else can take day two. That would be great.

I'll try to write it at home tonight and transfer to the site tomorrow afternoon :)

Well I came home a little more dented then when I went but still it was worth it :) Mike I am sorry I didn't get to talk to you more but it was kind of a crazy weekend. Marty I wish we could have hooked up for a run too. Well friday was an interesting day, I met up with the explorers at city market BSed for a while and then set out to Cliff Hanger. I high centered on the second obsticle and pulled my driveshaft apart at the slip yolk. I have never had this happen before so I think it was just a freak accident ;) Robbie J, his brother Brandon and I all had a problem there so we all decided to turn around. We fixed our probs them headed for the north side of fin's and thing's. We had a great time on that trail just getting to know each other and relaxing a bit. Saturday we all met up at city market again and were going to run Golden Spike with the other big dawgs, but they told me I couldn't go because I had mechanicle error the day before. I guess they knew more about my rig then I do, oh well :( I decided to run the first part of GS because it is a well known and fun trail called Poison Spider Mesa. Robbie and Brandon decided that they didn't want to run with the explorer group either so we ran together for the second day in a row. After we finished that trail we headed over to Hell's Revenge. My buddies that were down there showed us some secret obsticles that not everyone knows about. One the first of the 3 obsticles I took a bad line and ended up putting my X on it's side. I was lucky though, a big rock kept me from going all the way over. I was kind of concerned as my driver front tire had about 6 feet of air under it :)I got it back on 3 tires and backed down off the obstacle and tried it another way and made it :) The thing you have to understand is I am sitting on 33's following a $60,000 + TJ with 38's. After that we went back and finished the trail. Sunday I drove by the Citymarket to see if Robbie was going home or running a trail that day. After we talked to Robbie and he was going home we decided to run steel Bender. I had a good time on a fairly easy trail and even took about a 2.5 hr hike in the middle. I am glad I went and it was a pretty good birthday weekend for me. I would just like to thank Robbie, Brandon and their dad for a great weekend and I hope we can do that Rubicon run soon! :)


My wheeling Group for the weekend:

RobbieJ: Solid axle 91 Ford Explorer (locked F&R)

Brandon: 99? Jeep TJ (locked F&R)

Pat: Custom 97 Jeep TJ (locked F&R)

Travis: 95 Jeep Grand Cherokee (open diff's)

(me) hvac man: 93 Ford Explorer (locked F&R)

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Any pics hvac man?

Sounds like that near role would make a good one.