MOAB, UTAH
Moab 2018
Day one, met Conkins, Fries, and Queens at Lowe's foods in hickory. We traveled to St Louis for
the first night, 776 miles with no issues on the day. We had a late dinner at Mexican place to
celebrate Tammy's 35th birthday.
Day two was St. Louis to Denver. Driving through Kansas is miserable. You can see for miles, long
and straight. Only issue was Fries truck had leak from right rear tire but we re-plugged it and
were back on our way. We had pulled off on Jeep Rd of all things to repair the tire. We spent
the night in Denver, had dinner at Uno's, and were at a total of 1600 miles for the trip.
Day three got us into Moab having driven 1976 miles. It was a beautiful ride out of Denver
through a canyon, then through Utah and into Moab. We got settled in and bought groceries and
prepared for a ride on Saturday.
Day four, Saturday. Met at City Market and decided to run Hells Revenge. The group consisted
of the Fries, Queens, Lahaye's, Rut and crew, Savelle's, Conkins, and Hickman crew. It was very
unnerving at first. The Fins are very narrow and while it wasn't difficult, it was scary. We had
lunch over by Hell's Gate and Rut, David, and I ended up running it after lunch. Headed over to
the hot tubs where someone had rolled. We helped with recovery and were back on our way. I
ran Escalator on the way out and then a few of us went and ran the first half of Fins and Things.
Day 5, Sunday. We ran Poison Spider Mesa. Cool trail, no real issues until I got into the sand
Hill. I tried to mash on it and ended up breaking the front driveshaft. We pulled the broken
section and I drove out in two wheel drive. The views were incredible.... you just can't put it into
words.
Day 6, Monday. Off trail day. I got driveshaft repaired at Dixie Four Wheel Drive. Several
others went and ran Kane Creek Canyon. We had dinner at Sunset Grill overlooking Moab.Day 7,
Tuesday. Trent and Dawson went zip lining, Dianne stayed behind with him. David rode with me
and we did Steel Bender. Beautiful scenery, trail not too difficult.
Day 7, Wednesday. My buddy Ed rode with me as we did Metal Masher. Ed had never been
before and I dove right into it by getting pretty sideways on the first real obstacle. I ended up
separating the front drive shaft. Luckily it wasn't damaged and we were able to get it back
together. Long day, good trail. We had lunch where the obstacle named Rock Chucker was
located. I gave it the college try but was denied. Should've gotten stickies....
Day 8, Thursday. Off trail day. Went with Dianne and Trent to the Mill Creek swimming hole.
Trent had a good time jumping into the swimming hole from the ledge. Had late lunch with
Emery's and then went to Arches. Trent, Taylor, and I made the 3.1 mile round trip home to the
Delicate Arch right at sunset. Very cool.
Day 9, Friday. Behind the Rocks. Very cool trail, one of the top ten hardest. Started off the the
Gatekeeper. I got up and then served as a winch point for anyone else who wanted it. Trail had
some cool obstacles... Roller Coaster, Hummer Hill. White Knuckle was tough to try so we took
the bypass. Very long trip out to the road to get the trucks.
Day 10, Saturday.... What else to say-an epic day on the trails. Grant and John, David, Richard
and Sandra, and us decided to take on Pritchett Canyon. We meet at 8 am to get an early start.
We got to the trailhead and at 9:10 we got started and within a mile or so Grant started having
troubles with his engine running smoothly. We pulled the Idle Air Control and cleaned it and
started off again but it still ran rough. We stopped and cleaned it again and this time it started
to run a whole lot better.
We got to the first obstacle called Chewy and I got to work. I almost flopped twice trying to get
up but then I found the right line and got up to the top. Grant was next and after a few attempts
decided to hook to the anchor point and pull cable. After getting to the top we heard RQ yelling
"fire!" We grabbed our extinguishers but luckily it was just smoke and sparks as the winch had
shorted out. While Grant and John messed with the winch David and RQ came up and pulled
cable to get to the top.
We started to get on down the trail with the plan that I would winch Grant through whatever he
needed but Grant had zero electrical power to the Jeep. Turned out his battery had been
toasted also. We struggled with what to do because none of us wanted to go back down Chewy as
it can be very off camber. Luckily John had the idea to check the side post and found that they
were still good although the battery did not have much power. We got the cables switched and
the Jeep jumped off. Grant had no winch but we decided to trek on and Grant was under strict
instructions to not turn the Jeep off. We drove on and came across a couple of drop offs and
ledges that needed rock stacking and maybe a cable here or there.
We ran through obstacles like the Brickyard and Obstacle Gulch and just when I commented to
Dianne about how pleased I was with the buggy.... the fuel pump started to die. Luckily I had
brought a spare. RQ set up a tarp to keep us out of the sun and in about a half-hour I had the
pump changed and we were on our way again.We still had a few obstacles to go to get to the end,
including Axle Hill, Rocker Knocker, Rock Pile, and Yellow Hill. I got up Axle Hill okay but ended
up pulling cable on Rocker Knocker after a few attempts.
Yellow Hill is the last obstacle to exit the difficult portion of Pritchett Canyon. Then we had a
good 14 miles or so of dirt road and we got to the parking area at around 9:30. We had spent a
good 12 hours on the trail and Grant had kept that XJ running for at least 10 hours straight.
Pritchett is not a loop so I had to get a ride back to the trailhead to get my truck and trailer and
then head back to get the buggy. I pulled into Moab Brewery at 10:30 for a cold beer and dinner,
exhausted but so happy that we had kept on and run Pritchett Canyon. This trip was the most
fun wheeling trip I've ever had. I saw areas of the country I'd never seen before, saw some
beautiful scenery, broke a few parts, and did it all with the best group of folks I've ever come to
know. Thank you to everyone who came along and I can't wait to go back and do it all again.
June, 2018