Back late last night from an EPIC Moab. Started the weekend off Saturday with the mega 4×4 trip on Gold Bar Rim, Golden Spike and Poison Spider. We combo hiked/jeeped most of those trails, lots of fun obstacles but still a bit hot. Sunday we hiked/jeeped/bicycled Klondike Bluffs, then Monday we tackled Steel Bender (AKA Flat Pass). I was planning on hiking and biking some of that, but half way into the trip we had moderate carnage and I got to play dirt mechanic on the ‘ol Rumble Bee. That was fun too. I like any excuse to use tools.
We thought Moab would be crowded, but it was mellow. SandFlats area had plenty of open campsites, town was pleasant. Perhaps gas prices and heat kept folks away. Photo story:
|I got a bit of photo editing done one evening, but we stayed away from civilization as much as possible so we didn’t have a chance to blog.|
|Louie getting his ride ready for another day of desert fun.|
|This is NOT our rig. I just thought I’d include this shot to whine about how these guys had their electric generator breaking the desert silence at nearly all hours. It always amazes me how some people in motor homes think it’s okay to intrude with their noise on an otherwise peaceful evening campground. I understand how nice a motorhome can be, and how important electrical power is to that experience — but run those generators during business hours, please! (Or use solar power for battery charging.)|
Up on Klondike Bluffs, my new Scarpa Hi-Trail hikers. Nice beefy low-cuts, but the rubber around the toe makes them a bit hot for sunny desert days. Desert footwear can be a tough question. Sandals work well unless you’re scrambling ground with lots of pebbles and small rocks that keep getting caught under your feet. Flip-flops sometimes work because they’re so loose on your feet they’re somewhat “self cleaning.” Running shoes with mesh uppers are usually cool enough, but the mesh is transparent to sand and cactus thorns. If I’m doing a lot of walking, my favorite is still a lightweight pair of leather hiking boots, without Gortex liner so they breath as well as possible. I wear the sandals while driving, and bring the other shoes in case any foot travel is involved.
|On the Klondike Bluffs trail, fossil dinosaur track with my foot for scale.|
|The boy gets some thrills. Short wheelbase Willys always delivers the adrenaline — it’s not as good at climbing and descending as the longer and bigger tire’d trucks you see all over Moab, but I like the challenge.|
|On the Steel Bender trail, sure enough, I pretzel my tie rod. Louie was watching and said it “didn’t make any noise or anything, it just looked like it melted…” It’s a bit iffy to be soloing these trails (one vehicle), but it’s a popular place on a weekend and one can depend on the kindness of strangers. This was a tricky one as the carnage occurred in the middle of a steep tippy obstacle. We had to winch out after detaching the rod, going slow and turning one of the wheels by grabbing the tire and yanking on it (the other was still hooked up to the steering system). An exchange program of sorts, as we’ve helped other folks out numerous times over the years. Good to carry lots of tools, water, etc, however. If necessary I could have caught a ride to Moab and easily brought parts back for a fix as we were only three miles from pavement.|
|Out comes the tie rod, I find the perfect crack in some Moab slickrock, then it’s all hands on task! Thanks to the father/son team from Grand Junction helping out, it de-kinked quite nicely (though it’ll need replacement).|
|And the sun sets on another western adventure…|