My Girl: Gettin' After It!!

My Girl: Gettin' After It!!
My truck on her maiden voyage in Moab 2012

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Moab 2017 and some catchup

I am sooo far behind.

I got a pathfinder towards the end of the year and changed jobs twice. My spare moments were spent working to keep both trucks in good running shape and to start building up my own business.

So I'm just gonna hurriedly post some photos and text and call it square. K?

 This was the biggest convoy I've been apart of, and we were going back to Moab. We met up in a small town in PA which allowed us to connect folks coming from PA and Jersey to link along I-70.
 Ben trailered his rig out on the new to him F-250.
 Our first stop just outside Columbus, OH and Hofbrauhaus Columbus.
 I feel like we barely survived to take this photo. At our overnight stop in Missouri, a violent storm rolled through at like 4am. Some folks immediately left us. Some were unscathed and showered during the storm. I was somewhere in the middle. We were able to get out of dodge ok and eventually the convoy regrouped at Ozarkland.
 Our next meal stop for Day 2 was Blue Skye in Salinas, KS. We stumbled upon this gem last year by Yelping, as we were 2 hours ahead of schedule and continued to drive further on the route until it got to be about lunchtime. So now it is a mainstay of any trip I take heading west.
 Our group split up again as we crossed into Colorado as most of us had made independent lodging arrangements.
 I crashed at the residence of the president and first lady of NORAC. Bill was already in Moab prepping for the arrival of the participants, but Kelly and her daughter hosted J and I.

We got up the next morning and started to drive the last leg to Moab. Ben was able to catch up on the road, and we continued with our plan to hit up Kannah Creek. Dukes and Abbey were already there. Angel and Melissa later joined as well.

 Melissa and Angel.

We took the scenic route into Moab.

 We stopped by the NORAC condo.
 Oh yeah. I drove out there with a busted steering rack. I forgot that part. So this was when we finally got to the condo and thoughts turned to who had drawn the short straw of having to help me with the replacement. Hint* it was both of them. But mostly Dukes.
 The Hefty Pathfinder showed up at our condo to drop off Cornelison's new skids. I fanboyed all over this truck. Sure, it is really Chris Hefty's wife's truck, but he modded it and brought it out to wheel. Which is kinda like the case with my pathfinder. So I just like seeing family vehicles still get modded and the rationale that gets used to alleviate scrutiny of the covert enhancements.
 Mod day at our condo the next day.
 Later that afternoon at the kickoff event. Blueberry has been...enhanced.
 Pretty sure this is Dave Lyons' rig. He and Bill Eirish's trucks have been twinning a bit lately ever since Bill came over to the Frontier side.

 Genuine Patrol. AND he wheeled it all week from what I understand.
 Turtleback. Pretty cool concept.
 Day 1 Secret Spire meetup.

Last year, Derrick Metz brought us in a different way to Secret Spire. After some driving around late into the evening, I was able to figure out where the turnoff to get to the original trailhead I had been shown back in 2012. I'll have to see if I can find a similar lineup picture from back then.

Throwback to 2012

2012 Throwback

 What a change for this truck.
 Iconic backdrop.

 Me and the little guy at the Secret Spire.
 Since I had the youngling with me, Ben volunteered to be a co-leader and help spot anyone that just needed basic encouragement to help minimize how often I had to leave the little guy with his Paw Patrol video.

 We had a semi-serious recovery to take on, but the folks asked not be embarrassed on social media. Things happen. For once, it wasn't me stuck or busted. So that was good.

The next day was an easy trail again. Not even a trail really. We went over to the White Wash Sand Dunes. With a little more time and prep, one can actually drive almost entirely off highway from town to the Sand Dunes. You enter the trail network via Secret Spire and then take an offshoot onto Crystal Geyser. From there, you need GPS waypoints because the trails drops off and picks up a few times where it crosses other access roads. Anyway, I wasn't quite savvy enough to bring us out that way, but if I'm ever back out there again, I'd like to look into how to link the three systems together firsthand.
 I didn't get much in the way of photos on this day. I got a bit of video bombing along the desert flats in the PA PreRunner. I'll have to add those up to the YouTube channel.
 It was a short day of us pretty much trying to avoid getting stuck in the soft sand. When everyone had their fill, we ended the day early and aired back up before heading back into town.
 Day 3 was my most challenging day. We were on Metal Masher, a red trail. I thought this was the one that featured the big drop, but that's actually Steelbender.

 Jenn had flown in the night before; so, I drove back out to Grand Junction to get her and bring her back into town. This was her first trail in Moab. She was not a fan of the narrow switchbacks heading up to the main trail.
 I think this might have been my first time wheeling with the Gorilla since it had it's one-ton axles swapped in.

 I haven't tried to load videos to Blogger in a while. Hopefully these play ok.

 When you're this big and bad, people kinda expect you to take on all challenges.
 Even though the terrain was more challenging (stress), I was relieved not to be responsible for any other vehicles (less stress).

 Chema was supposed to be the main trail leader, but the SAS'ed Frontier suffered two broken drive shafts earlier in the week. Truttman and Grooters joined him, and they did a terrific job getting our crew through some of the more challenging sections.

 Always something. He's alright.

 Stopping for lunch.
 Titan infusion. The skinny pizza cutters create an illusion that perhaps it is stock width.

 After this ATV had to be winched up this climb, Angel and Ben decided that they too wanted to become mountain climbers with their rigs as well.
 Day 4 was a chill day. We decided that 5 days in the desert wheeling might be a bit much for significant others; so, we planned for Thursday to be a family day. So we started the day off with brunch before heading to a vineyard just outside of town.

 I feel like this was the first time I saw Scott the whole trip. They took a few more days back east to get the Titan ready and drove out after we had already left.
 Y'all remember this? It lives out west now.
 We got off to a late start our last full day in town. We didn't really have plans, but decided we might go to Arches. It was my third time out in Moab, and after the prior two trips, people would always ask me if I had also visited Arches. I always indicated that I had not. "Really. You were right there! How could you not?!"

So we went.
 I thought I would be bored to tears driving along a paved road taking in the same scenery I had seen up close while driving on the trails. I was wrong though.
 Yes, there was primarily paved roads which 99% of guests were using.
 And informative kiosks and displays.
 And then I saw THIS sign and I was a 12 year old boy all over again.
 "Honey, we have the truck that meets these requirements."
 So we went about 3 miles down and back. It was mostly a dried riverbed with a bunch of deposited rocks. In the well washed sections, it was relatively easily passable. IN places wehre several larger rocks had been deposited, it was a bit more challenging. Since we were not accompanied by another vehicle, we didn't press our luck too far by venturing much further.
 We found another spot to get off the pavement and see the Tower Arch.
 "Honey, this is one you couldn't even see unless you are an avid, well-provisioned hiker...or in a truck like ours"
 Came across another guy out doing the same thing in a full size truck.

 She actually seemed to enjoy the little jaunt more than she had Metal Masher. She didn't like nearly dying on Wednesday. But on Friday, this was more her speed.

 These guys were finishing up their trip as we arrived to the Tower Arch.
 We left Saturday morning without much of a plan at all. We were just gonna take our time heading back east and stop wherever we saw something interesting. In Vail, we decided to stop at Vail Brewing Company for lunch. They actually don't serve lunch in the brewery, but food trucks are setup outside.
 After grub and a pint, we started heading a bit north to head towards Mt. Rushmore. Along the way, we saw signs for Buffalo Bill's grave site. "Why not?" We had been playing a bit of highway tag with Ryan Miller from GLX. Periodically one of us would stop and the other one would make up ground and overtake the other. Probably happened 2-3 times. We'd hail one another on the CB and do a status check. We lost them for the last time when we stopped here.
 At another point, I think the next day, we saw signs for Oregon Trail ruts. "Hey, I played that computer game; let's see it in real life!"
 So we did.
 Five years ago, I had tried to visit Mt. Rushmore only to be thwarted by terrible weather and fog that obscured the monument. This year looked to be a repeat, but with Jenn's encouragement, we pushed on. And we were able to salvage a good visit.
 The Jeep parked next to us while we were touring the grounds. We should have gone on adventures together.
 From there, we headed to the Badlands.
 And saw these wizard cows.

It was a really cool place and a great cap to the trip.

1 comment:

  1. Great pics! and the one of the wife hovering in the air is awesome! (that's an impressive leap into the air and great camera timing)


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