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Trip Report – Moab Spring Trip, April 9-16, 2021

Submitted by Michael Whittington on Wed, 04/21/2021 - 16:16
MOAB Spring Vacation

Trip Report – Moab Spring Trip, April 9-16, 2021
Trip Leaders – Mike and Laura Whittington
16 extremely capable vehicles, aka, Jeeps and one Toyota Land Cruiser
Bob & Judy Boltner, Cory
Bob & Kathy Besch
Bruce Phillips
Chad & Joanna Oellien, Nash
Garth & Niki Thomas
Jerome Blunck & Brenda
Joe & Orit Picker
John & Mary Labbett
Kenny Lombino
Lyndol & Mary James, Josh, Kira
Mike & Kristy Demers, Hannah, Katelin
Mike & Laura Whittington
Mike & Lori Sullivan
Paul Rourman
Ric Freymond & Lisa
Rich & Corkey Wohlers

The group did five trails and one day off for site seeing, repairing, shopping in Moab, etc.
Most everybody arrived on Friday and got settled in, got their vehicles ready and enjoyed the company of others.
Saturday – Steel Bender. SB is a good starting point for the week. It’s located just out of Moab to the southeast. The trail has a great view of the LaSal mountain range to the southeast on the boarder of Utah and Colorado. The trail itself has a few water crossings, lots of sand and a bit of slick rock (sandstone). The only real obstacle was a nasty double downhill section requiring careful spotting. Our only mishap occurred when Lyndol attempted to climb a steep ledge. He broke a rear driveshaft u-joint. Fortunately, Mike Sullivan had a spare slip yoke with the correct u-joint. The repair was made and we continued on.

Sunday – Kane Creek Canyon. The trail with 57 water crossings!!! I know this because we had a contest. OTR tee shirt to the person who came closest without going over. Bob Besch was the winner with a guess of 54. KCC is a very different kind of trail; lots of water crossings as most of the trail is through the creek bottom. Still we had plenty of obstacles before and after the creek bottom. The most difficult section coming out of the creek is called Hamburger Hill. Everybody made it through the trail without any issues.
Monday – Moab Rim. MR is famous for its relatively short but steep climb to the top of the rim. The two biggest obstacles are The Crack within the first 300 yards after leaving the pavement and the Z-Turn not too far after that. After that point, there’s a lot of off camber driving over the slick rock. You feel like you’re going to fall over on your side with every bump; especially the coil over suspension and narrow tracked vehicles. At the top, we meandered around through the sand and slick rock then came to Tire Test Hill, a good very steep short climb and a preview of coming attractions for the rest of the week. The lunch stop was a great view of the Spanish Valley and the town of Moab. Everyone made it up and down safely without incident. Check out the video posted on our Facebook page of Kenny arguing with his spotter during his decent over The Crack. Very funny. When I got back to the pavement I heard a metallic wine coming from the rear end during decal. The R&P was talking to me…I need to be replaced.
Tuesday – Off day. Everybody did their own thing today. Some checked out Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. Two guys visited the town of Cisco…I cannot imagine why. They said it was for the food but all they found was a microwave burrito or something similar. Others just walked Main Street for a tee shirt or souvenir.
We had a group dinner for 34 at Moab Brewery. Joanna handed out the words to Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline to everybody and we all sang it. No practicing and we sounded like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir…almost. Why did we sing Sweet Caroline? IDK but it was fun anyway. Judy took a video of the event; hopefully she’ll post it. Could go aluminum (as compared to platinum). When we returned to camp, Ric broke out his famous margaritas and we all sat around the campfire enjoying each other’s company and telling tall tales.
Wednesday – Golden Spike with Where Eagles Dare. My favorite trail. Bobby B. led today with Mike W. riding shotgun. Earlier that morning, I dropped Wytee2.0 off at Dixie 4 WD for a new R&P. Did I say I love this trail? It’s now even better with the addition of the offshoot called Where Eagles Dare. GS/WED is a mix of mostly slick rock and some sand in between. There are lots of great obstacles and breathtaking views of the area near the Colorado River and Canyonlands northwest of Moab. The slick rock climbs and descents seem impossible but we do them the entire day. Lunch was at the Colorado River overlook where the railroad tracks heading over to Potash come out of the tunnel below you. The only mishap we had was a blown tire on Ric’s TJ. We had him going again within a half hour. This was a long day but we all had a great time.
BTW…the weather has been fantastic all week with days in the 70s and nights in the 40s.
Friday – Hells Revenge. The weather starting getting rough…the mighty Jeeps were tossed… or something like that. Our last day of wheeling. Ten hardy souls made the trip today. Bobby B. led with me riding shotgun. Wind, rain and sleet today. HR is almost all slick rock and lots of fun; today included. We got to the famous obstacle known as Hells Gate. Everybody but one wanted to give it a try. Bob came up first, followed by Rich. Then it started to rain, then rain harder, then it started to sleet and to top that off, it was windy. We decided to hold the rest of the Jeeps at the bottom of HG until the rain stopped and dry out a bit (right!). That took an hour or so, then the fun began.
Kenny came up first. Spotting was difficult…just getting to the spot to spot for the guys coming up was fun…now I know why they call it slick rock.
It took a few tries to get Kenny up but we did it without mishap. Check out the video Bob B took on Facebook.
Everybody else came up just fine with the exception of Bob Besch. He got a bit offline and mildly flopped his Jeep. Six or eight guys went halfway down the shoot and had him back on his wheels in no time…I don’t think he ever shut off the engine. Then he came up the rest of the obstacle without incident.
From that point, we decided we had had enough and headed back to camp.
It was time to go home. Everybody was gone by Friday morning. I for one had a great time. No big issues. Nobody had to be winched. Nobody had to be hauled off the trail. Everybody had fun. Thanks for making this year’s trip so much fun. We’ll do it again soon.
Mike Whittington