Monday, October 31, 2016

Metal Masher...October Fun Part 3

Gopher Flats
Moab, UT
October 2016

Sunday, October 23rd, was highway clean-up day for MFFW Club.  With bags in hand, several members and visitors picked up 30+ bags of trash along the 3 mile stretch just north of Arches NP (on Hwy 191north) that club adopted.  

With work done, it was time to go play and Metal Masher was the trail of choice.  

This nearly 12 mile loop is rated difficult due to large boulder climbs (thank goodness for by-passes) with names like Rock Chucker and Widow Maker.  

It was another clear October day with blue skies, white fluffy clouds, and spectacular views along the way. 


 ...and Corky make the climb up Rock Chucker look easy !

The overlook, about 5 miles in, is a favorite stop for everyone even if you have done the trail many times.

Looking north...
 ...and looking south.
My favorite part of the trail is the section that comes just after the overlook.  Its a narrow shelf road that heads west with views looking toward Hwy 313 that goes to Canyonlands NP.

Widow Maker is the last big...ummm, humongous...obsatcle on Metal Masher.  

Only 3 rigs ( Dee, Susan and Glen) had a chance to make it up this 8 foot+ climb so the rest of us followed Carole on the bypass and parked at the top to watch.

 Dee was first and made it up in Blanche with no worries.

 Next up was Susan.  After a few tries and an impressive wheel stand, she opted for a strap. 

 Last was Glen.  Chris and Charlene look on as Glen gets lined up.
Glen makes everything look so easy. Such a treat to watch him rock crawl.

I can't believe October is coming to an end.  Time sure flies !
Happy Halloween...
Until next time, let the good-times-roll !


Thursday, October 27, 2016

October Fun...Part 2

Gopher Flats
Moab, UT
October 2016

Another very popular trail in Moab is Poison Spider.  As the story goes,  back in the 1870s a young girl named Mary was bitten by a poison spider and died on Poison Spider Mesa.  Anyway, large awkward ledges with tippy spots give this highly traveled 10 mile trail a difficult rating.  I like it because the of the varied terrain...a mesa with gorgeous scenery,  scary fun obstacles like The Wedgy, and amazing slick rock fins.  

The weather was perfect as we snaked our way along the trail with Dave and Lynn.

Aren't these machines just amazing? Check out the flex on Rokell as Dave climbs The Wedgy.

Another day, Dee joined us for a short version of Poison Spider.  

It was late in the day and as we were heading out and we enjoyed beautiful reflections on the Colorado River.

Another day, Joe and I joined Red Rock 4 Wheelers (the other local club) on Strike Ravine. 

Traversing through the ravine was quite colorful...
Strike Ravine is on the south side of town in a rugged area of craggy canyons and old mines. It's full of steep boulder fields and narrow shelf ledges. 

 No season is complete without a quick jaunt through Long Canyon.  Over the past few years, Long Canyon has washed out and isn't quite as easy as it was when we first drove it 4+ years ago.  But it is still a beauty ! 

We joined Dave and drove it from top to bottom enjoying every second as we squeezed through Pucker Pass...

...and hugged Giant Fallen Rock.

The Tan Clan girls say "Hello!"
Dover and Sally
I thought I would get caught up, but nope !  We have done a couple more trails including one we have never done before so look for part 3 soon. 

Until next time, take care and let the good times roll !

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

October Fun...Part 1

Gopher Flats
Moab, UT
October 2016

After looking at the calendar,  I realized we have been busier than I realized wheeling with Dave and Lynn and MFFW.

First up was Fins and Things.  What a treat to follow The Perkins as we traversed steep slickrock climbs and descents with a few big ledges in between. 

Top of the World was on Dave's bucket list so we headed out Scenic Hwy 128 early one morning to check it off.  I love the 30+ miles (one way) we travel on 128 to get to the trailhead...such a beautiful drive along the Colorado past Castle Valley rock formations and Fisher Towers with the La Sals in the background.  

The highlight for me was my first time wheeling Pearl.  I had a great time on the easier lower section of TOTW as we drove out.  It's quite fun choosing the right line up, down and around small ledges.  It's not fun using the clutch and changing gears. Even so,  a few  "Wahoos !"  could be heard from the driver's side. 

The highlight for Dave's first time on TOTW was parking Rokelle on the ledge. Unfortunately, it was 12:00 noon and the lighting was horrible for pictures.  Note to self...dont arrive at the overlook at noon again !  
Heading home on 128... 

One of my favorite trails is Hell's Revenge.  Long, narrow and sometimes quite steep sections of trail on fins can't be bypassed and add to the scary fun of Hells.  There are four difficult ( well, to me they are extreme and thank goodness they have bypasses ) challenges on this twisty 7.8 mile  trail...three of which we have never driven Pearl on and most likely never will.  But its always fun watching others.  We have enjoyed this Moab classic twice so far this month...first  with Dave and Lynn and then with MFFW when we took out three vehicles that had never done Hells.

Did I mention the scenery on this iconic Moab trail?  Its amazing !  Everywhere you look there is beauty up close and as far as the eye can see.

 Here is Rokell carrying the Perkins and their puppy Daisy down the ledgy exit from Hells.

 On the Moab Friends For Wheeling run

Donavan and Stephanie rode behind us.  They have a 2015 stock, 2 door, manual Wrangler Sport...just like Pearl was a few years ago.  This was their first time wheeling..EVER!  Donavan is a natural with lots of motor cross experience.  I am pretty sure we will see them again in the spring with a "not quite so stock" jeep.

Its always a treat to head to the overlook with folks who have never been on Hells.  Its such a magnificent 360* view.  Parking with a group can be a little tricky !
Looking down on the Colorado and Hwy 128...

Following Donovan was Rick and Jody in a Nisan Xterra.  They did great on their first Hells outing.  

Glen dips into Mickey's Hot Tub.  Such a smooth driver that Glen is !   His Jeep YJ (which he stretched and built himself) is quite capable and fun to watch. 
This was Keith's first time in the hot tub in his new  Jeep buggy.  Glen spotted him in and out...

...a great show for sure !  

The thrill of the day was watching Keith (with a spot from Glen) climb The Escalator.  Its a two in one obstacle that gets you really tippy.  He did great and the second time up, he didn't need Glen at all.

October has certainly gotten off to a great start here in Moab. It's definitely our happy place and we are sure enjoying Gopher Flats !

 Our very good friends Jim and Barb Horne are right next door.
 The Tan Clan frequently can be seen watching under our motorhome for Lew (Jim and Barb's 12 year old Basset Hound) everyday with hopes of meeting up in the doggie park.  I think Sally is in love ! 

 The afternoons and nights are cool...just right for a visit by the fire pit !

 Look for part 2 in a few days...until then, let the good times roll !
Rokell leads the way on the north section of Fins and Things.