Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Little Camper That Could

Portal RV Resort
Moab, UT
June 20, 2015

Once upon a time (not so long ago), a sunset ride was planned because it was too dang hot to go any other time of day. 

We decided on a fairly easy ride along Onion Creek and Thompson Canyon.

Our small caravan had Joe and I at the helm, Joe III and Jena in the saddle and Ronnie and Carol assuming the tail-gunner position. All was right with the world as we wandered up and over and around a beautiful piece of country.

The late afternoon glow made for a brilliant ride with vibrant colors. Just one of those little things that sure makes the heart beat faster. 
When all of a sudden, there is movement in the bushes beside the road. Yeah! Wildlife! And even more exciting...baby wildlife! With the camera clicking away, thru the front window we creep by very close. I was mostly focused on mama bird so I could get an ID. The photo below shows a beautiful pale-colored, but boldly patterned bird in the pheasant family called a Chukar Partridge. Info on www.allaboutbirds.com states it is native of Eurasia and was introduced into the US from Pakistan to be a game bird.

 Another little thing that gets the heart beating faster is to round a curve and find the trail is gone. The flash floods had done a really great job of washing the trail away!

 But alas, not to worry, the trail returns as we begin a series of steep switchbacks... 

that land us in a most spectacular place.

Onion Creek 4X4 Trail ends here so we made a left turn onto Thompson Canyon 4X4 Trail. We are having a grand time communicating on the CB radio and enjoying the ride 
when we pull up behind a truck camper as it was about to flop on its driver side. It seems the rains had not been so kind to Thompson Canyon either and there was a huge rut and very soft sand all around.

Joe guided Mitch...yep we were on a first name basis...to back up, we proceeded to fill in the trail with rocks and debris and then Joe carefully and successfully spotted him across. Mitch and his wife were traveling to Gateway, CO! Mitch thanks us and carries on while the rest of us get ourselves across. 

Not much further we see brake lights again...

...and once more, rocks were carefully placed so that Mitch could get traction to make a slippery incline out of a wet stream bed. 

Once more Mitch thanks us and carries on while the rest of us make our way.

Once more the sound of laughter resounds on the CB along with oohs and aahs...gorgeous scenery all around. 

A very nice sunset indeed. And just think if we hadn't stopped to help Mitch, we might not have been in the perfect place to enjoy it!

Uh-oh! We meet again! This time was the worst. Even though the picture doesn't show it, there is a huge and deep rut across the trail. Mitch had tried on his on to cross, but it didn't happen.

By this time, another vehicle pulled up behind us in a bit of a hurry to get moving. Against our recommendation, it was decided to push the camper up the other side of the rut. 

It worked out for Mitch, but the pushers including Joe III were sand blasted! And rock blasted!

The story does have a happy ending...this time Mitch said thank you and decided he should follow us the rest of the way. We were glad we were there to help him. Once on pavement, Mitch and his wife found a camping spot and called it a day. Hope they made it to Gateway!

Let the good times roll... 


Up next...The Windows at Sunset

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Some Revenge and a Britney Spears Flop

Portal RV Resort
Moab, UT
June 19 and 20, 2015

The next morning, after Joe III's very brief introduction to jeeps the night before, he was in for a challenge and some revenge...Hell's Revenge that is. It's my all-time favorite 4X4 trail ranked mid-way on the difficult list in Charles Wells' Guide because of "steep climbs and descents over sandstone domes and ledges. Not for stock vehicles or novice drivers." We would never have ventured out on such a daring trail if it had not been for Dee's encouragement and having her at the helm. Thank you Dee for a great day and experience...one I am sure Joe III and Jena will keep forever in the memory bank.

Just follow the black tire marks...

I rode with Dee in her buggy Wild Thing, Joe III and Jena rode saddle and Joe and Ronnie were tail-gunner in Pearl.

Descending into the entrance of Hell's Gate...Dee took Joe III and Jena for an exciting ride on one of the obstacles. 

Check out the video that shows their ride...

Photo by Dee

Photo by Dee...Joe III climbing out of Mickey's Hot Tub 

Early the next morning, we off to AreaBFE on the south side of town. BFE is a 320 recreational park for many different outdoor activities such as trail runs and camping as well as hosting special events like competitions, club gatherings, and music festivals. It is privately owned, but open to the public. It is free to use, but donations are accepted to help with upkeep. 

Meeting/staging area

Pearl and Rubi followed these buggies to the playground known as Britney Spears.

Britney Spears as described on the BFE webpage...
Trail Rating : Expert
Description : Horseshoe loop up the side of a hill. Major boulders! Counter clockwise is harder!
Requirements : Min. 37" tires, Lockers, Winch, and a great spotter - Do not attempt alone!

Yikes! The first buggy up made a great effort...a lot of backing up and repositioning  for different lines, but in the end it was a flop. It's quite impressive watching these folks in a crisis...Glen unstrapped the driver in the picture above, then Jeff scrambles to turn the engine off. Driver was OK and the buggy lost it's brakes. 

The second buggy up had a successful run, but not without a little help.

It did not flop, but it was stuck...

L to R...Dee, Joe III and Glen strap and pull so it could move forward.

One other buggy tried, but after a few attempts, was advised to turn around. 

Joe and Jena at the top of Britney Spears Trail
 Tired, hot, thristy and hungry we followed Dee to Zax...yep, the AC and a pitcher of Blue Moon "fit the bill"! 

Let the good times roll...


Up next...the little camper that could!

Friday, June 26, 2015

It's 105 Degrees for Crying Out Loud!

Portal RV Resort
Moab, UT
June 18, 2015

Yep, the temps in Moab are unseasonably warm this June. So what do you do when the forecast calls for temps "Hotter than Hades"? Joe III and Jena get up at the break of dawn to get in a 5 mile run/bike ride along the Colorado River...

Warming up for a run as they leave the resort
 ...then you go on a hike!

Joe and I had several hikes in mind for the week with Corona Arch at the top of the list and a close second being Delicate Arch. The hot temps put a damper on our hiking so this was the only one we did. The kids enjoyed it and got a small taste of the ginormous size and space of the area.

Our next stop was Barlow's Adventures to pick up a rental 2-door Rubi for the kids. Our ride the night before had sparked their interest to try their hand at some off-roading. Yippe!

So late that afternoon, we headed out to Chicken Corners...

an easy to moderate trail on the south side of town. This was Joe III's first time to drive a jeep! 

Joe III rode saddle with us leading and Ronnie and Carol as tail-gunner.

He did a great job absorbing all the information he received, asked lots of good questions, and felt pretty confident as we pointed the jeeps toward home. 

The afternoon glow made for a spectacular ride...

Let the good times roll...


Up next...some revenge!