Sunday, November 27, 2016

Heading South

Gopher Flats
Moab, UT
November 2016

Tomorrow is travel day.   
Before we go, a quick recap for November.  

Joe celebrated his 70th birthday earlier in the month.  Dee joined us for a delicious dinner at Jeffrey's Steakhouse followed by champagne at her place.

For years, Moab Friends For Wheeling jeep club has volunteered to help with Moab Trail Marathon.  It's a huge event with over 1500 runners at just one of the two aide stations we set up and worked.  Joe and I helped haul supplies on Friday as the first runners come through before 8 am.  

Glen loads a trailer and his jeep to haul supplies on Cliffhanger.
Larry loaded his Toyo buggy with water, coolers and table for Pritchett.
You wouldn't believe the boxes of bananas, granola bars, cookies and cases of gallon water jugs along with tables, water coolers for mixing electrolyte drinks, cups and more cups filled up several pick up trucks, a trailer, and several jeeps.  Some went to Pritchett and some went to Cliffhanger.

The mornings have been quite chilly recently, but the days warm up nicely.  55 degrees here sure doesn't feel like it did in Georgia.  We had a gorgeous, lazy run on Hells Revenge last week.  The sky and the LaSal Mountains were so dramatic and we enjoyed watching jeep shadows.

 Thanksgiving day, we joined Dee for a trail run on Kane Creek.  Kane Creek is turning into a favorite trail.  Not only is the scenery captivating, the terrain is so diverse.
The desert, 

the creek,

and the cliff, each with their own challenges, beauty and fun.

 Yesterday while Joe did some packing and rearranging, I went with Dee to see Pritchett Canyon.  There were two other well built vehicles in our little group.  Joe and I have heard about Pritchett Canyon for 4 years so I really wanted to see it and all it's challenges.  Locals say it's the hardest trail here and now I know why !  It's only 4.2 miles of trail, but Charles Wells Guide says to allow a full day for obstacles like Chewy, Rocker Knocker, Axel Hill and Yellow Hill.  My mouth dropped at the sight of boulders much taller than Blanche (Dee's jeep).  Some of the obstacles were in the shade, wet and slippery which added to the scary fun.  

We made the first tracks on Pritchett yesterday.

 It's an awesome canyon and Dee pointed our several hikes for this spring.

 We might even do some wheeling here too. The first big obstacle is Chewy.  Here Warren heads up after Dee.

 Nothing like a good flex and stretch on a chilly morning !

 And then Larry follows.

I only got one picture of Yellow Hill and this is the bypass !

 Just ahead of here, there was a nice sunny (and warm) spot to stop for lunch with a view.

 On the way out, we passed Pritchett Arch.  It's farther than the picture makes it look like is...I zoomed !

Up next, Tucson for a couple of nights to restock the pantry and then its on to So Cal to explore.

Until next time, let the good times roll !


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Outlaw Offroad & Hercules Tires

Gopher Flats
Moab, UT
November 16, 2016

Our very good friends Jim and Barb Horne are owners of Outlaw Offroad Moab.  Jim is well known in the area for providing outstanding jeep fact yesterday was his 257th & final jeep tour for this year.   Of course that is just total days on trail which doesn't take into consideration that on busy days he can do up to four tours/guides a day !  We met Jim in June 2013 when he did the first modifications to Pearl and the friendship has just grown since then.  We are now next door neighbors here at Gopher Flats... talk about fun times !

Jim invited us to join him on this last tour for the year as he guided 10 jeeps with representatives from Hercules Tires.... Jedd (vice-president of marketing who organized the event ),  his right hand Camilla, and various dealers from all over the country.  Two professional race drivers sponsored by Hercules were also part of the group.  Joe, Tom (the videographer recording the event) and I rode with Jim.  The event was to test drive new Hercules tires that Cooper Tire has manufactured for them.

Everything was top-drawer.  Hercules rented the jeeps from Twisted Jeeps here in Moab and had the Hercules tires installed on all 10 of the vehicles...including spares.  The tires used were 35" and ran the trails at 27 PSI.  Even without "airing down" these tires crawled every single obstacle with no excess tire spin which Joe and I thought was amazing.  The drivers had NEVER wheeled in Moab.  The idea was for them to witness first hand how the tires perform and return to their dealerships with experience and knowledge of the amazing capabilities of their tires. Cooper Tire, also provided other important things for the event like lunch complete with Tailgater trailer,  big screen TV,  grilled BBQ chicken and Polish Sausages with all the fixings...all served on location at the trail head when we finished.  

Our trail for the day was Poison Spider.  It was a real treat watching Jim expertly guide drivers through the difficult obstacles. Tom hustled around in and out of the jeep to get videos, attach go pro cams and even fly a drone several times.  It was such a pleasure to see all the drivers smiles as they successfully completed one obstacle after another.  I'm certain everyone had a lot of fun and perhaps more importantly, they all took home a much better understanding of how Hercules tires will truly measure up to their customers most extreme demands !

Here the jeeps line up to start "The Waterfall".  Jim masterfully spotted each one up...

...and managed to get a poser shot with a driver side wheel lift.

All the while, Camilla (in the red jacket) stays busy taking pictures. 
Getting through "The Chute" is a challenge.  All these drivers handled it with grace and grins !

I liked the reflection on the jeep of the crowd watching.

 The last jeep up "The Chute"...

Next up is "The Wedgy".  Jim gets everyone up with no incidents while Tom records. 

 The view from the top of Wedgy is one of my favorites.

The overlook at Little Arch is a great place to stretch and explore.

 A pretty cool shot of Poison Spider on the left and Moab Rim on the right.  The Colorado River runs between them. 

 Two of the tires that are new to Hercules this year and used yesterday are the Terra Trac M/T and Terra Trac T/G.  Both tires are light truck tires with the M/T being a mud terrain and the T/G being a traction tire.  Jim pointed out to Joe and I  the square profile design to optimize surface contact for off-road traction on the T/G tire.  Both tires performed flawlessly on our outing.    

 In addition to his video camera, Tom used a drone several times.  On the way out, when we reached the Poison Spider Mesa, he flew his drone to capture the jeeps as they flew, well at least went faster than a crawl.  We had the trail all to ourselves all day except for a biker we passed earlier.   
 Back at the trail head lunch was waiting.  We...umm I...was starving.  The smell of chicken grilling filled the air and I filled my plate !  

Our host Jedd is on the right. 

Here Jim chats with Greg Wilson of Greg Wilson Racing.  Greg has 23 years experience racing dirt track sprint cars and 2016 marked his first full season of running with the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series in his own Greg Wilson, Hercules Tire car.  He had his first WOO win this past September at the famed high-bank Eldora Speedway. 

Thank you Jim for inviting us to tag along and a huge thanks to Jedd and his crew for their warm hospitality.  They made Joe and I feel as though we were part of the group.  Friends were made and for sure the next time we need tires, we will consider Hercules Tires.   

After lunch, Tom gets set up for testimonials from anyone who will volunteer to share a few words about the day. 
 Jim takes the spotlight as Camilla goes over a few questions.  
 Until next time...let the good times roll !

You rock Jim Horne !

You're awesome Hercules Tires !