Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Cliffhanger and Metal Masher

Gopher Flats
April 25, 2018
Moab, UT

Things are rolling along here in Moab.  We are moving at a slow steady pace to get get things done and have some fun.  
Dave led, followed by Dee, us and Scott
After all the work was completed on Wile E, we headed out to do my favorite trail...Cliffhanger.  Just mentioning scary fun and beautiful scenery always puts Cliffhanger at the top of the list for me.

Huge boulders and ledges grab your attention from the get-go. 

Any day on trail is a good day.  When I'm not paying attention to the trail and tire placement, I enjoy all the big things and all the little things.

 The cliff side of the trail gives the trail it's name...a story or event with a strong element of suspense.  Yep, it's pretty close to the edge...

 ...and if that's not enough, there is a good size obstacle of large (ummm huge!) boulders to descend.  Keep in mind that this is an in and out trail so what goes down has to go up.  But just like hiking, I think it's easier to go up when wheeling too. 
From here it's not that far to the overlook.  A nice lunch with friends and a view !  

 From there it was all downhill...literally at 15 to 20 mph and no brakes.  As we were heading out after lunch,  the pins holding the passenger front brake calipers on came out.  Dave helped out and we thought it was fixed,  but as Joe was heading downhill to get off a ledge, he had NO brakes.  Quick thinker he is,  he barreled into a mound of boulders and landed on top.  We left Wile E there and rode out with Dee to find Rory (Moab Motorsports).  He and Joe went back to tow Wile E back to the shop.  Rory is awesome and Joe was most impressed with the way he orchestrated a temporary fix to the wheel and towed Joe the dark and back up all the obstacles we had driven down.  They got back to Moab Motorsports about 11:30 pm.   

A few days ago,  Moab Friends For Wheelin' had a highway clean up work day.  
Joe, Dee and Rick 

Our 2 mile section is just north of the Arches NP entrance on Hwy 191.  We had lots of people to show up to help.  

With work done,  we all set out to run Metal Masher.  I didn't count the vehicles, but I heard someone say we had 14.

To get to Metal Masher you take the shelf road that goes to Gemini Bridges. 


There are a lot of tall ledges to climb which have bypasses.  Below, Melissa easily drives her buggy up one of them.  

We were fifth in line behind Glen, Rick, Dee and David.

I only got a couple of scenery photos...

 The first named obstacle, Rock Chucker, is about 4.5 miles into the 11.7 mile trail.  Glen (who spotted Jamie up this obstacle last June) waits at the top just in case.  Getting lined up at the bottom is key to a successful climb.  
Wile E waits as David crawls right up.

 Mirror Gulch about .2 of a mile further is the next named obstacle.  Rick was second in line and broke a hub and decided to turn around and head back out.  He was sandwiched between Dee and us while everyone else continued on.  Next time, we look forward to tackling Widow Maker !

Well, I think we have seen the last of the cold days.  Of course, the last time I said that, I was wrong.  Fingers crossed.  I know this week has been very nice.  

Until next time, take care and...


Up rocks, sweeping views, wildflowers and best of all, solitude !   


  1. OMG! NO BRAKES? Does Wile E have automatic transmission? Great going up,but less engine braking coming down. Glad Joe has the skill and experience to come to a safe stop!

    1. Yes Wile E does have an automatic transmission Jeff. Joe was totally focused on stopping and didn’t even here me shout his name.

  2. Were you with him on the jeep? It must have been scary but it looked like Joe was cool and skilled enough to know where to stop Wile E.

    1. Thank goodness I was not in the Jeep MonaLiza. It was very scary watching him though.

  3. Love the wildflowers everywhere this time of year.

  4. Wow! So glad all worked out and Joe handled it like a pro and got stopped. Definitely scary! Beautiful country:)

    1. Finally the weather is cooperating Pam. The wind has been exceptionally gusty this spring with one chilly day after another. We don’t do gusty or chilly very well !!!! Definitely ready to hit the trails...

  5. Well losing the brakes would be pretty darn scary in those conditions! Glad everything turned out all right! Lovely scenery as's no wonder you guys spend months there every year!

    1. We do enjoy our time here Lisa. It’s a good balance of activity and doing nothing!

  6. More fun exciting adventures, and no brakes sure would be scary , glad he came to a safe stop.