Sunday, September 29, 2019

National Public Lands Day

Gopher Flats
September 28, 2019
Moab, UT

What an awesome week we have had !   One evening about 7:00, we were playing with the pups in the doggie park.  We couldn't believe how pretty the sky was towards the LaSal Mountains (the east).   

Where Eagles Dare:
Our week started off with a trail we have never done before...  Where Eagles Dare.  The loop includes the major obstacles on Poison Spider and some obstacles on Golden Spike.  Where Eagles Dare, appropriately named, adds bigger slickrock mounds...extremely steep ascents, sidehills, and descents.  In fact, the steepness makes Hell's Revenge and Fins and Things look tame !  

We had three rigs...Dee, Jeremy (a representative form Teraflex) and his passenger John (owner of Wildside Jeep Customs in Illinois) and us.
Jeremy followed Dee, we followed Jeremy...if you look closely in the bottom right quadrant you will see Dee's orange flag.  The pictures don't really show just how steep the mounds are.

One of the main reasons I wanted to do this trail was because of the gorgeous views.  One of the overlooks provided a great view of Corona Arch, the Potash Ash railroad and a glimpse of the Colorado.  I was excited to see the arch from a different perspective as we have hiked there many times.
Can you see Corona Arch?  Squint your eyes and look a little right of the center of the photo.  So cool!

Poison Spider is an in-out trail.  I always look forward to the exit.  In my humble opinion, it is one of the prettiest trail exits here !

Moab Rim:
I have to admit that Joe and I have not had much luck on the rim the past few times we have been there.  We lost a brake line in a very downhill spot that required Joe to use a boulder to stop, and this past spring we slashed a tire on a ledgy spot.  It's hard to shake that "what will go wrong this time" mentality, but successfully completing Moab Rim has been at the top of the list to check off this year.  So, this past Friday we had the great pleasure of meeting and wheeling with folks from the San Diego Jeep Club. 

 You guessed it...Moab Rim was the trail of the day for them.  What an awesome group of people...we are already looking forward to their return next year !  Thanks for letting us tag along ! 

Moab Rim doesn't waste anytime.  Right from the get-go, the scary fun begins.  The Devil's Crack and Z-Turn are the first two major obstacles and there are no bypasses.  Much of this gnarly trail is off-camber with tight turns as it climbs to the rim.  

Robyn and her husband Steve look on as Wile E. makes his way up the slope of tilted rock layers of ledges and steps.  

The dome is a great place to stop and take a breather, take photos, and visit. 

 The Sleeping Buffalo in the photo below can be seen from soooo many trials in Moab.  We said our goodbyes as  Robyn and her trusty band of trail warriors continued on to the next overlook.  The trail is pictured in the photo below.  
We turned around at this point and headed out with Dee.

I forgot to mention that Moab Rim is an in-out trail.  Thats right...those difficult obstacles that we climbed at the beginning are still there and this time it is going down them.  I really like this exit view too !

No pictures of the Z-Turn or Devil's Crack, but I did get a photo out my side window just as we came off the boulder on "the crack".  Great view of Kane Creek Road and the Colorado River with very little room for error.

Joe and I were all smiles as we drove into the parking lot.  And Im sure the folks passing by wondered what in the world I was doing as I did my celebratory happy dance ! 

Back home at Gopher Flats, the Friday night sky was amazing !

Looking west towards the rim we had just driven...

...and east towards the LaSal Mountains.

National Public Lands Day:       
This year the BLM asked Moab Friends For Wheelin' to do some trail reparation on Steel Bender.  This past Saturday was National Public Lands Day so club members, a BLM representative (to direct our efforts) and volunteers met at 9:00 am to try and fix the mistakes and sometimes "on purpose" screw ups that were widening the trail,  killing desert vegetation, and creating way to many illegal go arounds.   We worked hard for seven hours raking out tire marks, repairing fencing that had been maliciously pushed down and/or driven over,  and moving boulders, rocks and dead trees to block illegal go arounds and better define the "legal" Steel Bender Trail.  
Bret, one of the younger club members (works at Arches/Canyonlands NP Service)  

Jeff(light blue shirt),our club president, and Dale repairing some fencing

Rory Irish (Moab Motorsports) generously brought Trail Mator to move huge boulders as directed by the BLM representative.

Most of our group at the Dragon's Tail obstacle.  We rested and had lunch there.  Then we all had to drive down it...

Jeff watches as Susan drives does get tippy !

Rory backing Trail Mator down Dragon's Tail...
 It was a very productive day and we all felt very good about the work we had done.  Everybody was still smiling at the end of the day and very tired !

This wraps up September...hello October !
Until next time, 
The Launch pad on Golden Spike

National Public Lands Work Day...Steel Bender

Steel Bender 

Dee climbing the Z-Turn on Moab Rim 

View from Wile E looking down one of many steep descents on Where Eagles Dare



  1. Lots of great pictures and fun adventures , moving that trail mater in there would be a scary ride I think.

    1. Hi George and Susie...Trail Mator is awesome! It can do any trail herein Moab including the most difficult. It is often seen on these trails making recoveries. It’s quite an icon around here!

  2. back having fun in the rocks again!

  3. Great photos! I get so angry when we are out and about and see the damage caused by careless people who ruin it for all of us! Once in Moab we watched these two guys on motorcycles ride bypass a "trail closed" sign and tear up a hill making horrible tracks--I wanted so badly to get their license plate numbers!!! Blessings on you guys for assisting with trail repairs!

    1. Thanks Janna...members of our jeep club have actually taken pictures of liscense plates and vehicles and turned them over to the BLM. Once some folks from Texas were fined $600 each from photos turned in. These people come into town, do as they please and go home. Our biggest fear is that trails will be closed for the rest of us.

  4. Glad you took such great pictures, those trails look awesome and a bit dangerous. Having the right ride and experience is part of the challenge.

  5. Lots of fun wheelin going on in Moab and what a perfect time of year to be out there. I can imagine how steep those downs on the new trail were. Photos never tell the story. Congrats on a successful Rim trip!! That trail is a killer on feet! We hiked up the road our first time to check it out. That's crazy. How great that you were able repair some of the Steel Bender trail. Having that Trail Mator to move giant rocks in place was the perfect tool. It's so sad to see people abuse the area and they would be the first to complain if it was closed. Your opening photos is amazingly beautiful!

    1. I have to be honest and admit the Rim sure has a way of causing belly flops! It’s so tippy...and the think I use to like tippy!!!!