I VERY half assed the attempt at going to Moab. I really did not expect to have gone. Long story short, I headed to Rifle to fix the d44, discovered my clunk was worn spider gears, but is apparently fine to drive for the time being (until parts are sourced in the coming couple weeks).
As I was half way to ejs, and unable to finish the purpose of my trip, I immediately headed west. The friends I had planned to head out with got delayed so I would have been solo.
George (Rooster) and Justin/Kristen let me join them at the amazing campsite they'd found up Kane Creek Rd, and on the trail for 2 days. I brought zero tools, an inferior jeep, a bum shoulder, and substantially less skill (12+ years each vs practically 12 hours for me
Day 1.) camp, shiver around a fire, sleep......
Day 2.) wake up, shiver, slam coffee, mcd's, meet 3 other jeeps... Each of which looked like it could consume my tj for breakfast... (MASSIVE JKs 40-42's, coilovers, beadlocks, and all driven by really cool people; something I had not expected). At the trailhead, I ended up deciding to skip running the trail myself and hopped on board with George...... I have to say now, I'm VERY glad I did. Trail was "Behind the Rocks" while the description in the EJS guide made it sound tame, you literally have to drive down a series of 2-3 foot ledges followed. By a 6 foot cliff.... No bypass..... There were several other very technical large obstacles that I would have never gone down which I was able to experience. Very cool day.
Night 2.., repeat evening of day 1... Build bigger fire...
Day 3.) wake up shiver, head to town... Run a couple errands, regroup, ran Poison Spider Mesa... Stunning trail. The views were amazing. The crew where awesome spotting me on the couple larger obstacles on the way up, and certainly gave me motivation while chasing them back down! Pushed me to drive much faster than I would have. It was an excellent experience.
I learned a few valuable lessons:
1.) my jeep can do more than I can...
2.) I am very glad I installed lockers, they make me feel much more secure on obstacles while I get some experience built up..
3.) JKs are quieter dropping off a 6 foot cliff than my tj is hitting a speed bump leaving mcd's
4.) The coolest part of the trip: if someone hands you a camera and asks you to take a photo of them, you never know what's going to happen.... Congratulations Justin and Kristen on your engagement!!! I hope a few of the photos turned out!