Moab 2005- Page 2
GEMINI BRIDGES TRAIL
On the trail in Moab, day one. First stop was Gemini Bridges. A good starter trail to break-in for the ring and pinions and to test other newly installed parts. No hard obstacles. Lots of rock and some sandy roads that were fun to cruise.
On the way out we stop to checkout the Gooney Bird rock (see the Gooney Bird, straight ahead). Neat. Gemini takes about 4 hours. It was just getting dark on our way out. Little did we know this was our earliest day off the trail...
Poison Spider-Golden Spike-Gold Bar Rim Trails
Day 2- We meet a couple other Jeepers on the trail. Chris helps them out by disconnecting their front sway bars and Ed helps air down their tires. They still had open differentials, but now they were hooking up enough to get up the easier routes.
Heading up Poison Spider Mesa. Great weather for day 2.
Ed scrambles up a small shelf in the 1983 CJ-7. No problem here, but Poison Spider has lots of complicated obstacles. At least a 3 inch lift a and rear locker is necessary.
Quite a bit of hard core crawling. Lots of slickrock dunes to checkout. Excellent traction, you can head up at amazing angles. The Poison Spider Trail is marked by small Jeeps painted onto the slickrock.
Chris lifts a tire on the way up this one. The Grand's coil spring suspension did a great job. It was rare for it to have a tire off the ground with it's excellent articulation.
Chris stuck in a rut- for awhile.
Golden Spike Trail-(still day 2, just dark out)
Ah- the Golden Crack on the Golden Spike Trail. Everybody's favorite obstacle. There's no bypass. It's 11hrs. to go back in the direction you came, (it was now about 9:30 pm) and about 2-3 hours out if you go over the Golden Crack (the rock is gold in color). Ed was a little worried about fuel in the CJ as it was down by the "E" at this time, and we were navigating slowly by flashlight at times. Those painted "golden spikes" are harder to see at night. But we had good supplies of food, water and warm clothing. Later when we gassed up at "Mavericks" (best gas station around, and they have a self-serve yogurt machine) the Grand took 9 gallons and the CJ took 10.5 gallons. The CJ still had 4.5 gallons left !!!!, now we knew the fuel gauge was off.
It was late and Ed didn't want to take any chances in breaking any of those parts mentioned before, so we did a little rock stacking. A wise choice considering the time of day (night???). The Golden Crack really pitches the Jeeps forward and then backward violently. Not a good place to loose a drive shaft or a u-joint. The Grand had minor problems with the power steering pump being a little weak, but otherwise got over great with just leaving a little green paint behind and a slight modification of the tail pipe contours.
The CJ did fine guided by the fluorescent handlamp. Shorter wheelbase vehicles get over easier. The rear bumper, bumped the rock a bit. Hey- that's why they call them "bumpers", right?Sorry no pictures of the Gold Bar Rim Trail (marked by 3 stacked gold bars). It was just too dark and late. And Ed's flashlight went dead. We got back to Moab at 11 PM, found a pizza joint and passed out after an awesome day on the trail.