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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Totally off topic. And long, too! And really, just another typical weekend in Utah. But it was fun, and interesting, and I got some good pictures, so I figure some of you will enjoy suffering through my writing about it.

For those who would like to see all the pics I've uploaded and skip all the boring stuff, here's a link to the album where all these pictures (just a few of the 250 I took this weekend!) are located:

Link to picture album.

Me, my Wife and my Son went down to Moab this weekend to get in some wheeling, do some good eating, and enjoy some warm weather. We had one pretty bad mishap, but nobody got hurt, and bottom line was that we all had a lot of fun.

We drove down to Moab on Thursday afternoon. As soon as we got checked in to our hotel, we went and met up with my buddy Steve and his friend Korina for dinner. I should mention, that I've been on a diet since Jan. 1. BUT! I decided that this was vacation, and I was gonna eat whatever I wanted. And I did! So half the fun on this trip for me, was just the eating, LOL!

Friday morning, Cindy stayed in town to hang out and relax while Logan and I joined Steve and Korina to go do some four wheeling. The trail we chose for the day was "Steel Bender".

Here are a couple of pictures that Logan took from one of the first obstacles, near the start of the trail. This was a fairly moderate obstacle, compared to many that would follow.





The trail just got better from there! Logan made it clear that he would rather ride in the Jeep over the tough stuff than miss out by having to take pictures. So I don't have many pictures of the really cool ledges and boulders we went over before we got to the spot pictured below.



I did NOT like the looks of that ledge. Too much of a steep drop for the way my Jeep is setup. So we got out to look at our options. To the right was just a big drop off, impossible to go that way. To our left was a less steep, but VERY rough and still quite steep series of boulders and ledges. I decided to take that line. I picked out exactly where I wanted to place my tires for the trip down. Then made Logan get out, and had Steve spot me to make sure my tires went where I'd decided I wanted them.

Here is a picture of me starting down that way.



Note, my 12 year old, Logan took this picture. He was keeping the camera level with the Jeep. That spot is way, way WAY steeper than the picture makes it look. If you look at the picture closely though, you can see Korina standing on a big rock behind my Jeep. Tilt the picture until she is standing straight up, and you'll get a much better feel for how steep this is. Going down, it felt pretty scary in a couple spots where I got tippy and had to use more throttle than I really wanted to, to keep my front end moving out from under my rear end so I wouldn't do an endo. But I got to the bottom all in one piece.

To be continued...

- DAA
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Part II...

So... Steve was next down (in the green Jeep). He decided to take the same line I did. Which proved to be a really bad idea... With hindsight, it was obvious that my longer wheelbase (my Jeep is an Unlimited, with 10" more wheelbase) is the only thing that made that line work. After the fact, looking at the line, it was easy to see how really bad that line was for his short wheel base. Really, there were a lot of things we could-have-should-have done different. But, hindsight is always 20/20...

Here's Steve just starting from the top.



And here he is about a Jeep length after that.



And... here he is, where he finally came to a stop, after getting only another Jeep length before doing an endo and rolling 2.5 times and coming to rest on his top...



It was flat horrifying to watch that happen. His Jeep went over kind of diagonal, with his driver side rear tire describing a great big arc towars his passenger side front. Then all the way over again coming back onto his wheels on the trail. At that point I was praying as loud as I could scream that he would STOP and NOT go OFF the road towards the very steep, very long drop off below. But he didn't stop. The Jeep went over again, off the road, onto its top, finally coming to a stop upside down on the steep hillside. Thank GOD he wasn't hurt! At all. Not even a scratch!



Very, very, VERY glad he was not hurt! But, still, this is not what you want to see...



More to follow...

- DAA
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Part III...

Here's just a couple pics of Steve's Jeep where it came to a stop on its lid.





After taking a few minutes to make sure everybody was okay. We first stabilized Steve's Jeep by running his winch cable to a tree up the hill from him.

Then, we got rigged up to get him tipped back over. We used my snatch block off a tree to get a good 90 degree pull from his side. Using my strap on his roll bar (on the side away from the pull). The tree where I rigged up the snatch block was on a small ledge that required some mountain goat scrambling to get all the cable and everything rigged. But, once we had it all setup, the Jeep came over onto its wheels effortlessly, with no dragging.

Here's a couple pics of the rigging, after we'd already got the Jeep back on its wheels.







More to follow...

- DAA
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Part IV...

Once we had the Jeep upright, we used Steve's winch to pull it back up onto the road.



We then started checking everything over and getting it ready to continue up the trail. One of his back tires had lost a bead, so first thing we did was reseat the bead and inflate it. Then we pulled his spark plugs to clear his cylinders in case they had got fluid in them while upside down. Then we just took our time and gave everything a close visual inspection - making sure his fan and fan shroud were clear, that his radiator looked okay etc. Finally, we started it up. It smoked for a few minutes, but otherwise seemed perfectly fine.

Then we picked up all the broken glass etc. that we could find. We even picked up a bunch of junk that wasn't ours. Then I got out my shovel and moved some dirt around to hide the tracks off the road. By the time we were done, you couldn't tell that anything had happened at that spot.

After all that, we were ready to finish the trail! Steve's Jeep looked like crap, but ran and wheeled just fine.





Which was a good thing, as there were still plenty of good wheeling ahead!





Just a bit more to follow!

- DAA
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Part V...

Just a few gratuitous scenery and action shots from further along the trail after we got Steve's rollover sorted out.







In the picture below, those snow capped peaks in the distance are the La Sal's, where we camp for my bowhunt every year.



We made it to the end of the trail before dark, without any further incident. I was feeling really, really BAD for my friend Steve. But while we were airing up our tires and stuff at the end of the trail, it was HIM doing his best to cheer up ME. I mean, he really is upset about his Jeep is all messed up. But he did a pretty good job of keeping things in perspective and appreciating the fact that none of us got hurt. And also appreciating the fact that his Jeep was still drivable.

The next day, Steve just wanted to hang out in town and chill for the day. Don't blame him!

But Cindy and Logan wanted to go "do something", so we headed out and spent the day exploring Arches Nat'l Park. We had an AWESOME day in the park! Just a bit more (not much, I promise!) to follow...

- DAA
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Final chapter...

So, Saturday was spent at nearby Arches National Park.

Holy crap, what a NEAT day! I guess Feb. isn't a popular month for visiting the park, as it seemed like we had the whole dang place to ourselves. We hit the one four wheel drive trail in the park, which takes you to a couple of short hiking trails to see some cool arches. The patches of old snow here and there were at least a week old, and had no tire tracks in them - meaning we were the only folks to go that way in at least a week. Here's a couple pics from the walk to Tower arch that is at the end of the Jeep trail.







From there we went up to the end of the paved road inside that park at Devils Garden and ate our lunch in a picnic area. We were the ONLY people there! It was just so cool to have that whole Nat'l park to ourselves all day!

Then we went down and made the 3 mile round trip hike to Delicate arch. Delicate arch is the one portrayed on the Utah license plate. Here's a couple pics.





After completing that hike, we just drove around the rest of the park until almost dark. Then went back to Moab to meet Steve and Korina for dinner.

Yesterday, we all slept in, got a late start after a giant (late) breakfast and drove home. Steve's Jeep did fine driving home (in a pouring rain, 250 miles...). He said it was loud as Hell, and a bit drafty, but they stayed dry and didn't get too cold. It didn't wander or track wierd or anything either.

So... That's how we spent our weekend. Just another typical Utah weekend!

- DAA
 

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Pretty cool stuff, DAA. Glad you were able to escape the grind and get some time with family and friends. It's something most people don't do enough of, in my opinion of course.

Sounds like Steve is a pretty level headed fella...can be tough to keep things in perspective sometimes when it comes to $$$. Hopefully that will be the only rollover he ever experiences while out playing and over time, that cost will be miniscule in comparison to the lessons learned.

Steve
 

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I am glad you, Logan and Cindy made it out for some good times. I am very happy that nobody was hurt and the Jeep was able to continue on (what a tough little rig they are!).

Thanks for the pictures and sharing the trip. I hope I never see my bronco upside down!

Mike.
 

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Glad no one got hurt!

That looks like a great family outing,as odd as that sounds.Aint never happening with this family cause Moma is scared of hieghts and dont even like driveing on the oilroads with me:eek:
Funny my CJ5 was the one vehicle I alway feared rolling and never did,rolled a couple of cars and 3 trucks but the jeep scared me into behaveing:confused:
Too much funnnnn!!
 
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