OX5 by Lockheed Martin
> Reader's Photo
OX5 by Lockheed Martin
Jeep Photo Gallery
Leave this field empty


> Jeep Articles > General - Trip Reports > EJS 2008 ? Canadian Invasion

MoabJeeper Magazine Article

General Articles - Trip Reports

EJS 2008 ? Canadian Invasion

Article written by Moab Man

Date Added: 05/12/2008

Maybe it was the unusually cold air that brought them, the Canadian Looney being worth more than our U.S. Dollar, or the fact Moab and the Easter Jeep Safari are the place to be. In any case, it was the year of the CANADIAN INVASION!

More than any other year, we saw license plates from Canada everywhere and are happy to report they were just here for the wheeling. I?m sure this year they felt right at home as the week started out cold, snowy, and wet.
The night before Day 1 ~ Great Food & Canadians
MOABJEEPER Magazine must put out a huge thank you to Papabear and Mrs. Papabear for running the grill and serving up outstanding food for the numerous trail friends we had made over years past that showed up for the food. Among those friends, a couple of XJs from the frozen north, one with a broken axle u-joint.

Now some will tell you that we helped our Canadian friend fix his front axle u-joint when he arrived for the cookout so we could send him back home. Others will say it was because his wife asked us really nice to help. But the truth is they brought some steaks marinated in some concoction that was incredible.

Day 1 ~ Steel Bender
To get our feet wet this year, literally, MOABJEEPER Magazine headed out to Steel Bender. This trail is a mixture of sand, creek crossings, ledges, slickrock, and did we mention snow?
Before we get ahead of ourselves, if you?re not familiar Steel Bender it is rated as a difficult trail and not for stockers. Charles A. Wells, Guide To Moab, UT Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails, sums it up by calling Steel Bender, ?a real bumper thumper.?
Now back to the day 1 on the trail. It seemed like a great idea at the time, and of course this is the Mecca wheeling event of the year for Jeeps, so first thing in the morning we promptly removed our doors and left them at camp. After all, this is the Safari and we do live in a desert.
It didn?t take long before we learned that MJ and crew were not in the good graces of the Moab Gods. Sure enough, shortly after reaching the trail head, the thick overhead clouds brought forth not only bone chilling cold, but a weather forecast of snow...inside the Jeeps. This of course also brought forth the pointing and laughter of all those Jeeps with fixed tops and heat. Actually, the joke was on all of them. There is something to be said for the painful and hypothermic shaking of being a Jeep owner whose brains don?t fire on all eight cylinders. Ha, we sure showed them?

Ok, truth be told? if we could have, we would have gone back for those doors and top.

Just past the trailhead it was time to start the descent down the semi-slick muddy trail. Traction was actually quite good, but you couldn?t help but question your tire?s grip as the snow and water combined with the clay surface. This same descent also allowed us a brief moment of beauty care, as us open air Jeeps were provided with complimentary mud facials.
And as a bonus, there were plenty of creek crossings to wash our faces and gain honorary membership in the Polar Bear Club. Man those doors were really being missed at this point.
***For those not familiar with the Polar Bear Club, they have more brain damage than we do. Each year, once the ice has taken over the lake?s surface, (this is really sounding like another Canadian thing) they cut a hole through it and jump in for a swim. Yeah, definitely a Canadian thing as I think about it.
It didn?t take long before we reached some of the ledges this trail is known for. This gave us the opportunity to chat with some of our fellow wheelers safely tucked away in their warm vehicles. And of course, with wheelers as cute as this lady, who could resist offering some trail assistance.
Overall the trail was not too difficult, but it did have one serious obstacle for everyone to play on. Frozen Mojo, as he is known by his trail handle, couldn?t pass up the opportunity to send his Jeep?s nose skyward, bounce around a bit on the rear tires, and then dump his coil spring onto the ground. We do apologize for not having the photo of the vertical Jeep dance. Frozen Mojo failed to give us the courtesy, ?Hey everyone, watch this? so that we could arm ourselves with the cameras. Next time he?ll know better.

Day 1 back at camp? Overall the day was a success? no carnage!

Considering ourselves fortunate, we took the opportunity to check over the rigs thoroughly after this shake down run. We can?t stress enough how important this is even if you religiously maintain your rig as we do. Plus this check can be performed quite easily. What we do is get a couple of guys to shake the crud out of the rig while the owner lays underneath it checking each bolt, bushing, and mount on both the front and rear suspension. You would be amazed how well this works. We each found a couple bolts on our rigs that could use a little snugging to prevent possible breakage or wallowing out of bolt holes.

Day 2 ~ Kane Creek
Day two brought more cold and opportunities to play in the cold water as we headed down Kane Creek.
For those unfamiliar, Kane Creek trail runs across the flats of a valley sealed in by redrock cliffs. Within the valley is the creek that gives lots of opportunity for high speed splashes. This lower part of the trail has nothing difficult, but it?s simply fun. At the end of the trail, you have the opportunity to climb up through a rock garden that continues to erode and improve (increasing difficulty) the wheeling.
In spite of the threat of cold, plenty of wheelers came out to get wet. Even four wheeling celebrity Tom Wood (if you don?t know who he is, you should sell your Jeep) decided to join us.
Unfortunately Tom?s appearance did not last long as the Canadians struck again. Not too far into the trail, a front brake line blew. Collectively, everyone pulled out assorted brake lines and pieces to see if we couldn?t get Tom running again. Of course this would have been an excellent chance for us to show off that really cool brake line end cap we stumbled upon and reviewed previously. Instead though, it turned into a ?told-you-so moment? as Doc Jones (Editor for MOABJEEPER Magazine which is why he does not have the title of Mechanic) didn?t tape that cap to his glove box, like I said he should, so that we would have it for exactly this moment. Of course I will take this opportunity to say again, hey Doc, I told you, you should have taped it to your glove box so it wouldn?t get lost.
However, the true blame lies with our Canadian friends. Specifically one crazy Canadian who Tom realized always seems to be on the trail with Tom when he breaks down. Yeah, blame Canada.
Once we got Tom's Jeep fixed so he could get off the trail, we pressed on. It appeared that Tom?s offering of broken parts appeased the Moab Gods. Slowly the clouds broke, the sun came out, and some of our Wyoming friends decided to do their morning calf stretches.
Ok you caught us. Everyone knows Wyomingites don?t do calf stretches. Instead they were trying to get this Jeep unhooked from this poor unsuspecting rock.
With the Jeep free we continued to splash our way through the creek. Some Jeeps were a little more timid than others as they tip-toed in.
Others realized they were on camera and cut loose giving their grills a good washing.
Whatever their style, everyone had a blast playing in the water.
With all the occupants of the Jeeps thoroughly washed, we started our climb out of the canyon through the rock garden. Even the JK?s brushed off their newness and tackled the rocks showing they truly are Jeeps.
Once all the rigs were safely through the rock garden, we decided for good measure that we?d better sacrifice one of our Jeeps to the Moab Gods to stay in their good graces. What better place than to drive through this serene setting, take a great photo crossing the creek, and then drive straight into a rock with our oil pan. In the words of Homer Simpson, "D'OH!"
Day 2 back at camp
If you ever find yourself with too much time on your hands, we highly recommend heading to a huge wheeling event and trying to find a commonly broken part that will never be kept in a high enough quantity in any parts store? Which is what we did by impaling the oil pan and thinking we'd just go pick up a new one (stupid stupid stupid).

Of course there is the saying, ?necessity is the mother of invention? and in that spirit we decided to try the next best thing to JB weld we could find, Magnum Steel. With a little creativity, and gobs of Magnum Steel we finally plugged the oil pan gash and were prepared for day 3.

Day 3 ~ Behind the Rocks
FINALLY!!! The nasty weather the Canadians brought with them broke. Of course we won?t credit Canada; we only blame Canada.

This year MOABJEEPER Magazine took a different way into the trail than usual, Guard Hill. Like a sentry standing watch, this little obstacle is there to intimidate the weak and keep out the unworthy. We are happy to say that only one Jeep proved unworthy as his t-case was sacrificed at the mere visual of Guard Hill.

With everyone past Guard Hill we continued on to the High Dive obstacle. For many it was their first time driving such a precarious, uneven, will-eat-you-alive-if-you-do-it-wrong obstacle. We must give credit to all of the drivers who followed their spotter, Moab Man (he doesn?t turn wrenches but at least he can spot), and drove the obstacle like pros? even the Canadians (feel so dirty now).

Once we got everyone?s nose bleeds cleaned up from the serious altitude drop off the High Dive, it was time to get vertical and tackle the Upchuck. This obstacle has a bit of Russian Roulette to it. Once you pull the trigger to go up, you have to stay committed. When it?s done right it?s a beautiful thing. Done wrong? well you either end up on your lid or with a nice gash down the body of your Jeep.

While all the commotion was going on sending Jeeps off the High Dive and up Upchuck, this Jeeper felt it was a good time to show us how quickly he could reseat his tire with his new Warn Power Plant air compressor winch combo.
Many of the drivers and passengers on the trail with us that day, had their driving skills and nerves pushed further than they had ever done before. Which is why I guess the saying ?save the best for last? is appropriate.

Opposite of Guard Hill, whose purpose is to keep you out, White Knuckle Hill is to keep you in and never let you go. The obstacle starts with a hairy descent of rock tops that push up like mushroom caps. Carefully navigating these brings you down to the White Knuckle Hill, a five foot leap of faith, kiss your bumper into the ground, vertical drop off. To sum up the feeling you get on this obstacle? WHAT A RUSH!

Day 3 Back at camp
Were not sure how it happened, but our friends at Rock4x4Parts.com invited us to a barbeque. They did invite everyone that was out on the trail that day, but we don?t think they really meant us. Either way, thanks for the excellent food. If we weren?t invited? I guess you will be more careful who hears the open invite next time.

Day 4 ~ Triple Threat For the last two years the Triple Threat has been off limits due to trail management restrictions during the Easter Jeep Safari for non-official runs. We can understand this and wouldn?t want to interfere, so we chose to do a night run down the Triple Threat. Of course running this trail comes with a certain amount of risk. No not the trail itself but the risk of messing with the trail Mojo. If you?re not versed in the trail Mojo we highly encourage you to read ?Don?t Screw With the Mojo.?

Now back to the reason we bring this up. The group headed down the trail and were enjoying themselves. We made the obligatory stop at the dead girl?s grave (to leave coins for good Mojo) and continued on. Once we hit the sand bowl for a little playtime it was revealed who failed to heed the Mojo and give a proper offering.

It went like this, a Jeeper nicknamed Starbucks decided to tackle an extremely steep angled rock that others had been playing on. No one had actually made it up, but they were having fun all the same. So there he goes, about as high up the wall as everyone else got to when suddenly his Jeeps nose turns south trying to outrun the rear of the Jeep to the bottom of the hill. What resulted was a sideways fall of the Jeep down the hill and onto its side.

First we want to tell you everyone was fine, but the very first question between Starbucks and his wife?. ?How much money did you throw on the grave (for good trail Mojo)??

The response? ?four cents.? Suddenly all was clear and the debt had been paid.

With the vehicle up righted, and the flopped Jeep having a sand in the electric radiator fan issue, we broke into two groups. Three were to continue on and run the entire Triple Threat like a baja race, and the others were to head back for dinner and preparations for Friday morning?s Top of the World run.

Day 4 Back at camp
We rested. The week was taking its toll. About 2am, the three intrepid adventurers finally dragged back into camp to crash for a few hours of much needed sleep.
Day 5 ~ Top of the World
This is a trail that takes longer to get to than it does to run. There is nothing difficult, no crazy obstacles for carnage, and pretty much a walk in the park suitable for any stock Jeep. But this trail is well worth it. The scenery is incredible at the end.
With nothing much to tell you, we will just shut up and let you check out out some of the pictures looking down from Top of the World.
LaSalle Mountains
What could be more scenic than Starbucks showing off his questionably obtained, official issue Starbucks frock while standing on Top of the World.

Final Thoughts

What a year. We were invaded by the Canadians, learned the Mojo is still fully functional in exacting its revenge, and were reminded that no matter what the conditions you won?t find a better group out on the trail than our readers. Thank you to everyone that came this year, and we hope to see you again? even the Canadians.

Our Thank You's!

We would like to thank SCDesigns for our EJS 2008 shirts.

Print Article Email Article
ALL Trip Reports :

Home | Articles | Forums | About Us | Store | Contact Us | Links

© 2003-2008 Moab Jeeper Magazine. All rights reserved. Disclaimer and Privacy Policy apply to this site.View our RSS Feed
Jeep®, Wrangler, Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee are copyrighted and trademarked to Daimler-Chrysler Corporation. MoabJeeper Magazine is not in any way associated with the Daimler-Chrysler Corp.