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General Articles - Trip Reports

Easter Jeep Safari 2009 Blog

Article written by MOABJEEPER Staff

Date Added: 04/05/2009

Keep up with the MOABJEEPER Magazine crew as we blog and post some of our pictures each night from Moab, Utah.

Keep checking back as we update daily.

Day 1: Attack of the Jackalope and Troll learns a few things

The day started when Friday ended somewhere around 3 am Utah time. As is normal, in spite of our best efforts, wrenches were being turned to finish installing product? WE ARE TIRED!

Doc Jones ~ Feeling superhuman, and that the challenges of the Jeep safari are not enough, Doc is returning from a mountain bike race in St. George, Utah. It is now 1 am and last word is he is slowly making his way through the mountain passes and fighting the blizzards of global warming in April.

Troll ~ As our resident newbie? it is Trolls job to test proven facts of the past. For example, sure we all know that gravity is there, and really doesn?t need to be tested, but those kinds of facts wouldn?t deter Troll.

Lesson one? Leaving your CB microphone hanging really will pull the wires out. And as a bonus, the resulting short can also blow the fuses that run you air compressor, music amps, and all kinds of other goodies.

Lesson two? This lesson was more for Moab Man. Don?t assume the resident newbie reads the instructions. Installing bracketry the right way makes things work so much better.

Moab Man ~ One of three things occurred, either Moab Man?s Jeep was attacked by a suicide bomber bunny rabbit, Moab Man ran down a Jackalope, or the Easter Bunny is officially dead and in many pieces on highway 191 just 10 miles outside of town.

Whatever it was that happened to that bunny? it seemed to explode. If it was a suicide bunny? HA! It will take more than that to take down Barney the big purple Jeep.

If on the other hand, it really was the Easter Bunny? sorry kids. No baskets this year.

Finally, and most dreadful, what if it really was a Jackalope? This trip may have been doomed from that point forward as the Moab Gods will surely smite us all. If this is the one and only blog entry? we?re sure you can figure what happened.

Signing off from day one.

Day 2: With the death of the Jackalope, so died our good fortune
Today the MOABJEEPER Magazine crew split up. Moab Man and Dirty Girl headed out with Warn Industries for an industry meet-n-greet. Doc Jones and the Troll joined up with a small group for a run on Behind the Rocks.
Troll & Doc Jones ~ As a result of Moab Man?s murder of a Jackalope on the way into Moab on Saturday, the Moab Gods are now beginning to wreak havoc upon our group.

Here is a listing of some of the unfortunate events we witnessed on the trail on Sunday?s Behind the Rocks run with Doc Jones and Troll:
  1. Defunct starter
  2. Overheated and boiling transmission
  3. Burnt shifter cable
  4. Broken rear drive shaft
  5. Busted brake line
  6. Bent transfer case linkage
  7. Inoperable CB microphone
  8. Broken high pressure fuel line
  9. A lost shovel
  10. Destroyed transfer case
  11. Near loss of a rear spare tire
  12. Troll?s ?almost? endo on Upchuck

As you can see from the list above, we have indeed been handed an ugly hand from the Moab Gods in response to our taking out the Jackalope. The day was not without its good moments:
  • We all made it through the trail with most of us making it up and down every obstacle without major incident.
  • .
  • The snow melted by midday and made for a good run without dust.
  • Everyone had a great deal of fun

We are hopeful that the rest of the week will find us on the good side of the Moab Gods and not on the wrong side where we seem to have found ourselves today. For this to happen, we will need to pay penance by offering a sacrifice to the Gods. What this sacrifice is at this point, we do not know, but we hope to figure it out soon.
Moab Man ~ The weather has broken? err should I say the thermometer has. We were fortunate enough to wake up to clear skies and sun, but the thermometer just doesn?t indicate we are in April. However, wind nor rain nor absolutely freezing temperatures will deter from having the top and doors off the Jeep. There is no other way to enjoy Moab unless your face hurts from sun and wind.

I have also learned how much I appreciate my left eyeball. Knowing that off-road tires throw rocks, mud, and such, I am very careful to avoid leaning out of the Jeep and being in the line of fire. Unfortunately, having crossed (actually I killed it) a Jackalope did not sit well with the Moab Gods as I was hit squarely in eye with a chunk of mud. This might not seem to be such a significant accomplishment if it weren?t for the fact I wear glasses and the mud somehow made it around the lenses and into the eyeball.
You could say I have learned my lesson and will avoid hitting exploding bunnies at all cost for I would like to keep my other eye.
MOABJEEPER Magazine staff signing off from day 2

Day 3 The reign of the Jackalope continues

MOABJEEPER Magazine headed off in two directions. Doc Jones, who plays a doctor for BarkingFrog Productions, joined Skyjacker Suspensions for a run down the Poison Spider Mesa trail. And heading in the other direction, Troll and Moab Man joined Olympic Accessories, Rockkrawler, RIPP Modifications, and River Raider for our first run ever on the Dome Plateau.

Moab Man & Troll ~ Global warming is still kicking our butts as we have become proficient in hypothermia. Of course we could have put the top and doors on the Jeep, or dressed for the weather, but then it wouldn?t be Easter Jeep Safari.

Heading east out of town, we were reminded that the Jackalopes are holding a grudge over the death of one of their own. Imagine cruising at 65 miles an hour and laughing about the goofy cow warning sign only to crest the hill top and find a cow standing square in the road and holding his ground. It wasn?t so much the fear of impacting with the cow, but the fact we had numerous show vehicles for off-road companies all slamming on brakes trying to avoid hitting each other.

With our close call out of the way we continued on. Since the cow didn?t get the job done, the Jackalopes sent forth a house on wheels. We expected the mobile home to be leaning a bit in our lane? no such luck. As we entered the curve, rock wall on the passenger side leaving no place to go, the house on wheels was literally on our side of the road and heading for us. Whew? two close calls and one to go, but when?

Arriving at the trailhead we all aired down and went through our mental check list of what an internal combustion engine needs to trail ride: oil ? $28, spark plugs ? $12, arriving at the trailhead with no fuel ? PRICELESS! Yes, this actually happened.

Now, one less in the crew, we headed out.

If you have never run the Dome Plateau it is well worth the 30 miles out of town. Arches, caves, and some old mining ruins are just a small part of the incredible scenery. Fortunately, nothing eventful occurred for a change.

However, we can?t say the same on the return trip. Remember when we said we had two close calls and one to go (since all things come in three?s)? Cruising back to town, entering a pretty hard turn, suddenly a Fed Ex truck appears from nowhere. Normally this wouldn?t be exciting, but to see a full size Fed Ex truck ?drifting? (sliding a vehicle sideways) in to your lane at a high rate of speed will certainly wake you up a bit.

Doc Jones ~ My morning actually started the night before when we decided to swap tires. After breaking loose all the lug nuts, we swapped one tire over only to realize the wheels weren?t going to work with my axles. By this time it was late enough we called it a night and headed to bed. Several miles outside of town when the Jeep began violently shaking and hopping up and down I suddenly realized we never actually re-torqued all the lug nuts. Fortunately one lug nut kept me from completely loosing the left rear tire at 65 mph. On the plus side, the run with Skyjacker was absolutely perfect. Well almost... Those of you familiar with the Poison Spider trail will know the high-speed dirt road section between the switchbacks and the waterfall. On the way out of the trail, I guess the leaders decided they were in a hurry to get back to town and opted to take this particular stretch of road at freeway speed. That in itself isn?t much of a problem? unless the buggy at the front stops in the middle of the road. So guess what happened.

Yup, that?s right. The M.O.R.E. buggy leading the group off the trail did just that. And one of the official Skyjacker JK Unlimiteds following closely behind (still at freeway speed) didn?t see the stopped buggy through the dust. The air inside the Jeep was instantly removed from the four occupants simultaneously gasping the split second before impact. The JK slammed squarely into the left rear corner of the buggy. Fortunately the damage was minimal, to the buggy. The JK got it worse, but the impact was focused on the stinger of the front bumper. The stinger was now more vertical and two bolts sheared off. Oh and the tire from the buggy left quite a skid mark on the front license plate of the JK.

With all that has happened so far, the real tragedy is that Moab Man didn?t take out more than one of those damn Jackelopes on the freeway (but don?t tell them I said that)

Day 4 The Jackalope sneak attack

Today, the entire MOABJEEPER Magazine crew all made it out on one trail together. Trail of choice, Kane Creek. With 57 creek crossings, and beautiful red canyon walls surrounding us, all we could ask for was mid 70° temps and we got it.

The day started around 7:30 am with a trip to the bathroom and showers of our camp ground. You have to understand the campground has 4 shower stalls, two toilet stalls, and over 300 males all trying to use the limited facilities before heading out on the trail. For the first time in our lives, the males of the magazine now have an appreciation for what ladies go through when trying to use a public bathroom.

After the Battle Royal to use the facilities was over, and we all smelled much better, it was time to head out and join up with others for the trail. However, a small detour was in order. Apparently the Jackalopes during the night made off with the key to the Troll?s gas cap. The part we didn?t understand was how he still had the ignition keys to drive the Jeep but did not have the fuel key. The Trolls logic was? well were not sure, but having the keys to the Tuffy security box and the gas cap on a completely separate key chain seems to make sense to him. At this hour, 9:24 pm, Troll and Doc Jones are breaking the gas cap off the vehicle as I bang this out.

Caution: Angry rant with adult language follows?

Giving up on finding the keys, we finally headed out. The day couldn?t have gone any better for all of our participants. The rock was sticky, the people were cool, and no one broke. There was only one thing missing, some total jackasses from Rhode Island in a stock Jeep. These 3 buffoons have watched one too many ?Go Anywhere? Jeep commercials. Normally, I would not blanket label an entire state off of the stupidity of one Jeeper (I use the term loosely), but since there were three of them together I will. First of all Rhode Island, we don?t want your total butt clowns exported to the west. If this continues we will move for an ID check at the border and you will be added to the ?we have no common sense do not enter list.? Why such a drastic measure? Just because you see an old rickety bride (oops, meant bridge but it still applies) on an ATV trail does not mean you can use it. Furthermore, there are certain laws in the universe that can?t be denied. First, gravity is a bitch, second a six foot wide vehicle does not fit on a four foot trail on a cliffs edge, and finally, the totaled-out wrecked Jeep at the bottom of the ravine should be a hint that the thoughts going through your head are BEYOND STUPID! Finally, when someone who does not have their head inserted up their rectum offers to help you, take the help. Now we have off-trail damage to contend with as you dragged your vehicle through the vegetation. So consider this your notice Rhode Island, next step and we will move for annexation of your state.

To close out the day, we all headed over to join Dirty Girls families house for some barbeque. Now I must take some blame (Moab Man) for allowing Troll to touch anything on any vehicle, but in removing the CB radio from my Jeep to use in his he somehow disabled all the dash lighting, taillights, and running lights of my vehicle. I just learned the only thing working was my headlights.

Update. Now it?s 10:20 pm and Troll is following the advise of the ?parts professionals? at our local auto parts store and trying to open his locked gas cap with a hammer, screw driver, and a pair of pliers. So far, he has successfully busted up all of the surrounding plastic that holds the filler tube in place. We have taken away the big hammer and given him a little ball ping hammer and a jewelers screwdriver before he does any more damage.

Signing off for day 4 from Moab, Utah.


Once again the MOABJEEPER crew made it out on the trail together to run Seven Mile Rim. We knew early on that the day was most likely doomed. First thing in the morning Troll comments how the day will be sunny, wonderful, and warm. His comments were met by a barrage of ?what the hell are you trying to do to us?? A quick bit of research on the web and we have learned that Trolls are really slow to learn a new concept. Such as? don?t tempt the wrath of the Moab Gods. Especially since we had taken out one of their most prized minions of destruction? the much feared, and deeply respected, JACKALOPE.

Heading out on to the trail and pretending as though Trolls comment never happened, the north winds started to blow. It was not long before this subtle breeze increased to full on gale force winds. Of course we didn?t have our trusty wind speed anemometer, but we have stuck our face out a care window once or twice, and by our estimate we had 50-60 mph winds blowing. And at times the gusts were at least 75-80 mph. How did we know it reached such high speeds? Simple, by the sheer amount of flesh we painfully lost.

At this point we decided to call it a day and take a ?short cut? off the trail. You would think from the years of doing this we would know better than to attempt a shortcut. It?s kind of like this one particular Taco Bell at home. You know it will take 20 minutes to get your order if you go inside. Yet if you go through the drive through, no matter how many miles long it is, it will only take 10 minutes, but you still go inside because it?s empty in there.

It didn?t take long before our group ended up in two pieces. In an attempt to locate each other we were all trying to contact each other on CB radios. Now I don?t know if there is something Troll did to the Jackalope to piss them off, but Trolls CB radio was once again down. Using our incredible diagnosis skills we determined that either Troll never screwed the antenna cable in? or the Jackalopes unscrewed the antenna. Either way we are looking forward to sending Troll back to his wife at the end of the week. We feel it will be safer for both the vehicles and the Jeepers themselves since the Jackalope find Troll to be such an irritant.

We can report that everyone did make it out alive, but minus a lot of sanded away flesh.

Now for a few muses of the day.

1. We would like to thank Rancho for the t-shirt. Doc Jones was wandering through the Citi Market parking lot when they were handing out t-shirts for their trail ride when they asked him, ?what size shirt?? So of course Doc told them, accepted the shirt, and then rejoined us.

2. Imposterous ~ We decided to use our own made up word. That word was ?imposterous?. Credit goes to one of our trail riders, Jake, for being the only one to call me on a word that doesn?t exist. Of course we did our best to make him doubt himself and what he thought he knew.

And to close out tonight?s blog, Rhode Island you now have company. While waiting for trail attendees to fuel up and get some lunch for the day we witnessed some of Arizona?s village idiots that either escaped or Arizona exported to us here in Utah. Let me set the scene? A large fuel tanker pulls in and is maneuvering into place. A couple of Arizonians driving a Cherokee decide that they can?t wait and try to play push with the semi truck. Guess how it turned out as the fuel trucks tire started to push through the front end of the Cherokee. To some up there stupidity? here?s your sign Arizona. On a side note, the Cherokee was not hurt too much in spite of the driver and passenger. For the record, Arizona is officially on probation. You may use the trails but you?re not allowed in town unless accompanied by a citizen of any other state than Rhode Island.

It appears that the Jackalope have initiated their electronic warfare measures and we can not get the photos uploaded at this time. Once we have driven them back we will get the photos up.

Day 6 The Mojo demands respect

The day did not start well. It was 7:30 am when tires were being changed. Not a monumental task, but when the socket extension snapped under no real load it was a warning from the Gods that the Mojo was not with us. I, Moab Man, tried to warn them and told them to stay in bed. Under no conditions, even in the event of fire, should they leave our cabin. They chose to ignore this ominous sign of bad things to come and headed out on the trail.

The Metal Masher trail is not generally a trail of any particular note. There are some optional obstacles that command respect, but as I said they are optional. However, none of these optional obstacles came into play. Pure and simple Mojo not respected laid the smackdown on the Troll.

First up was the bending of the rear tire carrier. Only of particular note because Troll had just removed the rear hook from the receiver because it kept banging into the rocks each time he backed up. Now, rather than chipping some rock, he has altered the tire carrier?s design by shoving the tire into the rock. It now has a certain backward lean. We will just call it more aerodynamic.

Following the tire carrier bending was the new trick Troll taught his Jeep called a rollover. It went like this? squeaky squeaky squeaky vroom vroom vroom (the Jeep sounds like this but please repeat many times over). At this point the nose of the Jeep pointed skyward like a NASA rocket preparing for launch. Showing his great skill he balanced the Jeep for quire some time on the rear tires. Or that is what it appeared. Actually, Trolls legs are about the same length as a Barbie doll. These Barbie Doll legs have a hard time reaching the pedals. So while it appeared that Troll was masterfully balancing the Jeep what was actually happening is he was trying to keep the clutch pedal pressed in to allow the front end of the Jeep to settle back to earth. Unfortunately he kept slipping off the clutch pedal and the hand throttle set at 3000+ rpms kept engaging and causing the front end to lurch upward. Eventually he lost the battle and the hand throttle got the best of him. 330 hp of AEV 4.7 liter stroker motor launched the vehicle up and over taking out both sides and the top of the vehicle.

From the tale we have just told you would think Troll had brought this upon himself. However, we did state the Mojo demands respect. The Safari top on the Jeep had last been on another one of our Jeeps which had rolled. Coincidentally it was the last time it was used until today.

Now the question has been asked many times as to where the soul exists. Is it the brain, the body, or some combination of? While philosophers will debate this until the end of time we do know exactly where the bad Mojo exists? it is in a Bestop Safari Top.

Pictures to come...

Final Thoughts

Thank you for reading MOABJEEPER Magazine.

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