Monday, April 28, 2014

Top Of The World

If you have a fear of heights, you probably should not go to the Top of the World. After a rocky climb that can be challenging in some places, you suddenly come onto this precipice where it is several thousand feet straight down. There is no guard rail or any other impediment between you and the drop - just air. I have heard others describe this sight/site as "incredible", "gave me goosebumps", "must see", etc but nothing quite prepares you for actually being there. It is simply breathtaking!

Click on photo to enlarge

As an added bonus, the 30 mile drive up the Colorado River is one of the most scenic in the area. Today, on the drive back, the brilliant red cliffs were highlighted by the snow on the La Sal mountains and a dark, azure blue sky.

Wait... it just occurred to me that if everyone starts coming to Moab, then it would become like a national park - crowded and expensive. On second thought, forget everything that I have ever written about Moab - it sucks! The weather is terrible, the scenery is blah and the off-road riding is downright pathetic. You should definitely take your vacation somewhere else. <grin>

Friday, April 25, 2014

Great Neighbors

For the past month I have had the extremely good fortune to have ridden and socialized with Larry & Carol, Kenny & Dee, George and their friends. They have made my stay in Moab an absolute delight. Unfortunately, they are headed back home tomorrow. Many thanks for making me feel like one of the gang. The only downside to their company was the havoc their delicious home cooking wreaked on my diet. However, it was well worth the indiscretion.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Poison Spider

Last year, Terry and I rode Poison Spider to Golden Spike in order to get to Eagles Dare. Today, our group did the Poison Spider loop to the arch that overlooks the Colorado River. Click on photos to enlarge.

Kenny must like being on my blog because he continues to provide me with these wonderful photo opportunities...

Here's one of the many rock crawling sections...

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Kane Creek

Larry, our esteemed ride leader for the day, assured everyone this morning that Kane Creek is one of the easiest trails in the area...

Makes you wonder if those guys from Nebraska are full of male bovine manure

George says "this is what happens when a SUV messes with a dirt bike rider"...

Monday, April 21, 2014

Hells Gate & Escalator

Well, I finally rode Hells Gate and the Escalator on Hells Revenge. It wasn't pretty and I needed help from my friends but at last I can put them in the "been there, done that" column. Right now, I am in the process of getting properly re-hydrated with my neighbors but will return later with video.

Update: Kenny provided the highlight reel of the day by attempting Hells Gate not once but twice and then self righting his RZR by running the wheels on their side until the machine popped upright on all four (very impressive).

Update: Kenny took this photo of me on the Escalator...

Update: Here's a video of me climbing Hells Gate at a later date...

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Flat Iron Mesa

Flat Iron Mesa is a 5 rated trail south of Moab that you trailer to. I know it's beginning to sound redundant but this is another trail that combines fun riding with impressive scenery. It's what makes Moab such a great place to visit.

Carol shot a nice video of me climbing up the "Chute" which requires you to navigate a fairly large crevice at the start...

It was only fitting that on Easter Sunday one of the obstacles would be named "Easter Egg Hill"...

Friday, April 18, 2014

Jeep Safari Vendors

I walked next door to the arena to checkout all things Jeep and it became readily apparent that a fellow could do some serious damage to his wallet there. I even saw a Jeep that I really liked...

Nothing like having a M134 Minigun mounted on your vehicle to clear out that pesky traffic

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Porcupine Rim

I had not heard much about the Porcupine Rim trail (rated 4+) other than it is popular with bicyclists. So it was a very pleasant surprise to discover that it is a great trail for side-by-sides. As the name implies, most of the route is on the rim of a large canyon that offers a number of "Kodak moments". In addition, there are some nice rock crawling sections that make for an interesting ride (as always, in the eyes of the beholder). All of this culminates in an awesome overlook of Castle Valley...

Click on photo to enlarge

Larry, Kenny, George, Moi

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Easter Jeep Safari

This is the week of the big Easter Jeep Safari in Moab which I understand is the largest four wheeling gathering in the world. If you drive through town in the late afternoon, you will see just about every kind of jeep and rock crawler you can imagine. Many of them have more money in accessories, upgrades, and modifications than the cost of the original machine.

On the downside (for me), Moab is packed. There is considerably more traffic and people than normal. And most of the popular trails become quite congested with long lines of jeeps. Given this and the variable weather the first part of April, I have reserved my space at the OK RV Park for April 13th of next year which I believe is the week after the rally.

Friday, April 11, 2014


Cliffhanger is a 8 rated trail (trail ratings) that tests both man and machine. It immediately starts out with a horrific descent down a series of mangled rock ledges and then seemingly gets tougher from there. I am not sure which was worse - not knowing what was ahead or realizing that I had to come back the same way I went in. Fortunately, I had Al, Kenny, Larry & George to help with the rough spots.

The good news is the views are absolutely fantastic. Just when you think it cannot get any better, it does. Once again, photos simply do not do the experience justice.

This is why it is called "Cliffhanger"

"What do you mean I have to go up that!"

This was the least scary part of the ride

Many thanks to the guys who helped me to the top
(can you believe George rode his bicycle)

In as much as I am physically and mentally exhausted, I going to take to tomorrow off and see if I can get my heart rate back under 200. Anyone know the early warning signs for "post traumatic stress disorder".

Update: At the end of the day, when you are tired and beat-up, this is what you have to go up in order to get home...

As you veteran riders know, it's steeper than it looks in a photo

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Mashed Potatoes/3D/Pickle/Tusher Tunnel

A near perfect weather day for riding trails north of Moab with my park neighbors. Mash Potatoes is all rock and has some interesting obstacles including the "Gravy Bowl". 3D is an easy, scenic ride. The Pickle has some extreme challenges. And the Tusher Tunnel is a naturally occurring tunnel approximately 100 feet in length that you can walk through. Click on photos to enlarge.

Al's attempt at a near vertical climb on the Pickle provided the highlight reel of the day...

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Tip Over Challenge

Ione was kind enough to video me going up "Tip Over Challenge" on Hells Revenge...

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Moab Rim

While Paul is recovering from a highly contagious and dangerous disease, I rode Moab Rim with my park neighbors. The Rim is a 7+ trail (trail ratings) that will definitely get your adrenaline pumping (you may want to carry a change of clean underwear).

The "Z Turn"
(click on photos to enlarge)

Your reward for making the climb are spectacular views of the Moab valley.

On the return you get a breathtaking view of the Colorado River.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Spring Canyon & Gemini Bridges

Paul, Ione and I drove the SUV up to Spring Canyon and Gemini Bridges. Unfortunately, Paul has come down with something that makes the Ebola virus look like a case of the sniffles so we cut the day short. The good news is I can use the rest; these youngsters are wearing me out.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Fins N Things & Hells Revenge

In as much as I am running out of adjectives to describe these trails, I have asked Ione to do it for me...

"Here's me (Ione Styve). So many adjectives and none of them can do justice to the phenomenal day led by Jim. I finally came up with magical fantasyland, as my last contribution. Before that, incredible, fantastic, unreal, surreal, beautiful, magnificent, scary and terrible, Oh shit, Holy holy, not good. Crazy, suicide, Ridiculous to even try. Overall a wonderful adventure lead by an experienced, very adventurous guy. Thanks Jim from Paul and me.!!!!!  Also  #&!!XX You to hell!!  WOW!!!!!  Fins and Things and Hell's Revenge!!  We'll be back!"

Ione doing her best to keep the front wheels on the ground

Here they are getting ready for the big climb

Making it look easy

Devils Hot Tub

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Arches National Park

Whenever touring exotic locales, it's always advisable to go with professional travelers... or least someone who will buy you dinner at the end of the day.

Paul & Ione

April In Moab

After dinner last night with Paul & Ione, we took a leisurely stroll around downtown Moab in very pleasant 60 degree weather. Here's what I woke up to this morning...