Would you go off-roading on a trail called Hell’s Revenge?  How about one called Cliff Hanger?  Would you try Metal Masher?  Or Poison Spider Mesa? 

Those are some of the choices of off-roading trails I had this weekend.  Hub and I, along with his kids, his brother and sister-in-law and their kids, and a family friend were all in Moab, Utah to do the spring cleaning in our condo.  Since I am new to “jeeping” or “off-roading” the group thought it would be fun to let me get my first taste of it before we dug in and started cleaning.

I was happily eating my breakfast burrito when Hub’s brother, “C,” plopped an open guide book down in front of me and said, “Choose one of the trails beginning here,” he pointed to a spot on the page about three quarters of the way down, “to here.”  His finger ended at the last trail listed.

Assuming the trails he had pointed at were simply the trails closest to the condo I continued munching my breakfast and started reading the names of the trails, “Fins and Things…Porcupine Rim…”  I looked closer at the page.  “Hold on, what are these little letters for?  Holy cow, there’s easy, moderate, and difficult trails here.”  I looked up.  “The trails you’ve told me to choose from are all the difficult trails!”

Laughter.

My suggestion of doing an easy trail was quickly nixed.  I resigned myself to the fact that my afternoon was going to be a nail biter and resumed reading, “Elephant Hill…Steel Bender…” I read to the last of the list, a trail called Behind the Rocks (just what is behind those rocks?  I don’t think I want to know!). 

“I don’t know what to choose, guys.  At least tell me some of the trails that will provide good photo ops.”

“Oh, if you want to get some good pictures we should do Moab Rim.”  The others all agreed that that was a good choice. 

I scanned the page until I  found Moab Rim.  “This is fourth from the bottom.  “That means this is the fourth most difficult trail!”  Grumbling, I turned to page 125 and read aloud, “Difficult.  This trail wastes little time getting down to business.  The first mile scares the wits out of most people.”  I stopped reading and said (with just a slight hint of panic in my voice), “Are you kidding me?”

Again, laughter.

I continued reading aloud, “A long climb of tight, tippy, and extremely difficult ledges requires excellent driving skills and a very capable vehicle…Roll-overs are not unusual.”  I looked at my husband.  “It says that roll-overs are not unusual.”  Hub just grinned.  I went back to reading, “stock vehicles and inexperienced drivers should stay off this trail…Do not drive this trail alone.”

And thus began the day of my very first jeeping experience.  I was told that if we continued to the end of Moab Rim we would be able to look down into the valley and see our condo, but we most likely wouldn’t go that far because it would take too long.  We still had a condo to clean.  We arrived at the starting point and C’s wife, “K,” pointed and said, “That’s the trail.”

I saw no trail.  All I saw was a mountain of rocks.  And we were going to drive up that mountain of rocks!  C insisted on taking me in his jeep (I think he just wanted to see me panic the entire way up).  Hub and Juju went in “A’s” jeep.  Squid and Shroom went ahead of us on their mountain bikes.  As we started up the trail I glanced sideways at C and asked casually, “Sooo, have you ever rolled a jeep?”

“Nope.”  C wasn’t even paying attention to me.  He was too busy concentrating on the trail.  I grabbed the door side handle and decided I should try to relax.  K offered to take pictures for me so that I could really focus on the experience.  I obviously survived, or I wouldn’t be typing this.  Here are some pictures of our adventure:

Getting ready to hit the trail.

Getting ready to hit the trail.

 

I didn't like getting too close to the edge! (Colorado River below)

I didn't like getting too close to the edge! (Colorado River below)

 

Hub lovin' it in A's jeep.

Hub lovin' it in A's jeep.

 

No road?  No problem!

No road? No problem!

 

Some of our group enjoying the view at the top.

Some of our group enjoying the view at the top.

 

Way off in the distance you can see some of Arches National Park.

Way off in the distance you can see some of Arches National Park.

 

On the way down I couldn't resist getting a pic of A's jeep in the side mirror.

On the way down I couldn't resist getting a pic of A's jeep in the side mirror.

My first jeeping experience turned out to be a lot of fun.  And I only panicked a few times!  Next time…Hell’s Revenge! 

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We used to use a management company in renting our condo out to vacationers but have recently decided to try Vacation Rentals By Owner ( VRBO.com ).  We have been pleased with the results.  The calendar is filling up and we are receiving inquiries from Illinois, Florida, Colorado, and even as far away as France.  Check out our VRBO site at http://vrbo.com/226117/.

The view of Moab Rim from our condo's living room.

The view of Moab Rim from our condo's living room.

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