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Poison Spider Mesa
 

This was the first Moab trail I ran.  Joe took me on it as sort of an "Intro to Moab" kind of run.  It provides a little bit of everything that Moab has to offer for you Jeepers;  ledges, slick rock, tight spots, rubble, and some GREAT views of the area.  It also hooks to the Golden Spike trail which we played on for an hour or two.  The trail is popular with both the 4 wheel vehicles as well as those on two wheels.  A few motorcycles were on it and lots of mountain bikers where using it as well.  Of course, there was no shortage of Jeeps.  We were fortunate and didn't get behind any break downs or problem spots, so the day went very nicely and we were able to finish the trail and a couple of obstacles on the Gold Spike before calling it a long day.

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Lady is making her way up the "Wedgie".  A slip of the tire here will result in one of two things; a rollover or grinding sheet metal.  One is more likely to slip the passenger tire off the rock.  If so, the sheet metal on that side will be badly damaged.  You can see that about a third of the front tire is actually in contact with the rock.  The sidewalls take a lot of abuse as you work your way up this long obstacle.  Keeping a steady right foot will help you get to the top, where you have a ledge to negotiate before you are in the clear.

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This was the first slickrock decent I encountered.  Yeah...it is pretty steep.  Notice the fluid path going down the middle?  We found lots and lots of these little "trails" all over Moab.  Blown diffs, transmissions, and transfer cases are a fairly common occurrence....or, they just don't keep the lid screwed down tight on the bottle of gear lube!

Many of the popular trails are marked with painted symbols on the slickrock.  The Poison Spider Mesa trail uses a little Jeep, complete with a spare tire.  The front of the Jeep points in the direction of the trail.  It is extremely easy to get lost on the vast expanses of slickrock.  If you get lost, retrace your track back to the last point and then explore on foot to find the trail.   Staying on the designated trails is an important factor in helping keep our trails open and available for our use!

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The above picture helps give you an idea of why you are standing on the floorboards when you come down a steep one.  Notice the passenger side corner of the   front bumper.....it is about 6" off of the ground.  The bottom of my bumper is usually 22" above the ground, except when things get a bit steep, like here.  Low gearing is a big advantage in these situations, as using the brakes often times causes the wheels to lock up which the prevents you from steering.

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From the top of the mesa, you can see the Colorado River, the highway, and the start of the Moab Rim Trail, if you get lined up properly while looking through Little Arch.  Moab Rim is rated a 4+ trail is judged as being the 3rd toughest trail that is run during the Annual Easter Jeep Safari.  There are a couple of crosses below the cliffs (not visible in this picture) marking the locations where drivers have rolled high up on Moab Rim and dropped to their deaths.

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Lady is coming down the "Wedgie" on the way back to camp.  It had been a long day and I asked Joe to spot for me.  He cried out, "Hold it right there....don't move!"  I thought I was in a bad way, but then saw Joe running down to his Jeep and coming back with his camera.  Boy, that was a relief!  This was the best photo taken on the trail that day.  A great shot to wrap up a most excellent day on Poison Spider Mesa!

Near the end of this trail, we took the cross-connect over to the Golden Spike trail and tried a couple of the obstacles there.  You can see a few photos of this by clicking here.


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