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We pushed on forward, working our way over ledges and rocks. We had seen tougher trails before, but that didn't mean you could day dream on this one. There were plenty of places where a misplaced tire would mean embarrassment at the least and an easy hi-centering of your Jeep if you weren't careful. The sun was starting to warm things up a bit and it wasn't too long before my cold-blooded co-pilot stopped shivering (boy, I sure am glad she doesn't read these trip reports!).
We continued on the trail and the rocks would get a bit bigger every now and then. Here is Scott working his way over one. I got him to stop long enough to snap a picture. Scott's TJ is nicely built. It sports an RE long arm kit, 6" springs, Tera 4:1 and 2LO, and a half dozen other things that I am not going to list here. Trust me to say that his ride is a most capable one and Scott is a good driver (and spotter). We've done a fair number of AZ trails together and this was his first Moab visit, so he was really getting into the slick rock traction (and enjoying every minute of it).
While we worked our way along the trail, we had a chance to chat with Andy and Robert. Both were driving CJ-7s that had been converted to EFI. Andy's light blue CJ was running on 35" tires and pushed along with a Tera 4:1 and a NV4500 tranny. Robert was running on 39.5"x17" Swampers with D44 axles front and rear and the same t-case and tranny setup that Andy had. Both ran ARB air lockers.
We made it to the first obstacle and all got out to check it out. We spent a good amount of time walking up and down it, looking at the lines that might be done. We quickly noticed the various colors of paint on the bottom of a rock shelf and realized that it most likely the results of careless Jeepers who weren't watching where the hood went once the tires started climbing the rocks. (make note to self....don't try that line!)
Scott was next over the ledges. He was bound and determined to make it up that first line that I didn't...and by golly, he did (although I did toss a couple of rocks under that right rear tire of his). We found that a great big rock was waiting for his front diff just after he got his back tires up on the first ledge. Talk about no room to maneuver.....geez, I've seen the interior of a phone booth that had more space than this ledge did. Scott managed a little 7 point turn (back and forth about 3" each time) and we finally got his driver side tire up on top of that nasty diff catcher. From there, it was pretty much a straight line to the top of the obstacle. He worked his way over the remaining ledges and was soon at the top.
Here is Robert, just about to the top of the ledges. At this point, he had not let much air out of his Swampers (he was at about 16 psi). He had tried the same line I had and didn't make it either (so I didn't feel too bad based on the differences in our tire height and clearance). With his ARBs turned on, he sat with his front tires up on the first ledge, slowly digging in his back tires. Later on in the day, he dropped them down to about 6 psi, before we headed back over THE ledge (oh yeah, we haven't go to that yet in this part of the trip report).
Here is Robert spotting Andy up and over the rocks on the same obstacle. These pics (as always) don't do the rocks justice. You really lose the depth of the obstacle with these very flat photos. Oh well, maybe they will make a digital 3D camera some time soon that we mod-poor Jeepers can afford! Then you can take a virtual Jeep tour without leaving your keyboard!
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