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With Scott spotting me, I hoped into Lady and started down over the ledge. It went better than I hoped, and I managed to squeak by the front diff hanger part with but a few millimeters to spare. By now, some mountain bikers had caught up with us. They parked their bikes and climbed up on the rocks to see the 15 minute show as we all proceeded down the ledge. It is funny.....every time I see them riding their bikes over this stuff, I am very impressed with their abilities to keep it on both tires (most of the time). But, when we stop and talk with them, they are completely amazed at what we crawl our Jeeps over. We don't think that much of it, and they think it is so cool that we can creep over this stuff and come out nice and clean like it was a walk in the park.
I'm just clearing the remainder of the rocks at the end of this obstacle. I was off the ledge some 10'+ ago, but you still have to watch yourself as you crawl over the rest of the rocks. Many of them will catch the diffs, even when running 35" tires, so tire placement is till critical here, unless you want to get the HI-Lift jack out and have a rock stacking party! As you can see in the above pic, I just cleared a rock with my left front tire that is almost touching my rocker guards.
We finally made it to the end of the trail (it is a dead ender so you go out the way you came in). As you can see, we are pretty much on top of the world here. The valley, with the Colorado River running through it, is easily accessible by my backing up about 5' and falling off this mesa (all the way to the valley floor....DOH!) It was lunch time and we all piled out to stretch our legs, enjoy the scenery, and grab something to eat.
The trip back was done in reverse order. As we had promised, Scott and I made Robert go first (new trail leader for the return leg) so he could tackle the ledge with his bigger rig. We all made it over the ledge without even slipping a tire. In face, Scott hopped out and spotted for his wife so she could have the thrill of climbing that big ledge. She did a good job and we all agreed that she deserved a Cliff Hanger t-shirt from the local t-shirt shop in down town Moab. (great place.....you gotta go there when you are in Moab)
So, we cleared the ledge and were looking for a dead end turn off that went over to a nice overlook of Moab. We came to rock ledge on the trail and Andy decided to take the hard line over it. Well, he got his t-case skid perfectly hung on the rock. Not enough traction with either set of tires (front or rear) to get him off the skid, so Robert had to put a tow strap on him and give him a little jerk. We all got a pretty good laugh out of it. After everything we had been through that day, Andy gets caught on a ledge in the middle of NO obstacle!
We made it back to the first major obstacle we did and everyone made it back down just fine. The line I used coming down this obstacle was the line I couldn't make trying to go up it. Here is Scott working his way down the rocks. He went down the way I came up and I went down the way he came up (does that make sense?)
At this point, we are just about back to the trail head. We are working our way down to the creek crossing (you can tell there is water in the area because there are GREEN trees around). Even this part of the trail was pretty steep, as you can see (and very nice scenery too).
After everyone cleared the creek and climbed the stair steps back up to the trail head, we headed back to town. After a quick cleanup (us, not the Jeeps), we headed off to a restaurant for some dinner, a couple of cold ones, and some good company. We got to meet Robert's and Andy's wifes and spent a nice evening together. I can't think of a better way to wrap up a great trail run.
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