Well, we finished the last of the Gold Bar Rim trail and called it a day. We were right at 11 hours of trail time and we all agreed that it was enough for anybody for one day. We finished with no carnage and everyone was happy that Josh made it back to base camp OK. (I think he was REALLY glad about it). His rear differential was sounding VERY nasty by the time we pulled off the highway and into the campground.
Friday morning rolled around and I met up with the guys at the City Market, same as usual. Dwayne had left early in the morning as he had a long drive back to OK. We had said our goodbyes the night before. I had taken some time and gone through my trail book the previous night. Donna and I decided that it might be fun to head up to the La Sal Mountains. We had been looking at their snow capped peaks all week long from the various rims and cliff edges we had climbed on. So hey, why not visit them first hand? I had wanted to do it last year but never got the chance.
We discussed the idea with the other guys (Dave, Brian, William, Josh, Virgil, etc.) and they too agreed that an easy day of site seeing would be in order. William was going to hit the highway back to CA as soon as we wrapped it up. Josh was going to head for home too, but his tow rig would serve him just fine for a run up to the mountains. We weren't doing anything harder than a road rated 1.5.
We headed north out of Moab and caught the tar road that follows the Colorado River for many miles. It was relaxing....a bit of an overcast day....some clouds blocking the sun every now and then....temp was just right. Oh yes, a nice day it would be. We would stop somewhere up where it was cool and have lunch, then head back to town and say goodbye to our friends that were leaving.
As we climbed up out of the valley that the river ran adjacent to, the view became every so beautiful. Castle Rock can be seen in the distance in this pic. Moab sits at about 4000' above sea level. Before our day would end, we would hit 8500' on our drive through the national forest (yes, it really does have trees.....lots of aspen trees).
We found another spot to take some photos so I snapped this one of the group. In front is Lady, followed by Brian, Josh (in the tow vehicle), Virgil, Dave, and William is bringing up the rear. Note here that William is in the rear.....this will be an important point once we get a few more miles down the road.
We continued to drive and gain altitude as our road trip took us deeper and deeper into the mountains. By this time, we had seen numerous deer, and before we called it a day, we would also come across 3 coyotes and other numerous little ground based animals.
At one point, we passed a turn off to a small lake. We were about 2 blocks down the road when a quick radio check confirmed that this might be an excellent spot for lunch. It was getting close to noon and Virgil said he would really like to see the lake. Not having any side roads available for a turn around spot, we all executed a 3 point turn (OK, Josh did about a 5 point turn with his truck) and headed back to the lake turn off. Now....realize who is in the lead....yes, you remembered....it is William.
Now after William got stuck after getting over that ledge on Gold Bar Rim, we had been giving him a pretty bad time most of this morning....comments about his ability to pick the really bad lines....stuff like that. So here we are, with William in the lead, heading up to this lake we have never seen before.
Donna and I noticed it was a bit dusty, being in the back and all, so we hung back a ways to let the dust settle. There was a lot of radio chatter going on and I wasn't paying too much attention to it since there was this swollen little stream bubbling along the side of the road....the snow melt had the water rushing through it and making quite the noise. It sound so peaceful and just made you want to forget about the rest of the world and call this spot home forever.
Yep....you guessed it....with William in the lead, he lead us right into the snow and somehow or the other even managed to get Dave stuck. Now Dave getting stuck in the snow is not anything new, according to his Dad. It seems that he does this on a pretty regular basis up in Idaho when he goes out hunting in the fall.
Dave grabbed a tree saver and climbed up into the snow (you can see his track in front of the TJ on the right side of the picture) to wrap it around a big aspen tree. He attached the winch cable to it and proceeded to winch himself around on the road. He ended up hooking the winch cable to William's bumper to get himself out of the last of it. This snow was melting quickly and was really wet and heavy. Traction was not too good, as you can see.
Once everyone got turned around, we went a 100 yards back down the trail and pulled off to the side and enjoyed our lunch. We were in shorts and t-shirts and were still comfortable. What a blast. I never thought I would be spending a day at the snow line when we were originally planning our off-road trip.
More Moab 2001
Return to main page