Enthusiasts Invade Easter Jeep Safari; Raise Money For OHV Causes.
Editor: Eric Bewley
Photo: B. Bagwell, D. Arnold, M. Hagen, G. Mikkelson, E.
Moab, UT - This was the 45th anniversary
for the Easter Jeep Safari currently being held and organized by the Red
Rock 4-Wheelers. The 'Zukfari had taken a break in 2010 but now it was time
to go back to an awesome environment and enjoy the trails, people, and
places of Moab. This year we kept the schedule light as to allow for
flexibility and the unexpected. We did manage to run several excellent
trails, old favorites and some new, and saw some new faces as well as some
old familiar ones. Day one of the 'Zukfari had Mike leading one of the
premier must-ride trails in Moab; the Moab Rim.
Several new-to-Moab Suzuki
enthusiasts showed as well as a couple veterans like Blake Savage from
Minnesota. It was a beautiful day and even though there were some first
run jitters and equipment problems that led to a challenging ascent,
everyone had a great time on the sunny slope of the trail.
|Monday's trail ride was the famous Golden
Spike trail. So named because it connects two trails, Gold
Bar Rim and Poison Spider, much like the meeting of the
transcontinental rail road in 1869 at Promontory Summit,
Utah... This trail is another greatest hits type trail
that has pretty much anything you could ask for and shows
off many of the best obstacles in the area.
Mike led the group and got an early start but when a
large group somehow got passed the group, they decided to
'punch out' and take the much shorter and arguably more
enjoyable Rusty Nail trail to get out.
Rusty Nail is a short but aggressive trail that gets you
in and out of the Golden Spike trail right at the slabs of the
Golden Crack. For more capable rigs, this is a must do trail and
by itself can make for an interesting 'light' day of wheeling. The
group headed out this way and had a lot of fun negotiating some of
the more difficult opportunities.
We had got a late start and planned to meet up with the group
mid-trail in the Suzuki Equator loaned to us from American Suzuki.
This was to be the first real trail outing in the rig and even
though it has a lot of great upgrades from ARB, I was concerned
that it would not do that well on the trail. My fears were
immediately put to rest. The combination of lift, tires, sliders,
armor, and factory locker make this Equator not only a nice driver
on the street but a capable trail rider too. So, 'day one' had us
cruising up Gold Bar rim and then when Mike's group decided to
change plans had us driving up Rusty nail where I got stopped at a
very serious obstacle that only the best equipped rides make.
There I waited for the group to meet up.... and I waited.
After a short nap, I decided to leg it up the trail and see
what was going on as it doesn't normally take that long to get
through the rough parts of Rusty Nail. Once I reached the group it
was apparent what had happened. Some of those 'jeep' people had
infiltrated the group and although very nice, they were slowing
them down. It's all good, right? The end of day two had everyone
pitching in to get each other through the tough spots with the
good-natured banter creeping into the conversation between people
that were now starting to gel together into a cohesive group of
Suzuki enthusiasts. Pride was running high as all lesser vehicle
makes were shown what they were missing out on at almost every
twist and turn in the trail.
Wednesday night is raffle night! - At the
Old City Park pavilion, our old stomping grounds, we had a
nice BBQ chicken dinner and raffle to raise money for
Setting up for the Raffle
Handing out Prizes.
|Wednesday was our big day with a
trail ride on the Hell's Revenge trail and our dinner and raffle.
We decided to take the Suzuki Equator to lead this ride after it's
good showing on Monday. We packed up our 7 month old and headed to
City Market to meet the crew. A few die-hards decided to run
Pritchett at 4 in the morning and then meet us for Hell's revenge,
Much respect for those Zukinutz. There were a few drop ins that
wanted to meet everybody but decided not to ride with us. We had
our driver's meeting we were off to the trail.
Hell's Revenge never fails to provide a top-notch experience.
One can take on just as much as they want or decide to cruise. Today's
trail ride was sponsored by Low Range Off-Road
participants were treated to a free sack lunch and a show as Blake
in his 'bone stock' 4-door Sidekick walked right up 'escalator'
making it look easy and the 145 miles on the clock jeep look a
little bit, silly.
|We wanted to visit an old friend on Thursday so the
trail ride was Top of The World with Rose Garden Hill and out
Onion Creek. It had been 2002 when we first rode this trail on an
outing with American Suzuki and I guess that I had forgot how long
and boring this trail was. Mike affectionately refers to trails
like this as "goat trails." It's the 'in the middle'
kind of terrain where it's too rough to go fast and to easy to
present a challenge so you end up just bouncing along at a snails
pace wondering when it will end.
The only highlight to this trail is the beautiful view at the
top of a magnificent valley and the great company. I would not
recommend this trail. We had some breakage that made it prudent to
cut short this trail and backtrack out vs. finish through Rose
Garden and Onion Creek.
Friday was a day of rest for us but other did go out for
another trail ride. So ends another 'Zukfari. A coming together of
people from all over the country with an uncommon passion for
their Suzuki vehicle and the great out doors. We'll see you next
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