View Full Version : Moab And My Friend Jack

07-10-2009, 01:38 PM
Have you ever wondered what Moab was like at times other than the busy week of Cruise Moab? Not just what the weather is like but what goes on when you aren't booked solid with things to do related to our great Toyota event? I have and recently had the opportunity to spend three full days on the trail with Jack Bickers, Moab area trail guide extraordinaire, and it really wasn't that hot - we never turned on the A/C while out in the boonies. In town, we did, but not in the canyon country northwest of Moab. I spent the rest of my time on Jack's daughter's ranch up in Lasal minding the horses, chickens, dogs and cats while she and her man were horseback riding near Glenwood Springs for the Fourth of July.
Jack, 84 years young and of very sharp mind, moved his family to Moab in the early 1980s because he was intrigued by the beauty of the area and because he was, and is, a passionate four wheeler who lives to explore what is around the next bend. Not only did he love to wheel, he loved to get out and hike and find sights that few others have other seen. He met up with some like-minded souls early in his adventures and formed a crew of which some still get together for a Thursday lunch on a regular basis. Sound like our breakfast groups? You betcha! They don't get out on the trail much anymore but Jack still loves and I mean LOVES to have folks let him guide them to places that he and only a few others know about. Ask Cheeseman, he'll tell you, that Jack can amaze you with his encyclopedic memory of places that you would swear that only a coyote could find. Jack takes pride in claiming to have named such places as Rose Garden Hill, Secret Spire, Alamo Arch and countless other spots we know and love. He has written six or seven trail books that predate anything by Charles Wells and he specializes in describing trails and landmarks that don't get the sort of attention that Easter Jeep Safari and Cruise Moab trails do. I'm talking about trails that early prospectors, seismographers, oil hunters, etc. created a long time ago when "Big Brother", a term Jack likes to use, was less concerned about a set of tracks wandering across the desert and plains and are very similar to the trails the prospectors created here in Colorado a long time ago. Every time we go wheeling in Colorado we have those early prospectors to thank and the Moab area of Utah is just about the same story. With fewer folks over there, though, the trails don't get used as much and Jack loves to go out and "warm the trails" to help keep them viable routes to spectacular sights. The way he can tell you that there is a turn off of what passes as a main road in 1/10th of a mile and you had better be looking closely or you'll miss it, is simply amazing. On one such turn, barely visible, I asked Jack how long it had been since he had taken that trail and he responded, "Oh seven or eight years or so." He knew where the trail was like it was yesterday that he had last been there. He'd love to have Rising Sun folks come over so he can share special Utah places with others that have the interest to see what is around the next bend, too.
I'm attaching a few pics of my recent travels with Jack and Suzie is uploading more to a website that will be reachable via a link I will post later. Jack likes to correspond via email and can be reached at Jack4wd@citilink.net. He has tons of pictures he likes to share and has books and maps for sale at very reasonable prices.

07-10-2009, 01:49 PM
Wow. that is way cool.

07-10-2009, 02:02 PM
That's really cool. I'd be up for a long weekend sometime to go explore a few trails with Jack.

07-10-2009, 02:11 PM
A rare and fortunate opportunity! Thanks for sharing it with us.

07-10-2009, 02:18 PM
that's really cool Steve, what an opportunity!

07-10-2009, 02:58 PM

07-10-2009, 03:11 PM
That's really cool. I'd be up for a long weekend sometime to go explore a few trails with Jack.

x2 for sure. thanks for sharing Steve! great stuff.

07-10-2009, 03:12 PM
Here are a few more pics. I wish Suz had been along because I am no fotog and didn't really do justice to the sights we were seeing. I want to go back soon and if we can get something organized, Jack would be more than happy to lead the way. His way of beating the heat when arriving back into Moab is a Frosty at Wendy's and he bought!!! How's that for a bargain?!
The sand wash pictures are from the bottom of Ten Mile Canyon which starts at the prairie level and meanders 16.2 miles to the canyon outlet into the Green River. It is the only canyon that does this and it is almost impassable in spots to full size vehicles. I surprised Jack in a couple of places that he thought were too narrow for Bart to squeeze through but squeeze we did. We got about half way to the Green before turning around at what is know as the Boulder Choke. Looked doable but with just the one vehicle, prudence prevented us from going further. Get a couple more capable vehicles and drivers and it could be done! The wash is now roaming grounds for ATVs and dirt bikes but I would love to make the full length trip. Anyone up for a challenge? :thumb:

07-10-2009, 03:27 PM
One more from this recent trip and few, the high views, from the Moab Prerun daytrip that Greg and his friend Dean took with Jack back in March. Cheeseman, do you remember the point that you, Dean and I walked out on and were able to overlook Ten Mile Canyon from above and see the canyon meandering back and forth for miles downstream? This is the point as seen from below. The pic doesn't really give the full sensation of height but the high views give you a small clue.

07-10-2009, 04:28 PM
WAY :cool:

What's Jack doing in November? :D - The joint run with the Wasatch guys would be even more fun by having Jack lead us around for 2 days :thumb:

Might be a little much to ask of him though...

07-14-2009, 08:10 PM

07-14-2009, 10:21 PM
WOW!! That is awesome Steve!

Great pics, and great story. I'll add a x-whatever to the list of people who'd love to hang with you the next time you are out there with Jack.

07-16-2009, 04:17 PM
Boy to wheel with Jack is something out the world of the known. To get off the regularly beaten path is the treat that I had been waiting for this year. In Moab you look off into the distance and wonder what is out there. Jack Bickers is the one who has been there. A little extra driving on plain ol' desert roads to see what is out there is just the relaxation before the beauty that most folks never get to see when going to Moab.

Steve Crase has opened up this door for us few who want too. He talked about Jack for 2 or 3 years before I finally had the chance to go with the two of them. Never going to wait that long again. Last March on our pre-run Steve talked me into an extra day early to go out with Jack. By the end of the day I was in awe of the man he calls Jack and of what I saw out there in Moab. Every time I hear of Steve spending a day or days with Jack I just sigh and listen and hope for the next time I get to go along.

Jacks knowledge is what we need to know to understand the rest of the story in Moab. But now you have to know how you will be put in your place with Jack. But he will also wonder why you haven't been out there before. Just like my Uncles and Grandfather did for me. His generation gave us alot in this world and I love hearing of it every time I can.

Thanks Steve for this gift.
HALF-BAKED (http://half-baked.com)

07-17-2009, 01:20 PM
I envision a yearly JackRun.

I think I met the man one time when Shorty took us all out there. Carrie loved the experience.

07-17-2009, 02:56 PM
All the pics of my trip with Jack over the 4th of July. Not all the oics are of my adventures with Jack but most are and you should be able to tell which are. I'm in email conversation with him now regarding the best time of Sept. or Oct. to visit Moab as a group. Will follow up later.