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View Full Version : Black Dragon/Goblin Valley.


AxleIke
03-25-2008, 11:47 PM
Went with my family out to UT for a few days.

Weather was beautiful, 50's on Sat and sun, but completely clear, 70's on Mon and Tues.

I managed pretty well on my gimpy leg. Well enough I suppose. I got about 6 miles total hiking in with a knee brace and one crutch.

Stats for the trip:

105 miles of unpaved, dirty goodness.

Lots of rubber left on the rocks, and several 60mph baja moments. Made me long for long travel.

Anyway, onto the good stuff.

Me and youngest bro:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2757.jpg

First up was Black Dragon Canyon. This canyon starts out pretty mildly, up to the sweet pictographs.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2759.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2765.jpg

But quickly gets rougher.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2768.jpg

Not too many pics as we were losing light, and had to get up to set up camp.

Campspot hunting:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2769.jpg

The next day was a pretty slow drive up to jackass benches. This is where the crawler shined. I was able to get back my stock low range, which was perfect for this road.

Anyway, the benches were appropriately named:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2777.jpg

Those are wild donkeys sitting next to the road. We saw a whole herd of them, but the picture didn't come out, as they were far away.

Views from the hike out to Swaesy's leap:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2790.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2820.jpg

The next day, we packed up, and headed out for Goblin valley via the back roads.

First was exiting Black Dragon the way we came in:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2833.jpg

Crawler in action. If you listen, you can tell that the engine is running at 2500 rpm's. Yeah. Slow.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/th_MVI_2835.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/?action=view&current=MVI_2835.flv)

Next up was some high 4, baja style running.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2836.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/th_MVI_2844.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/?action=view&current=MVI_2844.flv)

Getting into the goblin valley area.

Red dirt:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2849.jpg

Beautiful country:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2855.jpg

Hiking down into Chute Canyon:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2864.jpg

Gimp:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2865.jpg

Weird tree

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2858.jpg

More of the canyon:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2873.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2878.jpg

Gimp stopping point. Not going down that with the bum knee.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2879.jpg

Baja to Rock Crawl. I love it. Unfortunately, no shots from the other cameras, as my family stayed out there, I came back because I had to get back to work. So, I don't have their pics yet.

Anyway, two lockers and 206:1 can be fun, but also bad.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2890.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2891.jpg

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2892.jpg

Made it, but left behind plenty of rubber and paint. Thank goodness I got those babies retubed:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2893.jpg

More fun fast driving

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/th_MVI_2884.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/?action=view&current=MVI_2884.flv)

Just a great view I had to stop and look at:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2888.jpg

End of the trip:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2894.jpg

And, the best reason for having a 4 cyl truck. I filled up in green river utah. I drove 330 miles, back to golden. No stops. That is corrected using the 3% difference in gears and tire sizes that I have.

Here is my gas guage, which works perfectly:

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c263/AxleIke/IMG_2897.jpg

25 miles per gallon. I love it.

It was a blast, truck drove great. I'm tired, dirty, and happy. Good trip.

Uncle Ben
03-26-2008, 07:41 AM
Very cool pix Isaac! Gimp on!

Red_Chili
03-26-2008, 08:00 AM
Wow, I never got 25mpg in the Chili even with a 4-popper.

Must be the slick aerodynamic design. :lmao:

GREAT trip report!

DaveInDenver
03-26-2008, 08:46 AM
Cool trip. Thanks for sharing the photos.

Pretty cool around there, eh? I haven't driven up there, but did ride the bike up through Black Dragon Wash. BTW, those pictographs at the start of the trail were done by the Fremont Indians. Goblin Valley is so weird, too.

AxleIke
03-26-2008, 09:07 AM
Thanks.

Dave, awesome to know about the pictographs. That was one thing we couldn't figure out. Shame they are not protected. One of them had a few bullet holes in it. Made me sad.

Goblin valley was a little crowded. We were far enough back to only see one group of hikers, but it took a while to get in there.

Bill,

The key is 55-65 the whole way. Thing just sips the gas.

Red_Chili
03-26-2008, 09:22 AM
I tried.
I guess a SAS and 35x12.50s with a lift and roof rack sucked it down.
I get 17mpg if I keep a light foot these days. Sans roof rack.

Regards protecting the pictographs, I agree to a point - though in the NP, we had a ranger drive up to us Baja style and jump out of the truck to make sure we had not approached an overhang that had pictographs. We had, and we did not tell her we had, and there was no signage saying you shouldn't, and we did not touch anything, just look - but her solution to protecting it was to make sure no one ever saw it.

That dog don't hunt.

RockRunner
03-26-2008, 02:45 PM
Great pics looks like a blast.

25 MPG in my dreams, I am like Chili around 16-18 MPG. In a BN 4Runner I never got 25 mpg but then again I never tried.

Keep using the knee if that is what is wrong. Push it till it starts to hurt nearly and then ice and rest. Best advice I ever gave myself ;-)

Jacket
03-26-2008, 05:12 PM
Nice way to break in your new crawler. Great pics!

Oh yea - nice asses too!

corsair23
03-26-2008, 06:24 PM
25 miles per gallon. I love it.

Bastid :mad: :lmao:

Nice pics :thumb:

AxleIke
03-26-2008, 06:34 PM
Funny part is, pulling into the gas station, I was almost laughing out loud while thinking about taking that picture, thinking how funny it would be to put it up for the cruiser guys.

Good times.

wesintl
03-26-2008, 08:42 PM
how funny it would be to put it up for the cruiser guys.

I dunno what you're talking about :guapo: My range is 500+ miles with a 23gal tank :D


Nice Pics! While I like moab.. I love the surrounding areas more.

Uncle Ben
03-26-2008, 09:11 PM
Funny part is, pulling into the gas station, I was almost laughing out loud while thinking about taking that picture, thinking how funny it would be to put it up for the cruiser guys.

Good times.


Just think of how great of mileage you would have got if the brake wasn't on! :eek: :p: :lmao::lmao:

AxleIke
03-26-2008, 10:12 PM
I dunno what you're talking about :guapo: My range is 500+ miles with a 23gal tank :D


Nice Pics! While I like moab.. I love the surrounding areas more.

True. You definitely have us all beat with the diesel. I looked at a conversion for my truck, as the 2L-T is a direct bolt in, but its so expensive, and so is diesel fuel, i figured I could hold on to gasoline for a while longer.

I think what I love most about a trip like this is that it's exactly why I have a modified 4wd. Don't get me wrong, I love driving on trails, and being able to say, "I did such and such". For me, the real thrill of wheeling is doing this. Showing up to a road with nothing more than a map, and a good attitude, and having no idea what to expect.

Black Dragon easily could have been a 4 out of 5 if you took the hard lines, but as you can see, we had 2 bone stock trucks up there.

I love that sense of adventure when exploring areas you don't know anything about.

AxleIke
03-26-2008, 10:13 PM
Just think of how great of mileage you would have got if the brake wasn't on! :eek: :p: :lmao::lmao:

Hardy har har.

DaveInDenver
03-26-2008, 10:32 PM
I think what I love most about a trip like this is that it's exactly why I have a modified 4wd.
Dude, you have seen the faint flicker of what the plan for my truck has always been. I may be (OK, am) still clinically certifiable, but at least more people are starting to understand my reasoning for building it the way it's been. That is to say like a dull ol' boring traveling mule and not a dedicated rock truck.

The point is to go here:
http://www.armbrusterweb.com/tripsfolder/longtripsfolder/grancanyonfolder/files/page3_8.jpg

AxleIke
03-27-2008, 12:21 AM
Your truck has a big topper, which would be a real damage worrier for me, as I don't like to damage stuff, but other than that, it could play in the rocks probably a lot more than you'd imagine.

As I'm sure you're beginning to notice, mini-truck IFS is a lot more capable than most give it credit for.

I've been told my truck wasn't up to fairly moderate trails like Kane Creek, despite the fact that it has 3/16" plate covering the front, the front diff, and 3/8" covering the belly. 2 lockers and 2 transfercases. Go figure right? I laugh it off, and nod. Most have to see it to believe. There is just so much internet garbage floating around, and people get caught up in it.

You aren't crazy, you are one of the few sane ones. Crazy is thinking you need to cut off the entire front end, and hang an axle just to go in the dirt.

There are a great many who really do need to hang the axle. They have a need for very strong parts, and big tires. You simply cannot get that without a SAS. But for 95% of the trails you can get a truck up without body damage, IFS does just fine.

Anyway, I'll get off my soapbox now.

Bighead
03-27-2008, 05:27 AM
Nice pics Isaac...looks like fun.

Red_Chili
03-27-2008, 07:43 AM
You aren't crazy, you are one of the few sane ones. Crazy is thinking you need to cut off the entire front end, and hang an axle just to go in the dirt.

There are a great many who really do need to hang the axle.
It isn't a matter of need. I've been to Jamaica, they have needs.

Nevertheless you can do almost all the wheeling with an IFS (modified, and beefed) that you can do with a SAS.

It just depends on how you want to do it.

So it has been said you couldn't do Kane Creek? Sheesh...:blah:

AxleIke
03-27-2008, 09:20 AM
It has been said. I wasn't trying to whine about it, but simply point out that the views of IFS are very ignorant, because of internet hoopla.

Is a SAS truck going to be stronger, ride better, and out perform an IFS of similar build? Yes, every time.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Apologies for the digression.

Uncle Ben
03-27-2008, 09:27 AM
It has been said. I wasn't trying to whine about it, but simply point out that the views of IFS are very ignorant, because of internet hoopla.

Is a SAS truck going to be stronger, ride better, and out perform an IFS of similar build? Yes, every time.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Apologies for the digression.

I guess thats why we have so much apathy towards letter writing to keep trails open as web wheelers really only need a keyboard and an audience!

DaveInDenver
03-27-2008, 09:33 AM
Is a SAS truck going to be stronger, ride better, and out perform an IFS of similar build? Yes, every time.
In rocks, yup. But it's kinda nice not floating all over on washboards. There's a reason Baja trucks use IFS and WRC cars have fully indy suspension. At non-crawl speeds IFS does pretty good, even off pavement.
Apologies for the digression.
It's your thread, we should apologize to you!

AxleIke
03-27-2008, 10:47 AM
I guess thats why we have so much apathy towards letter writing to keep trails open as web wheelers really only need a keyboard and an audience!

Very true. I'm sure Bill has seen this more than anyone. I'm grateful to have such a dedicated person as our Land Use Coordinator. I've written more letters as a member of this club than in all my years before, and I felt like I used to write a lot.

Anyway.

Jacket
03-27-2008, 10:51 AM
I've been told my truck wasn't up to fairly moderate trails like Kane Creek, despite the fact that it has 3/16" plate covering the front, the front diff, and 3/8" covering the belly. 2 lockers and 2 transfercases. Go figure right? I laugh it off, and nod. Most have to see it to believe. There is just so much internet garbage floating around, and people get caught up in it.



Please....:rolleyes: I made it through Kane Creek in my truck with relative ease, and I've seen your truck go several places where mine could not.

With open diffs, the gap between SAS and IFS is fairly large, but with one or two lockers it closes rapidly.

Red_Chili
03-27-2008, 10:54 AM
IFS is perfectly capable of taking you to 90% of the expedition destinations you seek.

If you don't mind how it makes the front end feel! :lmao:

Inukshuk
03-27-2008, 01:00 PM
This is where we go for the Outlaws Run. Perry, I and others have explored this area a lot and Black Dragin Wash is definitely a great one. Hopefully this will whet the appetite of more club members to go this October.

Corbet
03-27-2008, 03:23 PM
Thanks for the pics, I need to get back in the habit of trips like that. :cheers:

bh4rnnr
03-27-2008, 08:50 PM
In rocks, yup. But it's kinda nice not floating all over on washboards. There's a reason Baja trucks use IFS and WRC cars have fully indy suspension. At non-crawl speeds IFS does pretty good, even off pavement.

It's your thread, we should apologize to you!


I'm hard to believe this, as seeing what a well sprung axled front 80 can do over a long dirt road, Hint: Utah Cruiser Expedition. Like anything, a well equiped rig will do well. It all comes down to personal pref, and as Dave has stated, what you enjoy doing.

As for the pics, thanks for sharing. Looks like you guys went directly south from Black Dragon? We just traveld that road end of Feb, all the way to Goblin. Good fun road. Did you stop at the Three Fingers Pictograph panel? Very remot back in there.

And theres nothing like an open dirt road to quinch your taste buds. SAS or not:beer::beer:

DaveInDenver
03-27-2008, 10:07 PM
well sprung
...and damped

Those are always the key. Well, wheelbase, suspension travel and weight don't hurt either. Same reason that a 1969 Cadillac rides way smoother than a 1972 Pinto, despite both being solid rear/IFS.

OK, now I'm done, what a long day. Where's that beer?

Red_Chili
03-28-2008, 08:48 AM
My dad's 1969 Caddy rode smoother than anything by the time he used it to haul hay out to the fields. And I can assure you it had no remaining damping whatsoever. None.

Very entertaining ride.

DaveInDenver
03-28-2008, 09:15 AM
Very entertaining ride.
Papa Chili:
http://www.fastcoolcars.com/images/lowriders12/lowrider-279.jpg

AxleIke
03-28-2008, 10:37 AM
BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

That is awesome. Holy cow. I'm pretty sure thats bill in the yellow shirt and jeans. He just wears a toupe for us. Notice the red paint.

Uncle Ben
03-28-2008, 01:25 PM
BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

That is awesome. Holy cow. I'm pretty sure thats bill in the yellow shirt and jeans. He just wears a toupe for us. Notice the red paint.

Yup...Squishy is right behind him in the blue shirt. I'm wondering if thats Mrs. Chili looking at the in-famous "Squeek-o-Meter?" :lmao:

PatrolMan
03-28-2008, 10:11 PM
Very nice pics and great write up! I have been to Goblin Valley before for a brief stop. Never heard of Black Dragon. Will have to look into it as we are planning out a trip for October into Utah and wanted to stop at Goblin Valley.

I like the build. That is where my 4Runner will basically be except I am sticking with petrol. Diesel is just too much $ for my blood (only put 1,500 miles or so on the 4Runner last year). I can usually get 20-22mpg still with the roof rack. Question-what locker do you run up front? I had a lockright and felt like is was a POS. Still looking into another option for down the road. Honestly the rear e-locker does more than enough for now.

AxleIke
03-29-2008, 02:58 AM
Very nice pics and great write up! I have been to Goblin Valley before for a brief stop. Never heard of Black Dragon. Will have to look into it as we are planning out a trip for October into Utah and wanted to stop at Goblin Valley.

I like the build. That is where my 4Runner will basically be except I am sticking with petrol. Diesel is just too much $ for my blood (only put 1,500 miles or so on the 4Runner last year). I can usually get 20-22mpg still with the roof rack. Question-what locker do you run up front? I had a lockright and felt like is was a POS. Still looking into another option for down the road. Honestly the rear e-locker does more than enough for now.

Diesel is too rich for my blood too.

I run ARB's front and rear. I would buy them 1000000 times over.

I'm sorry you had a lockright. Before I bought my lockers, I drove a spool, a lockright, and a detroit on the street. I couldn't stand ANY of them. But the lockright was sweet. Thought it was fine popping and grinding away around a turn, then it locked up, and my heart almost stopped. I thought the truck was going to pitch onto its lid right then and there.

I thanked the guy, shakily walked back to my truck, and drove away.

2 months later I found a SWEET deal on another forum for a front ARB, and a mini compressor. I was totally sold.

PatrolMan
04-01-2008, 11:51 PM
For some reason I thought you said you were running a diesel. I haven't ever gotten 25mpg out of my 22r or 22re, even empty with a light foot. Of course mine have 220k+ and haven't been opened for any reason.

I went with a Toyota e-locker for the rear. The only reason I went with the Lockright was at the time there was no ARB available. It was about the only locker available for a 7.5. I would go for another locker in the front in the future, but it definately has to be selectable! Honestly the single rear locker does enough that I really don't need a front locker. It would just reduce the need for the skinny pedal as much in certain situations and wear/tear on the rig.

So now that we have seen pics of Black Dragon, we are gonna try to fit it into our trip in the Fall. Thanks for the great writeup and pics!