Well, the Arch Canyon/Hotel Rock pre-run, was...incredible!
Left Thursday morning, about 08:30, and arrived at the campsite (about 15 miles Southwest of Blanding) about 16:30 (that's a little after 4 in the afternoon). We used the GPS coordinates provided by Royal Rose, from Wasatch Cruisers, and it really seemed to point to where you turn off to the campground, rather than a location within the campground.
We drove 2 miles down a loose sandy road, with the Gnewt on the trailer behind the BattleCat...Never saw a single Cruiser. In a panic, we finally found a place to turn around, and returned to the main campground and set up camp. About a half hour later, a guy in an 80 (I think) pulled in, drove right past us, and proceeded to set up camp. Once he was setting up, we strolled over and asked if he was from Wasatch Cruisers. Sure enough, it was Royal Rose, and he didn't stop because he never saw an FJ-15
before, and didn't recognize us.
Friday run was Arch Canyon. A little light wheeling, a few tricky spots, but mostly a really nice trail run, with stops to see Indian Ruins, and natural arches, and hike a bit. All in all, a really nice family fun kind of day.
At night, the socializing around the campfire was great, as we all got to know each other a little better. I had my friend Jen along, who is interested in joining Rising Sun (she has a 40, and does her own wrenching). It took awhile to get everybody to understand that no, she was not Mrs. Bobzooki, but just a friend of ours.
Well, Friday was a cat of a different stripe.
Hotel Rock is a LOT more exciting, with big climbs, narrow ledges, blind break-overs, lots of challenges, and some MAJOR adrenaline boosters. Unfortunately, Jack (from Wasatch) did an Endo/Pirouette/Roll coming down the biggest drop, in his well-appointed red 40. Jack was shaken up, but otherwise fine. His rig was a bit damaged, windshield frame was buckled, driver's door buckled, hood dented a bit, soft-top torn a bit, but still running, and able to be driven out.
After Jack's episode, we still had to get about 10 rigs down the same obstacle, including a 40, a 70, and...the Gnewt. This big drop was fairly easy for the long wheelbase rigs, but a definite challenge for us short wheelbase rigs, and the Gnewt was shortest of all.
Before going down the drop, I asked Jen if she wanted to get out, and watch, and she replied "Are you kidding? This is the best part!" I think she'll fit right in. Despite walking the obstacle first, and agreeing with my spotter where I wanted to put my tires, the actual execution didn't come off so well. As I was coming down, I felt the back, just chomping at the bit to beat the front to the ground. I jumped into the throttle, and rode it out. Fortunately, with the gearing in the Gnewt, 4,000 RPM in First/Low is maybe 4 MPH - that's where the tach was, when I got to the bottom. WHAT A RIDE!
Sunday was an easy drive back, with a stop for souvenirs and Espresso in Moab - then DEAD traffic on I-70 from almost Bakerville. Ran US6/US40 from Georgetown down, to avoid some of it.
I think Rising Sun ought to make this run an annual tradition!