By Mike Aaron
This year I wanted to expose my wife and young son Cooper (11 months) to Moab. For those of you who don’t have young ones and those who have forgotten what it is like to have a "young" one, this is how it goes.
We had planned to leave with Bruce Westlund and the Millers to caravan on the Saturday before the event. I was anxious to get out there and run the trails I was leading and gunning. As the weekend of our depart approached, I called Bruce W. and told him that I wouldn’t be able to keep their pace so I would be heading out on Saturday when Cooper dictated our departure. Saturday came and went! Sunday, we left Longmont about 9:00am as the Moab group started pre-running Golden Spike.
The trip was long with an Old Pig and about 2500 pounds of gear! We made some extra stops along the way. Including one unplanned stop in Grand Junction to play at the largest playground I have ever seen.
We arrived at Moab sometime before dark. Kevin had lead the crew through Golden Spike in record time and all had returned except Deano Kothe of Green Country Cruisers and Henry Brimmer who had decided to run all of Poison Spider before doing Spike. We quickly set up the tent so Cooper could get some sleep. Henry Brimmer arrived later sporting Deano’s spare as he had blown two tires.
The next day we ran Kane Creek with the Bruces. All three Bruces lead Cane Creek during the event. The young cruiserhead slept much of the trip. My worries lessened. I got my rock crawling legs by creasing my fender on a simple climb. Cooper thought this to be pretty funny.
The next day Cooper got to see his first lean over when Deano put it on the side on Steel Bender. Cooper thought it looked fun because everyone including his Daddy was running to check the scene. There was only a few body scratches that Larry his father pounded out and repainted back at camp, and Deano only hurt his pride. That was it for my pre-running as Wednesday found us sight seeing in Arches and working for tech-inspection.
The weather this year was very hot. For an infant, very hot translates into unbearable. Cooper spent much of his off time at the Slick Rock Campground pool, breaking Bruce W. cans of water, pulling stuff out of the coolers, and his favorite driving the Cruisers.
The event had started and I became nervous that the added stops of the real event would interfere with Cooper’s sleep cycle. I feared that we would stop for a breakdown or an obstacle and my peaceful sleeping baby would become a terrible screaming monster for the rest of the day. Fortunately, this did not occur and Cooper did great on Kane Creek and Steel Bender. He was able to sleep over rough terrain and luckily was awake when his mother and I thought they should get out and walk. He loves camping but was fast asleep by the time most of the socializing began.
Saturday’s trip to Poison Spider was different. At the beginning we had several mechanical problems and so much other traffic (bikes, explorers, and jeeps) on the trail that I decided Cooper was not going to make the trip without incident. I decided to spare Amy, and the rest of the group the temper-tantrums. We lead Bret and Sheila who were having transfer case problems with their BJ70 out to the road. We returned to town to have a nice lunch and tour the downtown. We visited the BLM office, the town museum, and the tourist shops. All were worthwhile and recommended visits.
I have been to Cruise Moab three years. This year I had to alter a few things but everything worked out. I do apologize to all the people that I started conversations with only to be rushed away by a crying child or a child doing something dangerous. Will he be in attendance next year? YES! Is Cruise Moab a Family event regardless of age? YES!