Friday, Oct 25, 2019:
First day of Jeep Jamboree!
What a long, fun day!
It started off incredibly cold. We were up & off to breakfast at the host hotel by 6:30am. Breakfast was a delicious catered buffet provided by the local Moab Grill. We had scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and biscuits & gravy, watermelon. The eggs and biscuits were so hot and fresh.
Afterward, we drove over to the Old Spanish Trail Arena to line up for our designated trails and attend the safety briefing. It was still so cold! Tom Trotter, the Jamboree Leader, was dressed in a bright green, inflatable, Frankenstein costume. He was addressing the crowd with a bullhorn and putting on quite the show.
We met our trail leaders for the day, James & his daughter Sarah (team leader), Carl (mid-gunner), and Suzanne & her partner Renay (tail-gunner). Suzanne used some painters tape to number all the Jeeps and write our names on the windshield. We hadn’t seen this done before but this helped us keep track of everybody and get to know one another faster.
We were Jeep #13, directly in front of the tail gunner. (Fred almost immediately got us out of order on the way to the trail. He thought it was a race. 😁 He fixed it before we hit the trail because he didn’t want to upset the other Jeepers any more than he already had.)
Our trail team also dubbed themselves, “Team Adventure,” and had logo’d landyards made that said “Adventure,” like the ones you would see at Disneyland.
After the 20 minute safety briefing, we set out towards our trail. We stopped at Lion’s Park just 15 minutes down the road from the arena (around 9 am). We stopped to make sure our group was still together before making the turn onto HWY-128, and to take a bathroom break. (This is where Fred got back in order).
The next turn off for our trail, “Top of the World,” was located nearly a one hours drive north of Moab down Hwy-128 (which as under construction and had one lane traffic control 😩). But Hwy-128 is a super scenic drive along the Colorado River so it gave us time to sight-see. It is very hard not to veer off the road into the river while enjoying the beautiful scenery.
We got to our turn off (Dewey Bridge Camp Ground) around 9:45am. We stopped here to air-down our tires, take another bathroom break, and have another safety briefing. This took about 25 minutes. In my opinion, we wasted too much time taking pit stops. Because we still had a 45 minute long drive up a very bumpy, dirt road before we hit the trail.
Dewey Bridge CG would be the last real toilets we saw until we returned to air the tires back up around 4:30pm. And by “real toilets,” I mean pit toilets. I sigh everytime I have to use this particular kind of toilet because it aways seems to be a breezy day and somehow the pit-style design channels air from within the depths of the always full pool of poo below and sends it straight up the seat like a blow dryer. And maybe it’s just me, but I always feel compelled to peek inside the hole to check for spiders so I catch a glimpse of all the digested lunches left behind. 😝
After all that, the trail was incredibly scenic. About 2 hours into the drive, it started to warm up enough we could strip off some layers of clothing.
We tried to make up time and make it the scenic overlook so we held off on stopping for lunch until 2pm. As we crested the top of the mountain, and the gorgeous valley below came into view, Suzanne and Renay started singing into the CB radio, “Top of the World,” by the Carpenters… “Cause I’m on top of the world, ‘ey
I’m on top of the world, ‘ey
Waiting on this for a while now
Paying my dues to the dirt…” It was very fitting!
The view from that scenic overlook really is like being on the top of the world. It’s so breathtaking that I totally forgot I was a wee bit hangry by the time we stopped.
We were so high up that looking over the side gave me (and Mike) instant vertigo. Fred walked aroun the cliff’s edge like he was a mountain goat, completely unafraid of the consequences one mistep, or strong breeze, or loose pebble, or sneeze, could bring.
Mike and I on the other hand, stayed a solid 3 feet from the edge at all times, and got anxious everytime we even looked at anyone who dared to step any closer to the edge. I think Fred knew this, so he purposefully danced around the edge like he was wearing some secret safety harness. He takes great pleasure sometimes in making others squirm.
We took copious amounts of photos and ate lunch. We talked with Dennis from Teraflex. He told us Teraflex was going to do a custom build on an electric Jeep, but it was going to need to tow a generator behind it to keep it charged on the trails 😂😂 Dennis is very a funny & personable guy. He was fun to Jeep with.
We basically ended lunch and descended the mountain as fast as humanly possible so we could make it back to dinner by 6pm. And I have to tell ya, bombing down a rocky, steep trail like that is not so fun as a passenger. As a driver, heck ya! But as a passenger, you’re just loose cargo bouncing around in between sudden seatbelt yanks.
By the time we got back to the Dewey Bridge CG, I was a smidge cranky. My back was not happy with me from the last 2 hours of bouncing.
We found out our air compressor had a faulty seal as it took twice as long to air up our tires as everyone else. Then it was a race to get back to dinner. I drove us back to town and Fred took little snooze in the back.
We made it back for dinner right on time and thoroughly enjoyed the BBQ’d ribs & pulled pork that was waiting for us. The Swedish Cream I had for dessert is my new favorite food!
By the time we made it back to the RV, we were beat… But ready to do it all again tomorrow!!😁