Last day of the Jamboree
Sat, Oct 26, 2019
Moab Rim Trail
Another full day of great wheeling & amazing views. We were up at 6am and didn’t get back to the RV until almost 10pm. We went straight from the trail, to dinner & the farewell raffle.
Mike and I woke up today with some apprehension because we had read the trail description for “Moab Rim Trail” after Fred had signed us up on Thursday. The difficulty description basically said, “tight, tippy, and extremely dangerous ledges…This is a dangerous trail.” We both trust Fred but know he is much more of a risk taker than we are and he enjoys the adrenaline rush of danger more than the average man. But we were still all in for the chance to take the adventure with Fred!
It was another super cold day so we bundled up a little better than yesterday and headed off to breakfast before sunrise. Fred’s favorite road trip song came on the radio…”Desperado.” Of course he sang along.
This morning’s breakfast was scrambled eggs with green chillies and onions, breakfast meats, biscuits, and fresh baked muffins. We chowed down, grabbed our bagged lunches (ham sandwiches, oranges, and every peanut snack known to man) and headed to line up at the arena.
We remembered our traveling Red Sox Gnome today and posed him on the roof of the Jeep with the two toy Jeeps that Janet Lockhart had given Fred on top of the birthday cake that she and her husband Pete had made for Fred this year.
Tom Trotter did not disappoint and gave the safety briefing in an inflatable pink unicorn costume. Things moved a little quicker today and we were off to our trail in only 30 minutes.
Our trail was really close also, just 3 miles outside of town. We were aired-down and on the trail by 9:15am.
To my delight, the trail was not the scary beast described in the trail book. It was gorgeous! And just challenging enough to demand respect but not be overwhelming. The first hour of the climb was on an ascending ledge, but I never felt like I was too close to the edge to feel panic. I wouldn’t advise doing the trail with only one Jeep, but with a spotter and another Jeep for insurance, an experienced Jeeper would be fine.
There was a guy in our group named Alex who had a 6 year old boy with him named Jon-Jon. Jon-Jon was running around like he was spun-up on pixie sticks and Mountain Dew. I was afraid for Jon-Jon because he didn’t seem to have any common sense when it came to staying out of the way of the moving vehicles, or staying away from the edge of the ledges. Plus, there was a lot of loose surface rock that could easily send you skating across the ground…towards a hungry cliff. Jon-Jon survived the day unscathed, somehow, but Alex broke his driveline on the last obstacle of the day and had to be towed back down the trail.
We tackled some of the trail’s well known obstacles: the Devil’s Crack, the Z-Turn, the Car Wash (we bypassed this one because of the nature/ecological stuff growing in it… JJUSA’s Moto: “Tread Lightly”, aka don’t kill nature for the sake of cool pictures), and the Sand Hill. We ran out of time so we missed out on the Scenic Overlook. We did however get to hike out to the ancient Native American ruins & petroglyphs, and see dinosaur tracks!
Because of the size of our group, it was 1:30pm by the time we stopped for lunch and the hike to the ruins/petroglyphs/dino tracks. Because we were behind, we had the choice to either stay behind and eat, or hike out to see the sights.
I was not happy at our groups lack of respect for lunch! 🤬 We had scarfed some of our food while driving over to the lunch spot because it was getting so late. We had taken enough rest breaks earlier to have eaten but had been promised, “a great lunch spot just down the trail.” Everyone grumbled, but held out for this “great spot.” So I was a little frustrated when we got to lunch and then had to choose between eating and hiking.
What also frustrated me… we were on top of a treeless mountain and there was nowhere to pee! Thankfully, we travel with a pop up shower tent for this reason, but it was so damn windy the tent kept bowling over. It was hard to pee and hold the tent and keep an eye out for hikers! I was a little frazzled at this point!
Fred stayed behind to hangout and finish eating and Mike and I did the hike.
There really wasn’t a trail to follow and the footing was very loose and steep, but our trail guide Rick was very familiar with the terrain and history of the area.
The Native American ruins looked like Fred Flintstone’s house and you could crawl through a small crack in the ceiling to get on to the roof. (Not everyone was game enough to climb the narrow crack & not everyone who was game could actually fit through it. Just imagine standing on a rooftop on top of a super tall mountain. It was vertigo city!
The rooftop is where the dinosaur tracks were located. There were two impressions from a three toed dino right on the structure’s edge. This three toed footprint is very common out here.
The petroglyphs were just a short walk from the ruins. Mike commented that he thinks it’s funny that “experts” think the petroglyphs were created by the Native Americans in some formal setting, to be left behind as markers of their culture. But Mike thinks its just as likely that it was their kids drawing on the living room wall, much like they still do today.
After our lunch/hike break we headed over to the Sand Hill obstacle. It was a giant sand dune well over 100 feet tall. We all gathered around and watched each driver attempt the dune. Only four people made it up. Fred was one of them, of course. He did it in super slow-mo. It nearly took 5 minutes to climb, but he did it.
There is a small amount of dust invoved when playing on the dunes…
This is where Alex broke his driveline. He used to much throttle and got his front end bouncing, and snapped it when the wheels caught traction after a monster bounce. Our other two trail guides, a married couple named Cody (mid-gunner) & Kim (tail-gunner), towed Alex back down afterwards.
We had to hustle back down the mountain after Sand Hill because it was getting late and the last night of the Jamboree is the big dinner & raffle.
So we started back at the same super bumpy speed as the day before. My back was still sore from yesterday’s descent so I got out and walked back.
Everyone has to stop and do the obstacle one at a time so I was able to keep up with the group. Cody and Kim removed Alex’s front driveline and then towed him down amazing well also, so they caught up with everyone too.
The incredible thing about JJUSA is most of the trail guides are locals who own their own shops and are willing to spend as much time as it takes to get your Jeep drivable again. One couple broke down on another trail and the trail guide towed them back to his garage and worked on their Jeep until 2am so they could Jeep again the next day. It’s really a great group of people!
The sun was setting by the time we got back down for the parking lot. It made for beautiful photos coming down the trail. We didn’t even bother to air up our tires. We just drove straight to dinner.
Dinner was delicious! They had salmon and prime rib, and lots of it. Fred was excited they had carrot cake, his favorite. We ate and chatted with other Jeepers and enjoyed the Roast-like atmosphere of the raffle. We didn’t win anything but it was fun.
We got back to the RV around 10pm. We were beat and dusty and ready for bed. The two days of Jamboree went so fast! We were sad that it was over, but happy to crawl into bed.