I finally went on my first vacation in several years, and I visited Moab UT for the annual Easter Jeep Safari (EJS 2015). This was the first time I’ve been able to take my Jeep off-roading in a few years, so I was eager to return to one of the most beautiful areas of the United States. This time a friend from my high school days came along as my “shot gun rider”.
We took a couple days to get to Moab from Los Angeles, but I’ll cover the out and back legs of the trip later. First I wanted to cover the actual off-road driving during the EJS.
We started our first day out with an easy trail called 3-D, so named because you see a hidden canyon from three angles – the canyon floor, the north rim, and then the south rim. Here’s a rough map of the trail:
Our group of around 30 rigs started out, and after seeing the valley floor, we wound our way to the rim of the valley. This valley is only a few hundred feet deep, so views were close and personal. The red and white Entrada Sandstone which makes up this area is very colorful. Here is a shot from the North side of the valley rim, showing the La Sal Mountains in the background.
The top edge of the valley rim is broken into many blocks of stone, due to a convex shape of the general area causing the upper surface to crack regularly. Here is small image of this feature.
A central feature of the valley is this finger of stone jutting out from the south wall.
The north rim also hosted a series of rock pinnacles or spires that remind me of upside-down ice cream cones. These remind me of Hoodoos (or toadstools) that I saw in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, but they don’t seem to have the hard rock balanced on top like a true hoodoo. Until I learn to correct term, I’ll continue to refer to these as hoodoos.
Barbary was my off-roading friend for this trip. We actually were classmates back in junior and senior high school (don’t ask how long ago that was!) and we had just gotten in touch after many years of separate lives. We had lots of life stories to catch up on!