Our first trip to Moab Utah! I’ve been wanting to attend EJS for a few years and with it being the 50th Anniversary I figured “Let’s go!”
My good friend PL and I left Fremont on Wednesday the 26th and drove to St. George UT. (Thank you Andy for the suggestion to stop over there.) We continued towards Moab on Thursday morning. Patti & Chris had mentioned a German Bakery/Deli in Tehachapi so we headed there for lunch. I had my tastebuds all ready for Bockwurst, Bratwurst or Liverwurst sandwich. They offer Tuna, Turkey, Black Forrest Ham & Roast Beef. They did have a predesigned Pastrami. I opted for that and it was really good. PL had the Bierocks (German Meat Turnover) which was also good.
Since neither of us had been to Arches National Park, and would come across that entrance just before Moab, we decided to visit it first. What beautiful country! it’s challenging knowing what area to be in during what time of day in order to get the best lighting for pictures. We didn’t do to badly considering the late afternoon arrival time.
Got into Moab around 7:00pm and was amazed at all the different Jeeps in town. Wow! We headed to the Old Spanish Arena to pick up our registration package where we discovered even MORE Jeeps. I wish I could have stopped and looked at each one more closely. I mean, where else can you see all the different aftermarket solutions mounted on Jeeps?
We were staying at the Hampton Inn. One thing I’ve never had to think about when staying at a hotel is parking. They were very organized and luckily we found hotel parking every night despite many people with: a truck, a trailer and a Jeep taking up 3 spots.
Copper Ridge was supposed to be our Friday Trail, however I had heard from Loro & Anton who ran it the day before, that there were a number of off camber steep ledges with loose rock. Considering they were in a lifted JK Unlimited with 35” tires, and mine is stock, we opted to visit Canyonlands National Park instead. We had never been there before.
Off to Canyonlands we went. Another amazing National Park with beautiful scenery. We drove through all the regular paved roads, stopped at just about every look out and even hiked a couple of short trails.
Afterwards we made our way back to the Old Spanish Area to look at the vendor booths, grab our Boy Scout BBQ and hang out for the raffle. I didn’t realize that the Vendor Expo was ending Friday at 6:30, and when we arrived around 4:30 a lot of them were in the process of packing up or had already packed up and left.
As we wondered around I spotted Ole & MichaelC up in the bleachers talking, and I waved. After we picked up our BBQ dinners we headed back over to that area and sat with Ole & Sherri. After a while MichaelC, TomV & JasonG showed up too. It was nice being with people I knew. I had tried to meet up with Loro & Anton but due to differing trail schedules and my getting tired and ending the days early, we missed them.
Amazingly I didn’t win a thing at the raffle. Yes JimO it’s true! I guess Winter Fun Fest is the Raffle Winning Vortex for me. 8-)
Big Saturday is the “Parade Day” for everyone. We were signed up for Chicken Corners and lined up at 8:00am, with our official Pink Flag on the CB antenna, in downtown Moab across the street from the Visitor Center. Once again it was great watching all the Jeeps getting ready.
I think we were the first group to head out and made an immediate right hand turn off of Main Street. So we’re probably not in any official videos.
It was a 21 mile run that would take 6 hours. We had about 29 Jeeps and 1 Toyota FJ. The Toyota had a pitbull that always growled at the five other Trail Dogs. Fortunately those five never paid any attention to the pit.
Our Trail Leader was Guy Brown, Mid Gunner Matt (sorry I missed his last name) and Tail Gunner Bob Humphreys. Their CBs were set up nicely and we could heard their narrations clearly as we made our way through the canyons and open spaces. The trail started out as asphalt but quickly became dirt, sand, rocks and a few short ledges. We didn’t really kick up much in the way of dirt/dust clouds as we meandered at a peaceful pace.
We stopped for lunch right after passing through Chicken Corners. There is a nice big area where we could put the vehicles in a circle and break out the food, camp chairs and chat with the others.
The return trip was on the same trail and as always it affords different lighting and views. More great scenery.
Patti had also mentioned the Sunset Grill so we drove up there but it was too early and they weren’t open yet. We remembered that Sherri had mentioned the Moab Grill, so we went back down the road and had dinner there. Great service and food.
Sunday we left about 9:00am and had planned to drive to Bakersfield CA. On road trips that take two days of driving I tend to prefer driving most of it the first day, making a shorter second day (4 hours). We anticipated 10 hours. I learned something new. There is a MASS EXODUS from Las Vegas on Sunday afternoons! Holy Smokes. It took us 10 hours to get from Moab to Barstow. Making Sundays driving a 14 hour trip to Bakersfield.
Monday we headed North on Highway 5 and were commenting on how SMOOTH the highways in Utah are compared to California. One more plus when scoping out a retirement place, eh?
On this trip we learned a lot about attending EJS and will definitely make a few scheduling changes for the next time. I hope to be able to get more time off work next year so that it’s not such a short stay. I’d like to do more of the scenic trails in the area AND see the Vendor Expo in full swing.
Wishing you all safe travels! Connie 1980 CJ7 / 2015 JKU Rubicon .