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First off, I want to say thanks to Ike, Doug, Mike and Ben for making the Moab trip this year a lot of fun! The trails list ended up smaller than I expected, but we had a great time out there. Melanie and I ran some trails on our way out to Moab from AZ, so our trip started on Thursday. I almost rolled it out there at another wheeling area in AZ on Friday on the way out, but the corner of the back bumper saved me from going all the way over... that sort of set the theme up for Moab in my case. I had it tippy and nearly flopped in just about every direction, including almost going over backwards driving up High Dive - but Zilla managed to roll out of it unscathed - this time. :cool:

Lots of campfire time and hanging out in some awesome spring weather made it easy to relax. Ike, Ben and Mike found a nice camping spot out at Area BFE when they arrived Saturday afternoon, which was a new place to camp for me, and proved to be trailer-friendly while it still had an awesome view of the snow on the La Sal Mtns. Melanie fit in a few mtn bike rides and managed to hang in there for this one -- she got in some good seat time in Zilla on Steel Bender... Heck, when we got back to camp she even baked us up some tasty corn bread in the dutch oven the last night. :D

To start things off and shake down the rigs that were fresh off of jack stands from the winter, we took them all through Steel Bender on the first day. Melanie drove the Witches Step obstacle and a few other sections amounting to about half the trail and she did great, only getting onto the rear driveshaft a little in one area, not hard enough to do any damage. There we discovered that Mike's rear driveshaft was self-clearancing on the new T-case skid a little, but everything on the rigs was working great. Doug's new Diamond axle in the front performed flawlessly the whole trip, and Ike's new tube bed and box kept everything where it was supposed to be. We somehow accidentally detoured around a portion of the trail and missed the obstacle called the Wall. We winched Mikey down a controlled drop off into the Fall and it all worked out great. Everyone else dropped into it unassisted. Ben dropped down the Fall in Ike's Taco just fine... and since it was such an easy obstacle for his rig, Doug put on an exhibition of how not to strap down a cooler in the bed of his truck, which dumped over and spilled its precious contents into the bed when he dropped down the Fall. :eek: No beverages were harmed during the filming of that video, so it was all good. After a successful run on Steel Bender shaking things down, we knew we were all ready to rock!

We headed out to run Behind the Rocks the next day, spent a fun-filled day on the trail in the rigs while Melanie mtn biked the trail and everyone got to play around on lots of obstacles. No carnage that day, though we had some near flops/endos in a few spots like High Dive (both going up it and coming down it). Mike hopped around a little heading up Hummer Hill, but in the end crawled it unassisted. We had a relaxing lunch at White Knuckle and made it back to camp before nightfall.

Minor Threat and Green Day were on tap the following day. Minor Threat rearranged a bit of sheet metal on the entrance - that was on Mike's Runner, but we all went through the rest of the trail pretty smooth. Green Day on the other hand, had some carnage in store for us, knocking the rigs running at 100% down to just Mike's 4Runner and Zilla. Doug's break was to the driver's side rear axle shaft, which popped while he was almost through a hero line towards the end of the trail, and Ike's break was in the front diff in the same spot where he blew a CV the last time he ran Green Day. Mikey almost flopped the Runner on a bypass obstacle but saved it. We took a quick look at Lockjaw that day also, which is on the list for the next trip, along with Dropkick.

The next day, after an aborted attempt to run into town and hit up some trails, we ended up taking turns doing hot laps around the Area BFE competition play area in Zilla, since Doug and Ike's rigs had broken on Green Day. That was fun, and we spectated and heckled a few other rigs out there for a while before heading back to camp for more shenanigans.

We've got some footage to go through between what Melanie and I rolled, and what Ben was kind enough to shoot with my camera. I am going through them now, and there's some good stuff in here, even though a lot of the action including several of my near flops never got recorded. Melanie has some priceless commentary in here. So I will try and get something thrown together this week to post up.

I know Ike snapped some pics on his phone, but I didn't really see a lot of cameras out there on this trip. Post 'em up if you got any!
 

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Discussion Starter #2

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Thanks for the vids... I still need some seat time to feel more comfortable with dropping down ledges when i can't see shit as well as getting used to that wide front axle.
 

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No problem... glad you guys are taking some time to go through the vids. Mel has some great commentary in there. Doug, not to be the little devil on your shoulder here... and more seat time is always good, but I wouldn't worry too much about getting to the point where you are feeling totally comfortable... Just keep driving it right out to the ragged edge! Uncomfortable keeps you sharp, comfortable leads to complacency. You did just fine out there, so if you're uncomfortable, I say find some peace with the discomfort and keep doing what you're doing. ;)

Besides, dropping blindly down ledges with big cutout holes you can fall into is super exciting stuff and makes for great footage. Hahaha.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Depending on where we're at with the home building process at that time, I might be in for another Farmington trip. Rubicon is on the list for Aug-Sept too - again, if we can get away.
 
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