Page updated: 08/05/2001 03:25 AM
I'm Talkin' Road Trip...From Hell!
This is Part I in a four-part series. The story is this: A bunch of Kentucky freaks drove to Colorado, Moab, then Phoenix, and back to Kentucky. All of which somewhere between 7-10 days! Holy cow. I managed to meet them in Phoenix for some fun. Clicking the links below will take you from one day to the next. The same menu is at the bottom of each page. Enjoy!
This section written by: Lee Wells
Drive out to Moab - Sat & Sun (4/7 & 4/8)
This story starts at about 6am in front of Kerry's house, just east of Lexington. We met there to hit the road for Moab. The cast of characters includes the organizer of this event, Jason Head, and his father-in-law Ken Wilson. They're flat towing Jason's big blue YJ out with his Turbo diesel suburban. Kerry Embry & his wife Jen are trailering his red YJ out with his diesel pickup. While me & my wife Beth loaded up the TJ to drive it out.
A little back ground on Kerry's Jeep first. Just over a month ago, Kerry rolled his jeep multiple times on Powder Puff. Carnage included a bent rear axle tube, bent rim, broken windshield frame, etc, etc. Kerry worked constantly on this thing to get it ready in time for the trip. Click here for the Kerry roll pics
We stopped a couple times to secure Kerry's soft top, but Saturday was fairly uneventful. We finally stopped in west Kansas to get rooms for the night, but Jason & Ken decided to push on closer to Denver. They had to pick up Doc in Grand Junction around noon on Sunday when his flight arrived.
The drive on Sunday was SLOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWW.
Kerry's pickup was shooting out a 20 ft stream of black smoke once we got
on the hills in the mountains. At one point east of Denver, we finally stopped
to take his Jeep off the trailer, so we could run a little faster through the
hills. At this point, Kerry is freaking out about his truck, and almost ready to
turn around. We assure him that we're not heading back, even if we have to strap HIM to that
We finally pulled into Moab around 4 or 5pm, unpacked the Jeeps, and got them trail ready (pulled the hard top/doors, etc). Bart stopped by to say hi, then he was off to meet some other people. We decided to hit Moab Brewery while we waited for him to get back. After some food & brews, and some stories from Doc that has us rolling in the floor, we went back to the hotel to wait for Bart to show up again. When he got back, he gave us the bad news.... leaky injector on the XJ, so no night run for him.
We also got a call from Rusty & the rest of the KY crew (Flash, Scooby, Darrel, & Cam) They left Lexington early Friday morning, and were supposed to get to Moab ahead of us. They decided to stop off in Montrose, CO and run "Die Trying". They were still on the trail at 10pm that night, with lots of carnage. 1.7 miles of trail that took them 18 hours to run!
We finally headed over to Bump Dump (that
was about all we knew how to find) and played for a while before heading back to get some
Monday (4/9) - Pritchet Canyon
Once at the top we posed for a few pics, then hit baja mode to leave the trail. We were headed for "Behind the Rocks" when Kerry's engine started acting up. We decided to head back to town, hoping parts stores are still open. That actually turned out to be a good thing... the computer code showed TPS problem, and it turned out to be a loose connection. As Kerry said, "All it needed was a little foo-foo dust".
We went to grab some food next, and got a
call from Rusty. They were still in Montrose, working on Jeeps, and planned on getting
into Moab the next morning. Carnage included broken axle shafts, a ripped open Ford 9"
housing (traction bar broke off), tie rods, lots of tires pushed off the bead, etc.
Monday night (4/9) - Poison Spider
After that we decided to do a night run on Poison Spider. No pictures from that one, but it was a very cool run. Nothing too crazy, no winches required, just a lot of fun. The moon was out full, so we had a pretty good view to boot. The only tricky spots were the waterfall (worse going down than up), and a little V groove section. The new $12 rock lights that Jason & I put on our jeeps worked great!
We get down, and hit baja mode again to leave
the trail. Suddenly Jason stops in front of me. It looks like
he's playing with the tcase shifter. Probably just popped out of gear...hmm no dice.
Turns out he grenaded a rear drive shaft. So he pulls the DS, before playing with
the tcase. Tries it once, and no juice. Someone asks if its in gear, he double checks,
and sure enough it wasn't. So he drove back in Zen wheel drive, and got
the DS fixed the next morning.
Tuesday (4/10) - Drive to Phoenix, stop at Grand Canyon
Jason's DS problems killed any chance of an early morning run before we left town. No biggy...we had a lot of driving to do, and we wanted to stop by the Grand Canyon on the way to Phoenix.
Rusty & crew finally show up in Moab. They're determined to hit at least one trail while they are there, so they unload, head to Moab Rim, and plan to head to Phoenix later that afternoon.
We hit the road around noon, and head south.
Not much problem until we get into some snow & wind near the Grand Canyon.
We push on, because we have to meet Kerry & Jen who left 2 hours before us, since his truck
wasn't doing well in the hills. We finally get to the lodge, and there are
2" of snow on the ground. We saw the Grand Canyon, but couldn't see the far rim
because of the clouds and snow.
We grabbed a beer while we were there, then hit the road for Phoenix. It's slow going because of all the snow, and we see a bunch of wrecks on the side of the road. One included a new Toyota Land Cruiser upside down!
We finally get into Phoenix around 1am, stop
by Tom's place to say hi to Tom, Al & Brett, then head to the hotel for