If you found yourself at the coordinates listed in the title in early April, then you were amongst thousands of exuberant four-wheel fanatics in Moab. To some folks, Moab is the quintessential magical land of red-rock 4x4 trails and vivid landscapes. The 2004 Easter Jeep Safari brings four-wheelers from across the country and around the globe.
For the past 38 years, Red Rock 4-Wheelers has done a great job coordinating the Easter Jeep Safari (EJS). The safari has become one of the year's premier four-wheel events for enthusiasts and aftermarket manufacturers alike. EJS offers participating adventurers more than 30 organized trail runs to chose from with ratings from one to five. This gives participants of every skill level the opportunity to experience this awesome land. The Red Rock club goes to great lengths to prepare for the event and mark the trails, working closely with the BLM and private landowners. Its steadfast dedication to the event, to the sport of four-wheeling, and to responsible land use are instrumental to the survival of EJS and 'wheeling in the area.
EJS is great for Moab's economy and four-wheel enthusiasts, and it's unfortunate that the entire area and sport are under attack from environmental extremists looking to shut our sport down. On April 2, just before this year's event, Red Rock 4-Wheelers successfully defeated in court an attempt to keep four-wheelers off the Strike Ravine Trail.
Of course the environment needs to be protected, but we in the West certainly don't want to find ourselves besieged with legislation dictating that we can only 'wheel on private land. This is the very scary outcome when fanatical environmentalists impose their will upon you. In some East Coast states, you can't 'wheel on anything but private land. So much for the term public lands.
For our sport to survive, it's imperative that we four-wheelers follow the regulations already in place and 'wheel responsibly. We know this isn't always fair or fun, but we don't want to make the situation any worse. When visiting areas such as Moab, stay on the designated trails and don't litter. Remember: What we may consider harmless fun, militant environmentalists will consider a travesty and will do everything in their power to exploit our errors.
Hopefully, Moab and other four-wheel meccas will be open for our enjoyment, our children's, and for many generations to come. Get involved and help fight for the right to 'wheel on public lands by contacting your local four-wheel-drive club, or a national association to lend your support.