If you had an afternoon to kill in Moab, Utah and had access to two stout Jeeps outfitted for trail duty, where would you go? This is the same question that Fred Williams, brand manager of Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road and Verne Simons, staff editor for the Four Wheeler Network asked themselves after checking out the latest Jeep concepts on Monday of Easter Jeep Safari 2014.
Fred immediately said, "lets go wheeling" and so we headed back into the scenic back roads of Moab in search of a little dirt, rocks and maybe even some Dinosaurs that might still be roaming around the Moab lands.
Of course, you can't have a hilarious off-road trip without a little Gusto. What's Gusto? Well, that would be me. Years ago, when I was a lowly intern for Jerrod Jones at Off-Road magazine (now Dirt Sports + Off-Road), Jerrod decided it would be a great idea to call me Gusto because I was always happy to show up for work. As it turns out, the name has stuck all these years later.
Despite my uncanny ability to push peoples buttons, Verne and Fred let me tag along on their wheeling escapade to offer comedic relief whenever possible and I'd like to think I didn't let them down.
Unfortunately the original trail we wanted to run was closed temporarily due to health issues on the trail so we decided it would be a great idea to try to run Pritchett Canyon instead.
Since I'm a little green when it comes to Moab, I asked Verne what the difficulty of Pritchett Canyon was. Verne then casually said said, "It's like a five out of... five."
I'm a bit of a chicken when it comes to rock crawling so I decided to cluck like a yellow bellied bird and jump into Fred's project Tube-Sock Jeep Wrangler TJ on 37-inch Pit Bull Rockers with beadlock wheels. Right away I realized Fred and Verne's idea of wheeling was a little different from the go-fast wheeling I usually do.
The first obstacle proved to be a scary off-camber left turn with a nice view of the drop off followed by a decent near-vertical 6-foot rock climb. Fred Nailed it in just two attempts and I was blown away by the little Jeep's capability with only a 4-inch BDS lift kit. Verne was next and made it look like it was a walk in the park in his WIllys Flat Fender jeep.
It seemed that the further we went, the gnarlier the obstacles got on the trail. One climb looked impossible to me but somehow Fred made it up after some difficulty. Verne's 1949 WIllys CJ3A Flattie made it pretty far up but since the possibility of rolling was very high, we decided it was best to winch the Flattie up a bit to help it get to the top.
We ended up making it as far as Rocker Knocker on Pritchett Canyon and decided it was probably a good time to call it a day and head back in to town before our afternoon wheeling trip turned into a night wheeling adventure.
Check out some of the gnarly obstacles we encountered while rock crawling on Pritchett Canyon!