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Easter Jeep Safari Moab Utah Complaints - Low Rage

Posted in Project Vehicles on August 1, 2002
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I may never go back to Moab. I mean, I'd like my whole family to experience the slickrock while I can still make the kids go on a road trip. But we sure as hell won't be going during the Easter Jeep Safari. Why? Where do I begin?

It seems like the week is now full of two types of so-called 'wheelers. There are those who buy a TJ and consider themselves off-roaders since they've bolted on every doo-dad there is from their local parts store.

Those new-kids-on-the-rock who do make it past the first obstacle have no clue about how to act on a run. How about learning some trail etiquette? Don't stop for lunch in the middle of the trail so the rest of us have to stop for lunch too. Or, don't park your trucks three rows deep so that everyone behind your group also has to sit and watch your buddy try to climb the same non-obstacle for 15 minutes. We all know he's gonna break, and then we're all stuck behind you again as you drag his butt out to the road with a strap.

The second group I can't stand are the guys who had a shop build their "radical" rigs that can't climb worth a damn. Maybe they look awesome on a ramp, but a lot of these rigs flat don't work on the rocks. I also can't relate to the tube-chassis, four-link, 40-inches-of-wheel-travel, bodyless buggies. I think it's much more admirable to 'wheel your truck and see what it (and you) are capable of, then build up from there. Not vice-versa.

But I'll take those moon buggies any day over the uppity, tree-hugging mountain bikers who think four-wheeling is destroying their land. Hey, since it's your land, then by all means, go ahead and keep right on carving your love for your significant other right into the red rock.

What else bugs me? Since when did the Easter week become some sort of a Daytona Beach alternative for spring-break yahoos? You know, the ones driving their rented Pontiacs up Potato Salad Hill? Yeah, I remember my first beer. I guess some of these guys need to have a few in them to go where they go. Why else would anyone want to drive an obstacle that they know has an 80-percent chance of rollover, injury, or extreme damage? Hey, I'm all for 5-plus trails, and if something happens to my truck, I'll deal with it afterward. But what's the appeal in purposely driving something that's likely to destroy your rig?

Along those same lines, when did four-wheeling change from encouraging drivers up an obstacle to encouraging them to roll off an obstacle? And when did spotters become lunatics with bullhorns shouting profanities, making sleazy comments to women, and trying to get rigs to take a line that'd endo them right off the hill? Used to be, I'd try a hill like Potato Salad for the challenge and the feeling of accomplishment when (or if) my rig made it up. Nowadays, you're only a hero there if you end up upside-down and on fire. Is that really what the sport has become?

When it comes down to it, it's that shift in attitude that'll keep me away from Moab at Easter. You've got drunks dropping beer cans all over the trail, idiots who do things like setting Dump Bump on fire, and outright criminals who strip vehicles, like the 4Runner that rolled off the side of Lion's Back and got wedged in between the hills. I mean, I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw people not only walking up Lion's Back but then climbing down to get up close to the Toy. Were they looking for parts? Blood? No wonder the government is starting to fence off obstacles so these numbskulls will never be back. But then, neither will I.

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