Our second day on the trail was a scenic one and one that is relatively new to the events at Cruise Moab. We were to travel about 35 miles on the Dome Plateau trail and head out to one of the best views in the area. We got up, made some breakfast (steak and eggs) and met our group for the short 20 mile drive down the Colorado River canyon to our trailhead. We had 12 trucks on this trip and a lot of ground to cover, so as soon as we arrived at the trail, we aired down our tires and headed out. This trail was more scenic than technical (for the most part…). After a few hours, we stopped at an overlook that truly was amazing. It overlooked the Colorado River with the Fisher Towers, Professor Valley and then the La Sal Mountains in the background. Great backdrop for some lunch.
We still had quite a bit of trail ahead of us, so we headed to the next destination, the sand caves. Moab is composed of sand stone, slick rock and more SAND and these natural caves were not very deep, but provide great cover from the elements. Not to mention, they are about 20 degrees cooler than being outside. I am sure the ancients used them for shelter in the past.
We had one more stop before the trail was over, but we had to find it first. There are some abandoned log cabins that were used as shelter while the area was being mined. Our trail leader decided to try an area that could be a shortcut to the cabins. There were a few obstacles, but nothing we couldn’t manage with some careful spotting. After we got everyone through, I looked at one of my maps and this area said, “old Jeep trail, not recommended, nearly impassible”, funny… it didn’t say “old Land Cruiser trail, not recommended, nearly impassible”. We soon found the cabins and explored the area. The weather is so dry in the desert, it helps to preserve these cabins. They were in great shape. We also found an old mine behind one of the cabins. You could go in about 200 feet and then you could see where they blasted it closed. Glad we brought flashlights.
After playing archaeologist, we finished up the trail and headed back to camp. It was raffle and dinner night, so we didn’t want to be late. There was a large tent set up and we joined some friends and waited for the buffet, which was catered by Sunset Grill. We had a choice of chicken or beef and all kinds of sides and salads. It was really pretty good. After we ate, they started the raffle, which everyone who registered for the event received one ticket. Those who felt lucky bought as many extras as they wanted. I couldn’t blame them as there were some very expensive items being given away (bumpers, roof racks, winches, tires, vehicle fridges) high dollar stuff from supporting Land Cruiser and 4×4 vendors. We didn’t win anything this time…
This was the night the moon lit up the sky like a small sun. We got the idea to do a night run, so we petitioned around and ended up getting three 100 series Cruisers, one 80 series and a 4runner. What better trail to do on a full moon night than “Hells Revenge”? It is rated a difficult trail with lots of very steep ascents and descents and some pretty wild obstacles. It was a great time and took us about 4 hours (after we were yielded to by a group of about 15 Jeeps, ask me about it, pretty funny story).
We were exhausted when we got back to camp at 1 am, so we enjoyed a brew and hit the rack.
The next morning we decided to hang around Moab instead of doing another trail. We drove through Arches National Park (it never gets old) and ate lunch at Eddie McStiffs, which was really good. I had a salmon burger and K had the chicken gyro. When we got back to camp, we just relaxed and got things ready to pack up the next morning. Already looking forward to Cruise Moab 2013!!