It is different for everyone.
No matter who you are, or what you seek, Moab will deliver, and call you back over and over again. In the past, we have hiked the arches, biked the scenic roadways, and sat on canyons contemplating life.
Moab is notably known as a year-round Jeepers/off-road playground. The motivation for our trip this year was Jeep’s-Badge of Honor Challenge. Those who participate are privy to bragging rights since these challenges separate the contenders from the pretenders in the Jeep community.*
I am just along for the ride. My rewards? A unique perspective in a daunting landscape and impressions of this lifestyle…my way.
High Five to riding shotgun!
I won’t claim rights to any of the badges earned. I walk more than half the time because driving up a waterfall, through a slot, down a fin or to the edge of a 7000′ ridge is a little intimidating for me. So I do what I love, capturing them doing what they love, Jeeping.
Jeep – Badges of Honor/ Moab, Utah
Day 1: Chickens Corner: We seem to be insignificant in this windblown landscape. A new canvas, a blank slate is our agenda. Funny to find a fork in the road directing us to Chicken Corner. Here lies a tribute to those who have attempted the drive. Hmm…could it be an offering to the chicken gods?
At this point I hadn’t decided.
“Chicken Corner was named by old ranchers who grazed their cattle in lush pastures accessed by a cliffside, narrow trail. They were known to unsaddle easily spooked horses, and blindfold livestock being led on the hairpin turn“. – Travel Utah
Day 2: Fins and Things: This is best described as a roller coaster for off-roaders. My impressions were of a black line showing us the way. The fins are slick-rock, and the things are everything in between. The views showed the snow covered hills of the La Sal Mountains in the distance and plant-life making it’s way through the cracks in the slick rock nearby.
Day 3: Elephant Hill: Located in the Needles District of Canyonlands, this was my favorite of the week, and from a Jeep perspective is considered one of the most technical trails in Utah. Many attempt the initial climb and turn around. Suspension, wheel base, tires, and intestinal fortitude are necessary here. My first impression, and statement on our radio, was WT…! We went straight up. tackled 3-point turns on cliff edges, and backed down the decline for ease.
Yes, I walked.
Day 4: Hells Revenge/Hells Gate: This trail sits in a category that speaks for itself and is appropriately named. Those views though…
Day 5: Poison Spider: The scenery/overlooks were to die for, no pun intended. You see this trail offered another tribute, the memorial to a little girl. Rumor says Baby Jane died in these hills in the late 1800’s from the bite of a poisonous spider. No doubt it would have taken days to get medical help to her on this ridge. Since then, people leave gifts, or items to perpetuate her memory.
The “V Notch” was the last obstacle before lunch, along with a quick hike out to an arch.
Day 6: Top of the World: This was a great save for the last day ride, and is known by off-roaders around the world. The viewpoint is on a 7000′ cliff edge for those who dare.
I applaud their efforts, and I will remain impressed, humbled, and grateful that I am along for the ride. You see this Jeep life offers the most amazing balance to us in this road called life.
This time…I brought Moab along on my ride.
Let’s stand on Top of the World, TOGETHER, and DANCE, just YOU and ME. -unknown
Wind Kisses, Donna
*We recommend traveling with other skilled drivers, often they will act as spotters, or as another set of eyes, in the event of a vehicle malfunction. Consider taking enough food and water for a few days, and extra fuel. There is often no cell service, so having others around is paramount in emergencies. If a trip like this is intriguing to you, and you don’t have the skill or vehicle, we have an acquaintance who works with the Jeep Corporation who does planned excursions, and a few of the obstacles are named for him: Dan Mick.