|Randy & "UZI" getting ready to take on Moab.|
Moab 'Zu Zoo III, May 4-7 2000
by: Todd Adams
Boy, has it been three years since Randy Burleson (ORN Managing Editor) wrote me asking if I was the Todd Adams that owned an Isuzu Amigo and knew the Moab area? The first event was great! There were just over a dozen vehicles that made the trip. We played it by ear, not always running the trails that were planned, had a few breakdowns and mechanical problems, but this did not stop us from having one of the best times I have had in Moab. I spend a great deal of time in Moab so this statement does not come lightly.
|This was the scene on "Fins & Things" in 1999.|
In 1999, there was a 300% increase in attendance over the first year. 2000 will be the year that sets the stage for all future Isuzu events in Moab.
We will be running more than one trail on some days, so you will have a choice. Most of these trails will be in the 3 to 3+ (Moab trail rating) category. What this means is you will be able to do the trail in a stock rig. For those wanting more of a challenge, there will be one or two of the 4+ premier trails offered depending on demand. Keep in mind that there are optional obstacles on every trail that are well into the 4+ range, so those that need a challenge will not be disappointed when on the lesser-rated trails. The trails in Moab are rated for the easiest way they can be done, or by the toughest obstacle that is required, not by optional obstacles that are found along the way.
|One of the many scenic views on Gold Bar Rim. How could anyone not be awed by a view like this?|
In the Isuzu Discussion Forum you will find sign-up information and more details regarding where and when things will be taking place. Some of this is still in the planing stages, like where we will meet each day for trail departures. There are a few things that you will need to bring along as part of your equipment. These suggestions will not only be needed if you come to Moab, but will also be useful anytime you go on a trail ride.
|This was the scene at the pot luck dinner we had at Pack Creek Campground at Moab 'Zu Zoo II.|
The first thing we not only recommend, but almost insist upon, is a Citizens Band radio (CB) that is in good working order. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of this communication device. As trail leaders, this is how we communicate instructions and other information to the group. I am sure you will want to know the name of particular rock formations, or when we are planning to stop for lunch, not to mention you'll want to let us know if we need to stop for some reason. The expense of this equipment is more than worth the cost because it enables everyone to have a much more pleasant trail experience.
|Steep slopes are the norm in Moab.|
Having a CB in good working order means that the trail leaders will be able to clearly understand you and you us even if you are at the end of the line, possibly a mile or so back. I understand the limitations of Citizens Band radios, especially now that we are coming up on a high sun spot cycle. Under these bad conditions it will be essential that you know your radio is working at its peak performance. This means that the Standing Wave Ratio (SWR) is set to its lowest reading, your radio transmits maximum legal power, and you can be understood clearly. To test this, have someone critique you at a distance with various microphone positions. A check of all this before you get on the trail will eliminate problems. Please do not install an eight foot whip antenna as these can be hazardous to bystanders. Some 4x4 clubs have outlawed them on their trails because of this.
|Dan Houlton did not require a strap in this photo, but just in case, his tow hooks were ready.|
Be sure to have tow hooks on each end of your rig. Isuzus generally have a strong tow-point at each end when delivered new, but bumper modifications may eliminate or alter the stock mounting. Other brands of vehicles may not come with tow hooks at all. All vehicle brands are more than welcome at the Isuzu event, but make sure whatever you drive will be able to not only give assistance but receive it when needed as well.
I always carry more than one tow strap. These straps have loops at each end -- never hooks. We will not let anyone use a strap with hooks for recovery on trails we are leading. The reason for this is safety. Hooks can become unguided missiles if and when they snap off -- they are not designed for snatch-and-grab type recovery. You should have at least one strap of your own rated to at least 20,000 pounds (2-inches wide) if you plan on attending this or any trail ride.
|This is the famous "Wedgie" on Poison Spider Mesa, a Moab 4-rated trail.|
Other things to bring on the trail, or 'standard trail equipment' should include: first aid kit, fire extinguisher, jack, and full-size spare tire. You might also want to have a tool kit and any spare parts you think you may need. You will need to bring your own lunch and non-alcoholic drinks. Be sure to bring plenty of fluids, as the desert sun can get very hot, even in early May.
One of the most common and most commonly broken rules on any trail ride is to always keep the vehicle that is behind you in your rear view mirror. In this way, the group will always be together -- if the person behind you slows down, you should slow down, and this will cause a chain reaction to the whole group. This is especially important at trail intersections. If you lose sight of the vehicle in front of you, let the driver know to slow down -- another great reason to have a CB. This in turn will work its way up to the trail leader and no one will get lost. Do not follow too closely either, especially while going downhill. When you make it up over an obstacle, you need to wait for the next vehicle in line to make it, so if a strap is needed you can assist. If those below you can't see over the top of an obstacle, let them know when it's clear at the top.
|Driving over Gemini Bridges is enough to boost anyone's adrenaline level.|
Something we will insist on is that everyone in the vehicle wear a seatbelt. This should be the standard for all trail rides, as well as on the road. I can tell you that you are better off strapped in and hanging on than trying to jump clear. My wife Linda and daughter Megan owe their lives to seatbelts during a rollover. On that note, although we will do everything possible to prevent any mishaps, as a general precaution, we'll be asking everyone who attends to sign our liability waiver.
All the aforementioned should apply anytime you go off-highway. If you would like more information on the Moab trails, check out the Moab trail section at 4x4Wire.Com. The Red Rock 4-Wheelers Easter Jeep Safari (April 15-23) registration papers and newletter can be obtained by contacting the club directly. It is worth getting them just to see the really cool shot of my Amigo on the Pritchett Canyon Trail. Who knows, you may want to go to Moab early and take in the Easter Jeep Safari (not just for Jeeps) before 'Zu Zoo III.
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