Last weekend RME4x4.com hosted a training day down in the Little Moab area. I’ve never been down there, and I’m almost always up for a quick trip to learn something new.
We met up at the Chevron in Saratoga Springs, and once the group was assembled, we made the trek down to Cedar Valley. The night was spent camped out next to Chimney Rock, and a group of Boy Scouts (that wasn't planned). It got a little bit chilly, but nothing too bad, and a good time was had just hanging out around the campfire swapping stories and getting to know each other.
The next morning, we broke camp, and began attacking the obstacle of rocks we were camped at. Most of the guys had pretty built up vehicles, so there wasn’t much of a challenge for them. I’ve never driven the Bronco over stuff like this, so I wasn’t 100% sure it was up to the task. I figured I’d keep it pretty mild for a bit to see how things were going first.
Meanwhile, one dude rolled out in his buggy, and proceeded to make us all look like amateurs. Unfortunately though, the only photo of the buggy I took happened to be when it was having some transmission issues. Once that was sorted out though, it was a lot of fun to watch.
The Bronco did well, but did struggle in a few spots where we had to build up some rocks to help it out, or take some different approaches due to the width or lack of clearance of the truck. Driver error was also a big factor. Still, it was a good time, and the more experienced guys were very helpful. Also made me want to get a lift kit that much more.
After spending some time crawling over the rocks near camp, we packed it up and headed north a bit to another set of obstacles. There it was a little more extreme, and I honestly wasn’t willing to put the truck on the line. I was content just watching at that point.
During a lunch break, I wandered off for a bit, and saw some dirt roads leading off into the distance. Once I got out the map to see where they headed, I saw that we were near the Nutty Putty Cave. I’d never been, and was curious to see if a proper memorial had ever been setup for John Jones - a man who had become trapped in the cave, and eventually died there. The cave became his final resting place when the entrance to the cave was sealed.
I mentioned to Jared that I was thinking of calling it a day, and heading off in search of the cave, and he said he wanted to check it out as well. Others caught wind of the plans, and soon a mini expedition party was formed. We headed off, and after a bit of wandering, found our target.
It was nice to see that a proper memorial had been setup. Flowers were planted, and a grave marker had been set into the rock. Considering the circumstances, it's not a bad spot for your final resting place.
At this point, most of us had things to do back home, so we packed it up and made the trek back to the highway. After a quick stop to air up the tires, and to exchange some contact info with new friends, we were on our way back home.
I learned a bit on this trip, and had a great time. Thankful to the folks of RME, particularly “Modstock” for organizing the event and getting it going. The other guys there were very helpful, and great teachers in helping me drive the Bronco up things I very likely wouldn’t have attempted in the first place. However, I also learned that while watching rock crawling is a lot of fun, and driving was fun as well, I think it’s more of a spectator sport for me. Personally, I enjoy the more scenic backroad exploration, just seeing where a path might take me.