Once my wife and I decided it was time to make the sacred journey to Moab, I knew it was time to make some serious upgrades to Jackhammer, my Jeep JKU Rubicon. Like many of us, we turned to the forums and friends to determine what we should get done to our rig in order to “survive” the travels and trails ahead. First up was new tires, then a lift, ball joints, skids, beadlocks, and of course a re-gear. We were ready. Knew we could conquer most anything the Modern Jeeper Adventure would through at us. Needless to say…we were excited.
So we made the 26 hour drive (that took us nearly 30 hours!) to Moab, UT. Found our campsite and began to prepare for the next 3 days of fun and adventure. We all met up at the local City Market for breakfast and drivers meeting. I walked around drooling at the other rigs and began to see the dollar signs adding up in my mind for Jackhammer’s next phase. Then I spotted it. The stock JKU from Canada with the only upgrade I could see was a set of Goodyear Duratracs. I remember saying to myself, “there is no way this guy is going to make it through Hell’s Revenge and Steel Bender.”
Day One: Hell’s Revenge
This was our friend from Canada’s first big challenge of the Adventure and his stock JKU seemed to do very well. He picked his own battles when deciding on what obstacles to run and not run. I was pretty impressed on how well he did, but then again I had seen videos of Kia’s and Cadillac’s cruising around on Hell’s Revenge. Not that I am discrediting his driving style or ability, but maybe he just got lucky so far.
Day Two: Steel Bender
Now from everything I have been told, this was the most difficult of trails we would run for the weekend. And if it wasn’t hard enough to run the trail proper, our guides decided that we would conquer it in reverse. For all of you that are not familiar with this trail, it is full of big ledges (up and down), loose rocks, big rocks, and of course…the Waterfall!
Most of these obstacles have by-pass’ or easier lines, but not the Waterfall. You have to conquer it. Typically you go down this beast of break over. And usually when you go down it, there is someone holding the rear of your vehicle down to prevent you from going end over end. But not this time, no sir, we had to go up it. One by one the big boys made it up and over the Waterfall. Even in my rig I was super intimidated by the steep ledges in front of me. My wife said there is no way she was riding up it and told me I am nuts for doing so. She gladly got out of the jeep and walked up the trail! But never the less I made it up thanks to the great spotting from Outlaw Jeep Adventures.
Now the real challenge was left. Getting the Canadian and his stock JKU up the ledges. All of us were scratching our heads on how we could make this happen. He had no lift, no oversized tires, nor high clearance fenders. So how does he get his rig to break over the steep obstacles? Winching? Not possible due to the limited space and dogleg right layout of the obstacle. Luck…Nope! Being fearless…absolutely. Thats what was driving this guy to do what seemed to be impossible. Yes the spotters were a huge piece of this, but he had to have the bravery to conquer the big rocks. After several resets and about 6 minutes of patience he finally made it up the toughest obstacle of the entire Modern Jeeper Adventure.
I guess the moral of this story is that you do not have to be the biggest and baddest rig on the trail to hang with the “big boys.” You can get out there and have just as much fun, if not more, as the folks with 37”+ tires and one ton axles. In my opinion, you show that you are a far superior driver than those with the big toys. You have the patience, the skill, the ability to be fearless and tackle challenges that most would not. I was proud to say I ran this trail with Canada and his stock rig. It made me remember that anything is possible and you have to be fearless in life.