For the past 4 years my family has vacationed in Moab for Spring Break. Most years our spring break (when the kids are out of school) does not occur during East Jeep Safari - but this year it did. I was really happy and excited to get a chance to experience EJS. Before this trip, many people would tell me that it would be a great experience especially for lovers of all things Jeep - and thats exactly what it was! For one week Moab turns into a mecca of all things Jeep and the like.
Prior to this trip to Moab like last year, I was able to find several JF members who were also planning their own trip to the land of the slick rock. Planning the event with those JF members was fun... When we pulled in to Moab my Jeep was really dirty from the trip on the flat bed, so before even fully unpacking I offloaded the Jeep and headed for the car wash. While driving through Moab someone (still not sure who) walking down the side walk yelled "hey Idaho-Jeep!". I pulled into the car wash and not 5 minutes later a black TJ pulls up, a dude with red hair steps out and says "hey Idaho - Im Missouri Steve" (aka Redarcher89).... Similar thing happened on Hells Gate - someone recognized the jeep from JF and said hello. Its funny how people recognize each other by their jeep from this forum and its great that we can all make such great friends because of our love for these little vehicles that use up so much of our income. During the trip this year I was able to meet and wheel with these JF members: Redarcher89, Cliff333 (again), Kurtfriedrich (again), Howdy, REDLYNER, mryj, J-Mox, cmoore, and FooK . And Im sure I probably left someone out.
Last year we were in Moab just before EJS which was nice as the town and trails were less crowded. The town really fills up for the event. Registering and being part of EJS was a lot of fun - not sure I would want to do it every year but I am really glad I had the experience. For my first EJS I decided to register for three days.... Seven Mile Rim, Fins & Things and Tip Toe Behind the Rocks. Next time I think I will just register for one day - get my vender show raffle ticket and hit trails not being used by the event on the other days. As much as I prefer wheeling with others, waiting on 30+ Jeeps to clear an obstacle gets tiresome after awhile. Between the bathroom breaks, obstacles and photographs of every other rock these big groups can make a 4 hour trail ride easily last 8 hours. Larger groups with experienced drivers like we had on Flat Iron Mesa worked great but the EJS groups can really move Sloooooow!
The vendor show which occurs on the Thursday and Friday during EJS was really fun. Many major manufactures and resellers crowd an arena and overflow out into the parking area. We spent an entire afternoon walking from booth to booth, my kids had fun getting free stickers while I drooled over all the latest and greatest mods available. The give away raffle on Friday night was incredible - the stands fill with people hoping their one ticket would be a winner. We sat for hours watching the $100,000+ worth of parts go to misc lucky winners. I crossed my fingers over and over as parts I wanted came up to be raffled. Master Craft seats! TnT half doors! Viking soft top! Etc... Etc.. Unfortunately my ticket number was never called and we sat for about 4 hours watching many other lucky dogs walk away with really expensive parts. I did get some really nice T-Shirts however.
Like in 2009 my family stayed at Arch-View resort which is about 10 miles North of Moab. Other than the little problem we had on Big Saturday (read about below) its a great place to stay and Im sure we will stay their again next time we head for Moab.
My Jeep performed really well in Moab again this year and maybe some day I will actually take it on the more difficult trails like Pritchett Canyon, Green Day etc.. and find out what its actually capable of. Fortunately my Jeep as well as the other jeeps I wheeled with survived Moab without any bad bumps or bruises - Im always thankful for that.
If you have any questions regarding this trip feel free to post here or PM me - Im always happy to talk Jeeps or Moab. Obviously I am not a hard core wheeler - but manage to get a big thrill out of taking a jeep I built (well bolted things onto anyway) up, down and over moderately difficult trails - I know many of you reading this are similar in that way to me. Having that experience in a beautiful place with good people, my wife and kids is truly hard to beat. Those of you whom I wheeled with, please add photos of you and your rigs here too... To be honest I was waiting for one of you to start a trip thread which I could just post in but its been two months now so I guess thats not gonna happen.
Following are a ton of photos - perhaps to many but what the heck - don't look at them all if you don't want to.
Along with the weeks of planning on JF, I enjoy packing up the truck and loading the Jeep. All loaded up and ready to go!
First stop at the in-laws in Boise
Welcome to Moab... Here is our cabin at Arch-View Resort.
Here is a shot taken from the top of Seven Mile Rim - We rented that "big - little" cabin in the middle of the photo.