Flat Iron Mesa would be the last trail of this run to Moab for us, and with that in mind we were determined to get as much enjoyment out of it as we could. We aired down next to Highway 191 and were soon on the trail. The air was clear and the sun was out, making for some incredible views of the La Sal mountains with their fresh snow covering.
We stopped at the top of Rubble Hill to share the view with some cattle. Then we moved on to the red slickrock that looks like brick pavers. Somewhere after this we got off the normal track but we were still following a well-established trail. This route had some interesting climbs and descents and was interesting although not quite as challenging as the more established route.
We were soon back on the main route and were quickly at Tilt-a-Whirl. In fact, we were there so quickly that we didn't notice that we had taken the bypass until we were at the bottom of Tilt-a-Whirl. We opted to go on down the chute with the edge drop-offs. It wasn't long before we were stopped at the Hatch Wash overlook for lunch.
When we got to Easter Egg Hill, we all opted to take the bypass rather than to push our luck so late in the week, because this was our last day before heading back to Denver. That turned out to be a good decision, at least for Mike, as it was right after this that his rear driveshaft fell out onto the trail while he was driving through an easy section. The bolts all backed out of the transfer case output shaft at the same time, all falling on the trail either right behind or under the Jeep. The back of the driveshaft also fell out as the force broke one of the retaining bolts at the pinion end.
We determined there was no other damage, picked the parts up, and Mike drove out in four-wheel high. Luckily the trail was easy from that point on. A quick stop at the Moab Outpost to extract the broken bolt and to reinstall the driveshaft got Mike back in business. After five days and many miles of trails, we all felt fortunate that this was the only damage sustained and it was easily repaired.
Reports from Other Days: 5
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