We started this trail as the shadows were already getting long. We were on a mission! Our condo was just a little ways away from the trailhead, so we actually drove by "home" on the way there and still didn't stop. This time we ran it in the usual direction, from north to south.
The water crossing was extremely shallow, which was odd. The other times in the Spring it has been pretty deep. The sand was nice and smooth, but it wasn't long before we were at the first hill of slickrock.
Everyone had a good time playing at the bottom. Cheryl tried it without lockers for a bit, kicking up dust. Then we all played on a ledge near the top. There was one section that was too steep and no one made it, though Bob got his tires smoking.
We kept going up the slickrock, then turned right at the top. It turns out we should have turned left, because by turning right we completely went around all of the optional parts.
When we got to the crossroads with the optional part (again) and saw the cattle guard just above The Wall, we decided to take the optional section anyway and come back to this point.
The optional section is pretty long and bumpy, with not too much to play on. Most of the fun areas are near the beginning of the trail, so it might be best to take a left turn at the top of the slickrock, go play on the optional obstacle, then turn around to go back.
We were all pretty dazed and sleepy when we got to the little fin. Bob missed a turn and Mike and Roger went to go find him, then we kept going. No one found the way to the fin, but it was okay -- we had done Fins & Things the day before, anyway.
When we finally got to the optional obstacle we all woke up. It's a fun one to go down as well as up. No one took the bypass around it.
Bob was coming down a second time but he took a different line. It caused him to drop one front tire while the other one was still on a small ledge, and he instantly got very tippy, with a rear tire high in the air. Everyone ran to grab him before he went over, and he was all smiles as he slowly worked his way off of it.
We worked our way back to the top of the initial slickrock section, then off to the cattle guard again. By this time, the sun was really going down and we were just starting our trip down The Wall.
There were a lot of rocks stacked at the bottom, and we probably could have made it up this time if we were going in the other direction like we had in the past. It was fun to drop down it for a change, though. No one had any issues at all.
The next section of chunky rocks just around the corner proved to be more interesting. Everyone got a little tippy in places, and there was some banging and scraping, but we all got through it. Bob even had the clearance to straddle the big rock.
Now the sun was really setting as we continued on the trail. We enjoyed all of the ledges and steps, though. We drove right by Dragon's Tail, but realized it in time to tell most of the group to turn left instead of taking the bypass up the hill. Everyone just drove up it in the dark with no issues at all.
The next obstacle is where we spent some time. It is the series of rocks that is fun to go up and down. It was completely dark, making the line harder to see.
A few people had some brief issues on the way up, but it seemed like everything was going to go smoothly. Then Roger decided to back up to take a slightly different line and caught his tailpipe in the dirt, bending it under his Wrangler Unlimited. Luckily he didn't completely fold it in half, and he made it to the top of the rocks.
The tailpipe wasn't going to work out the way it was, though. Roger tried to use a grinder to get through it, but couldn't get enough air pressure. Monica's on board air hose sprung a leak, so Bob had to jump in.
Roger couldn't get the tailpipe completely off, so he decided he would just be careful and not back up. He tied it up as best as he could and we kept on the trail.
The rest of the trail went by fairly quickly, even with all of the ledges we needed to go up. The final ledge at the very end was passed by everyone but Cheryl, who made it up without a single problem.
We worked our way back to the condo and had a late dinner. It was a long, sunny day in Moab, and it was perfect.
Reports from Other Days: 5
Use the arrows or dots to flip through the previews of the other reports for Steel Bender. Click one of them to read more and see all of the photos from that day.