Mogs @ Moab 2004 Wednesday, April 7th Poison Spider group
Ron DePugh - 404.1 Unimog
Kent Drummond - 404.1 Unimog
Greg and Chris Maiser - 404.1 Unimog
Brett Pickering and Liz - 1978 U1300
Scott Ingham and family - 712M Pinzgauer
Tim, Isabelle, Kyler, Rob and Rob
Wednesday we split up the group. The pinzgauers wanted to do Golden
Spike, and I had never done all of Poison Spider Mesa, so Eric Johnson
graciously offered to lead the Golden Spike group. They got an early
start, knowing that this trail makes for a very long day, no matter how
quickly the traffic flows. We finally got under way to Poison Spider a
little after 10:00. Our group consisted of me, Ron DePugh, Brett
Pickering in his U1300, and Scott Ingham and clan in the 6WD Pinzi. It
hadn't been running too well since arriving in Moab, but some late night
wrenching seemed to have solved its problems. About the third
switchback after the start of Poison Spider the Pinzi started acting up,
so Scott elected to turn around and head back to Moab. We loaded the
Ingham family members who wanted to continue in the various mogs and
continued on our way.
Brett's U1300L on the Wedge.
To my surprise, even though Eric and company had left three hours before
us, I was able to hear him loud and clear on the CB. We hadn't reached
the point where Golden Spike split off yet, and Eric said they had just
finished the Launch Pad. Shortly after that, we heard Ann Bruinsma's
voice yell "MAYDAY!, MAYDAY!", followed shortly by Paul's voice saying
that a pinzgauer had rolled. Then everything went silent. All our
attempts to establish contact with Eric to find out what was going on
were in vain. I'm sure they were pretty busy. We took the right fork to
continue Poison Spider and kept our fingers crossed that no one was hurt.
Shortly after branching off on the Poison Spider Mesa trail we decided to
pull over for lunch. It was about that time and the clouds moving toward
us were looking pretty ominous.
There was a very pretty oasis with a small pond and shady trees nestled in a pocket
which is obscured from view until you're right above it. We still hadn't heard
anything from the Golden Spike accident so we figured we'd just have to
wait until someone spoke up.
The rain storm approaching.
The wall of water was just about upon us by the time we finished lunch so everyone piled back
into the trucks. I loaned two sets of rain gear that I had to Greg and
Chris Maiser. Everyone else in Greg's mog had to fend for themselves.
Just as we all got in the vehicles
the bottom fell out of the clouds and the rain came down so hard you
couldn't see a thing. The trail led out across exposed slickrock which
was one huge waterfall. It wasn't too bad at first, but then we came to
a rather steep climb with an even steeper ledge at the top. I started up
it and then decided to try negotiating a narrow ledge which skirted
around to the right. If we'd slipped off sideways that would have been
the end. Everyone who was behind me was sure I'd lost my mind but as
they got up to the top of the first pitch, they could see that this was
the logical way to go. I'm sure the couple in the Jeep at the bottom of
this climb were amazed to see the Unimogs going up this steep wall of
water. Unfortunately, we didn't get any pictures of any of this because
it was raining too hard to consider rolling down windows, much less
attempt to get outside and take a picture. The rain let up after about
10 minutes and Scott's brother-in-law, Tim, got out with the video camera
and took some footage.
After the rain finally let up, we were able to establish contact with
Eric Johnson's group over on Golden Spike and learned that Douwe and Ann
were okay. Shortly after that, we learned that Brian Gould had tipped
over his 6X6 Pinzi, so Eric wasn't having one of his better runs on
We elected to take the side trip up to the top of the rim, which overlooks
Moab, and it was well worth it. We could look straight down on the
highway which leads from Moab out to the trail head and across the
Matheson Preserve (Nature Conservancy) and see most of the town.
The Colorado River and the highway below.
The town of Moab.
Parked at the overlook.
You can see how wet it was after that downpour. The mud got very deep.
The group takes in the view.
On the way back down from the overlook, I stopped to get a picture of
this splash of color from a lone Indian Paintbrush out in the middle of
all the sand and rocks.
We eventually came to a place called the Sand
Hill. The sun was out and the sand still wet, so we stopped to play for a
while. Neither my 404 nor Ron DePugh's could do much in the steep sand,
but Greg Maiser with his wide tires was able to do quite a bit. Brett
Pickering's U-1300 did pretty well also.
Greg's Mog on the sand hill.
The trucks at the bottom of the sand hill.
Some natural desert tanks in the rocks.
Traveling the road back to the
trail head, we stopped to take pictures of the petrified dunes highlighted
by the setting sun.
Greg on the Waterfall.
Wednesday night I helped work on Scott's Haflinger with his
brother-in-law, Tim, trying to get the brakes operational. We made a lot
of progress, but it just wasn't good enough to take it out on a trial.
About 9:00 Greg started the auction, so that took up the rest of the
evening. There were a lot of good donations from the vendors, so everyone
bid furiously, including the auctioneer (Greg) and everything was eventually sold.
The 6X6 Pinzi seemed to have it's problems solved, to we decided the next trail ride
would be to take a fun and scenic trip up Kane Creek Canyon.