Moab Fun Run ’02
ZUKIWORLD online conquers the Poison Spider Mesa trail
-Story and Photo: Eric Bewley
Moab, UT. -This year marked the 36th annual running of the Easter Jeep Safari an event that is unparalleled in any 4×4 circle. Each year thousands converge on the small town in Southeastern Utah. In recent times, the event has boasted some 1500 registered vehicles and another estimated 5,000 hangers-on, all celebrating the finesse of extreme four-wheeling. Youll see virtually every type of wall-climbing 4×4 vehicle known to humankind, from rare Unimogs, to gigantic Hummers, to agile and ever growing in popularity Suzuki 4x4s.
ZUKIWORLD online is on hand this year providing Suzuki enthusiasts with a fun, family-styled one day event. Participants woke to an amazing day. The weather could not have been more agreeable with temperatures in the upper seventies and not a cloud in the sky. The trail choice for this year’s event was the 4-rated Poison Spider Mesa trail which is one of Moab’s most popular. It is just a short drive from town and offers a wide variety of obstacles with less difficult bypasses at some of the most difficult ones. This trail also offers incredible scenery with views back across the Colorado River Gorge toward the Behind the Rocks area that are fascinating along with the panoramic view from the 1,000 foot cliff rim above Highway 191 near the end of the trail.
The day starts off like most trail runs with everyone airing down their tires to a better performing trail pressure with introductions and handshakes mixed in. Eventhough today’s trail is rated a 4, no one is really concerned even the few ‘first timers’ are feeling pretty confident as we begin the slow and winding trail. The beginning of the trail climbs out of the Colorado River Gorge and offers small play spots along the way for the more daring. The trail, along with all the official trails in Moab, is marked with painted symbols that guide the user along their path.
One of the neat things about Poison Spider Mesa is that there are several play spots along the way. One of the more challenging, especially for those with acrophobia, is this steep ‘bowl like’ climb that really tests the traction, torque, and temperament.
Drivers climb up this flat face, cross over towards their right, and drop down another steep smooth rock face.
It didn’t take too long before we had reached our first obstacle. The ‘water fall’ can be as difficult as the driver wants to make it with the line to the left being reserved for hard-core long wheelbased vehicles.
To the right you can see Tom from Sacramento displaying his new CALMINI 5.8:1 t-case. Most others took the slightly more sane approach offered to the left
Immediately following the ‘water fall’ obstacle is a series of steps and a small sluice that is starting to give the group a good run for their money. The next popular obstacle is called the ‘wedgie’ this obstacle is known for eating sheet metal when drivers slip into the crack.
One would think that the compact nature of the Suzuki would be a hindrance on this obstacle. Not so, every one in the group motored on through with nary a tire slip. Proving once again that agility is the trail rig quality to aspire for.
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