GOLDEN SPIKE TRAIL w/CALMINI
Calmini Sponsored ZUKIWORLD ‘Zukfari Run.
Editor: Eric Bewley Photo: Bryan Zeigler, Sara Bewley, Todd Paulson, Nate Galvin
MOAB, UT -Wednesday brings the much anticipated Calmini sponsored run on Golden Spike. Even though this is a lengthy trail, the obstacles and the quality time keep bringing people back in big numbers. For the fourth year in a row, Steve Kramer has hosted this special event. New this year was that the Nissan group did not join us which made for a more capable overall group, a welcomed change. However, in an ironic twist, our group had many troubles this day and the group split two or three times due to breakage that was had on the trail. By the end of the day when the last group got out well after dark the ‘carnage toll’ was high with several axles being broke, suspensions, and other running gear breakage. Even with this, there were still smiles on all the, perhaps tired, faces at the end of the long day.
It all started off innocently enough. As in the previous day, we met at City Market and convoyed out to the Poison Spider Mesa Trail head. The Golden Spike Trail is aptly named because it joins the Poison Spider trail with the Gold Bar Rim trail much like the final spike that was driven into the newly connected Trans-continental rail road in the 1800’s.
The day’s weather was on and off with occasional showers. Mostly it was sunny and as luck would have it, lunch time was nice, sunny, and warm. Steve met us about mid way through the trail and cooked up some hot dog w/chips and served the hungry masses.
Not sure where the carnage began but shortly before or after lunch the vehicles started heading South even though the trail headed West. First, a t-case could not be shifted and was stuck in hi-range. The driver toughed it out though and really baja’d through the obstacles he could and got a tug through the really tough stuff.
Next, yours truly had a misfortune when one of my rear suspension links ripped off of the frame. Never fear though, everyone jumped in and before you knew it we were welding with three batteries and some antenna. Unfortunately, the antenna wouldn’t cut it so we used a 6″ c-clamp and a ratchet strap. Much to my surprise this actually worked quiet well and the split up group (some continued on and some stayed with the injured group) were making good time.
Luckily, another group led by Sky from Sky’s Offroad Design was catching up from behind and they had a battery operated wire-feed welder. After a few minutes of welding, we were good as knew. Special thanks to Mark, CJ, and Stan my welding heroes!
We all powered through “the Crack” and were making pretty good time when the next victim announce they had broken an axle on their Samurai. As we all know, broken axles in a Samurai mean a considerable amount of repair time because of their characteristic breaking of the splines that require the carrier to be pulled for service. That coupled with the lack of spares had us nursing the Samurai along as best we could but by the time the day ended he was down to just one wheel drive and needed a tug to get up just about everything.
And so we went along our merry way. With Stan tugging on Nate and Ross, Mike and Zig running cables and hooking up straps we made it through the challenging obstacles, the last few in the dark. On a side note, I was amazed at how tough Stan’s yellow Sidekick was. Not only was he driving these obstacles, many times he was pulling a Samurai behind him as he did it. Fun to watch but hard on the drive train, no doubt.
Gallery below of the day’s events:
Thank you, Steve Kramer of Calmini, for sponsoring a run for this year’s ZUKIWORLD ‘Zukfari.