Trans USA & Canada Week 5, 6/22-6/28

Day 30 (6/22): I guess today marks 1 month of me being on the road. I have to say it been a damn good month. There have been a few setbacks but I think each one of them was worth the story. Well today Ieft the national park. I forgot about this amazing view as you see the entrance and did not get a picture when I was entering. I’m glad that I stopped then realized it as I have forgotten.

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Most of today was just driving down dirt or gravel roads past farm fields with mountains off in the distance. I was driving to a group of a few peaks all day that seemed to be out of place.

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The view of where I was coming from.

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As soon as I reached that set I turned and headed for another set that was slightly smaller. Once I got close to the other set I was in Utah I drove around it and saw a pretty large open pit mine operation. As I continued the farmlands turned into more rocky lands. I all of a sudden jetted into forest and started climbing up a mountain. On the way up this mountain I hit the hardest trail yet of the TAT. It seemed wide enough for an ATV trail but the sign showed a Jeep so I went ahead. After a couple miles I broke out back onto a gravel road and I continued to climb up hill. Once I reached the peak right at 10k. I found a nice little camp spot and started a campfire since there was plenty of firewood around. There is a nice clear freezing cold creek behind my camp with a few small rapids so tonight will be a nice relaxing sleep.

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Day 31 (6/23): So today I woke up to a nice cool air of 10k feet again. I could get use to this. I started driving down the mountain and came cross a nice smooth trail the winded around and down the mountain.

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Pretty soon I could start seeing the rocky dessert out in front of me that would be called moab.

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After a few more miles of twist and turns I started seeing some spectacular rock structures.

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The road soon turned to dirt and I was surrounded by rocks

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I picked out a camp site and parked my trailer at the salt flats rec area. I then headed into town and picked up a burger and milk shake for lunch. Due to my vehicles secondary battery acting up and my fridge not lasting longer then a few hrs after shutting off the vehicle. I headed to an auto part store and ordered my odd size battery. It should be here in the morning hopefully this fixes the issue.

I soon headed back to camp and realized it was 1pm. Hmm little to early and hot to sit around camp all day. I decided to jump right into things and go for a spin on “fins and things”.

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The south side half was pretty interesting. I don’t if this was due to my excitement or just was. There were only a few harder spots. This was one of them.

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I met a few jeep guys and right away I could tell they were out of there element. Vary nice guys though. I kind of lagered behind on the south side to make sure they did not do anything stupid.

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I continued on to the north side. I have to say the first 2/3rd of this side was horrible. It was just ruff easy terrain. I actually started hatting it. But soon enough I was back on the rock having fun.

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Here is a 360 view at one point.

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Here is the hardest part of the day. It took me 2 tries. The first time I did not have enough RPM’s and almost stalled out. I know I was over 40deg vertical as my little device pegged out. Pictures never do it justice. Notice how you can’t see the road behind the rock in the second photo.

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Once again I was blessed with spectacular views from the camp site even though it was way to hot.

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Day 32 (6/24): So this morning I headed into town filled up with gas and filled my drinking Jerry can with water. I then headed and picked up my new battery. It was a group 65 battery to replace the secondary one in my vehicle. Ends up that the new battery is ¼” wider than the old battery was. Which meant I could not fit it into the battery tray? So I ended up putting the new battery under the hood and putting my group 34 battery in the secondary position. It was a lot more work then I wanted to do but I did not feel like ordering another battery and having to deal with removing the battery again. I also placed an order for some new front brake pads. Mine are till goods but they are lower than the rears so get figure I would get a set while I can. My bad battery tested at 7 cranking amps at 12.4volts. So the next time I see a sears time to do some warranty work.

After all of that it was time to hit the trails. I headed to the gate of Hells Revenge. I aired down my tires slightly more and due to this a group of 6 or 7 Jeeps snuck ahead of me. All the jeeps were nicely built and riding on 35’s or 37’s. I soon caught up to them on the first hump as they were pulling aside to let a tourist trap vehicle sneak on by.  They let me go ahead of them and when I looked in my rear view mirror they were all turning around? Mighty odd. Maybe they got scared there license plates all read Texas. Maybe they have the biggest chickens there too.

Hells revenge offered some great views and good challenges. There were a few obstacles I did not even try like all the bathtubs or escalator. I would of gave a couple of them a chance if I had a spotter and another vehicle for recovery if needed.

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Here is carwash.

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Some clouds in the distance. Don’t worry it is the dessert they go away.

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The scariest obstacle I did complete all day was Tip Over. It is a steep incline on a sideways slope with a turn at the top. It was not the scariest moment of the day though.

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After I got through with hell and scarring myself on a pothole while backing up. I decided to go ahead and run Porcupine Rim Trail since it was only 1pm. I have to admit that this trail was much more challenging than I thought it would be. Also this trail is long, 9+miles of Low-gear driving one way. So bring a full gas tank and leave in the morning. Besides that this trail offered the best views so far of the canyons. It was amazing. Part of the trail is latterly on the edge of the canyon and yes there are rock ledges you have to climb while driving on these narrow trails on a cliff edge. I would say this trail is for the advance driver with a modestly built 4×4.

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From one of the several look outs.

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There were a few different types of cactuses out there for someone from the Midwest they are intriguing.

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A few other look outs.

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This gives you a perspective of the trail in the beginning. It gets less scary after a 1.5miles but harder.

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Once I great home I had a great sunset to cook and eat my dinner too

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Day 33 (6/25): So today started off as a good day. I headed out onto Chicken Corner Trail. It has some great views the trail was fairly easy going.

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At the very end is where a famous movie was shot. I can’t recall the movie. They drove a car off of one of these ledges.

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I then backtracked and head down lockheart basin trial. The first mile to two miles is pretty difficult terrain after that it smooths out and continues on with the occasion ruff patch.

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All of a sudden I heard a weird noise. My right rear driver tire was rubbing against the pastic fender well liner. This is not right. That should not happen, it has never happened before. After close examination my axle slipped backwards. Which only means one thing that the center pin top got sheare off. So after 3 hrs of trail work in the hot Moab sun I decided to turn around since the trail was only 15 miles back to town vs 20miles to a town further way and then having to take a hwy back. The going back was ruff. With a lot of not very nice noises. One high light on my way back is I got to see this guy. He took off running before I could get a good picture.

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I also noticed this old car. Who knows how long it has been sitting here.

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Once I got back to town I was lucky enough to find an auto parts store open and got some center pins. And the work began on the vehicle. One of the U bolts threads were all screwed up and so it was extremely tough to loosen it enough to lift the axle.

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Then the stupid center bolt head would not come out.

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Here is an image of my Z center bolt.

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Last but not least the head of the new center bolt will not seat in. I tried cleaning the hole and filing on the bolt head a little but after 4 hrs of trying I finally gave up.

Day 34 (6/26):

So this morning I ran around to all the auto repair shops and finally found one who will fix it for me today. The rest said over a week. I also ordered new U bolts as no one carries them in stock around here for that size. Right now I’m sitting in a laundry mat doing close waiting for my 2pm appointment to fix my vehicle. Once I get the new U bolts Monday I will be back up and running at 100%. Until then I will visit the nation parks and won’t do any off-roading.

Well I showed up for my appointment early at 1:30. The guy told me he would not be able to get to me and to show back up at 8am the next morning. Well after killing time all morning this got to me. So I headed back to my camp site and decided to work on it again myself in the day light this time. I retook apart the rear axle from the leaf spring and looked at it. It partially seated but nothing was obstructing it. So I took one of the spare pins I had and started hand filing it. Slowly but surely I got it to fit. I re C-Clamped the leaf pack and swapped out the center pins. I then took the one I removed and filled that one down too. Might as well have a trail spare ready. I then cut the nut off the bad U-bolt and rested before bed.

Day 35 (6/27): This morning I woke up with a new altitude and went to Arch’s Nation Park. I felt comfortable since it was going to be all paved roads. As I entered the park in the morning it was already busy. I soon found out that the rock formation to me were just blah. The arch’s were interesting but since I have been around the area the formations were very similar to everything I’ve already seen. By the second outlook I have to admit I already was in a mood. Everyone was just walking anywhere they wanted too. It was anything to just get some shade or a closer view. Even though there were signs all over the place about staying on the trail due to what they call live soil. Which can take 50 plus years to recover from a foot step. What really annoyed me was when I would see little to no park ranger. And he ones I did see did not say anything to these tourists. Maybe the heat is getting to me.

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Then a mile from my camp site I hear this big bang. So I bull over and look. My front half shaft bolts have all come out. This is a known problem but I used blue Loctite on them. Well I stole two bolts from the passenger side and found one on the skid plate. I then headed back into town and ordered 2 spares. I picked up enough bolts to install my trail spare and a few extras. Then went back to my campsite and installed the new half shaft using red Loctite. This thing is not going anywhere this time. I also finished up before dark so I pulled my passenger rear tire off and check the center bolt and retorqued all the U-bolts. Then made myself a late dinner.

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Day 36 (6/28): So today I went to Canyonland Nation Park and Dead Horse State Park. I did not realize my camera had no memory card until my very last shot. Canyonland had a lot of walk to get places and long trails. Not recommended on a hot summer day. But the few lookouts they had looked down on a crazy looking canyon that the red river and fault activity created. Dead horse Stat Park is a large park with a lot of mountain bike trails. Since this is not my thing and they had only two outlooks I would not recommend this park for the cost.

Here are some images of Dead Horse’s great view.

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