Saturday, April 26, 2014

Uraling at Arches National Park, Tusher Wash and in Moab, UT


Some sunrise shots for your viewing enjoyment (hopefully)

Above shots were taken at Arches National Park

The Uralisti who were joining the group ride gathered near Dana's cabin starting about 9:00, and I think we were on the road by 9:30AM.  We left Arch View Resort Campground and headed north on UT191 for a short bit, turning onto dirt roads paralleling the highway soon after.

The road was pretty easy for the most part, most dirt/gravel and one had to take it easy on the curves but nothing major.  The way soon turned to loose deep sandy spots called "whoop dee doos" because that's what one wants to shout out as the rig is slewn about on the loose sand.  There were roller coaster sections of sand as well, parts with high banked sides which made life interesting while traversing them.

To all this fun, there's the added attraction of slick rocky stretches which test the limits of a rig's shock absorbers and one's knees ability to take repeated shocks; and as a bonus, I believe we were following a small creek bed with small little water crossings.  What more could you ask, right?

Well, it turns out you get more fun.

Dana led us to this sandy area, with a nearby hill climbing steeply perhaps 100 feet.  He and his rig roared up the hill, sand flying everywhere but he made it up there!

Next came Walt and Spat, but neither of them made it to the top.  Enthusiasm amongst the rest of us waned at this point for our tries for the top.  However, there we were, Scarlett and I, a new 2014 rig with the EFI, there was no turning back.

 Above is Dana's run up the hill
photo courtesy of Spat

Yours truly, powering up to the top.....the EFI and rig did great, much
commentary ensued amongst the peanut gallery.  As Scarlett was sporting
street tires you see, not knobbies.
photo courtesy of Spat

Very Temporary King of the Hill?
photo courtesy of Spat

Sand Hill play done with, we motored on, enjoying the sandy spots, not really enjoying the rocky spots with small ledges that had to be negotiated carefully.  We spent a lot of time in 2WD, especially in the sand portions but had to get back to 1WD on the rocky portions as steering became quite important.

I learned this after I was unable to dodge a big rock and a large bush while climbing a particularly steep rocky set of flat rocks.  The left side muffler became dislodged from the catalyst converter and Scarlett's engine sounded much louder at this point.  I reversed Scarlett out of the bush obstacle and made it to to the top of the trail, broke out the tools and hammered the muffer back onto the catalyst converter pipe.

 Scheduled break near Determination Towers

 Several rocky ledges, sandy trails and a few more whoop dee doos later,
a short respite before the "nasty spot"

We were now in the area of the Monitor and Merrimac Stone monuments.  Large rock formations poised opposite each others as their namesakes were back in the Civil War.  There was a spot, where we had to have a monkey hanging off the side of the tub, as the route was on slick rock that was deeply slopping off to the left.  Dana did demonstrate it could be done without one but no one decided to try it alone, and actually Dana made it mandatory so no face was lost by anyone.

 Yours truly being Paul's monkey for his transit of the "nasty spot"
photo courtesy of Spat

 Dana demonstrates proper monkey "hanging off" as Milo drives
his rig through the steep spot.
photo courtesy of Spat

Switching roles, Paul is now the monkey as I pilot Scarlett
photo courtesy of Spat

Everyone rig made it through the steeply sloping spot just fine, no problem with a monkey hanging off the side.  I sure wouldn't try it by myself.

To kind of underline the above point, though quite unitentionally, Paul rig's got into a badly sloping spot just a bit further up the trail and overturned!  Paul jumped clear and the rig fell onto its left side, not completely rolling over due to the metal windshield the rig had mounted.

photo courtesy Paul S.

Several of us parked our rigs, rushed over to help Paul.  Pictures were taken of course, and then we righted his rig and examined the damage.  Thankfully, Paul was fine.  The windshield's metal frame was bowed in but not creased.  The clutch lever was broken off, and the rear left turn signal was crushed and bent.  All in all, not too bad.

Some Jeepers came along and one of them, Darren, helped Paul and others pull the rig back onto flat rocky ground to do repairs.  

 Temporary spot for repairs to the clutch lever on Paul's rig

 Sights during lunch, as repairs were done on Paul's rig

Much head scratching and trial and error later, Mr Cob aka Dave, with Paul's tire irons and my vise grip and a bunch of wire ties produced this:

Truly a WWID moment.

The repairs done, we were able to move as a group to a large flat rock section to regroup.  We didn't have much faith that the temporary repairs would make it the roughly 12  kilometers of rough trail back to pavement.  So, most of the group went back to camp, following Scott who'd gone to get his FJ Cruiser truck and a trailer.

Mr Cob and I stayed with Paul for the couple of hours it took for the rescue vehicle to return for Paul's rig.  The weather was nice and warm if a bit windy at times.  I took the time to re-align my muffler from it's earlier disconnection, Mr Cob re-aligned his on his 2014 rig which he'd knocked off three times the day before.

Paul's rescue trailer arrived a bit before 3:00 PM and by 3:10PM we were set for the long, slow and somewhat perilous ride back to camp.  Kudos to Scott and his driving of the FJ Cruiser, with a dinky trailer with a large URAL mounted on top.

 Near where we waited for rescue.

 Check out that really small trailer, the rig barely fit ....

 Monitor and Merrimac?

 The rescue FJ, near the end of the perilous tow out of the badlands

 This shot should give you an idea of some of the slick rock 
ledges we had to deal with...

Scarlett's view of the pavement as the above shot of the FJ was done.

Around 4:00 PM, the pavement was in sight, I broke off from the rescue crew and too the Seven Mile Road back to camp.

Back at camp, everyone got cleaned up and the plan now was a formation ride through downtown Moab where folks were beginning to line main street to view the hotrods and classic cars that were scheduled to cruise the street in the evening.

Dana led us to a food truck in a parking lot where Quesadillas were being sold, good food by the way.  

 Our rigs at the Food Truck

 We also got UDF'ed by the local police

 Here's Dana talking one of the food truck employees about a sidecar ride.
photo courtesy of Spat

 There were three ladies there, two who worked in the food truck and one
who worked in the Pagan Mountaineering shop next door; all got taken out for sidecar rides.
photo courtesy of Spat

 Rusell took the boss lady out
photo courtesy of Spat

 Here's Dana, flying the chair upon his return with his "monkey", 
much to her delight.
photo courtesy of Spat

Here's Scott, with the lady who works at Pagan Mountaineering.
Looks like they had fun doesn't it?
photo courtesy of Spat

Paul, managed to hook up with the owner of a local moto-shop and he scored a replacement clutch lever so he is good to go for his ride back to Wyoming; I even got my vise grip back from him.  :)

A great day of riding, all rigs came home, no one got hurt, much fun was had.

Here's a link to the writeup and pics done by Tim L. on, good stuff, it was all the riding and events that happened before I arrived in Moab: LINK

Update: The next day was windy and rainy, not good for riding in Moab, ended up hanging at the campground, swapping stories and lies with what few remaining riders were there.

Pictures from this blog posting made it to the 
May 2014 Edition of the Irbit Informer.
Click the logo above.

An excellent video made by one of the riders at Moab: Mundo Bravo


Arizona Harley Dude said...

The pictures and description sure make it seem like a great time.

SonjaM said...

YES!!! Thank you. I was looking forward to this. What can be better than riding those rigs into the Arches NP. Oh, man. I wish I was there. I would even have volunteered for the hanging monkey. Fabulous pics, Dom, and your hack looks gorgeous within the stunning scenery.

Martha said...

A good omen to see a tow truck without your rig on the trailer! Scarlett, you are a keeper! Sounds like Moab is something all Uralisti should put on their bucket list?

Charlie6 said...

You're quite welcome SonjaM, thanks for the comments.....being the monkey was fun on that sloping spot of rock.

Charlie6 said...

Dear Martha

yes, Moab riding is definitely something for Uralisti to plan on, though some of the trails are way too hard for these rigs.

Charlie6 said...

Dear Martha

yes, Moab riding is definitely something for Uralisti to plan on, though some of the trails are way too hard for these rigs.

Andrew Thomson said...

Looks like a lot of fun. Reckon my V-Strom woulda handled it?

Maybe a DR-Z would be a bit more sensible...

Charlie6 said...

videos added

Richard M said...

I like the videos. It seems that for this terrain a lower first gear would've been nice to have and while were at it, a locking diff.

Bob and Sharon said...

Great pictures, looks like you hd a great time. And Scarlet is performing as you had wanted.

Paul Stone said...

Great post, man those are good pictures! The videos are wonderful. It was a fun and exciting day for sure.

GlennandSun said...

Magnificent photos and videos, as always...professional grade, Dom. Ural country for sure! Looked like an experience of a lifetime!

KEN PHENIX said...

What an adventure!

Richard M said...

Bridget was looking at the videos and was wondering what you were thinking taking a brand new rig and subjecting it to that kind of abuse. It didn't make sense...

Charlie6 said...

Andrew Thomson, as to your V-Strom....given the right tires and good off road skills, sure! with my own off road two wheeled skills? No way.....

Charlie6 said...

RichardM, a lower gear would have been nice on the rocky ledges, on the sand it was all about momentum and 2WD keeping one pointed straight....

As to Bridget's comment re taking a brand new rig into such rigs aren't going to be garage queens....just have to be careful. Besides, she's already got a very small dent, a few paint dings and now has had the left muffler knocked off twice.....and she looks fine to me.

Charlie6 said...

Bob and Sharon, thanks and yep, Scarlett performed great! Her climbing that hill where other rigs failed, was the cherry on top....pun intended.

Charlie6 said...

Paul Stone, you had the most excitement that day....great riding with you.

Charlie6 said...

GlennandSun, thanks as always for your too generous comments. Moab and surrounding areas are truly an off-roader's dream. Sadly, reality says that our Urals can only really do the ones rated "easy".....

Charlie6 said...

Post updated with link to Tim L's ride report and pics on

Will add pics from other riders and such as they become available.

spat said...

I saw a this beautiful shinny glowing red rig atop a trailer coming in and commented 'Wow what a good looking rig that is. Then it clicked, it was Dom's '14, I had not seen in person yet. Maybe he did not want to get thrown into the fire that 1st ride out with the group but ya done good C6. And I knew you'd get some good pic's in Arches that mornign 'as early as you left out to get there :)It was a fun week even though I was bested by a Moab rookie rig on the sand hill

Charlie6 said...

Spat, thanks for the kind to being "bested", hardly. As to my rig making it to the top of that sandy hill....think of it as it being the "cherry on top" of a good day of riding....


bob skoot said...


what a great gathering, and to be KING of the HILL, and on street tires too. I was afraid that the rigs would have tipped over, even with the Monkey.

I love Moab. I was only 30 miles north on Hwy50 but I was rushing and ran out of time but no way I could have gone where you went.

You need a bash plate under your left muffler

what a great time you had

A weekend photographer or Riding the Wet Coast

Charlie6 said...

photo from Paul S. showing his rig on its side...

Charlie6 said...

This posting made it into the May 2014 edition of the Irbit Informer, URAL's monthly newsletter.

Charlie6 said...

Added link to Vimeo video by fellow Uralista Mundo Bravo, who rode with us at MOAB. See bottom of posting.

Jack Pignatello said...

Hi Dom: my buddy Rich and I were on the 06 GU for the ride...all the way from NJ. I'm still looking for some video footage of us going through that off camber rock formation with Rich hanging on for dear life. Any chance of pulling that footage out of the raw stuff you've got? Thanks, and you've got some really great photos on your blog!

Jack Pignatello said...

Hi Dom: my buddy Rich and I were on the 06 GU for the ride...all the way from NJ. I'm still looking for some video footage of us going through that off camber rock formation with Rich hanging on for dear life. Any chance of pulling that footage out of the raw stuff you've got? Thanks, and you've got some really great photos on your blog!