2011 Easter Jeep Safari
Story and Photos by Nolen Grogan
Coverage brought to you by 4Wheel Parts
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Tuesday - Behind the Rocks Fun Run
We realized when we got up today that we really did not have to be anywhere. With a full schedule for the rest of the week, we took the opportunity to sleep in, have a nice breakfast and fix what was broken before getting a leisurely start on Behind the Rocks. We caught up with the guys from Polyperformance as they were doing some suspension testing on their JK Synergy coilover suspension systems. We had a nice tight group of 6 rigs with all great drivers and we jumped right in and made some tracks.
The first obstacle is really cool on Behind the Rocks. Although it is not the hardest trail in Moab, if you can't make it up this first climb then this trail is probably not suited for you. Although there are bypasses, the hard sections are really cool on this trail. Shorter wheelbase vehicles beware; there are some wicked downhill sections that will make the pucker factor go way, way up!
While I am shooting the talent on the trail ride, Mustard Dog decided to try a new line and ended up showing us his skidplate. With a bit of coaxing, he was able to drive it backwards on all 4 and walk up the right line.
After that, we peeled out across the plateau testing the Synergy suspension in the 4-door JK. Drew from Polyperformance designed this coilover system to fit full size coilovers in the rear of the JK without cutting the tub. They ride in a near-vertical position and therefore do not require extensive modifications to install. I was incredibly impressed with how the suspension soaked up the hits as we barreled down the trail barely letting up on the hardest whoops. We took a mid-day break at Picture Frame Arch. Greg from Raceline Wheels held it up for us while we ate.
From Picture Frame Arch, the trail leads through the high desert in a series of washes and switchbacks. The JKs did a great job keeping pace with the two Ultra4 buggies through this section. The scenery here is some of the best in Moab and even with Easter Jeep Safari, we had no troubles making great time.
Once we made it to the most famous obstacle on Behind the Rocks, White Knuckle Hill, we finally ran into some trail traffic. This group of wheelers were a mixed bag of highly modified Jeeps to trail rigs. All were anxiously awaiting their turn at the insane drop. The first up was this group's trail lead in a nicely built XJ. He made it look easy with a huge grin on his face giving the rest of the group the confidence needed to step off!
Lance made it look stupid easy in his Toyota truck
This stock wheelbase CJ-7 did a great job on the descent.
Ben Napier made the descent look so easy, he turned his buggy around and drove by up, barely slipping a tire.
From White Knuckle Hill you have the option to turn left to get out faster or turn right for a more scenic ride out to the main road. We chose the quicker route since we got such a late start. Once we got on the main road, it was ON. We were all hauling ass going out the 8 mile feeder road to the highway. Lance was the winner. He drove that leaf sprung Toy truck like a trophy truck. It was crazy. Here we just caught of glimpse of his dust trail as he made it back to the highway in record time pacing Ben's Bomber.
Tomorrow we start early with the JK Owners run to Pritchett Canyon. Stay tuned for some of the sickest JKs on the best trail in Moab. See you tomorrow.