Four and a half weeks left before I head off to my Moab>Rubicon month long trip. I just found out that the leader of the Rubicon group I was going to latch onto had to cancel. I’m going to keep practicing while I look for another group to join.
Last Sunday I joined Off Road Consulting on their Rausch Creek Off Road Park guided Badge Of Honor (BOH) trail ride. They’re a group of professional trainers who are current or former military vets or contractors. They teach you how to think, how to decide on your line, and how to get from point A to point B as safely as possible. They know a thing or to about off road wheeling.
I took their intro 101 class about a year ago, and a few months later I took their 201 class. I learned a lot. When I saw they were offering a guided trail ride that included all three BOH trails, I signed up right away. I knew the spots would be taken fast, and boy was I right. A buddy tried to join, but didn’t make the cutoff. Bummer.
So the day included the three BOF trails. They offered to spot the first two trails, but told us in advance that they wouldn’t spot anyone on the hardest trail, Crawl Daddy. Totally understandable, however with full steel belly skids, Dana 44s w/front/rear lockers, heavy duty brakes, 35s, and a winch, they were Ok with it, after reminding me I signed all those waivers, so they’re off the hook if there’s any damage or injuries.
The first was Trail #11 (BLUE), which is challenging, some mud, some decent sized rocks, some off camber stretches that’ll have 1-2 of your wheels in the air, but not so much that a stock Jeep couldn’t get through it. That was our warm up.
The next trail was Crawler’s Ridge (BLUE/BLACK). Tougher. Bigger rocks. And some very challenging (and maybe a bit scary) stretches where you’ll hear your Jeep slam on some rocks if your tires slide off the slippery boulders. This is where the investment in armor comes in. That said, there was one log that was ridiculously trecherous, we had to move it, since everyone needed to be winched over it.
The final trail was Crawl Daddy (BLACK/RED). Some folks rate it a 9 (where Rubicon is the only 10 in the US). I have to admit, the first couple times I tried that trail, I was on 33s without lockers, and I did poorly. A couple weeks ago I did it on 35s, but I couldn’t see ahead of me, had a bit of spotting. This time we had pros spotting us, and that made things so much easier. Doesn’t mean I didn’t sustain some damage, but thankfully it was to my rock sliders.
I had a blast, can’t wait to apply what I learned on my next Cumberland Crawlerz ride! Here are some more pics: