Day 13 – Steel Bender

Park Rangers told me today that Jeep needs to revise the difficulty rating for most of the trails in Moab, because UTVs have torn them up over the past couple months. I didn’t really believe it, because the trails that I’ve done in the past week were trails that I did last year, so I had badges and was familiar with the trails.

Fins & Things was exactly the same, since UTVs can’t tear up petrified sand dunes. 🙂 Same for Hell’s Revenge, not much to tear up. Poison Spider seemed tougher, I noticed some spots were, well, torn up. So today I did Steel Bender, a trail I hadn’t done yet.

The Park Rangers warned me that the challenging spots on this “6” rated trail makes it more like a 7 or 8. They were right. I got out of the Jeep 30 or more times, to survey, select the proper line, and negotiate the roughest spots. Anyone who knows this trail can imagine what would happen if sand and rocks that helped fill gaps all of a sudden disappeared.

Steel Bender was fun, even though I’m riding a stock Rubicon. You know, 33″ tires, and 1″ lift (don’t laugh, that’s what comes with Rubicons!). I’m sure it would have been a whole lot easier with my previous Jeep, since it had 35″ tires, a 2.5″ lift, and a full belly skid plate. 🙂

Today was my last day in Moab. Tomorrow I leave to Colorado to do four of their six BOH trails. Why four? As Albert Einstein once said to a student: “Because, just because”. I’m avoiding the two toughest Colorado trails for the reasons stated above.

Here are some pictures from Steel Bender, with some comments.