UT/CO in an XJ! 2012 Friday/Saturday
We’re making the trek out west again this year. Going as far west as Moab, then back through CO on the way back home. You folks seemed to enjoy the past posts on our trips (and I like reading about other peoples trips) so follow along if you’d like!
Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on who you ask) we didn’t take the Ranger this year due to the issues it gave us last year. To be honest, I haven’t really haven’t had the time to go through and finish all the nagging bits before this trips date came up. So instead, we picked up this ’98 XJ to take out west (one month to the day that we were supposed to leave, talk about cutting it close!). Since you’re reading this, I can safely say that it managed to get us out to Moab in one piece, with less drama than what the Ranger did last year.
Nothing special, 2 door XJ with a 4” lift and fresh 30×9.50’s.
You can find all my photos here (LINK)and I’ll be adding to them as the trip progresses. My wife’s fancier camera photos are HERE.
Enough background info, on with the Trip Stuff!
Friday/Saturday (May 18-19)
We headed out of the St. Louis area early Friday afternoon and drove (nearly) straight through to Moab, UT arriving just before lunch in Moab on Saturday:
As I said, we traveled nearly straight through, this is the first year I didn’t drive the whole trip myself due to unforeseen circumstances. As we left our house, we got all of eight miles before the XJ lost it’s A/C Charge (I’ve been fighting an evap leak, looks like it got much worse). So that mean all of our trip was done window’s down until it finally got cool enough (about 2 am) to roll them up.
While that doesn’t sound like a big deal, there was an added complication to that. You see, from Kansas City Mo to Colby KS, there was a severe cross wind warning coming from the south (37 mph sustained, 45 mph gusts if the radio can be believed). From Colby to Denver, the wind switched directions, and blew from the north with the same force.
The results of those winds was several hundred miles of me fighting a back heavy, lifted, non-sway bar equipped XJ across the middle section of this country all while dealing with a raging migraine. And friends let me tell ya, that wiped me out bad enough that I had to crash for a while at a random rest stop rest up a bit (with every other semi on the road too it appeared). I learned that an XJ is a poor place to sleep when its filled with your wife’s junk 😉 Guess I should have bought something full sized after all!
Once daylight broke, we found ourselves on the west side of Denver Co and heading up!
One side of the Eisenhower was wet:
We took a pit stop at Silverthorne for some breakfast and a few photos of the Lake Dillon area:
It started snowing on us again as we went across Vail Pass (hard snow too!):
At some point we switched drivers and I took another power nap as my dear wife made up for lost time. Once I awoke, we traded places again, and kept making our way onward to Moab:
There’s the state we are looking for!
We hopped off the interstate at the Cisco exit and headed down scenic Highway 128 into Moab:
And of course the must have shot of Downtown Moab:
And here’s the reason we made the whole trip! (well maybe not the whole reason, but I was having some serious cravings for a Milts Burger and Peanut butter Shake!
After that feast (seriously, stop by and eat there if you’re in the area, and sit inside to watch the man cook!) we checked in a crashed for a bit. Later in the evening, we headed out to Arches National Park to see a few sights we missed last time as well as to watch the sunset.
Park Avenue Hike – This is a cool little dry bed that has lots of interesting features from where the water has been carving out the sandstone:
Other than looking at all the sweet rigs that run around town (I miss the ranger 🙁 ) Otherwise, we took it easy for the rest of the day.