Money Pit at Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, UT: 2017

Jocelyn Fechner, Staff Writer

Last week, we loaded up Rocksanne and hit the 15 freeway, northbound for one of our favorite events of the year: the Red Rock 4-Wheer’s 51st annual Easter Jeep Safari in beautiful Moab, Utah! And we weren’t the only ones—over 5,000 off road roaders of all kinds showed up and turned this usually quiet little town into rock-crawler central for seven glorious days.

Setting Up Camp

We set up for the week at Area BFE; this private 320 acre off road park 13 miles south of Moab contains some of the toughest trails around and was well suited for the Money Pit Classifieds rig. It was also the perfect spot to make new friends with the crowds of spectators as the week’s events played out.

Money Pit goes to Moab, 2017! 

One of those new friends was Matt Mcgowen, the owner of the “Hey You Hungry?” food truck who magically provided cardboard bowls of steaming hot pulled pork and vegetables as we parked. Who wouldn’t want to be friends with this guy?! Lots of talk and laughter was had over the delicious dinner, just the first of a week’s worth of incredible food to come out of Matt’s “Hey, You Hungry?” truck.

Next on the agenda was getting to know the lay of the land, which we did under the light of the moon and temperatures just right for a short night ride. Sampling just a taste of what Moab had in store, we knew that exploring the trails in the daylight hours would surely not disappoint.

Money Pit goes to Moab, 2017! 

Trail Running and Special Events

Monday started with breakfast with the guys from GenRight Off Road at the Moab Diner, followed by a trail ride and photo shoot with GenRight and Rockstar Garage on Steel Bender. This scenic trail begins and ends in Mill Creek Canyon and features two famous obstacles: aptly named “The Wall,” and “The Fall.” High ground clearance, excellent articulation, lockers, and experienced drivers got everyone through with no damage.

Money Pit goes to Moab, 2017! 

Tuesday brought the Crawl Magazine Readers Ride at Area BFE, bringing over 300 wheelers from all around the country together to play in the dirt.

Later in the afternoon everybody gathered to watch the Trail Breaker event, sponsored by Trail Hero, an organization dedicated to raising awareness and excitement for the off-road sport. The drivers in this event were patient and precise, making the most of a huge pile of boulders and giving the spectators an unmatched rock-crawling show!

Money Pit goes to Moab, 2017! 

Moab local Steve Nantz took first place for the event. You can read more about it here.

Making the Most of Breaking Down

Even though Wednesday looked like it was going to be another great day, it was cut short when, after a few too many rocky step ups, the rear driveline spline on the MPC crawler shattered. Luckily, Jim at Drive Line Service in Grand Junction, CO was only a couple of hours away and got the car back in rock-ready condition.

Losing time on the trail was easily made up for by meeting and working with Jim—one of the perks of this sport is getting to spend time with friendly, capable people like the guys at Drive Line Service. Broken, fixed, and back on the trail!

Thursday and Friday featured the traditional vendor show at Old Spanish Trail Arena. But a beautiful day in Moab is not to be spent indoors, so we took our business to the trails with Matt the cook in the back seat smiling from ear to ear.

Money Pit goes to Moab, 2017! 

Running iconic trails like Gemini Bridges, Rusty Nail, and Gold Bar Rim was pure joy—drivers and riders alike just couldn’t get enough! The trail finally became impassable, though, at about 9pm when traffic (ugh! I thought we left SoCal..?) forced an early return back to camp at Area BFE.

Headin’ Out

Saturday morning it was time to get everything loaded up and say goodbye to friends, both new and old. Moab has always been a great place to play on the rocks and make new friends. If you get the chance to visit Moab during Easter Jeep safari, or anytime really, do it. We promise it will be worth the trip.
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