Last weekend a few RME members headed into Canyonlands for a 3 day trip exploring the amazing & remote back country roads the park has to offer. Jon put the trip together, bringing his built up Rodeo. Kevin B. joined in in his pretty much stock Ford F150 (sporting upgraded tires) and I decided to tag along in my JKU.
Day 1- We met in Green River, UT on Saturday and after a quick stop to top off our tanks in Hanksville, headed South towards Hite and the turnoff into the Maze. We pulled off the dirt and aired down, then began the long drive. Our plan was to drive to the Maze Overlook and camp there for the night, about 50 miles offroad.
About 15 miles in and after crossing many dry washes, we entered a valley with some pretty menacing, dark clouds.... it was raining up ahead. (I don't know about you, but I LOVE being in the desert during a big downpour! Yeah, the mud sucks but seeing the washes running makes it all worth it!) It wasn't long before the roads were messy, we had to slow down a bit and watch how much sliding around we did.
Shortly after we got a call on the radio.... Jon was bringing up the tail end of the group and had some trouble. Kevin and I turned around and found Jon's Rodeo on the edge of the road, with both front tires facing opposite directions. He had broken an inner tie rod end. We were 30 miles in and it was getting late in the day.... we debated about what to do, had a rancher stop by and provide some advice and a couple phone numbers of local's that had flatbed tow trucks. Eventually we decided to ratchet-strap the loose knuckle straight and try driving out to the road, with the passenger side tire doing the steering. Kevin had some ratchet straps and after several stops to re-secure the loose knuckle and repair a broken strap, we slowly made our way out.
The dry washes were now full with muddy water, none of them were very deep but the sight sure was neat! Eventually the rain let up on the way back, we made it back to the road and found a payphone at Hite marina (no cell service) and called for a tow truck to load Jon's Rodeo. We made camp by the parking area and hung out around around the Campfire in a Can (propane powered for National Park legality