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Well, finally made it back to Moab (its been 4 years), but not in a jeep this time. This was the big test for the new Nismo Crewcab with 2 1/2" lift and LT 285/75R16s (33" tires). It didn't start off particularly well. We got in about noon and after setting up camp, decided to do an easy run into Hidden Canyon (our only easy run of the trip). There had been a big storm a day or two before and no one had been on the trails back in there since, so the wash banks were carved much deeper then usual - anyhow I managed to rip off the attachment for our trailer wiring coming down a steep bank. Bad start, but our only damage for the trip!

Next day we ran Klondike Bluffs and then continued over the Bluffs into Arches and did the Tower Arch trail and Eye of the Whale Trail. The following day was a trip up to "Top of the World" and then a side trip up Onion Creek on the way back.

The 4th day was our longest. We ran the entire White Rim Trail in Canyonlands (and Lathrop Canyon) in one day. We started down the Mineral Bottom switchbacks just before sunrise and came up the Schaffer switchbacks about 4PM. About 98 trail miles, plus 50 something hwy miles before and after.

We decided to run the 7 Mile Rim trail backwards the next day. Going in up Tusher wash and finally doing the really steep section of slickrock around one corner of the "Merrimack". After eating lunch between the Monitor and Merrimack, we jumped on an easy dirt trail and cut straight over to the begining of the 7 Mile Rim Trail and ran it along the rim in the direction of Well's Moab 4WD trails book.
The next day we picked another black diamond trail (but again one with a great view) and headed out to run the Porcupine Rim trail. It had rained hard the night before, and when we first started this trail, I didn't think we were going to make it. It was muddy (when there weren't ledges) and wet, and the trail ran right along a drop off where the night's rain had made erosion areas into the road. Anyhow, I spent the first 5 minutes trying to figure out how the heck I was going to find a place to turn around and get off that trail! Luckily we soon got away from the cliff area that dropped off right next to the tires, and only had to deal with some serious ledges. No problem. We actually only ran in about 4 miles (to just past the first view of Castle Valley) before turning back because of lightning and rain. We went back and exited on the alternate exit. We then headed back thru town and north, turning on our favorite road to get back into good 4-Wheeling territory, the Mill Canyon Road. We got 1/4 mile. The rain had been more intense up this way and the washes were running incredibly deep. The road crosses a wash and then most of the major access routes back in past this wash are up other washes. So Road closed and an afternoon to loaf in town.

On our next to last day we drove down to the Needles District of Canyonlands and went back over Elephant Hill and back to Confluence overlook, and then back out. On our last day I wanted to return to someplace I had to turn back without finding a thru route on my last trip here 4 years ago. We went up to the Hidden Canyon overlook, then took an offshoot just back from the overlook that headed off to the west. We traced a route over the slickrock and up a very steep dirt ramp to a higher rim and a little used trail (at least since the last storm). After some back tracking we finally came to a higher overlook where we could see the Hidden canyon overlook and hidden canyon. After a quick look in Well's book, we realized we had stumbled on Bartlett overlook. So we just followed Well's directions in reverse and headed out and eventually back to Moab. Combining these two routes made a really nice trip, with just a little hard stuff in the middle to add some spice.

So, One successful and very enjoyable trip! The Frontier did fine. It was funny, we had a lot of mountain bikers come up to us and ask us how we got in where they saw us. This happened a lot. We also had some amazed looks and questions from some built jeep guys, when they came on us back in these trails. We only ran into one rude biker the entire trip. She was coming down Klondike Bluffs too fast and almost hit us. I saw her coming and got as far over as I could and stopped. She didn't see us until she almost hit us. Then stopped and asked (not very politely) why we were there and were we supposed to be there in a motor vehicle. I told her yes it was a bike and jeep trail. I didn't tell her what I thought of her attitude and behavior.

I have admit this truck goes a lot of places you wouldn't think it could. The articulation is limited up front due to my spacer lift. Its good in the rear, but overall it is merely adequate. What makes this vehicle really work is the rear locker. It allows the Nismo to make it over ledges and up over obstacles it otherwise would not have a chance of making. Oh yeah, without the 2 1/2" of extra clearance provided by my lift and another 1/2" provided by moving up to 33" tires, i wouldn't have made it to many of the places we did go. So the stock truck with locker is quite capable, but its ground clearance limits it. A little bit of extra clearance allows this truck to do some pretty serious wheeling, especially considering its wheelbase and rear overhang! :D

Sorry for the book!
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