With Bill Johnston
Round trip distance for this one was about 35 miles from Moab and back. You have to go through half of the Poison Spider Mesa Trail to get to the beginning of the Spike and then at the end of the trail you have to use the Gold Bar Rim Trail to get out. Its a long trail, but the views are spectacular and the obstacles are very challenging.
We had a full group for the line up at the trailhead. Our Trail Leader was none other than Jon Riggs, President of the ASA and his brother in Zuggy. The Tailgunner position was filled by Glenn and Jennifer driving her black Samurai that had just been outfitted with a 1.9ltr VW turbodiesel. Glenn Wakefield is the Land Use Director for the ASA and owner of Rocky Road Outfitters. There were many zooks in attendance but there were more Jeeps than anything else with an occasional Bronco thrown in for good measure. The trail is rated as one of the toughest hardcore trails in the Moab area. There were many bypasses that made it easier for some of the Jeeps, some of which had paint jobs that looked like they would never be allowed to see any close calls in the rocks.
Poison Spider Mesa
This was the first leg of the journey and it started with a few switchbacks that got you into the rock crawling mood. Then it took us to the first obstacle called The Waterfall that tested your vehicle to see if you lowered the air pressure enough. This showed many drivers why air pressure is a large factor in grabbing rock, less air equals more foot print which equals less tire spin. Single digit air pressure was the only way to go for most everyone (or bypass with the whiners). Next we wound through an interesting stair step and into The Wedgy. If you straddle the groove in the rocks perfectly, the Wedgy is a breeze. But if you get into a lean it could mean some paint loss. At the top of the Wedgy one could turn sharply to the left and get LOTS of air for a good photo opportunity. This trail continues along the High Speed Mesa to the end about a mile further. Then we start the official Golden Spike Trail.
By this time most of the zooks had congregated at the back of the pack. There had been some breakage (t-case mounts) and zook folks like to stick together and help out. This separated us from the group for a little while, but we would catch up later. Glenn was still bringing up the rear so we were still official.
The first obstacle is the Launch Pad. It is a very steep incline that tests out your traction control. Low gears and light foot got most through this without any problems. In fact, Glenn just idled up the slickrock with the turbo diesel. To the left we can see Dewey Marler, Treasurer for the ASA showing us how it's done. His rig was nicely done, so it's a good thing he knows how to keep the rubber on the slickrock. I think it was about this time when Jessika James, Vice President for the ASA showed us how to drive with our feet. Different, a little crazy, but definitely different. Then we went on to Skyline drive. This was a fairly steep incline with a great photo opportunity at the top. The route down was just as steep, but there werent any problems.