Syncro Solstice 4

Once again, our local Moab event was super fun! Got to see old friends and make new ones and drive lots of great roads.

This year it all started at my house for some of the Pacific Northwest travelers. I had invited them to stay here along the way and it made for a close drive the next day. We made veggie lasagna and fresh bread and the timing ended up being perfect. Due to some “technical vanagon difficulties), they were late, and due to my work, I was late! The four syncros rolled in about 11pm, just as I was pulling the lasagna out of the oven! It was a great start to the trip.01-IMG_6621

Our dirt road route started near Castle Dale, Utah after a brief stop in Huntington where a loose CV joint was repaired. Buckhorn Wash is full of interesting stuff, and we managed to find some shade while looking at some pictographs. Note: It’s best to see these in the shadows since the sun can wash out a lot of the colors as we learned a few weeks after on another trip.

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The next scenic stop was Crystal Geyser, a man made accidental cold water geyser. I had hoped to camp there and see it erupt but vandalism in the last few years (rocks down the tube) has resulted in just a trickle. But made for a nice stop and the mineral deposits ran right down the the river and were beautiful!

We made it to camp later that night after following dirt roads all the way there. I know there is a Jeep Safari route directly through that starts at Crystal Geyser, but I have to map it out first.

The next day we went hiking at arches while the rest of the vans did their thing…

We made it out of there before it got really hot! Then on to town for ice cream and then we drove back up Shafer Switchbacks and past the potash ponds on the way back to camp.

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The next day a large group of vans went out to Fins ‘n’ Things Jeep trail. We did about the first third then went out for a nice lunch at a park by the river. Other vans did about two thirds and then went to the swimming hole and only a couple braved the entire trail. I’m fine with skipping out on beating the van up in favor of a nice lunch break.

And this was about the worst part of the trail I drove on, not really that bad, but nothing you can do to stop a 5000 pound van from sliding down a sand covered rock! And as the white van found out, the grass is not always greener on the other side. Best to stick with where everyone else had been driving down!

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After lunch we went out exploring North of camp. Found some extremely fun sand roads leading to Tuscher Tunnel and Hidden Canyon. There was one cool spot on top of the mountain I had seen last year after mapping it out but wasn’t able to find it this time. Maybe next year…

Back at camp that night we had a great meal cooked up by my friend Jeff in Oregon (same one who drove along with us in out last blog trip!) and his co-pilot. Thanks again guys!

The next day was Sunday and the last day I had off for the weekend. We headed out the long way and got a great overlook into the river and Hey Joe Canyon trail. It’s good to be back in the desert.

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