fins and things got lost on the way there, kane creek got us all wet, and poison spider made it swell again…

First ride Thursday morning was the kickoff with Rally On The Rocks. After assembling on the south side of the valley at a large arena, we went through a driver briefing, and then convoyed off to the trailhead:

I took tons of pictures of the rest of the group, mostly because I wanted to practice angles and lighting and response of the camera, so that when it came time to shoot Stacey, I wouldn’t screw it up (I still did). But it was fun having something to do besides baking in the car waiting for everyone else to get through the obstacle. There’s good sides and down sides to the big organized rides: for inexperienced drives, it’s a chance to get out on a course with guidance that you might not approach on your own. But then you’re waiting at every obstacle…

Still, it was a ton of fun, and got to see some killer rockhopping action. Since there are literally hundreds of pictures to grind through, I won’t post them here…

But I will tell the story of the roughly 70-year-old dude in his mid-90’s era Ranger. This is much more of an ATV 4-wheeler type vehicle with a cage mounted on top. Today’s UTVs have fully articulated suspensions and a variety of other tweaks to enable serious rock hopping.

So this old dude in this old Ranger, he wasn’t to be daunted. There was one steep rock that was proving difficult for tons of folks. When the old dude’s turn came up, I was prepping my camera and framing, when he literally stood on the accelerator and shot at top speed straight at the nearly vertical surface of the rock.

He slammed head on into the rock with an enormous crash, and then suddenly, his vehicle was up on the rock, and he toodled onto the next obstacle.

Somewhere around the first hour, this same old dude managed to get separated from the group. We ended up having to park for over an hour while a couple of the guides doubled back to retrieve him. This cut the overall ride short, but it was still a blast.

The afternoon ride was out through Kane Creek–the first half of the ride was a straight-up bomb through a hot dry desert valley. But once we hit Kane Creek, it turned into the Jurassic Park Jeep escape scene, with a good portion of the trail literally running through the creek. Heaps of fun but a bad environment for pictures, so, not evidence. I’ve put here what I could, but for the most part, y’all will have to imagine.

That evening, as we were just heading into the room, Stacey started chatting with a guy in the parking lot who was putting up his own vehicle. Pretty soon, we were instigating another ride, and soon left for Poison Spider.

This ride was a ton of fun: the sun had backed off a bit so the weather was awesome, the ride was great, and the other dude was a pretty seasoned driver, so he and Stacey were able to really tear down some of the trail at top speeds.

And then there were the obstacles: