This year marks my fourth season in Moab. I arrived in late February 2013 and within a few weeks it was the beginning of "Jeep Safari", the longest running jamboree for rock crawling jeep enthusiasts in the world.
Moab is a Mecca for that sort of thing. Some of these rigs very easily go up to the six-figures range and can pretty much climb anything in their way. Last year I took some clients to see the Ancient Owl Petroglyph which is up above the Amasa Back trail, under a hidden ledge.
Amasa Back is one of the older and more popular Jeep trails in the area. After we parked by Birthing Rock, a large boulder with a Petroglyph that depicts a "birth"; we had to walk the trail down into the canyon and up the other side to get to our destination. There was a line of about 15 jeeps just starting the trail and we walked through the line to get to the trail head. It's a pretty tough hike but isn't big in distance, only about 4.5 miles round trip.
We dropped down and leisurely hiked up to the ledge talking and sharing stories about our lives with one another as hiking tends to bring out in people. We made it to the petroglyphs and I was telling them what knowledge I have about the scene and the history of the Kane Creek area. We had lunch and started back up the trail.
When we made it back to the intersection of foot trail to jeep trail that same caravan of jeeps had only traveled about 150 yards. It surprised me at how slow the process of a trail ride can be in Moab. Being a hiking guide here I take pride at how much I can show my clients in just a few miles of hiking and while I wouldn't call my services cheap it's nothing compared to renting and insuring a jeep to ride trails in the area.
I guess 'ol Cactus Ed was right once again when he said, "You can't see anything from a car; you've got to get out of the goddamn contraption and walk, better yet crawl, on hands and knees, over the sandstone and through the thornbrush and cactus. When traces of blood begin to mark your trail, you'll see something, maybe."