From the family that continuously travels, hello again! This trip was by far the funniest to me, but I tend to be the one laughing at the worst moments. Let’s just say, the snapchat afterwards was hilarious!
We started off in our little city in southern California, packing up for our trip to Moab, Utah for the BFE Beatdown race held by Ultra4. Rock crawling at its finest. We had recently been reached out to by Polaris (crazy right?) to test out one of their new RZRs, the Ultimate. I honestly felt like a princess when we picked it up and towed it away into the sunset… HA! Everything was going perfectly as the girls slept through most of the drive, and we didn’t have the last trailer problems from our Oatman Arizona trip. SMH.
We had decided to make a stop in St. George for two nights and enjoy a full day to take the RZR to Sand Hollow before making the trek to Moab. As we drove through the night, we passed our exit, therefore we got off the freeway to make a U-turn. As we found a street wide enough, we started to hear a weird metallic noise. We slowed down, but as we about completed the U-turn, one of the trailer tires fell completely off! The trailer now lingered on one tire, with another sitting in the middle of 300 North, putting a stop to our “perfect” journey.
Somehow Shaun and I tend to have the worst of the worst type of scenarios each time we travel together, which would lead to the questions, “why do you keep traveling?”. Our lives are built around the magazine we run together with Dave, which tends to keep us on the go more often than the average family. But we actually like it that way, well, after the chaos is over with that is.
Now as our trailer’s life balanced on the pavement, a local police officer drove by to assist in whatever way he could. We called the tow truck, who fit the wheel back on, just enough to drag it to the mechanic shop a block away. He followed us to the lot ensuring the tire didn’t escape down the embankment. Finally, the trailer, and RZR, were safely locked up the best we could do, we dragged our sleepy selves to the hotel.
The next morning, Shaun awoke and rushed to the shop who fixed the trailer before 10am. We loaded back up, stopping for lunch at Zupas, my dire hometown favorite, before tugging the trailer up to Sand Hollow.
After we parked and got the girls into the RZR we began to glide through the sand as we rounded turns and climbed each peak for a few hours until we adventured our way to the Top of the World. Now when I say “Top of the World” it is the highest peak in Sand Hollow from my understanding. Now the RZR that we had was brand new and is fitted for most older children and adults. Aria on the other hand is a small 5-year-old child and barely stands at 3 ½ feet! The seat belts were cutting in above her shoulders but beneath her helmet. We did another short ride around before deciding to head back to the truck and load up. Deciding not to avoid the rocks so we wouldn’t bounce Aria around we chose to go down another trail instead of the one we came in on.. big mistake!
As we rounded a hill, we came across small rock formations that Shaun insisted wouldn’t be far from where we needed to go. Aria was extremely uncomfortable being bounced around and began crying that she wanted to be done when Shaun stopped the RZR to walk and look at where we were heading. Looking out he said he could see a path ahead and it would take us back to the truck. He was 100% wrong. We came up against a downhill rock canyon that eventually opened back up to more rock formations and no way to leave onto solid ground, yet Shaun had the great idea to continue down.
Now when I say this was a downgrade hill, I hope the pictures do it justice on how steep these rock formations were. I may have come from Utah, but this was beyond my offroad background and more of a rock crawler typed playground. The girls and I exited the RZR and allowed Shaun to teeter his way down the rocks while we slowly walked our way behind him. As we walked, I was helping spot Shaun as he couldn’t see what was below or on the sides of him as he crawled the RZR over each formation. This took A LOT of communication and patience, which neither of us had much of at this point. At one point there was a narrow pass between two large rocks that Shaun said we would go down, putting 3 of 4 wheels into the air, and flexing the frame beyond your normal drive in the desert. However, this RZR was successfully working its way through this rock jungle around us, particularly easier than I expected.
We reached a leveled area to look around, noticing the stake in the ground indicating the trail and designated challenge level. In shock, I read “Double Sammy” with a large number 7 above it. WE WENT DOWN A LEVEL 7 OUT OF 10 TRAIL WITH A STOCK RZR?! I couldn’t believe it! Now I’m not implying that we should enter the King of the Hammers, but I was extremely proud of what we had just done. Except, we still weren’t back at the truck. Once we realized that the trail didn’t have an output like we expected, FINALLY, Shaun agreed that we should head back. Somehow, we were supposed to go back UP THE ROCKS WE JUST CAME DOWN FROM! Oh my blood was boiling at this point, as I thought, we could have avoided all of this and not waisted sunlight. I looked at the setting sun, hoping we could make it up faster than we had come down so we wouldn’t have to do it in the dark. We began the trek back up the rocks faster than I could have expected without a scratch, until that narrow section scraped the back fender.
At the top, the sun was just about to fall beneath the skyline, which also brought on the cold of the desert. I had not expected to be out that late and had not packed jackets for an 80-degree day. Shaun, following the RZR maps, continued to get spun around each hill brining us back to a fence line with multiple trails leading out. Confused, he pulled out his iPad to use the trail map he has, which did not match the RZR maps. With my background in the military and orienteering with the JROTC I read the terrain nearby with the maps and explained we should go up a specific trail to get back. However, more time had passed, circling down each trail back to the fence line. Finally, he listed to me, following a fairly unused trail over a hill, around the sand and back to the truck after a few short moments riding.
To say that this was our most ‘adventurous’ adventure is an understatement! We built on both of our patience, trusting each other’s advice, and opening our communication with one another. I wouldn’t recommend couples go rock crawling in hopes of fixing their relationship, however, it definitely helped us build on our established foundation of trust as we learned to blindly follow each other’s direction.