Not many come out to Moab, Utah during Easter Jeep Safari week to move logs. Or to grab some shears and pare back nasty tamarisk. Or even to dig holes for a new fence to prevent off-trail damage.
And who can blame them. With nearly 40 trails and hundreds of miles of the best off road action around, just about everyone wants to move gear shifters during the EJS. Not logs.
But when Tread Lightly! called up to ask if we could help with another trail maintenance event alongside the Federal Bureau of Land Management, we couldn’t say yes fast enough.
Then, when you add in the yearly Quadratec BBQ on the Grand County High School football field, Tuesday became a day for giving back as much as it was for having fun.
The BLM chose Hey Joe Canyon for this year’s trail maintenance as thick overgrowth made parts of the ride almost impassable. Also, a campground area needed access restriction because some vehicles were making their own paths through off-trail areas.
All of this is causing Hey Joe to teeter on the edge of closing to public travel, which would be sad as the trail – while not demanding – is certainly extremely scenic. Red Rocks 4 Wheels rates this as a 4 on its 1-10 difficulty scale.
Hey Joe Canyon trail enters and exits on the same path, as riders access on a narrow dirt road some 600 feet above the Spring Cavern floor. This makes for a spectacular view, but can be somewhat uncomfortable for those who do not like large drop offs. The slightly rocky trail switchbacks down to the canyon’s bottom where it then continues along the Green River before entering Hey Joe Canyon.
After staging at the canyon’s entrance, volunteers split off into three groups and spent the next four hours moving logs to block improper entrances, trimming back tamarisk so full-size vehicles can navigate, and installing fencing to prevent off-trail riding.
While we all wish we could have done more, the maintenance everyone accomplished should help block improper travel as well as keep Hey Joe Canyon accessible for the foreseeable future.
From the trail cleanup, we went back to school. Sort of. Actually it was the Grand County High School football field for the 8th annual Quadratec BBQ Dinner.
This event is among our most anticipated all year and we sponsor it to recognize all those who register for EJS trail rides, as well as for all the great Red Rock 4 Wheelers members who volunteer and help make the EJS happen.
The weather agreed this year, and more than 1,800 people showed up on a partly-cloudy, comfortable evening for a great dinner catered by Moab’s Red Cliffs Lodge. Plus, we had more than a dozen vendors come out and show off their company vehicles on the field. It was a fun and relaxing way for people to interact with manufacturers from all walks of the Jeep life. Of course, there were plenty of trail stories from the week to go around as well.
Thanks to the friendly folks from Red Cliffs Lodge for not only providing the well-received dinner, but for also efficiently handling what seemed like a never-ending line.
We also wanted to thank all our vendors who came out to support the Quadratec BBQ, including AEV, ARB, Rockhard 4x4, Rock Krawler, Skyjacker, Off Road Only, Smittybilt/G2 Axle/Poison Spyder, Bestop, Crown, JCR, Olympic, Rigid/Trucklite, RIPP Superchargers, River Raider, and Rock Slide Engineering.
Finally a special thanks for everyone who came out to dinner, as well as to the cleanup, with us. We appreciate all you do.