By Dennis Sullivan
The “RUN” date was changed from September 17th to September 10, 2016 to allow more of our club members to attend.
Our outing this fine September 10 morning was the Lockhart Basin trail from Southern Canyonlands to Moab, UT through Lockhart Canyon. A distance of 60 miles. I had taken this trip on two earlier occasions over the years and it had never taken more than 5 hours. I was in for a rude awakening this time.
At 8:15 AM the run actually began as three jeeps left Arch View RV campground just 11 miles north of Moab. On the run were the Kelly’s, Mike and Carol, the Moore’s, Ray and Le Anne, and the Sullivan’s, Dennis and Casey. (Jay Jimenez had left about 15 minutes earlier to get gas.)
After a little more than a 75 minute drive south on HWY 191 we arrived at Newspaper rock (Hwy 211) and stopped to see what the early Anasazi Indians were talking about. We stayed for a while checking out the petroglyphs, the new restroom and a great new parking lot.
We then continued on HWY 211 about 10 miles to the trail head. We aired down and began our run toward Hurrah pass through Lockhart Canyon. We passed the BLM campground at Hamburger Rock and at about the 4 mile mark Ray broke a rear shock mount. He quickly disconnected the shock, all-the-while mumbling unkind somethings about the installer. The trail proceeded quickly for the next mile or two then slowed considerably to a crawl. The slowing was caused by the rough trail as many places the trail had been washed away in front of us. Later, we had to move slowly through the mountains. Often in front of us were severe drops sometimes as much as three to four feet. On a couple of these drop-offs we had to build up the trail with rocks, then with a spotter, we were able to continue. We had lunch around 12:15 but were only a few miles down the trail by then.
We continued our run through the mountains, sharp cliffs on the edge of the trail, and many more drops on the trail that led to more spotting and a very slowed pace. It was now getting late in the afternoon and I was wondering if this slow pace was ever going to end. We were down to about 3/8th of a tank of gas and low on water (even though we had started with seven bottles) when we came around a corner with a slot and many sharp drop-offs about the length of a football field. We could hardly have turned around at this point due to gasoline so we endured the drops with very careful spotting. About this time Ray noticed increased noise in his rear brake area but decided not to stop and check it out. Later it was found to be an incorrectly installed emergency brake assembly and many bent brake parts. There were again some unkind words about the installer.
We finally made Hurrah pass and quickly moved over the pass and down to Moab. What time was it you might ask?? It was seven o’clock PM. Our little journey through Lockhart Basin had taken a total of 10 hours and 45 minutes. The trail was a little intimidating, sometimes a little scary but most of all great fun. Would I do it again…yep! In my next lifetime.