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Potato Salad Hill



Potato Salad Hill, originally uploaded by tomkellyphoto.

No, this is not our orange Jeep. I do wish it was. This is no picnic. This is Potato Salad Hill during Easter Jeep Safari in Moab. This is where the term insanity was coined.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and just thinking the outcome will be different. That describes the guy in the really nice F-250 without lockers who just couldn’t figure out why he couldn’t make it up the near-vertical rock outcropping of Potato Salad Hill. His day ended when he bent a tie rod at a 45 degree angle – not good for the steering (talk about toe-in).

This driver was good. And he had good equipment. Earlier he had climbed straight up the middle with no effort at all. For the rocks on rider’s right are steep – super, super steep. And it’s impossible to keep all four down, as you can see here

He tried and tried for nearly an hour – nearly tipping more than once. He moved a tire an inch here and an inch there.

Wanna know another trick? Look closely at the winch, which is wrapped around the front axle. From the cockpit, he can control the winch to keep the nose lower. As he steps the Jeep up the rock, the articulation of the front suspension throws the nose up and back. A quick hit on the winch and the nose of the Jeep is a bit closer to terra firme.

Yes, in the end, he made it. As did most of the others.

Potato Salad Hill is, indeed, insanity. But it’s fun. Thousands camp out on the rocks to watch driver after driver tackle the hill. It’s good fun – no problems. Just watching man and machine tackle Mother Nature.

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General

Eureka: Another Jeep Adventure

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A huge old lift tower rises into the sky at a mine above Eureka in the Tintic Mining District. Photo: (c) 2009 Tom Kelly

Living in Utah gives us incredible diversity thanks to the geography. When the summer heat arrives, you head up into the mountains to cool off. And when it’s still a bit of a coolish spring day, you head to the desert. After a few weekends in Moab’s redrock country, and a couple sojourns out to the West Desert, it was time for a new Jeep adventure. So we packed up the Orange Jeep and headed to territory we had not visited in some time, the Tintic Mining District an hour south of Salt Lake City.

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Jeep in The Shop

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Well, things didn’t quite go as planned for the first Jeep outing in Moab. A weekend with our relatives from Indianapolis kicked off with some fun on Fins and Things, but ended up in The Shop in Moab with a bent output shaft on the transmission. Thanks to the boys there – Austin, Bill and Clay – for taking good care of The Orange Jeep.

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West Desert Adventure

Sunday closed out Thanksgiving weekend and it was pretty ugly in Park City. Zach and I started a Jeep drive that was going to be simply a loop over Parley’s to East Canyon, up to Henefer and home. Pretty simple. As we crested Parley’s, the sky looked enticingly clearer over Salt Lake. I checked the GPS and we had about three hours to sunset. Quick change of plans, I told Zach – we’re heading to the West Desert. Our West Desert adventures are simply breathtaking. We didn’t have a lot of time so it was just hammering out I-80 as far as we could go, with a few sidetrips. This northern route, as we call it, has proven to be one of the simplest quick adventures – much shorter than our usual seven or eight our odysseys. Zach loved it, finding some great little sideroads, four-wheel lowin’ it up a steep hill, and hanging out in a ghost town out by Aragonite.

West Desert Stream

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Redrock with Zach

We love introducing people to Utah’s Redrock country. Somehow, over the years, we’ve never had the opportunity to take Zach. Now, driver’s license in hand, Zach joined us for an eye-opening trip to one of the most wonderful places in the world! Watch for more pictures to come.
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Orange Jeep Gets Stuck

Yes, it happens. Even Jeeps get stuck once in a while. But right in the middle of a wide open field? This one really took us by surprise.
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Geocaching in the West Desert

Cactus (Carole) poses with Tumbleweed (OK, real Tumbleweed in this case) with the Orange Jeep out in the West Desert.[photopress:IMG_0728.jpg,full,alignleft]