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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

Moab Redrock

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Turret Arch through the North Window. (c) 2009 Tom Kelly Photo
The pre-dawn drive down Park Avenue in Arches National Park is a mystical experience. Shadows of redrock monuments can be faintly seen against the evening sky. To the east, the first sign of light glows over the La Sals. Every sunrise is different. Cloudy days can bring magical pre-dawn colors, while clear skies signal a burning red glow on the sandstone.

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General

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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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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Girls Do Moab

The Orange Jeep hit the road – packed to the hilt – as Tumbleweed and Cactus took granddaughters Madeline and Hanna (a.k.a. Sassy 5 and Flying Ninja Bunny) to Moab for a weekend of hiking, Jeeping, Geocaching and swimming. It was the first redrock adventure for the young 12-year-olds.
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Inspiration: Moab Photo Symposium

When I was shooting news and sports 35 years ago I never envisioned myself as a fine art photographer. But after two years attending the Moab Photo Symposium, that same passion I had in shooting hockey and midnight fires is manifesting itself in a crazy desire to drive an hour to Mesa Arch at 5:00 a.m. to catch the fiery sunrise under the arch.

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Sunrise at Dead Horse Point

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Redrock 2007

Spring is the time for our annual trek to the San Rafael Swell and Moab desert. This year Jeeped our way through the swell and tried a few short hikes to test Carole’s re-habbing feet, then headed to the Moab Photography Symposium for the weekend.