I’ve heard discussions about who is the Mayor of Moab, or maybe even the King of Moab, and what his qualifications are to deserve such a title. Well, you rarely hear about a lady deserving a rock crawling title but let me set the stage and tell you why Susan Stevens deserves to be the Princess of Pritchett Canyon.
I met Susan for the first time on Pritchett canyon. She was a gunner on my trail at Easter Safari. I remember seeing her rig, WMNDRVR and thinking “I wish I could drive like this lady”. Now I consider Susan a dear friend and am glad to run in her posse. Well today is Susan’s birthday and she’s out to run her trail and perhaps you’ll see by the time we get to the end, why Susan deserves her title!
But, there are always multiple stories wrapped up in one day. Before we enter the trail, let’s go see the new Samurai out to join the fun. I don’t know his name yet but he’s a sweet purple buggy and Rick is the proud papa. He came roaring into the cinema with his new truck, trailer, and toy ready to break him in on Pritchett-gently he says, HA! says I. Beautiful isn’t it?
Once we got to the trail head, we had a little surprise for Susan, the birthday girl. A banner for her truck, a pink balloon, a tiara for her and the group, and lots of princess surprises. A big grin says it all. It’s my BIRFDAY! I can do what I want and breaking my junk on Pritchett sounds like a plan. OH YEAH! (just kidding, thought I would try a little Pirate 4X4 lingo…..)
Into the very quiet Pritchett canyon we descended, Redroxx got to lead the way. The crowds from the week before were gone and with the exception of a few hikers and mountain bikers, we were alone until Rockpile and then only had a few dirt bikes coming down on their heads.
Everyone was anxious to warm up the tires. The birthday girl selected a difficult line up the first wash. We’re not even to the brickyard yet!
Then it was through the Brickyard and over to Chewy. Birthday girl got a little excited and slid off the trail before Chewy, requiring a bit of a rescue. Oh well, so much for the first mile or so.
Redroxx went right on up. 40″ tires really help get those diffs away from the rocks although I think she’s ready for her 4:1 t-case upgrade! Jeff came on up too with just a single rock stacked in a key position for assistance.
Rick’s YouTube of his climb up Chewy.
YouTube Page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=757sx0SovLE
Rick is loving his new toy and his driving skills show that he was ready for an upgrade. I’m sure Rokdawg is looking at his BFE scars and thinking “thank you”! Semi-retirement is waiting for a hard working TJ. Join Moab TJ on Steelbender, Cliffhanger, and Fins!
After Chewy, we all played in the rocky wash and worked our way over to Rocker Knocker. Little MS. Birthday girl took some tough lines but it’s her party…..the crying is yet to come.
Dee is out with her new beauty, Roxanne. No red lights in her future. This nicely built LJ will be out on the trails around Moab for years to come.
Here’s another story. Danielle, Matt’s 16 year old daughter, got some driving time in on Pritchett today. Here she is making a run on the waterfall. I think we’re going to have another talented lady driver in the club. She’s a good driver but maybe a bit hard on herself. Let me tell you, many grown men have left Pritchett in tears and broken Jeeps. I think you did MAHVALOUS darling!
Over to Rocker Knocker. Here’s why Susan is definitely the Princess of Pritchett. Who can drive Rocker Knocker with a big thumbs up the whole time? She still has on her tiara and her pretty silver Happy Birthday banner!
Susan’s You Tube video
YouTube Page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRh5l2JyUlk
Check out Dee and Roxanne conquering Rocker Knocker.
LJ’s have the right wheel base for this obstacle.
YouTube Page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tp5DbmMsYdI
Here’s Jim on trail number ninety something running Pritchett for the 2nd time in 3 days…..SHEESH!
Here’s Redroxx preparing for her attempt on Axle hill. Melanie rode along as her tires are on backorder. Always an excuse! Can you say “Chicken Dance?” BAWK!
Here’s a nice photo of Rick driving up Axle hill. THAT was easy!
Check out Susan’s attempt on Axle hill.
You can see why this one was named after her. YIKES! This was almost big trouble!
YouTube Page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kkOyp52O78
Here’s another OOPS.
Dee’s new tire carrier slid open at just the wrong moment and can you say STUCK, STUCK Don’t leave me Ralphy?
YouTube Page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qrmi16KiMjQ
Some of the club tried to close it for her but no luck. After stabilizing the Jeep with a winch line, Dee jumped out (with some help) to show everyone how to close the gate that had a tricky t-handle.
Okay, so at this level, closing a heavy gate against gravity is tough. It almost looks like they’re pushing Roxanne up Axle Hill.
After much ado, threats with hammers, and a few choice cuss words, the gate finally closed.
So, what could Jim possibly be thinking here? (Choose your favorite answer!)
A. I never thought I’d be out on Pritchett Canyon with so many girls! Where’s my tiara? If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!
B. It’s a Jeep thing…..I understand….OVER AND OVER I UNDERSTAND!!!
C. Why does Matt keep backing into me? EXCUSE ME!
D. Who gives a S#%# what I’m thinking?? Let’s get the hell out of here!
D. Birthday, shmirthday. When you get to be my age it’s all about church!
Next came Matt up Axle Hill!
YouTube Page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTGaLLATFus
After some exciting trips up Axle hill, Rockpile, Son of Rockpile and Yellow Hill, we posed for a shot at the top of the canyon.
Then, with the exception of Matt who selected the county road, we all went off through Hunter Canyon. Apparently there had been some rain as the canyon was wet and muddy, making for even more fun.
It really was a pretty view watching all the rigs of different colors working their way through the canyon. Those thinking that Hunter is easier than Pritchett need to pay attention as Hunter is a difficult trail on its own.
Especially in the water. Watch out Roxanne!
What a super happy Birthday girl. She posed for the cameras all day! (Although if you read my blog, you know she’s never been camera shy!)
We worked our way over to White Knuckle Hill.
Here’s Redroxx going up!
YouTube Page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2GmjCOg4jY
Jeff also went up easily. Rick had a little problem and chose to take a pull. Jim carefully stacked rocks for Susan. She drove this obstacle for the first time last year on her birthday and has been denied since. Is it possible that Birthday magic is working in her favor?
You betcha! She lined up perfectly and came right on up. Susan had her second ever climb up White Knuckle, both times on her birthday. Crazy, isn’t it? Sorry, the camera filled up here so I don’t have any photos of White Knuckle. I know Dee and others might so if they send them to me, I’ll put them in!
Jim also made it up. About that time we ran into some Canadians, eh? coming down the trail in their Jeeps. We gave a little aid on the White Knuckle descent with a strap to the Maple Leaf flag and then with some helpful directions–they would have gone right into Hunter instead of left to the county road which would probably have had them getting out after dark.–we left off for the county road ourselves.
With a brief stop on Hummer hill to let Mary know we’re all okay, we made the descent down, crossed 191 and got some air at the Steven’s garage.
Now, if you’re still wondering who the Princess of Pritchett is, well shame on you! I submit my blog as evidence and if any gal thinks they’re in the running, just get in line. (behind me of course!) Susan Stevens, princess of Pritchett canyon, my pink hat’s off to you! You’ve inspired many lady wheelers and quite a few guys too I’m sure!
See ya on the trail!