|On Saturday, we were scheduled to run the Marble Rock Trail. The day before we had
heard that it was much tougher than Ballhanger. Knowing I had 4 or 5 more days of
4-wheeling to enjoy in the San Juans of Colorado, I decided to take a little easier trail.
Scott Elmer, (our trail leader for Ballhanger), suggested Pinion Mesa as a scenic trail with choices of tamer or aggressive obstacles. This sounded good to me, and we all ( J.J., Swede, and Arlene) agreed. Seems like everyone on the Ballhanger group did too, cause nearly all of them joined in for the scenic, laid-back, but still challenging Pinion Mesa Trail. I think everyone had such a fine time Friday, they wanted more of the same Saturday.
Our run started with a short 10 minute paved stretch to the turn off to Pinion Mesa. You could see the large mesa from a distance, and we could tell we were in for some good 4-wheelin ahead. Scott led us up the steep incline and around Pinion Trees (small scrub-like trees with a cone that produces a tasty nut every so many years) to the top.
We ran the trail along the top, with a stop to check out Shiprock, a strange rock formation 29 miles away that looks like a ship and its sails. An awesome sight indeed. We soon came to a steep downhill section that would take us to a canyon and a wash. There we were in for our first interesting obstacle, an optional water-carved wash thru slickrock.
Scott went thru first, easily, followed by Swede and Arlene, who also went thru very well. I was next, and with some spotting from Scott, I was able to get thru pretty well. This section tests your suspension and gives you an idea of your vehicles real world axle articulation.
When we were all ready to go , we left to go check out the Big Boys
Trail, a section of The Intimidator. We saw the tail end of it, two sections called
Crapshoot and the Graffitti Bowl. Here we got to see the trail and the folks and their
fine hard core machines. This is not a trail for a mildly equipped rigs or the faint at
heart. The trail has serious off-camber drop-offs, and vertical rock cliff climbs. A
serious rig is needed, and double lockers, low low gears, 33" tires min., a winch and
the attitude that body damage is no big deal. We got To see many of the hard core veterens
at their best. It sure was fun to see them in action. Just made me think about how far my
Jeep has go to go to get there, Whew! Swede could have done this trail, as he has his rig
equipped well, and has done trails nearly as tough, but decided to take the more mellow
trails this time. Expect to see him there sometime, Im sure, as he was lookin
real hard at the Intimidator.