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True test

As promised, we got the call Monday that the truck was done and ready to roll! We happily checked out of the inn and went to pick up the truck. and turn in the rental. I wanted to make sure the truck was good to go offroad, the Mechanic assured me it was. I asked him if we had an issue if he would come out and tow us back from the trail at the bottom of Dead Horse Point and Canyonlands NP. He just smiled.

With the assurance of a smile warranty we set out to Shafer trail. Ever since I’d seen it five years ago from the overlook at Dead Horse Point State Park I wanted to go back and drive it. Actually, that’s the main reason we took the truck - to go offroad and sleep in the bed.

Now the true test of the repairs.

Prince’s Plume. We saw this all over in Utah but I loved how this was highlighted by the sun against a dark rock at the bottom of the canyon.

The trail itself wasn’t technical at all. We went slow at first, maybe too slow, just to make sure we ddin’t have to call the tow truck. But no worries, the truck did great. And turns out we didn’t have cell service so we would have been out of luck anyway.

Only one area on the trail that Amy had to get out and help me navigate. It was a blind corner with a 100’ drop on one side to the Colorado River and a cliff on the other. A fellow I’d met at an overlook at Dead Horse Point actually pointed this out to me a few days earlier so I kinda knew about it, just not sure where it was. But as I was saying, Amy had to get out, walk ahead and make sure no one else was coming. I really felt like my truck barely squeezed through, no way we could have passed another car. But Amy said there was plenty of room, so no worries.

We made the blind corner just fine. We stopped for photos pretty often and enjoyed the sights. There weren’t very many people on the trail, but it was Monday after all.

A few times we put the truck into 4-wheel drive, more just to do it than anything. One thing about a pickup is that the back end is so light it can slip in dirt or rocks. Only on the switchbacks coming up out of the canyon at Canyonlands NP did we have to use the 4-wheel drive. And because the truck was so long we couldn’t actually make the turns on a few of the switchbacks. I had to back up a few feet to make it. Not really ideal with a 100’ drop, but we made it just fine.

We finally topped out, hit the pavement again and went to the overlook across from the visitor center to see where we’d been and take pictures of the switchback. We heard a couple talking about the “crazy” people who were driving on the trail. Amy and I just smiled at each other, knowing we were a couple of the crazies. We hit the Visitor center for our sticker of the Shafer Trail to put on the truck. And sadly, this couple had no idea the adventure and sights they missed. A little crazy goes a long way!

View from the top of the canyon with the Shafer Trail far below and a portion of the road leading up to exit at Canyonlands NP.

View from the top of the canyon with the Shafer Trail far below and a portion of the road leading up to exit at Canyonlands NP.