Mechanical troubles on our way to Utah - the off-road Capital...
DAY 3 (continued)
Our last installment of "On The Road" left us with our intrepid Atlantic British travelers laid up on the side of a road somewhere in Colorado. One of the Land Rovers in the group was “dead in the water” with a suspected broken throttle cable. Once the diagnosis was confirmed, the group began to try to locate a replacement cable. Eric dialed up an old friend, a member of the Colorado based Solihull Society club to see if he knew anyone that night have a the correct cable. He said he thought he had a lead, and that he would call back.
Meanwhile, we still had to get the stricken Disco moving again. The vehicle’s owner was elbow deep in the dash, attempting to remove the bad inner cable. Once that was out, we attempted to slip a piece of mechanics wire through the factory cable sheath. It was a very slow process so I decided to look under the hood for another roadside option. With a little ingenuity I had an idea. I disconnected the cruise control cable from the vacuum actuator and ran it over the front of the engine. It made a nice sweeping arc and just needed a few zip ties and a piece of wire to get into the pedal. At this point I got a call that a used part had been located and was in the process of being pulled. We finished up the roadside repair and off we went to British 4x4 Ltd in Denver to meet Brad, our contact there. After some searching and some phone coaching we met Brad from at the shop with the new-to-us cable. We pulled the truck into a bay and within 20 minutes we were on our way.
After driving nearly 2,000 miles and having a show-stopper breakdown, we were only 10 minutes late getting to the airport. Our next major stop? Moab, the 4x4 capital of the USA! We crossed the Rockies with little trouble other than a dog that had altitude sickness. It's hard to force a dog to drink water. Fortunately, once we were back below seven thousand feet he was better and feeling normal again.
We made it to Moab and set up camp just in time for others to arrive from Salt Lake. We had dinner and a great campfire under the huge star filled Lone Mesa sky.
Day 4, Sunday- We decided our first day in Moab we would do the Hells Revenge trail. It’s one of my favorite trails, and lots of fun to bring new people on. The things you can get away with in Moab would get you killed or at least seriously injured in the North East. It's all mind over matter since you have more traction than you can imagine is available. After a fun day out on the slickrock, we made it back to camp just in time for the rest of the East coast trucks to arrive; they left home a day later than we did. They set up camp and joined us for campfire stories of the day's trail adventures.
Days 5 and 6- For these two days, we hired Bill Burke of 4 Wheeling America to be our guide outside of Blanding, Utah in the arch canyon area. It was an amazing two days. If you have never been on a Bill Burke experience, it is worth the time and every penny spent. He is a great guy with deep local knowledge and he owns a small fleet of Rovers too. From driving instruction to tours he does it all.
After the Bill Burke days we headed back to our Moab base camp to do more local trails. Lots of trails went just fine for days until we were descending Long Canyon. One of the D2's had been developing a horrible vibration and chirping from under the hood.
Just like any good Land Rover travelogue, this installment also ends with our group riding the brink of mechanical disaster. Stay tuned for our next episode to find out what happens!
Hint: who knows what this is??
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