It was the first time I did something that was on my bucket list that I didn’t want to do. It was there in black and white, but I never thought I would really do it. It is the kind of thing that is preceded by, “Here, hold my beer and watch this.” In my case, it would be root beer, but still. Then my grandson, Mark, and his wife, Charlotta, invited Gayle and me to take an ATV trip to Moab.
The first day was pretty tame. On my suggestion, we rode Onion Creek — one of the tamer scenic rides Moab has to offer.
Finishing the ride, we stopped by our motel. My wife went up to our room, but there was still plenty of light to enjoy another short ride and my grandson and his wife wanted to show me a trail called Fins and Things.
I had heard of this trail, but the only word associated with it had been “fun.” Well, I am always up for fun and it wasn’t the dreaded Hell’s Revenge Trail that was on my bucket list that I didn’t want to do.
So we headed out again (minus Gayle) for a short ride on Fins and Things. When we got there, I froze up. This is the Fins and Things trail that is supposed to be fun? This looks like Hell’s Revenge that is on my bucket list that I didn’t want to do.
Mark climbed the first hill and turned to look down on me. It was bad enough that it was my grandson driving. My granddaughter-in-law called out, “Come on, Grandpa.” Well, that took the cake. I could just sit there and cry in my root beer (which I didn’t have any of) or get on with it. So I followed them up the trail.
Coming out on top, I looked back and thought, “That wasn’t so bad.” I started to learn about the fun of Moab. We finished a series of ups and downs and headed back to town.
The next day, Gayle and Charlotta decided to have a look around town. Mark said, “Come on, Grampa. We are going to ride Hell’s Revenge.” After Fins and Things, I was ready to check off that item on my bucket list and we were off for adventure.
The entrance to the Hell’s Revenge Trail is a short concrete ramp that puts you onto a slick rock backbone that drops off steep on either side. We crossed the ramp and climbed the backbone.
Mark told me that there were alternate trails for anything we didn’t feel comfortable with and thus I was duped into thinking that we would take those. We came to the first really steep climb. It looked like it went straight up. I looked at the alternate trail and Mark shook his head and pointed up.
I whimpered a little and then followed. I had an iron grip on the steering wheel and my neck was stretched out like a goose trying to keep the front wheels down. I had my cellphone in a cubby hole in the dashboard of my Kawasaki Teryx 4 LE. The angle was so steep that it fell out, but fortunately it landed on the floor and stayed in the machine.
Upon reaching the top, I looked back down. That was incredible. If I had tried to climb a sand or dirt hill from a standing start, the tires would have just dug in and I would still be at the bottom. Tires stick like glue to the slick rock which makes for an unbelievable ride.
We did avoid Hell’s Gate. A sign posted there indicated that machine damage was likely. We also passed two “hot tubs.” This is a cute name for big holes in the rock that some people drive down into with hopes of climbing out. We were not even tempted.
The trail is pretty easy to follow. You just ride the black track over the slick rock. When you are not negotiating the trail, the scenery is amazing — slick rock mounds for as far as the eye can see.
We did come to a junction near the end that wasn’t marked and we chose poorly. It took us out on a trail that was rougher than a cob. When you go, take plenty of water, keep the rubber side down and follow someone who has taken these trails before — otherwise, you will chicken out.