Just back from a great weekend in Moab with Bill Burke.
My wife came with me this time... we learning some new driving techniques, recovered a Sportmobile stuck in the sand (twice), and generally had a great time.
The class was small, one Taco, the sportmobile and our FJ. We started at 9:00 on Saturday morning and immediately headed north out of Moab. We airred down at Willow Springs and from there did some driving in a wash and stopped for a discussion about drive trains, suspension and generally how things work. We drove on for a couple hours and had lunch near the start of 7 Mile Rim trail head. We spent a fair about of time after lunch, driving then stopping to discuss how to choose a line and basic spotting techniques. Later in the day we reached Uranium Arch, and discussed how to use the Hi-Lift jack and tricks for getting unstuck. We finished off the day driving up behind Uranium arch and along the edge of the rim, before descending back to the highway.
My wife and I grabbed a quick dinner, talked about the day and returned to our room (No camping this time... the weather was perfect for camping though). We got to bed early, because we were starting at 9:00 again the next morning, with Daylight savings to boot.
Sunday morning we headed south out of town to Behind the Rocks. First thing we got out into the dunes and started doing some steep descents and attempting to climb the dunes (my wife climbed the dune her first attempt, let's just say it took me a few tries). The Sportmobile was intentionally dug in and we spent some time learning how to use the winch and other recovery methods. After lunch we headed out to Picture Frame Arch, and along the way did some off camber driving that totally freaked out my wife (the reading on the dash incline bubble was beyond the 30). Once we got to the arch we spent some time talking through navigation and map reading, then had an impromptu lesson on tire repair when a screw was discovered in Bills tire. We finished out the day with a little more dune driving and a lesson on using anchors, a block and the hi-lift for recovery.
Unfortunately I needed to be back to work tomorrow, so we high tailed it home.
We had a great time, and although I don't think my wife is going to get crazy with our FJ, I know she's already thinking about the tools and accessories we need for the next trip. Highly recommend Bill Burkes classes, he's a great teacher. I learned a lot and my wife's confidence and interest in getting behind the wheel went way up. It didn't hurt that the weather was fantastic in Moab all weekend, perfect backdrop for a great adventure.