We fueled up in town, grabbed some more fire wood and headed back out to the wild. Austin led as we climbed the road up to the falls. While a few sections were open enough to let the trucks run at 40+, most of the trail was technical and rocky. Four wheel drive was mandatory for a few sections of eroded rock slabs. Behind us, a perfect sunset lit up our dust and made for some incredible views. The road dropped downward, and the shrubs grew denser. As we emerged from a cluster of trees, we were greeted by the sight of a picture-perfect waterfall. The best part? There wasn’t a soul in sight!
We made quick work to pop out the roof top tents, and took a beeline for the falls. After not showering with running water for a week, a dip in the creek sounded perfect. We also welcomed the warmer weather, basking in the 70-degree temps opposed to the low 30’s in Green River. Our crew was pretty sure life couldn’t get any better.
We whipped up a feast of spaghetti and meatballs on the skottle and discussed what we were going to do the next morning. Sitting around the campfire, we planned out our last big breakfast of everything left in the fridge, and a day spent hanging out in the sun by the falls. Though we had planned to leave in the morning to head home, we made a group decision to stay until the afternoon because the falls were just too nice to leave behind. We all hopped in our tents and enjoyed the sound of the falls putting us to sleep. This was set to be our best night yet.
Mother Nature had other plans though. It started softly, but soon I was woken up, my whole truck shaking violently from side to side. The rain fly on my tent whipped around. I stuck my head out the zippered door and was smacked with freezing wind and clouds of dust. I could barely make out Sammy’s sleeping bag flying sideways, with him in it. In a matter of minutes, our tranquil scene had been shattered by an intense wind storm. The forecast had warned about winds, but we figured deep in the canyon we’d be safe. Boy were we wrong. The night dragged on forever as the winds howled and tore through camp, by morning the group probably got a cumulative 30 minutes of sleep. Covered in dust and yelling over the wind and flying dirt, we all agreed to hightail it to town for a warm breakfast inside a walled building.
A small hole in the wall breakfast joint answered the call as the steaming food and coffee lifted our spirits. While we were all bedraggled from the miserable night, we opted to make the most of the day and head to Sand Hollow for some fun in the trucks. Having just finished my suspension build, I was excited to give it a proper high speed break in on some sand.
Utah’s incredible landscape once again blew us away when we saw the bright red sands of Sand Hollow Park. A dedicated OHV area, we flew over miles of double track road and sand dunes. Even with the trucks fully loaded with gear and bikes, we couldn’t resist the need to flog them as we flung sand into the air. Pushing hard, we hit highway speeds over the soft sand roads, floating from side to side and throwing the trucks sideways any chance we got. The howling wind wasn’t a bother inside the cabs, and made for one hell of a show with the sand.
We eventually found the perfect curved dune, and took turns throwing the trucks into the massive banked corner. Coming down the straight away at full throttle, we’d carve up and onto the dune as sand flew over the roof of the trucks. Hitting it over and over, we tried to see who could get the biggest spray of sand roosted up. Poor Sammy on camera duty took the brunt of the hits. After spending most of the day flinging sand around, we decided it was time to head back to home.
With sore bodies, a hurt ankle, a busted truck, and a million good memories, we hit the road. Few things on the trip had gone according to plan, but sometimes you have to just scrap the playbook and embrace the adventure as it comes. Sure we were a little busted up, but while driving back and reflecting on the trip we all agreed it was one hell of a time. It’s always a bit daunting trying to organize an adventure that far from home, but with the help of a few friends it usually works out just fine. As we drove south towards SoCal, radio chatter quickly turned to plans for the next trip. I guess we didn’t get enough. Then again, that’s probably why we ride mountain bikes.