Saturday, October 17, 2015

Edward Abbey's Classic...

character from his breakout novel, "The Monkey Wrench Gang" is named George Washington Hayduke. In one chapter, our hero is on the lam and being hotly pursued by the Mormon Posse. Where did Mr Hayduke run to? To the Maze of course.

It's still a place, I discovered where one can disappear. 
This notion makes me grin. 

While there, I covered thirty miles of sketchy trails. The act of missing a set of cairns could have had me wandering off to Neverland. No, not Michael Jackson's estate where creepy things happened, but the one that makes front page news in a bad way for the hiker. (Me). I never saw a soul in those miles. That makes me grin II.

It's a drastic landscape of washes, slot canyons, slick rock, spires and arches. There's little frame of reference to use as a lighthouse. Oh yeah, once in awhile the La Sal Mountains spring up into your personal viewfinder (Moab lies at the foot of them),  but you can't get there from here by walking. There's cliffs, two icy western rivers to swim and all the above obstructions to negotiate. Even Chuck Norris couldn't do it. 

Our expedition was running out of gas so we had to cut our trip short. It was a grueling nine hours of driving time to make it back to a gas station, hotel and a meal in Green River, Utah. Greg's Ford Truck 4X4 thingamajig  broke. Greg was able to repair the what-ya-ma-call-it in the dirt. I was the able bodied assistant. 

"Jeff! It's righty tighty! Lefty loosey" As you can see, my hands got dirty.  

Was it worth it? Hell! Yeah! It's not often I get the chance to be in one of the most remote areas of the National Park Service land holdings. I just hope I don't have to wait another thirty years for the opportunity to return. 

For you twenty or so blog fans, I'd be more than willing to provide guide service and provisioning if you want to beat up your 4X4 vehicle. I'll even bring the IPAs and coffee. 

Thank you so much Greg Lyle and his wonderful family for allowing me to tag along. 

I hope it was as good for the Lyle's as it was for me. I needed a cigarette, it was that good.

Cheers from Green River, Utah.
I still have real beer left.
Jeff 4X4 enthusiast. 

"Hayduke Lives!"

Postscript: Greg's truck limped into Green River with the equivalent of three Bomber beer bottles of diesel. Six/tenths of a galÅ‚on. 


  1. Gorgeous! Wish we still had our high-clearance 4WD vehicle!

  2. From the Lyle's, wanted to say we had a great time. This trip has been on my bucket list for a long time. Didn't think I would do it with a 5 and 6 year old but turns out that it with them it was even better than imagined. Thanks for joining us and getting my kids hooked on rocks. Oh and the offroading part wasn't that bad. If it was easy everyone would do it and there would be a 7-eleven at chimney rock.