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Easter Jeep Safari 2024 (Part 2)

Easter Jeep Safari 2024 (Part 2)

The allure of Moab lies not only in its stunning natural beauty but also in its rugged terrain that poses a challenge to even the most seasoned drivers. Easter Jeep Safari offers participants the opportunity to explore this rugged landscape through a series of guided trail rides, each varying in difficulty level and scenic splendor.

After attending many EJS through the years, I have participated or hosted many trail rides on historic trails to celebrate another year. These rides have been generally invite-only and full of industry professionals. I love these relationships and look forward yearly to the trail rides and industry parties, but I thought it would be powerful to open the invite to customers and potential customers.

 

A little background

We had an idea to sponsor a trail ride that would include Easter Jeep Safari participants and industry professionals. With a project of this size, I enlisted my friends at Rock Slide Engineering and Armorlite to share the responsibility and benefit from each other’s customers. I initially reached out to Tom Trotter at Rock Slide Engineering. I knew Tom had lived in Moab and knew the town and surrounding trails extremely well. That first phone call was full of ideas and excitement.  

I wanted to bring in Armorlite for the final piece of the puzzle. I have an amazing relationship with them. As the host of the Jeep Life Podcast, we already had a strong partnership with the team. They have been a long-time partner and sponsor of the show. So, we brought Dave Ladd into the planning and execution of the project. Using social media to reach out to customers as an invite, the response was overwhelming. We filled the ride completely in just a few short hours.

Let’s get rolling

Our thirty or so vehicles gathered just off US 191 in downtown Moab for the ride. We did have to wait for a couple of the guides to get off the trail from their previous rides. This gave the group a chance to check out each other’s Jeeps and to get to know each other. Each participant was given a “swag” bag during this time. This was a little thank you for attending our ride. Rock Slide Engineering provided the bags and each company filled it with t-shirts, hats, stickers and discount cards. These were a hit among the guests.

Once all the guides arrived, the convoy pulled out of Moab heading toward the huge adventure ahead. We re-staged our group at the Navajo Rocks Parking lot to enter the trail. The entrance to this section has been used by Jeep for the media release of their concept vehicles for years. This chosen location benefits from the beautifully scenic route and relatively close access to the highway for the media. As we passed by this area with steep cliffs as a backdrop, several of the concept Jeeps were visible while a few were under covers obscured and ready the next day’s reveal.

Our plan to use a ride that consisted of Backward Bill, Wipe-Out Hill and 7 Mile Rim trails worked perfectly. This allowed us to run the challenging portion while we still had daylight. Wipe-Out Hill is a fun steep and technical climb. Even though we had a large contingent of Gladiators, the longer wheel-base didn’t really trip anyone up. Everyone loved the Wipe-out Hill section as it proved to challenge driver and machine. And, it afforded a nice social element while waiting on the group to complete the obstacles.

 I love the “slick rock” vibe of Moab. I love that sound of “skir-skird” as the wheels spin ever-so-slightly and gain traction. It is a completely different sensation for wheelers that primarily run the east coast. These trails/roads that were used by miners from the mid 1900’s meander through the valleys alongside the mesa cliffs also provide some of the most majestic scenery in the world. And the first half of our ride provided plenty of that.

The destination

As the sunset approached, our caravan of vehicles crawled across the sandstone trail and rounded a bend for the majestic view as we arrived at the primary location for the ride. Nestled between the Monitor and Merrimac Buttes is a flat sandstone basin that would become our stage to display a chorus-line of Jeeps. As the group assembled, the sunset created amazing silhouettes from the monolithic giant rock formations that framed the Jeeps as if placed that by the artist’s brush. The wait in the beginning did help with the timing for a perfect sunset.

As the sun dropped below the horizon and gave way to the night sky, it was time for the lights from the vehicles to be on display. Every driver illuminated their installed lighting creating a visual strand of lights strung between the large walls of rocks. There were lights of all variations. Some Jeeps just had headlights and fog lights. While others were decked from head to toe, front to back with lights.

This was a perfect time to highlight the Oracle Lighting Gladiator. We pulled the Gladiator out of the lineup for an impromptu photoshoot. Professional photographer, Matt “Gazelle” Corbin captured the moments and lighting perfectly. The Oracle Gladiator is outfitted in mostly white lighting to show off the brightness and power of Oracle Lights.

The rugged vehicle features the latest from Oracle including a new Integrated LED Lightbar modeled after the Integrated LED Lightbar currently available for the Ford Bronco. The Flush Mount Taillights frame the Racetrack Flush Mount Tailgate panel as a completed set of lights to give the rear of the vehicle that sporty and flashy look. Featured in the front are the Oculus Bi-LED headlights, the 7” Multipurpose Lights and the LED Skid plate with amber lights. The newly released Oracle Lighting Vega Series Pod lights adorn the A-pillar in both the Series 4 and Series 2 providing plenty of spot specific light.

As the sun sets over the red rock horizon, the camaraderie among fellow Jeep enthusiasts comes alive at locations like this. Here, stories are shared, friendships are forged, and a sense of community prevails. Swapping trail tales and admiring each other's customized rigs, Easter Jeep Safari fosters a bond that transcends mere hobbyists—it's a family united by a passion for adventure.

Jeepin’ Terry is the Events & Offroad Guru for Oracle Lighting. In his spare time, he is the host of the Jeep Life Podcast and co-founder of the Jeep Enthusiasts of Eastern Pennsylvania, one of the largest Jeep clubs in the state. His obsession with Jeeps started in the 80s with his boss’s big bad blue CJ5. Growing up in the mountains of Tennessee, Terry spent plenty of time on the trails and in the outdoors. His 2017 Wrangler, named Kylo, has been to California and back and everywhere in between, finding trails and adventures everywhere… and constantly asks for more.

Next article Remembering Allison Parliament

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