If we're talking about our adventure in terms of risks, driving the two-lane highway between Salt Lake and Moab is probably about as dangerous as our Shafer Canyon Trail excursion. One slip of the steering wheel on the highway puts you in oncoming traffic, and then you're in a head on collision. I don't think Shafer canyon was dangerous when we did it.
I don't want to overstate the danger. Besides Cesar dancing around the edge it was a pretty tame drive in the park.
Without 4-wheel drive and high clearance or in rain or snow, it would have been suicide. Luckily both Kevins came equipped on a sunny day:
We were in constant contact. I would radio @mendoza from the F150. There he is earlier in the day working the radio:
@kevin was insistent that we go uphill and not down due to the fact that he thinks it is way easier to stop an upward moving vehicle if things get out of control. The road started super mellow, in that although there were cliffs, the actual road was wide. Two vehicles could pass and it wasn't even steep:
We even went through a ravine:
@mendoza started the drive following us too closely:
The 16 miles of road gradually got steeper and steeper:
The frequency of picture breaks increased with the grade:
The most dangerous part was making the very steep hairpin turns. Our F150 truck had such a poor turning radius that Kev had to do 3-point turns to get through the switchbacks. Mendoza, following behind us in his landcruiser, wasn’t prepared for the first hairpin turn we made. He was following so closely that he had to stop halfway through the hairpin to let him reverse and go forward again:
The road leveled out after we finished all the switchbacks, but the exposure was high. Cliffs above and below the cars made us feel almost heroic like we had conquered something:
Near the very top and end of the road, the views were insane. Kev on a rock at the top:
We were lucky that the road dead ended into Canyonlands National Park's excellent paved road system, so no need to go back down. From there, we drove out to some grand views of the park: