I’ve shot off-road all over the world. From sand dunes to desert racing and even rock crawling, I've shot them all. Having said that, Moab is the most beautiful off-road playground I’ve ever been to. Last year, I got to drive on the trails as well as shoot Casey Currie during the Easter Jeep Safari.
This was the second time that I had been to Moab and both times have been for Easter Jeep Safari (EJS) with Casey Currie and his crew. When I do these types of exploration trips, getting in to a new kind of automotive culture, often times it’s nice to be able to ride along and experience it with one of the premier ambassadors of the sport.
Casey and his family are all at the forefront of Jeep car culture and have been since the beginning.
The Curries were involved at such an early time that Frank Currie, Casey’s grandfather, was one of the original Jeep drivers to drive on the trails in Moab and the Rubicon. One of the most famous trails he found was the Golden Spike Trail at Moab.
He took that in a Jeep that didn’t have our modern tires on our current generation Wranglers, a V8, or even lockers. To achieve that, it was a truly big feat.
What’s amazing about this culture is that it’s so crazy to think that, in this day and age, this still exists. I think it’s so cool that they are allowed to drive around and use the land of Moab like this. So, for this year’s Easter Jeep Safari, I made sure to hit new trails I've never driven on before to fully appreciate Moab and EJS.
On top of that, I was given the opportunity to drive to drive Casey Currie’s Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited converted to a truck by Bruiser Conversions in Clearwater, FL. This was made by taking a JKU frame and cutting it to extend it to fit a real pickup-style bed. The engine is still stock, but it’s so much longer than a regular Wrangler and it was so fun to drive. Just so you know, Bruiser has and will LS swap these if the customer would like to make it happen.
Where I was really impressed with the truck was when I drove it on the “Hell’s Revenge” trail. It was just me and Kyle Chandler, a crew member of Casey’s. We took it out on the trails and shot some photos with the striking landscape of Utah behind it.
My first year at EJS, I was only a passenger on these trail drives, but to be able to experience it for myself was such an amazing treat. Granted, it was still cheating because this Jeep had 40-inch tires on, making it a little too easy.
It was still fun, though a little hair-raising at times. It's an amazing feeling when you get on that side hill and think it doesn’t have enough traction or you feel like you’re going to tip over but it just makes it. I’m just glad that I got to experience this world and this was just the first day.
The second day, we did an exclusive trail ride with nothing but brand new Jeep JL Wranglers thanks to Nitto Tire. Some of these guys brought out heavily modified JLs that had less than 100-miles on the odometer. Then they drove them to Moab just for this event and weren’t afraid of pushing their new rock crawlers.
Feeling a little braver, I took my Lexus LX570 on some of the smaller trails like Baby Lion’s Back. That’s around the entrance to Hell’s Revenge. I didn’t take it any further than that, though, as it doesn’t have the tires or suspension for the rest of that trail.
While I was given some freedom to cover these guys on both days, they don’t typically stop to observe the background or the scene around them. When Casey and those guys were going, I would be walking right alongside them most of the time because of the speed, or lack thereof. It's a win though, as the scenes of Moab aren't worth speeding through.
Upwards to half of the whole trail, I’m just walking around photographing and getting the gorgeous Moab landscape.
Because the trails and landscapes are so pretty, I catch myself moving around to try and nail my perfect shot. Generally speaking, what’s next to them is cool, but to me it’s too easy to focus on just the obstacles and forego the background.
For me, Moab is one of the most stunning places I have ever experienced off-road. The features and elevations are just something else. I always look forward to the next Easter Jeep Safari or the next time I get to go out there.