With a successful first year, T.a.Co. came back even stronger in 2013 with 17 sponsors and nearly 60 trucks in attendance. Thanks to sponsors like Toytec, Sierra Expeditions, ARB 4x4 Accessories, Pelfreybilt and Undercover Hidden Winch Mount System for helping to cover all of the related expenses of the gathering, the attendees enjoyed convenient campground amenities and Rock Therapy koozies at no cost to them. Sierra Expeditions along with design work by fellow Tacoma owner Phil Swanson, were able to provide outstanding Rock Therapy t-shirts in a variety of colors this year that became a big hit at the gathering.
Once again the giveaway was a huge success and with the help of the contributing sponsors (Toytec, Sierra Expeditions, ARB 4x4 Accessories, Pelfreybilt, Undercover Hidden Winch Mount Systems, Box Rocket Fab, Low Range Off Road, Bay Area Metal Fabrication, Ironman 4x4, Trail-Gear, Asfir 4x4, Toywerx, Total Chaos, Southeast Overland, KM Fabrication, Stay the Trail and Tacoma Magazine) providing over $5,000 of gear to giveaway, Rock Therapy was able to raise over $2,000 to help out Area BFE and Moab Friends For Wheeling for their ongoing work to create and maintain trails, and help promote and protect the off-road community.
Rock Therapy has been a fun journey to see unfold over the past few years. T.a.Co. and all of the contributors have been able to turn a simple idea of a Moab weekend getaway into a gathering of attendees from 13 states and even reaching above the boarders north to Edmonton, AB. Although T.a.Co. organizers took care of most of the planning and setting up, this event truly has been for the wheelers by the wheelers.
Something that sets the gathering apart from other events is the community feeling that is built around the gathering. If you needed some ice, many were willing to pick some up while coming through town; if you blew an inner and outer tie rod, someone was there willing to give up their spare so you could get back on the trail; if you came rolling into camp with a busted lower control arm, there would be many willing mechanics on the ground jacking your truck up before you even step out of your truck.
As early as the Saturday before the official start to the gathering, trucks began to roll in from Arkansas and Arizona. For the early goers, they were able to enjoy a laid back atmosphere, being able to soak in all that Moab has to offer. Some took advantage of the numerous hiking trails that can be found around Moab, while others started early in knocking some trails off their wish lists.
For so many around the country, they can only dream about hitting trails around Moab, getting their fix by scanning the internet for recent trip reports and videos. There were many Moab veterans in attendance willing to share as much knowledge as needed by those first making the trip. In addition to world class trails, ample camping and breathtaking views of the La Sal Mountains, Area BFE has their playground area that is home to countless obstacles from small ledges and rollovers to huge waterfalls that even the most capable crawlers have to work at. Many new comers, and many veterans took advantage of the playground and local trails in BFE to test out some new additions to the rigs and to get their Moab feet back under them.
What better way for nearly half of this year’s attendees to begin their experience than a run up Hells Revenge on Wednesday. Appealing to all drivers, the trail leaders made sure to make the highly desirable side trips to Hells Gate and Escalator. It truly is amazing what these Tacomas are capable of. While most the trucks were at Hells Revenge, others took advantage of trails closer to camp like Behind the Rocks that is conveniently located across the street from Area BFE. Both are great trails to get a feel of what Moab has to offer. One being a must-do slickrock trail that is synonymous with Moab and the other showing more of what southern Moab has to offer with an up close view of the Behind the Rocks Wilderness Study Area made up of rugged fins, domes, arches and hidden gardens along with vast views from the La Sal range to the east and Canyonlands to the west.
Thursday was headlined with two groups tackling the long combination of trails known as the Trifecta. Comprised of Poison Spider, Golden Spike and Gold Bar Rim, this trio of trails will take most groups all day to complete but offer no shortage of challenging obstacles and amazing scenery. While there are numerous obstacles that tested the Tacomas, the most notable of the obstacles was the Golden Crack. Here your truck’s travel and articulation was put to the absolute test.
As people were out putting their trucks to the test on Trifecta, the rest of the groups had their hand at numerous other trails around Moab. One of the popular choices was Fins and Things, another notable trail within Moab featuring the famous slickrock that the area is known for. Although the trail can be fairly tame, there are numerous optional lines that can be taken to keep anyone occupied while enjoying the one-of-a-kind scenery that the Sand Flats Recreation Area has to offer.
As if the first days of the gathering didn’t have enough excitement, Friday and Saturday was used by a handful of trucks to test their cliff walking skills and nerves at the infamous Moab Rim trail. A trail that not to be taken lightly, is known for its difficult initial climb out of the canyon bottom that begins along the Colorado River. The Devil’s Crack and Z-turn are the trails two most notable obstacles. Both of which test your nerves and skills as you climb these difficult obstacles next to a cliff that would send you plummeting over a hundred feet down into the Colorado River. Upon completing the intimidating climb out of the canyon, visitors are rewarded with endless views that surround the Moab region and miles of fun trails that also bring you up close to the Behind the Rocks Wilderness Study Area.
While we couldn’t be everywhere at the same time, others in attendance were able to experience much of what the area had to offer. Many went on an adventure through Kane Creek Canyon and its many water crossings, while others went outside of the area and ventured into Canyonlands to explore Elephant Hill. As with any trip to Moab, the allure of Top of the World and its unique views drew numerous groups to travels its path to get their photo on top of the famous cliffs above Fisher Towers.
So as another year passes, another year of modifications and anticipation will begin as many begin the countdown until next year’s journey back to the promise land of Moab, Utah. Until then, thank you to all of the sponsors and organizers who made this all possible and to those in attendance who truly make this gathering what it is today and something worth coming back to year after year.
Photo credits: Kayla Kotash, Bob Holliday, Peter DeSantis
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