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Our sons decided that Jim should celebrate the big 7-0 in a big way. After a treasure hunt that finally led to Canyonlands, Utah, Jim found eleven family members and friends eager to celebrate his 70th birthday with him. Each of our three sons drove a fourwheel-drive vehicle, and the plan was to camp and to lead Dad (Grandpa) on rough backroads. We had five days of exploring and enjoying ourselves.


We found Martin and Connie near Moab, Utah. Martin (CB name "Bad Dog") led the way over Hurrah Pass and through Lockhart Basin from the Colorado River to Canyonlands.


We checked out "Chicken Corners" with a sharp drop to the Colorado River.


There Martin found a great echo of his yodel.


Expecting rough terrain ahead, Martin let air out of our tires.


Here Martin is arranging his winch cable. He could climb the hill with his air-locked differential, but he had to winch us up. Then he winched up another car that needed help.


We met Dave's family and Tom on BLM land along Cottonwood Creek. The next morning we started exploring. Tom is looking at the complex terrain of Lavender Canyon. Snow on the pass prevented us from descending into the canyon.


Yum! Dave and Martin did all the cooking on this trip.


We stopped for photos in Canyonlands National Park.


Martin and Tom started up Elephant Hill. Note Tom's left rear wheel.


Tom, known as "Mud Buffalo," is part way up.


Dave, AKA "Super Turtle," nears the level area for manuevering to make the turn.


A sign at the top pointed the way down.


Jim, called "Red Wagon," begins the descent.


Taking it slow and easy does the trick.


Mud Buffalo and Bad Dog are almost down.


We all survived Elephant Hill!


There were more challenges. Tom checks a manuever while Martin "spots."


Dave and family barely squeeze through The Narrows.


Martin on SOB Hill.


Tom makes the turn on SOB Hill.


The bigger vehicles had to back down the first part of SOB Hill into a slot and then drive forward to the bottom. The return was just the opposite--forward up the hill into the slot and then back-up to the top. Someone outside the vehicle would "spot" to help guide the backing-up. Dave ran into a problem (known as a rock) and flattened his tailpipe, which called for emergency repairs. Jim found that backing-up was hard on mudflaps. After damaging three of them by pinching them against a rock, he decided to remove the fourth to preserve it.


While Dave worked, Suzanne found a niche out of the wind with Uncle Tom.


We checked out real estate in Beef Basin.


We felt right at home here.


The view was great and there was water in the potholes on the rock below.


The long road back to camp went past the Owl and the Lion formations.


Camp was at the base of boulders in Devil's Kitchen.


Sarah used time in camp to read.


Meredith and boyfriend Bob at the Hard Rock Cafe.


Jim had a memorable birthday, thanks to Tom, Martin and Dave.


Also thanks to Cheryl and our grandchildren, Suzanne, Meredith and Sarah.


And thanks to Connie, Martin's girlfriend, who helped plan some of the meals.


A good time was had by all!


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