Whoops and hollers can be heard for miles around in Moab as rock crawling enthusiasts conquer obstacles in their vehicles of choice. For one BYU student, these activities drive him to excel in his studies: he works hard in school, so he can play even harder.
Malcolm Plessinger, a junior from St. Thomas, Pa., majoring in electrical engineering, leaves Provo about twice a month to go off-roading with family and friends. He owns a Toyota Tacoma, nicknamed The War Wagon, with a six-inch lift and 35 inch tires designed to master trails and obstacles. Usually, he travels with a group to places like Moab to exercise his rig.
Plessinger said he grew up on four-wheelers and loves the experience of rallying and rock crawling. He said when he first came to BYU, he had to discover the proper balance with school before he could start exploring Utah’s playground. Plessinger said his friends are always welcome to come but often the time commitment is hard to juggle, which usually ends with leaving them behind.
“My roommates just shake their heads,” Plessinger said. “They don’t ask if I’m going to be around this weekend anymore. Instead, they ask where I’m headed. Random car parts or gas cans will show up in the living room and they aren’t surprised anymore.”
[easyembed field=”Photogallery”]Plessinger’s last adventure in Moab included the Kane Creek Canyon trail and Hell’s Revenge. He said he found Dragon’s Throat and Hell’s Gate to be the most exciting obstacles even though his rig made it look easy.
“For those obstacles, if you don’t have proper tire placement you can get real tippy in a hurry,” he said. “It’s so steep that its not very forgiving if you make a mistake; the bottom line is it just needs a little proper driving.”
Garrison Plessinger, a freshman at Southern Utah University majoring in marketing, usually takes his Polaris RZR on the trails with his brother. So far, his RZR will go anywhere from sand dunes to rock crawling in Moab. He said the most fun he’s had was driving the RZR up the Hot Tub on Hell’s Revenge, backwards. He not only enjoys the adrenaline rush from conquering obstacles, but also loves exploring the outdoors.
“We’ve grown up doing this sort of thing, and we love it,” Garrison Plessinger said. “I went for the first time to Moab with Malcolm and it was amazing. There is nothing better than being in the outdoors and seeing God’s creations.”
Carolyn Buhler, a junior from Wilton, Conn., majoring in geography, has seen Malcolm’s rig and heard many stories about his off-roading adventures.
“I’ve never done rock crawling and rallying before so it’s definitely a unique hobby for a certain type of person to enjoy,” Buhler said.
Kellie Millner, a junior at Southern Utah University from Yuma, Ariz., has gone rock crawling with them and other friends. She said she loves the experience since she was raised with four-wheelers and RZRs, making these adventures all the more memorable for her.
“It’s a great extracurricular activity, definitely an adrenaline rush,” Millner said. “I love it because I’ve grown up doing it, so it’s part of who I am. As long as you are with the right people it makes the experience even better.”