Somewhere along the line I grew tired of posting photos during my vacation...
I threw together a short video that you can watch of the van on some of the trails around Moab:
My biggest realization during the trip was that the 4.2 engine was just not big enough for Colorado. While the van made it there and back I was often going 20 mph slower than the traffic around me.
The 4.2 is fine up to about 65mph and will do 80 mph if you force it to but engine whine increases and mpg decrease at speeds above 65 -70. The 4.2 does not like to climb uphill quickly. It will make it, just not very fast. In Delaware where our average speed limit is 55 this van works great. Out west where the advertised speed is 75MPH and everyone drives 80, it's just not big enough.
If I were going to spend all of my time around Moab, the 4.2 was actually more than enough for anything I could throw at it. Even with 4x2 I was blown away at what I was able to drive over with high clearance and oversized tires. My new plan may be to haul a jeep or motocross bike with me for the really tough stuff. My nerves gave out before the van did in a couple of cases where I just felt "too big" to navigate the obstacles in front of the van.
Turning around on narrow ledges with a van can certainly make your knuckles and hair turn prematurely white.
My new plan is to search ebay for a relatively low mileage 7.3