Wheeling in Washington
Trail Tour turned 6 years old this year, and 4WD&SU Magazine once again was lucky to be included in the festivities. We've covered all six of these Scott Frary-organized events, starting back in 2005 when the Trail Tour was held in Washington state. Over the years, the Trail Tour events have bounced all over the Northwest, always lead by Frary, with help from local 'wheelers representing the areas the 'Tour visits. After the inaugural '05 run in Washington, the '06 event was held in Montana, '07 in Oregon, '08 in Idaho, and '09 was back in Oregon. For 2010, the 'Tour came back to Frary's home state of Washington, where we spent a week in June in and around the eastern slopes and canyons of the Cascade range in the center of the Evergreen State.
So why does Trail Tour exist? The 'Tour is a chance for the owners of some big names in the 4X4 industry to get out of the office, hang out with each other, and enjoy the sport of four-wheeling together. This is something many of them don't get to do often enough as they are too busy making stuff for the rest of us to play with. Many of the companies participating have been on all six 'Tours, so a lot of camaraderie has built up over the years. Attending a Trail Tour is like a weeklong high school reunion with all the partying and shenanigans that go along with such a gathering.
The list of 2010 manufactures included Mastercraft (seats), Dynatrac (axles), Kilby Enterprises (on-board air), Aqualu (aluminum bodies), Tom Wood (driveshafts), Off Road Evolution (suspension, armor, and custom fabrication), PSC (steering), Trail Ready (wheels, bumpers), Old Town Customs (custom fabrication, comedy shows), and Advanced Suspension Design (suspensions). Besides the owners (and wives) from these companies, each Trail Tour is made up of several "roadies," who are also multi-year attendees. Without these guys and their rides (along with wives, friends, siblings, etc.) contributing all their help, Trail Tour would never come together each year. For 2010, the "roadies" included Tony Fox, Alan Hewitt, R.G. Dickey, Jason Redfield, Dick Moss, Andy Burleson, Mike Waclawski, and Ryan Galford. Rounding out this cast of characters was our esteemed colleague from the Great White North, Albert Vandervelde, editor of Canada 4WD and this humble 4WD&SU freelance scribe.
Twenty rigs made up Trail Tour 2010, all of them some form of Jeep, with the exception of one renegade Land Cruiser. As always, the main rule was no trailers allowed. We must drive our rigs to the trail heads each day from our cozy motel rooms, 'wheel them all day, then drive them back to the motel or on to a new overnight hangout. This arrangement also requires that we carry all our stuff that we need for the entire week, so prudent planning and preparation is the order of the day. All in all, it is an event we look forward to being a part of each year and we enjoy sharing the fun with our readers. Check out all the photos and their captions to get a feel of what Trail Tour 2010 was all about.