For us it's over. Ultimate Adventure 2009 is in the bag. The stories are written, the posters have been made, and by the time you read this the DVD should be available for sale at Desert Rat (800.528.3402, www.desertrat.com/UADVD). We love the event, as do those who get a chance to participate. It has grown so big over the years that we now have to split the coverage into two issues, and that takes up lots of space. Which is also why we always ask ourselves: "Is this worth it to the readership?"
We think the Ultimate Adventure is the 4x4 industry's premiere event, but of course we are a bit biased. After 10 years we have it dialed into a formula that works, and everyone seems to enjoy the trip. But that said, we also constantly ask ourselves how we can make the event better, different, and more approachable to every reader. Could we make it shorter, longer, simpler, more difficult, or a combination of these and other ideas? We've thrown out a few goofy ideas we came up with, yet retained many more of the quality ones.
One idea was a "claimer" run, where every vehicle was limited to a $2,000 build, and if you wanted you could buy or trade for anyone else's ride on the spot. Of course we would have to limit ourselves to 31-inch tires to keep the cost that low, but the idea has merit.
How about a maximum tire size of 35 inches? That makes the whole trip more approachable to the masses and could make many trails far more difficult that way as well.
How about inviting people for just a day along the way, or a "come one come all" type of trip? Or should it be a hi-zoot expensive Members Only type of affair where only the elite need apply?
We think that the Ultimate Adventure should be a reader-based event, and as such we'd like your comments. Of course, planning is already starting for UA10, the 10th Annual Running of the Rigs. Drop us a line and give us your suggestions, or invite us to your area. Or most importantly, simply apply! You can do that online at 4wheeloffroad.com, which is also where you can give us your ideas in the forum. Better yet, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, which comes directly into the office and eliminates a layer of bureaucracy. Let us know what you think, we'll be waiting.