Po-taters, Snakes, and Wheelin' in the Alleys
Imagine a life where you wake up with the sun, have breakfast on the tailgate of your truck, air down your tires, lock in your hubs, and wheel a wide variety of terrain all day long with a group of people from all across the country. Then you head back to camp and repair any broken bits on your or your new friends' 4x4s, have dinner and a brew, and listen to some tall tales around a campfire before crawling into your sleeping bag late just to get a few hours rest before repeating these steps the following day. Sounds great, eh? That's what Ultimate Adventure is all about, and that's why we do it every year.
The goal of Ultimate Adventure is to eat, sleep, and breathe four-wheeling, and to do it from the seat of your trail rig. There are no trailers around to haul your open-topped, deep-lugged, granny-geared 4x4 from trail to trail. Rather it's load up, hit the road, find the trails, wheel hard, and live a week with dirt behind your ears, under your fingernails, and in the lugs of your Krawlers. This year was no different, but it was in a new place, and with a bunch of new four-bys wheeling the trails with us.
For 2006 our valiant leader and magazine editor Rick Pw found us some extremely challenging trails in southern Idaho and northern Nevada. Never heard of anything from those parts other than dirt and potatoes? Well that is another goal of our UA trip, when at all possible: Run those trails less traveled, and let the locals show what their neck of the woods has to offer. The world is a big place and there are still plenty of untamed rock canyons, wooded two tracks, enormous dunes, and shoulder-deep mud holes waiting for wheelers like you and us to come play in. So follow along to see where the first half of the trip took us, and tune in next month to see where we ended up and how you too can come along on Ultimate Adventure 2007.
Day 1, Saturday: Boise, Idaho
This year Ultimate Adventure began with a roundup at the Doubletree Boise-Riverside Hotel in Boise, Idaho. Readers, sponsors, and magazine folks alike knew it was the place to be since the big red, white, and blue BFGoodrich Tires support trailer was in the parking lot. We have been lucky to have BFGoodrich Tires not only be the title sponsor of this event the past few years, but also send one of their semis out as a mobile repair shop for everything from gear changes to airing up tires. It may seem a bit plush for a wheeling trip, and it is, but remember that they are only there as support. If anyone breaks on the trip he still has to repair his own ride, and though the BFGoodrich Tires semi was at many of our nightly stops, they can only get so close to the trail, so most trail days require carrying spare parts and tools, as well as whatever food or snacks you might need.
Pretty much every trail day is just like when you're at your home trail.Before our posse of big-tired trucks even hits the dirt, everyone has to get through tech inspection. We do tech inspection to help eliminate stupid trail carnage, time-consuming repairs in the dirt, and accidents. It's all really basic stuff like do you have two lockers, do you have a fire extinguisher, do you have seatbelts, and have you prespooled your winch cable so that it's ready to drag your ride up 15-foot waterfalls?
Before some trucks could even go through tech inspection they had some final repairs, or shall we say, pre-pairs that needed doing. Yep, in the parking lot of the hotel we had CBs and rock sliders being installed, toolbags and camping gear being packed, a ring-and-pinion being replaced, old stickers replaced with new UA 2006 decals, and of course the obligatory first testdrive around the parking lot in the Ultimate FJ, since we barely got the rig done before we threw it on the trailer and headed to Idaho. Situation normal, Ultimate Adventure 2006 had begun.