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2014 Ultimate Adventure Thanks To The Land Owners

Posted in Ultimate Adventure: 2014 on November 13, 2014
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Thank you. These two words can be a very powerful way to express how important someone’s contribution to an undertaking has been. The Ultimate Adventure is quite an undertaking, so assuming that it will go off without a hitch year after year without the work, help, and contributions of countless volunteers would be just dumb. How do we say thanks to all those who helped out? Well, how about we write an article just like this one, saying thanks? Here is our thank-you to all the people who helped out on our trek across the Midwest. We hope we haven’t forgotten anyone, but we probably have. Also, it would be nice if we got everyone’s name spelled correctly—we tried. In the end, if you helped us out at anytime during UA 2014, you know who you are, and we thank you!

It’s easy to say thanks to those people around the country who allowed us to play on their property. Many people give wheelers a hard time about damaging the environment. We, as a group, are easy targets, and the bad deeds of few make our opponents’ arguments easy. The truth is anyone who is dedicated to this hobby or involved in the aftermarket industry that supports it has to love nature and the outdoors. Wheeling in a concrete jungle just does not offer the same experience. Anyone who truly loves off-roading will go the distance to protect public land. Being able to wheel on private property is much appreciated on the Ultimate Adventure. Finding likeminded landowners, or landowners who are also enthusiasts who know that we are there to enjoy the land, makes the UA a way better experience (without as much red tape, permits, and political bureaucracy). The UA has visited and will continue to visit public land too, and we’ll protect it and cherish it just the same as if we owned it.

Sand Hills of Nebraska
We thank Garold and Sue Russel of Thedford, Nebraska, for letting us play in their Sand Hills. Also along on the trip to spot and show us the trails through the Russel ranch were Tyler Arter driving his black stretched TJ, David Cain in a maroon stretched CJ-7, Garold’s brother Gary in another black TJ, and Gary’s son Clint in a green TJ. Thanks for the amazing time. The river crossing was epic.

PhotosView Slideshow

The Complete Off Road Ranch
For letting us play on their Dubuque, Iowa, ranch, we thank Rich Conlon, his brother Kevin, their father Jim, and last but not least Rich’s son Sam. The ranch is private but is associated with Complete Off Road; for more info check out Also present to help with spotting and guiding us around the property were Andy Steil in his blue Geo Tracker–based thingy, Terry Brown in his blue tube Scout, Dustin and Laura Sexton in Rich Conlon’s yellow JK (which was on UA 2013), and last but not least Ross Michaelis, who bounced from rig to rig helping out. Thanks to you all!

Flat Nasty
Ron Maximoff owns Flat Nasty Off-Road Park. We are indebted to him for letting us and others play on his big ol’ 4-wheel-drive playground. It’s awesome, and we hope to go back for more exploration. Also on hand helping to keep the group on track and out by dark were Jake Buckner and Steve Wood, among others from the Flat Nasty crew, including Kyle McDaniel, Jon Green, Harley King, and Skylar Rea, who also helped out. If you want to go play at Flat Nasty, check out for info on wheeling and camping there.

PhotosView Slideshow

Put Creek & Rock Hill
The first landowner for our mini off-road day in Illinois was Kevin Engquist, whose father, Karl, bought the property years ago. This property is located a few miles from Smithfield, Illinois, and includes 120 acres.

Tom Chambers lead our group through the trails in and out of Put Creek. His stepson Justin Kline ran tail gunner for the group and helped Tom weeks before the event to clear and mark trails. Other spotters and trail guides were Steve Gray; Tom’s brother and sister-in-law Tony and Laura Chambers; Tom’s brother Allan; Tom’s father, Wayne; Amy Phillis, who rode with Tom on the day we were there; and Carroll Draughan, who provided seats and transportation for the camera crew.

The second landowner for the day who owns the property with the trail known as Rock Hill is Carroll Draughan. This property is located outside of Marietta, Illinois. This land comprises about 30-plus acres of the nastiest ravines you’d ever want to drive in. Tom Chambers claims nobody in his right mind would want to ride with Draughan.

Pike County Trails
We thank the Two Rivers Jeep Club, which uses and maintains the trails (Atlas and Mystery) that we ran in Pike County, Illinois. We also thank Tom and Debbie Wombles, who own some of the property we also used. Wombles was our leader on the Atlas Trail, and for that we give a hardy thanks! The people who helped rescue Shaughn and Mario after the rollover were Tom Shaw (first responder), Mark Kinne, and Mark Tweedell. For that we are truly thankful. Hamer Tate, Lee Ator, Gary Williams, Walt Gilbert, Shayne Kinne, Owen Shaw, Josh Denum, Chris Poppe, Brian Mangan, Dalton Kissinger, and Billy and Cameron Price all helped with spotting, tail gunning, and helping move the camera crew around. For more info on the Two Rivers Jeep Club and the trails in Pike County, check out Thanks again, guys!

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