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Ultimate Adventure 2016 - Day 4 Recap #UA2016

Posted in Ultimate Adventure: 2016 on June 25, 2016
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Photographers: 4 Wheel & Off-Road Staff

Day 4 was a first for the Ultimate Adventure: for the first time in the history of the event, the UA returned to a trail it had run in the past. But if the UA was going to re-run a trail (16 years after the first time), wouldn’t the best known trail in the world be the most appropriate? That’s right, UA fans, for time since 2001, the Ultimate Adventure group pointed East from Placerville and made the windy trek up Icehouse Road to Loon Lake, where they dropped into the Rubicon. Even better, the group dropped in whole once again. Reader Ben Mahin backtracked to Ridgecrest to swap a transmission in his Grand Cherokee after the original one started slipping, and therefore bypassed the group’s trek through Yosemite in order to swap in a good used tranny and make the rest of the week. Rich Conlon and Jim Grass representing Bubba Rope had a 1-2 punch for a leaking fuel tank and a shorted transmission harness take them out in the heart of Death Valley, but they managed to limp in to Bishop where they were able to make repairs and wait for parts showing up first thing the next morning, which carried their repairs over to the following day in Yosemite as well. Both guys worked hard to get to the start of Day 4 in time for the 5:30AM driver’s meeting, and their perseverance paid off as they were able to drop into the Rubicon with the rest of the group.

Conditions on the Rubicon were gorgeous and the group made short work of the first several obstacles. Everyone tried the optional obstacle called Soup Bowl, which resulted in a few victories as well as a few winch recoveries. From there it was on to the iconic Little Sluice, which unfortunately was a shadow of what it once was in terms of difficulty. But meanwhile the rest of the Rubicon was MUCH more difficult than everyone who had run it previously remembered. The area had a long winter to help stir up the trail, and while immaculately maintained, we were happy to see the Rubicon showing some teeth once again in areas that had long ago become practically paved. In short, it was awesome four-wheeling and the weather was ideal.

After a long day on the trail, the group camped at Buck Island, reaching it well before dark and allowing the rare UA opportunity to set up camp in the daylight. There was one fire permit among the group, so we made the best of it and built a common fire that was used for cooking and then hanging out after the sun went down. The smart few retired early after a long several days on the trail, while the rest stayed up late and paid for it the next morning. The carnage had been mercifully small, but Ultimate Adventure was only halfway through the Rubicon. What happened next? Stay tuned for tomorrow’s update.

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