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Ultimate Adventure 2016 - Day 7 Recap #UA2016

Posted in Ultimate Adventure: 2016 on June 29, 2016
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Photographers: 4 Wheel & Off-Road Staff

There are few things better than waking up in the forest with the sound of Fordyce creek running just a few feet away. The Ultimate Adventure group had made camp at dusk and had just enough light to get tents and tent cots set up before dark. The temperature had also dipped into the high 30s overnight, which made for a brisk but beautiful morning. After making breakfast one final time in camp, the group set out to tackle the remainder of Fordyce Creek…well, sort of.

The seventh day of Ultimate Adventure is the last one, and it ends with a victory dinner to celebrate surviving the trip. That dinner was set to take place in Reno at 6:30 and was going to happen regardless of whether the group made it to Reno on time or not. The group had successfully completed more than half of the trail, but there was no way to get 17 rigs that had already been ‘wheeled hard for a week over the rest of Fordyce and still make it in time. With the dinner deadline looming, leader Christian Hazel wisely made the call to take a bypass out, and it was a decision made easier when it was discovered that the bypass itself was no joke. Just a few feet out of camp the group crossed Fordyce creek again at Committee Crossing, and this crossing was both the longest and deepest encountered so far. Just a few yards beyond that was a gnarly obstacle that guarded the bypass road’s climb up and out of the canyon. Engines hadn’t even reached normal operating temperature before everyone was tackling big rocks and a nasty wedge that took most rigs a couple of tries to get up. Rich Conlon in the Bubba Rope JK broke an axleshaft while negotiating the wedge, which meant he and co-driver Jim Grass made good use of their products for the remainder of the day. The climb up and out of the canyon on the bypass road proved challenging, and keeping the Falken tires up and out of the holes between the rocks demanded constant attention. Plus it was Saturday so there was plenty of other trail traffic going both directions, which required coordination via the Rugged Radios to make sure vehicles kept moving and didn’t block the trail for others. The bypass road popped out at a campground near a reservoir, but it was still a long, dusty, bumpy ride back to the pavement. After airing up for the final time, the group went back over Donner Pass and made tracks to Reno, arriving just in time for everyone to clean up before the victory dinner.

The end of Ultimate Adventure is always bittersweet. While it’s nice to know the late nights are coming to an end and people no longer have to live in their vehicles for a week, it’s also hard not to miss the comradery, the scenery, and the amazing trails. Be sure to check out the full details on this year’s Ultimate Adventure, which is scheduled for the November issue, as well as the five-part video series that will be released on Motor Trend’s YouTube channel in mid-December. And if you want to be a part of next year’s Ultimate Adventure, apply! Keep an eye on our website and social media for when applications are being accepted for next year’s adventure. It’s an experience no one ever forgets.

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