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Day Three of Ultimate Adventure 2017

Posted in Ultimate Adventure: 2017 on June 27, 2017
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Photographers: 4 Wheel & Off-Road Staff

During the many years that Rick Pewe planned the Ultimate Adventure, he always put an emphasis on taking back roads past military surplus stores rather than driving down the interstate, and would choose a ferry over a bridge any day of the week. None of this was lost on Trent McGee, who organized the route for the 2017 Ultimate Adventure. McGee has attended every UA since the event’s inception in 1999, and he put all of that experience into making an unforgettable UA.

Day Three of the 2017 edition started in the Bradshaw Mountains and traveled down the Senator Highway, rising and falling thousands of feet on the way to the Desoto Mine. The temperatures steadily rose as the group dropped down to Spring Valley to refuel before taking Bloody Basin Road into the Agua Fria National Monument. McGee planned out a route over 100 miles of dirt along the Great Western Trail and through Copper Canyon below the roar of Interstate 17. After airing up the tires the adventure wasn’t over, and cooling systems were put to the test on the Beeline Highway where the road gained over 2000 feet in elevation on the way to Payson, Arizona for the night.

Lonnie McCurry Jr. has a 6.4L Hemi engine in the Skyjacker JK, so spinning the 40-inch tires is never an issue. This year Lonnie brought his son, Evan, with him on the trip, joining Stephen and James Watson as a father and son UA duo.
The entrance to the Desoto Mine is blocked off, but even so you can feel the cool air coming out of the mine shaft as you approach it. This was a welcome reprieve from the triple-digit heat of the day.
If you have ever driven to Phoenix on I-17 you have gone over the grade at Copper Canyon. We always wondered what was in the bottom of the canyon, and thanks to Trent McGee’s route for UA we found it.
All the nuts and bolts were finger tight and the air filters were full of dust after covering over 100 miles of backroads through rural Arizona. Next year we are adding a prefilter and a spare air filter to our packing list.

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