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Check In for Ultimate Adventure 2018 #UA2018

Posted in Ultimate Adventure: 2018 on June 25, 2018
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Photographers: 4 Wheel & Off-Road Staff

For those who are unfamiliar with Ultimate Adventure (UA), it is Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine’s flagship event. Now in its 19th year, the premise of Ultimate Adventure is to run what you brung wherever the event may be heading. Hardcore rockcrawling and trails one day, followed by hundreds of miles of road driving to the next destination. All with no trailers allowed! If it breaks during the week-long adventure, the two dozen 4-Wheel & Off-Road readers, sponsors, staff, and cronies to figure out how to fix it and get back on the road. Parts stores may hate us for working in their parking lot, but you will love the creativeness and sense of adventure that UA delivers year after year.

In 2017 the Ultimate Adventure started in Phoenix, which is convenient considering that is where Tech Editor and UA project vehicle builder Verne Simons lives. All of the cronies descended on Verne’s house last year to button up the UACJ6-D for the week-long trip. This year, Ultimate Adventure started just about as far away from Phoenix as possible while remaining in the continental USA in Maine, requiring Simons and other West Coast residents to drive across the country thousands of miles and rack up plenty of stories and adventures before the official event even starts. Simons and crew were frantically working on this year’s project, the Derange Rover, in the parking lot to finish up the last of the details.

Editor Christian Hazel presides over the first driver’s meeting of Ultimate Adventure 2018 which started during a cold, rainy afternoon somewhere deep in the heart of Maine. As one of the only states left in the USA that Ultimate Adventure hadn’t yet visited and as a New Englandah himself, Hazel was anxious to bring the UA to the northeast. With much help in planning the route from old crony, Trent McGee, UA2018 colored in another state on the map!

The Rover wasn’t the only vehicle in need of attention though. Caster was set, thermostats were swapped, and bolts were tightened as the rain in Maine began to fall mainly in the plain. The cold, wet weather was quite a departure from the triple-digit temperatures of the last few years, but does it suggest that mud is in the short-term forecast? With check-in complete, stickers applied, and pizza consumed, we will know the answer soon.

Check back each day at fourwheeler.com/ultimate-adventure for the latest updates from Ultimate Adventure 2018!

Most participants are already well into the adventure by the time they reached the starting point for the 2018 Ultimate Adventure, having driven from all corners of the country. The first participants arrived in Maine on Friday, with the last arriving at 9:00pm on Saturday after the first drivers’ meeting had already taken place.
The “cronies” are the guys who come on UA every year to help spin wrenches and pull winch cable. They spend their own money and burn through their vacation time to hang with us, and we couldn’t be prouder to call them our friends. Particularly when they are helping to wrap up our project vehicle.
Worried about losing your list? Write it on the window! This list allowed Verne Simons to delegate tasks and ensure that nothing was forgotten prior to the start of Ultimate Adventure. Last year the UACJ6D rolled out of Verne’s shop and onto the trail with only one minor mishap. Was it skill or luck?
Sam Gillis and Keith Bailey inspected each vehicle on the trip to ensure that they met all of the safety requirements. These include parts like locking differentials, roll bars, and recovery points front and rear. They also check for fire extinguishers, seat belts, and first aid kits.
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