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Day 1 of Ultimate Adventure 2018 #UA2018

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

Saturday’s deluge at the check-in for the 2018 Ultimate Adventure meant that no matter where the group went wheeling on Sunday, traction was going to be at a premium for our Falken Wildpeak M/T tires. Just like last year Editor Christian Hazel tapped old crony, Trent McGee, to organized the route for the 2018 Ultimate Adventure, and it started at Rocky Mountain Terrain Park. The only off-road park open to the public in Maine, Rocky Mountain Terrain Park has trails ranging from mild to wild cut through 100 acres of wooded hills. Park owner and operator, John Steele, told us that he has another 600 acres available, but we barely scratched the surface of the 100 acres after spending over 12 hours on the trail.

The day started on the park’s Frank N Beans trail, where drivers had to give it the beans in order to fight their way over the slick, mud covered granite boulders. The catch is the round granite rocks aren’t anchored into the soft soil, so it’s just like ‘wheeling atop greased marbles. The second half of the trail was a steep hill climb that required everyone to pull the cable on their Warn winch. Well, almost everyone. Alabama’s Keith Bailey knows a thing or two about wheeling in super-sloppy conditions, and he let the Hemi engine in his Bruiser buggy sing as it reached the top of Frank N Beans unassisted. Not everyone was so lucky though, and carnage was abundant. Cooper Rasmussen of Offroad Power Products took the worst of the punishment when the ring and pinion let go in the front of his Ram truck while trying to winch crony Dave Chappelle.

After everyone was patched up, our trail leader for the day, Todd Seavey, led to us Ex’s Revenge and Shoulder Deep in his Toyota 4Runner. By this point in time everyone was in the mindset to wheel for the week, not for the day, and no more breakage occurred. The Warn winches and Voodoo recovery ropes were called into service numerous times though as UA participants fought for forward momentum. As the sun dipped below the horizon on one of the longest days of the year, the group converged on the lodge at the base of the park to enjoy an awesome dinner (John makes what’s probably the best burger to be had in the entire state of Maines) and live music at the Rocky Mountain Terrain Park. Before the mud had a chance to dry, our collection of wheelers had their tires aired up and hubs unlocked in anticipation of Day 2 at the Ultimate Adventure.

Follow along on social media with the hashtag #UA2018 and check back here each day at for the latest updates from Ultimate Adventure 2018!

Todd Seavey was our trail leader at Rocky Mountain Terrain Park in his very capable Toyota 4Runner. As more vehicles made their way through the trail, the rocks became coated in mud, rendering traction obsolete.
Despite being in the dirt for the first time since its completion, the official vehicles of the event, the UA Derange Rover, worked quite well on the trail for 4WOR editor Christian Hazel and tech editor Verne Simons. An issue with the wiring for the front electric locker was the only problem the vehicle had on Day 1 of the Ultimate Adventure. We popped the diff cover and Chris Durham used his Premier Power Welder to tack-weld the locker’s sliding collar into the locked position to the UA Derange Rover would have four-wheel peel.
Rick Prater broke a long-side axleshaft in the front axle of his Willys Wagon. Fortunately, he had a spare with him and Rick and his father-in-law, Todd Daines, got the shaft swapped out in short order. Rick and Todd work incredibly well together on the trail, with Todd seamlessly running winch line and spotting for Rick’s more-than capable driving.
Ultimate Adventure is not a competition, but Keith Bailey definitely “won” the first day of the trip. He was on the only person to make it through the entire day unassisted by a VooDoo tow rope or a Warn winch line, but what he saved in wear and tear on his winch he spent wearing out the valvesprings in his Hemi engine.

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