Many off-road shops host events for their customers and suppliers. Maybe they throw a barbeque lunch at their shop, or put on a car show, or have an RTI ramp. By contrast, Roco 4x4's annual Roco Adventure Week (RAW) started with skydiving and only got more interesting from there.
Roco 4x4 staff, customers, and suppliers—such as JKS Manufacturing, Dana Crate Axle, and BDS Suspension—converged in Las Vegas for a week of wheeling, camping, and, like the name says, adventure. After skydiving in Jean, Nevada, and making high-speed runs across some dry lakebeds, the group of nine Jeeps visited the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame exhibit within the Terrible's Casino in Jean. From there they turned north to play in the sand at Amargosa Sand Dunes before traveling through Titus Canyon in Death Valley National Park. And that was just the first day!
If the premise sounds familiar, it isn't that different from our own Ultimate Adventure, which Roco 4x4 founder Ricardo Olaverrieta attended back in 2011. The idea is to wheel every day, cover some beautiful scenery, and drive your rig the entire way.
From Death Valley they traveled through Panamint Valley to the ghost town of Cerro Gordo, where Carlos Flores of Roco 4x4 arranged for us to camp for the night. After a tour of the town's saloon and assay office, we continued to Lone Pine and Alabama Hills, at the foot of Mount Whitney. From there the group made a very rewarding visit to the Reward Mine before continuing up the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada Range to Topaz Lake.
After the hectic schedule of the first couple of days, things slowed way down as RAW shifted into low range on the Rubicon Trail. The Rubicon is a bucket list trail for any off-roader, and there was no way the Roco 4x4 crew was going to come all the way from Miami and not hit the Rubicon. Much of the group had 1-ton axles and 40-inch tires, which they finally got to put to use on the 'Con. Fortunately, there were no issues, as we rushed through the trail in order to get to Lake Tahoe by Friday night to beat the rush from the Marlin Crawler Roundup, where hundreds of Toyota pickups descend on to the Rubicon.
Beating the traffic, we were able to play for another day, so we went to Moon Rocks OHV Area north of Reno. This small recreational area has challenges just as demanding (and sometimes even more so) than the Rubicon, but without the pressure of being miles from help with no phone service. The proximity to tow rigs and knowledge that it was the last day allowed people to really push the limits of their vehicles and their driving. That is just one of the many factors that makes Roco Adventure Week so special.