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Day 6 Recap of Ultimate Adventure 2020: Wyoming Badlands to Mt. Rushmore #UA2020

Our mostly road day inflicts some casualties before we make it to Mt. Rushmore!

Christian HazelAuthor, PhotographyColin LeiboldAuthor, Photography

It was a chilly morning driver's meeting in Cody, Wyoming, but Day 6 was a road day and we had over 400 miles to cover, so we got the show on the road both figuratively and literally. Travelling that distance in a car on the interstate in a single day isn't a big deal, but this is Ultimate Adventure and even our road days are filled with excitement. We caravanned out of Cody past the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and hopped on Hwy 120 heading toward South Dakota. But a lot of cool stuff lay between.

Before long we hopped on a graded dirt access road and headed up through the Fenton Pass. It's an area of Wyoming known as the Badlands, and in addition to spectacular scenery, it's the locale of many scientific anthropological work. Our own Verne Simons spent his youth digging for fossils with his family and the area holds a special place in his heart so, it was something special that we were treated a guided scientific tour put on by our own resident anthropologist. (Verne is wicked smart, by the way.) After spending about an hour looking around with Verne Vernesplaining the different strata, epochs, fossil record, and more, we loaded up and pointed the vehicles toward a fuel stop in Worland, Wyoming, and then on to Big Horn National Forest. And that's where the road day started taking casualties.

Big Horn National Forest climbs rapidly from the 4,400-foot-elevation Ten Sleep up to about 9,000 feet in a relatively short distance. Pretty soon UA members were calling out over the radio that they were suffering from vapor lock, overheating engines, and toasted transmissions, with a couple having to come to the top on a VooDoo rope.

After sitting around to let the machinery cool, we passed through the Powder River Pass at 9,662 feet elevation before heading down Crazy Woman Creek, which was spectacularly beautiful in its own right but made more so by the changing colors of the Aspen trees that lined the creek. We blew through Kaycee en route to our next fuel stop at Wright, and after that it was hammer down to South Dakota, dodging pronghorn and deer the whole way. But before we checked into our hotel we made a special visit to Mt. Rushmore at night—because 'Merica!

Tomorrow is Day 7, the final day of UA2020, and we're pulling no punches on the group. Tune in at fourwheeler.com/ultimate-adventure to see what Day 7 will entail, and watch #UA2020 on social media to keep up with what's going on with UA2020 each day!