Driver: Stephen Watson
Occupation:I hock 4WD parts to unsuspecting magazine scribblers
Where did you come from?:Carbondale, CO
Did you tow it out or drive it?:We towed to a point about halfway between Boise and Idaho Falls
How long have you been off-roading?:Since before I could drive
What got you into 4x4s?:Needing to drive home instead of walk, camping in the backcountry, and the technical/mechanical challenge of creating machines to dominate the earth.
Favorite part of the trip:Playing in the sand; it's nice to let the motor out to run. Evil Stephen likes that. The daily awards ceremony was pretty fun too.
Funniest thing you saw happen:Roosting the FJ.
What was your least favorite part of the trip?:Cleaning up after the mud run.
Hardtop, soft top, or no top:Hardtop. It's 0.090 6061 T6 aluminum.
Would you want to work for a 4x4 mag now that you've met us and seen what we do?:The work doesn't sound that bad, but living where you live? No way.
Would you kick out your co-driver if we had a supermodel to ride in your truck?:I'd leave him on the side of the road; he's a resourceful guy.
Would you do it again next year, or would it be asking too much of your battered body?:I'm wondering why we quit? Did they cancel the next trail?
Favorite truck on the trip (besides your own):My top 3: John's Bronco, Frary's Hemi Jeep (it needs some abrasion still), and that numbskull editor's K5, just because it's a full-on K5. Nate's hooptie is pretty cool too. Does the BFGoodrich truck count?
Age:Old like dirt (I think he's 55)
Occupation:He builds 4WD parts for me to hock to unsuspecting magazine writers.
Vehicle: Chevrolet Blazer K5
Tires/Wheels:14-42-17 IROK/Trail Ready bead locks
Steering:PSC full Hydro
Front suspension:Three-link with 16x2.5 Kings
Rear suspension:Four-link with 16x2.5 Kings
Front drivetrain:Dynatrac center with Dedenbear knuckles and Cs, ARB, 5.13s, Superior axles with CTM U-joints, factory GM brakes, spindles, hubs
Rear drivetrain:14-bolt with Detroit Locker and 5.13s and ORD disc-brake kit. It's been cut for clearance and smooth slidin'
Driveshafts:Tom Woods 1350 CVs front and rear
Transfer case(s)/ratio(s)/other mods:ORD Doubler, GM NP203/Ford NP205, both turned flat
Engine/Mods:504ci big-block Chevy by 505 performance. 454 block stroked 3/8 inch, bored 0.030, Eagle crank/rods, Ross pistons, Edelbrock aluminum heads and multiport EFI, Crane marine roller cam and rockers, JBA shorty headers, dual 50 series Flowmasters
Bumpers/rails/rollcage:Yup, kind of all in one.
What (on your truck) gave you problems during the trip?:Filling the radiator full of mud didn't help our cooling system. The alternator belt didn't like a log being jammed in it. It got hot enough to stick our shoes to the floor on the way to Boise so we put some insulation on it and it was pretty balmy inside. A couple of the valve stems were kind of inconvenient to put the air hose on. We had to adjust the headlights one time. The speedo cable broke. The relay on my ARB compressor crapped out. I got sand in my crack.