Representing our title sponsor, Goodyear Tires, was Chris Durham and his no-lift TJ on 40s
Day 3: Monday, July 5
Sugar Road & Muddy Meadows
A typical Ultimate Adventure road day is far from your usual A-to-B jaunt. From 400 miles of backroad exploration to challenging off-road offshoots, you never know what lies ahead. And since Monday also kicks off our week of camping in the wild, most of the rigs are more loaded up than usual. So with our rigs packed full with a week's worth of gear, we met up for an early-morning drivers meeting, eagerly anticipating the day's schedule. The first order of business was a status update on our lead vehicle, the CJ-17. Despite its previous day of great wheeling and seemingly trouble-free performance, we learn that the CJ has developed a crippling electrical problem.
Electrical issues took the CJ-17 out of the day's festivities, but the group trucked forwa
Since the UA doesn't stop for anyone-man or machine-we left Tech Editor Fred Williams and Web Editor Jason Gonderman behind to troubleshoot the Jeep. Hopping in with veteran UA attendee Keith Bailey, Rick sounded out to the group over the CB radio and we all loaded up for the drive out.
Exiting the hotel parking lot, we made our way out of town and into the rolling hillsides and lush green vegetation. Not long after hitting the road we took a hard right down a long dirt road that was lined with dense vegetation and old farmhouses. Initially we weren't certain whether this was a wheeling stop or a wrong turn, but once we saw the signs for the Smith Family Sugarhouse (802.869.2417), we knew Rick had something sweet in store. Located just outside of New Hampshire in Cambridgeport, Vermont, is some of the best homebrewed pure maple syrup you will find on the East Coast. Family owned and operated by Ed and Diane Smith, the maple syrup business is a labor of love-and a lot of hard work. After taking the tour of the Sugarhouse and grabbing a couple of bottles of syrup for the road, we were all back in our rigs.
Although stopping off at a backwoods sugar house may seem a little offbeat, there was a go
Exiting the Smith Family Sugarhouse could have been as easy as turning back down their drive, but in true UA fashion we decided to peel off through a short off-road pass known as the Sugar Trail. This mildly challenging detour through the woods was a fun break from the highway and eventually led us back to another winding country road. Not long after hitting the backroad asphalt we exited Vermont and found ourselves in Granville, New York.
While Granville might not have the glitz and glamour of NYC, it does have something even better, a giant off-road mud park! Hosted by Michele Niedermer and Doyle Ross of the Adirondack Jeep club, we were invited in to explore all that the Mettowee Mud Boggers (www.mettoweemudboggers.com) park had to offer. With a rich mix of mud pits, giant rock-slab hillclimbs, and off-camber and loose dirt trails, the park had something for every wheeler's appetite. So with our rigs still packed with gear we locked in our hubs, shifted into 4-lo, and went exploring through the New York meadows.
It wasn't long before the group exited the last mud hole, but not completely without incident, of course! Overall the group rated the trails a 10 out of 10 and were quietly relieved that we were able to avoid the major mud pits on this very-minimal-road road day.
Sometimes you just need a quick lift to get over a rock!
With daylight running low, we all saddled up for another jaunt down the highway. Quickly breaking into the nighttime hours, we stopped off for fuel and met another UA legend and Samurai guru, Tim Hardy. He had left from his place in Northern California and was attempting to drive his well-weathered Samurai cross-country when he met with complete engine failure. Rather than write off the trip and have the vehicle towed home, Tim used his networking skills and good luck charms to wrangle up another engine.
So with our token Samurai now part of the group, we exited our final fuel stop of the evening and drove down the road to our next destination. With just a sliver of moonlight breaking through the dense tree canopy, we set up our tents and grabbed a little shuteye.
Carnage Report, Day 3
- Body damage: John's XJ, Warn LJ, Boyd's Bronco, Hi-Lift's TJ, BDS TJ
- Bent air shock: Jeff's Toyota
- Broken hub and front locker: Andrew's Ranger
- Electrical problems: CJ-17
Returning reader and LS1 XJ owner John Bjorum split the driving duties between himself and
The Hi-Lift TJ piloted by Austin Harrah opted for a more unique line of approach up the mu
Heading off-road on a road day requires you to wheel with all of your gear still inside th
When Warn representatives Corby Phillips and Fred Perry weren't busy pulling winch line fo
After piloting his '90 4Runner with practically zero issues, Paul Teigrob took full advant
Lance and Amber Longiotti took some good ribbing from the crew over their S-10 Blazer's ai
Proof that we actually do encounter a paved road sometimes on a road day!
Does this count as a tent city?