Jeep engineers Jim Repp and Tony Carvallo were a great help throughout the week answering
Day 8, Saturday, July 7
The End Is Near
After four nights of camping we awoke in a more conventional sleeping arrangement at the Wallace Inn. Meeting us in front of the hotel were local trail guides Garrett Ness and Mark Berger, along with Berger’s daughter Abi. With them were Thomas Kingston and Eddie Casanueva from Spidertrax (official axle of the UA). While a move into a new and larger building kept the Spidertrax guys from making the adventure, they managed to fly out and attend the final day of wheeling.
Our trail for the day would be a little up the road accessible only by an old mining path. The two-part track known as Compressor was divided into an upper and lower section. The entire trail actually has a constant stream of water powering down it, which made for wet shoes and some extremely slick wheeling. The first portion of the trail went down the mountainside for roughly 1,500 feet. The lower section of the trail made for fun wheeling, but didn’t have too many obstacles to hang up the crew.
The GenRight Wrangler driven by company owner Tony Pellegrino looked right at home in the
As we crossed the split onto the upper portion of the trail the rise in elevation was instantly noticeable. Moving higher into the trail, the challenges became more difficult. Shifting boulders (some the size of washing machines) twisted beneath the rigs. Some of the areas were particularly tight for taller rigs, as low-lying trees made for a tight squeeze up the steep grade.
Zone’s MJ simply worked great in the rocks. And while passing water offered a bit of shift
Although challenging, the Compressor Trail was a great match and balance for our group of rigs. We even managed to make it through without any major vehicle casualties—although Matt Kime’s big green K truck would have to sit out this day due to a dying transmission. The shift from 1,500 feet to nearly 4,500 feet came quick, but with so much focus on making progress, it wasn’t until we reached the summit that we realized how much ground we had covered.
After posing for the mandatory end-of-the-week survivors’ photo, we all began our winding path back to the bottom. The narrow mining road cutting into the side of the mountain was definitely the easier route to the bottom, but the giant drops kept your attention.
The Ultimate Adventure class of 2012.
Like all good adventures this one must come to an end. After covering over 1,200 miles, we had successfully absorbed a wonderful portion of the Pacific Northwest. And while we had a blast this year, we look forward to the fresh faces and places that next year will bring. For more on the Ultimate Adventure and to find out how you can become a part of it, visit us online at www.4wheeloffroad.com.
Trent McGee and Sam Gillis swapped out driving duties on the last day of wheeling. Taking
Chris Durham’s low-lift ride used careful footing and a bit of momentum to get up the tric
Cooper Rasmussen’s Offroad Power Products JK was a great testament to how versatile the Je
Good spotting helped veteran UA wheeler and Warn rep Fred Perry pilot the Warn JK through
The long-wheelbase Samurai of our invited Canadian reader Nic Pook simply worked awesome a
Tim Hardy’s crumpled Samurai was a river rat that couldn’t be stopped. Spidertrax co-owner
To get the Synergy Jeep back into action, a few helping hands got involved as cronies Tom Boyd and Keith Bailey (shown) began the teardown. The guys from Jeep were able to locate a fresh takeout engine in Montana at AEV’s shop, and after settling on a price they just had to figure out a way to get it to Moses Lakes. Since the crew at Offroad Power Products is local to the region, they used their resources and got Cody “Hawkeye” Patton and Tyler Kipp to drive from Spokane, Washington, to Missoula, Montana, to pick up the engine. Once they grabbed the barely used 3.8L they swung back through Spokane to pick up miscellaneous parts. At this point Tyler Lucas and Tyler Kipp drove the engine nonstop to Moses Lakes and finished off the install for the exhausted Synergy crew. Ultimately, Jeep and OPP not only chipped in financially to purchase the engine, but went above and beyond with their resources and connections too. Another example of why the off-road community is so great!