(driving rock music)
- [Trent McGee] Drivers! Phoenix!
(cheers and applause)
This is going to be one of our longer legs for gas,
so if you have gas cans, they should be full.
As far as what we're going to do, we're going to hop on
a two-lane highway, wheels up, rolling at 7:45.
- [Man On Radio] Trail tail is on 19.
- [Trent] Copy that.
It's bright and early on day two
of Ultimate Adventure,
and we're leaving the interstates behind for good.
We're going to escape the heat by heading to higher ground
in the old mining town of Crown King.
Of course, we're not going to be taking
the fastest or the easiest route.
There's less than 100 miles to cover today,
but it's going to be almost all dirt
with a few obstacles along the way.
- [Man On Radio] Check out the nice ass
across the road there.
- [Sam Gillis] It's 106, it's nine o'clock.
So I'm hoping it's going to cool off some.
All right, I'm going to get me a chain
so I can hang it around my neck.
- [Trent] When you take a bunch of rock crawlers
overlanding, especially 20 of them,
you know there's going to be a lot of dust.
The back way to Crown King involves a steady climb
out of the Valley of the Sun, and around 1100 feet
to an elevation of over 5700 feet.
Of course, there are a few fun challenges along the way.
- [Lonnie McCurry Jr.] Yeah, back there we was
coming up out of that wash, we heard a big psshh
and we figured out what it was.
It's that the ARB line on the front again.
But we got a good crew working on it,
I think we're going to get it taken care of
in about five minutes.
- (offscreen) Whose idea...
- [Man on Radio] About halfway up that area
next to the mine is a big bull,
and I'm talking he's got a lot of testosterone
running through his system.
- [Trent] Here we are on the way to Crown King.
So we left the hotel this morning about 7:30,
we've been on the road for about two and half hours.
Normally it's a road day for Ultimate Adventure,
but we're on the dirt and that's the whole plan.
That's actually the plan for the whole week.
We started down in the desert,
in the saguaros and stuff at Lake Pleasant,
and now we're making our way up to Crown King.
It's a really scenic, pretty trail,
we're in the Bradshaw Mountains.
There are some cool little side obstacles here
and everybody's having a good time, I think.
It's already noticeably cooler,
I think we're at 3800 feet now
and we're going to keep climbing.
So that's also a good thing.
Ultimate Adventure requires everyone
to be self-sufficient throughout the week,
so each participant must carry
all of their own food, camping gear,
tools, pare parts, and so on.
Absolutely no trailers are allowed.
Now this is the first day that everyone is wheeling
fully loaded, but it's not going to be the last.
You wouldn't be watching this video if we didn't have
our full camera crew along, and transporting a crew
plus all of their equipment is a huge logistical challenge.
This year, Sportsmobile stepped in with a
fully equipped 4x4 van
to haul all the gear, and UA alum Ken Smith volunteered
to be the wheel man, as well as gofer for the week.
Having a four-wheel drive van
support rig for UA is critical.
So yeah, just like that, we're in the pine trees.
Remember, guys, Arizona is nothing but deserts and cactus.
- [Randall Speir] All right, so here we are on the trail.
Got a little problem with the steering box.
So the problem seems to be inside the box,
but I think we can repair it.
- [Man In Gray T-Shirt] Let's open it up and get her fixed.
- Well, we just secured our campsite for Day 2.
We're heading down the mountain, we're going into Crown King
get some fudge,
a little general store, and maybe
some cool drinks, and then head on back up, make dinner.
Tomorrow's day three.
- [Trent] Crown King is named after the nearby goldmine,
where an estimated two million dollars in gold
was extracted over the years.
Founded in the 1880s, 15 goldmines dot the area around town,
which is situated high in the Bradshaw Mountains.
The mines have been closed since the 1950s,
but the saloon remains the center of town and a popular
attraction for off-roaders, hikers, and other travelers
seeking an escape from the Phoenix heat.
The saloon serves amazing burgers, while the general store
offers some of the best homemade fudge you can buy.
Meanwhile, back at camp, Randall Speir and John Mobily,
from Dana/Spicer, are busy fixing the steering box
on their JK, with the help of Reader Nick LeBlanc,
and Warren's Chris Durham.
- Had a problem wit the JK, the actual
spanner, that helps pre-labels on the input shaft
had worked itself loose, so took the box completely apart
so I can tighten this spanner up.
The input had 1/2 an inch of in-play in it,
so we had the steering issues.
So in order to fix it, we just got to
tighten this spanner up.
- [Trent] While the steering box repairs continued
on the Dana/Spicer JK, I had some repairs of my own to do
with a bent suspension link.
The improvised repair involved a log and some use of
sponsored products in a most unrecommended manner.
But it got the job done.
- [Man] Bet that's the last time I'll ever get that...
- [Trent] Those that weren't making repairs had the rare
opportunity to set up camp among the pine trees,
and even cook dinner...all in the daylight!
Most took the opportunity to rehash the day's events around
LED campfires, since the area was under fire restrictions
and real fires weren't allowed.
For some, repairs continued well into the night.
(country guitar music)
(offscreens) Drivers meeting! Let's go!
- [Man In Blue T-Shirt] Day three of the Ultimate Adventure!
(cheers, light clapping)
Today's going to be another long one in terms of beimg
behind the wheel, so be sure you top off your tanks
with your spare fuel this morning, before we head out.
Don't wait till you run out on the trail.
And for more on the trail, here's Trent.
(whoops and hollers)
- Crown King is one of my most favorite trails in all
of Arizona, so I'm glad that you guys...
...have all my friends come with me on it.
So, it's pretty rad.
Looks like everyone's pretty well packed up.
We've got one quick repair going, but I'm thinking
we're going to roll right at eight.
- As usual on Ultimate Adventure, our first camping night,
we had a repair last night.
The steering box on Dana's Jeep, the second shaft had
come loose, so had to take the box apart completely,
tighten the spanner up, to tighten the input shaft up,
and put the box back together.
Got them fixed last night, and then this morning,
Mark's Jeep, the lower control arm eccentrics had broke
loose, and one axle was moving back and 3/4 of an inch, so
I welded the tabs and the eccentrics on both sides.
So now both of them are ready to go, we're ready
to hit the road again. So welcome to UA.
- [Trent] All of the cronies and staff for
Ultimate Adventure are equipped with Magellan TRX7s
that are preloaded with the planned route for each day.
This is handy in the event of breakdowns or people
needing to catch up. - Woo!
Diesel brigade rolls out! - Which happens all the time.
- For everyone else, what was up ahead was
a complete surprise.
Now, the Magellan unit saved a lot of confusion and time.
Simply follow the tracks, and you'll eventually find
the rest of the group.
- [Mark Turner] I didn't have enough sunscreen,
so JR was nice enough to break his transmission cooler
so I could put this on my skin so I wouldn't get sunburned
out in Arizona.
Anyway, cooler broke, no big deal, Dillard's down there,
he's going to loop it back together.
We were able to save a lot of the tranny fluid that
came out of it in water bottles, so we're ready to go.
- [Sam Gillis] Well, we got the lines back off.
The cooler blowed apart (background chatter)
in the middle so we just took and looped the lines
back together, and run it back to transmission.
Hopefully it'll stay cool enough running this,
but we'll give it a whirl here.
- This thing's going to run cooler now, JR; watch.
- [Trent] We're heading deeper into the Bradshaw Mountains,
towards the DeSoto Mine Trail, which will loop us around
Crown King, and eventually back down
to the lower elevations near Mayer.
It will be another long, hot, dusty, and very fun day.
That's if everything goes perfectly.
But with over a hundred miles of dirt to cover today,
breakdowns are inevitable.
- [Driver] Ah, yeah! Ahhh, thanks for
back of the chowder head. Ooh!
- [Travis] The DeSoto Mine Trail is over ten miles long
and crosses several ridges. Which means
there's a lot of steep climbs and descents.
The terrain is rocky and very loose, and there's a lot
of tight turns that can be tricky for some of the
There's quite a few rocky shelves
thrown in for good measure.
DeSoto Mine is not hardcore by any means, but it demands
a driver's constant attention, as one wrong move
can mean sliding down the hillside a very long way.
The constant climbing and descending also
isn't helping fuel economy.
None of these rigs have seen a gas stop
since yesterday morning.
- [Cooper] This fun video prob'ly won't do it justice,
but that was a steep climb with a big ledge at the top.
Lots of fun today on this road, trail day.
- [Trent] While longer wheelbases need to make multi-point
turns in some of the switchbacks, the extra length
was welcom on the rocky ledges.
Team Wayney Jack shows us how it's done.
Dan Struuvi's Bronco falls right in between
short and long wheelbase.
The solution that worked?
Going far right, away from the worst of the ledge.
Wheelbase is one thing, but weight is also a factor.
Dave's Rugged Radio's Amigo is definitely
on the lighter end of the spectrum in this group.
It's all a matter of perspective;
what didn't seem like a big deal in one view,
now looks entirely different in another.
Thankfully, the tranny cooler on the Skyjacker rig
seems to be holding...
at least for the moment.
And the unique Voodoo Rope CJ10 didn't need to test out
what they sell on this one.
Four-door Jks can make things look easy; especially when
they're equipped with Dana 60s and an LS3.
Just leaving a little gas for Keith; he's running low,
so rather than truck it on back to him, just going to leave it
here and he can get it.
We're a little bit over halfway through
the Desoto Mine Trail, and this is yet another gate
that we've gone through, and it's always important to
leave gates as you found them.
So in this case it was closed,
So once the group gets through, we will close it once again.
From here on out, it's going to get a little bit tougher for
the gang, but just challenging, not get-stuck type stuff.
But definitely need to pay attention
on some of these hills.
We're going to keep kind of headed off that way.
I believe we're two ridges from the end of the trail.
Notice that I never said Desoto Mine was a short trail.
First gas stop as a group.
- [Kyle Cunliffe] Yep. We Haven't Seen pavement in two days.
- [Keith Bailey] I planned on bringing seven extra gallons.
I used every one of those, and four more from my buddies,
so, barely made it.
- [Wayne Lambert] Good times, we did a pretty long run,
all off-pavement today, lot of nice scenery, real varied.
We were in the trees, and now we're back down in the cactus,
so we got to see a lot of the Arizona countryside.
It's been awesome.
- [Trent] After the much-needed gas stop, and crossing under
an interstate that maybe some people would be hoping
we would be getting on, it was back to the dirt
and some more overlanding.
All righty, we are on the Great Western Trail.
I believe it is the trail that runs from the Mexican border
all the way up the Western portion of the United States
Despite the long hours on the trail, the group was making
excellent progress, and breakdowns were minimal.
Periodic pit stops kept (background chatter)
the group together, and these were often used to check
things over on the rails.
After passing through some areas that could've been
mistaken for an African savanna, we passed through
the remote ranching town of McNellis and made our way
to Copper Canyon.
- [Fred Williams] I've been havin' fun in my little diesel,
My CJ with the diesel Cummins two eight,
so far on the trip I think I've only used
10 gallons of fuel. Rock crawling and everything.
The little two-eight really was good on the fuel,
and it also doesn't run hot. Rad!
Runs about 176, 180 degrees
- [Trent] Copper Canyon is a tiny little two-track that
meanders its way into Camp Verde.
It's cool to be picking our way down the canyon
in low range, while just a few hundred yards away,
18 wheelers are chugging up and down
the Camp Verde grade on I-17.
Our way is definitely better.
- Today's been a really long dusty road day,
but it's been pretty awesome.
We've bounced down a lot of cool dirt roads,
all over Northern Arizona.
Trent McGee and Vern Simons both live here and
they kind of mapped out this trip, and it's been awesome.
Hardly any asphalt, which is the best.
Asphalt's a total waste of tax dollars,
far as I'm concerned.
- [Trent] All right, we are at the tail end of day three
of the Ultimate Adventure.
We've been hard at it all day, going overlanding in
our rock crawlers.
- [Vern Simons] It's like the vast majority of the day,
over 100 miles, was a totally rad day, nothing really
challenging, but dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt dirt.
Tires aired down, goin' fast in the dirt, goin' around
corners, blast...wonderful day.
Everybody's dirty, but everybody's happy.
- [David Chappelle] That was awesome, like the Longest
dirt-road day we've ever done I think,
on Ultimate Adventure.
We've done dirt roads, but this trumps 'em all.
- [Dan Strubbe] So we just got off the mountain,
we've been on dirt for probably 60, 70 miles today,
So a lot of dirt. Beautiful country; it's cool to see
a lot of elevation change, had big trees in the morning,
cactus in the afternoon.
The group did good overall, pretty minimal,
considering the hard road,
the hard miles, in the trucks today.
I think we're all excited to be headin' back to the hotel
and get a shower.
- Three more to go, and then we're at the hotel.
- [Christian Hazel] So wrap on the Ultimate Adventure
2017. We were just over 100 miles in dirt, over 24 hours
since we last saw pavement.
We're going to air up the tires and go see civilzation
for the first time in a while.
(driving rock music
- [Trent] Day three wasn't a bad trail day as far as
road days go, but there's a whole lot more off-road action
And it turns out, day four will more than make up for
the lack of problems on day three.