Day 6 of Ultimate Adventure

As we pulled out, we took one last look at Shaugn Reid’s over-easy (more like scrambled) K5, that had been extracted from the trail and was strapped to a trailer, ready to head home. In true Ultimate Adventure fashion, Shaugn, and his co-pilot, Mario, were hopping in with others and continuing on the trip as we departed the winery.

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Road Weary and Loving It

by Jerrod Jones

July 4th, and we woke up at the Hopewell Winery for the final time. It was Independence Day, and what’s more American than going to see some amazing things that America has to offer?

We’re in for another road day, and although it was still morning, this day already had a more relaxed feel to it. For the Banks team, the trip, while tiring, had been rather easy compared to that of others on the trip. We were in a well-equipped late-model 4×4 that had been gone through by the Banks engineering team prior to departure. The Sidewinder turbocharger never seemed to be overstressing the transmission or overworking the engine, as evidenced by closely-monitored oil pressure, boost, and temperature gauges.

As we pulled out, we took one last look at Shaugn Reid’s over-easy (more like scrambled) K5, that had been extracted from the trail and was strapped to a trailer, ready to head home. In true Ultimate Adventure fashion, Shaugn, and his co-pilot, Mario, were hopping in with others and continuing on the trip as we departed the winery.

As we followed our adventure leader, Rick Pewe, we wound back and forth through the country, paralleling and sometimes crossing the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers via bridge and ferry as we headed towards Missouri. The ferry rides were a delight for a pair of Southern Californians who don’t get to do that sort of thing very often.

As we neared the Missouri border, text messages from other attendees started to come through: We were getting close to the home of Bigfoot in Hazelwood, Missouri. Rick had to have planned this.

About an hour later we were staring up at the tallest Bigfoot ever built. The highlight of our Fourth of July was spent on a private tour of the Bigfoot facility, allowing us to check out the newest truck being built, the electric battery-powered Bigfoot, and even the first and original Bigfoot.

A couple hours spent at Bigfoot HQ, and we were back on the road towards Salem, Missouri, and our first hotel (and shower) since the morning of July 1st. But not before one more stop at an Army surplus store.

Once we were all weaponized, we hit the road again and it wasn’t long before we pulled into Salem, Missouri. In case anyone couldn’t tell from the look of us that we’d been on the road for a few days, the smell guaranteed it—something suddenly noticeable when 10-plus guys piled into a small hotel lobby entrance. At least showers and beds were just feet away.

Tomorrow, we’d get nasty….Flat Nasty.

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One of the cooler things we did on the road days was cross the Illinois River on a ferry—twice!
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The river was high, and had a flooded frontage road at our second ferry crossing, the Brussels Ferry. A couple of our guys hopped out of line and went for a drive on the flooded road, much to the hoots and hollers of others. Unfortunately, our second contestant to try so got booted out of line by the ferry captain and had to take a separate ferry ride after we had all crossed. He said there was absolutely no getting out of line. Frustrating to the BDS crew; hilarious for the rest of us. Rules are rules.

 

 

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This is the one of the greatest things about traveling on the road. If you flew somewhere, how in the heck would you be able to spot an El Camino turned into a rooster at a Phillips 66 fuel station?
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Remember Tim Hardy and his Suzuki? He was the one who blew an engine on Day 2 and was out for a little bit. Well, after a third engine try, he, Phillip Vizgaudis, and Sam Gillis got the little ‘Zuk up and running and joined back with the Ultimate Adventure crew.
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Ouch. The Diesel Power Products Ram truck did not look any better the next day after a local’s tow point broke off during an extraction.
Banks Power
Sometimes you find some really excellent food on the road that you don’t get near home. We can’t find one of these diabetes sticks anywhere near Southern California. Unfair!

Banks Power

Banks Power
Stopping in Hazelwood, Missouri, at the Bigfoot headquarters was something to cross off the bucket list. And who doesn’t love monster trucks? It was very cool that you are allowed to pose near the tallest of the Bigfoots and the tank-tracked minivan. Vehicle-Crushing power next to Banks Rock-Crushing power.
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The small tractor tires are for transport; it’d be tough to squeeze a monster truck with its normal tires onto the back of a semi flatbed. The tractor tires make them just barely fit.

Banks Power

Banks Power
The original Bigfoot. You think it’d be behind glass with an armed guard keeping you at least ten feet away at all times. It was a little surreal being able to go up and grab the tire tread and pose next to the original monster truck.
Banks Power
Our last stop before entering Salem was an army surplus store. It’s one of those stops that you can’t walk away from without a few things that you didn’t know you needed until you entered the doors of the store. All the good stuff you can’t get in California army surplus stores, right at our fingertips.

If you missed any of the earlier stories in this series, check them out here:

Part 1: Becoming the Official Turbocharger of Ultimate Adventure 2014

Part 2: Building the Banks Sidewinder Jeep for a 4×4 Marathon

Part 3: Getting There is Half the Battle

Part 4: Exhausted, and It’s only 8am on Day 1

Part 5: On the Road Again—Iowa or Bust

Part 6: Illinois or Bust

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