ULTIMATE ADVENTURE 2010

Disclaimer: I did not proof read this and I am sure there are errors. I am tired, deal with it.

Day 1 (Friday) 6/25/2010

We left town after work as soon as everything was loaded

It didn't take long for something to go wrong. We blew a hole in the clutch hydraulic line. The truck also seemed to be running a little hot.

This was only about 42 miles from our house.

Luckily my Dad was available to SAVE THE DAY! (here is a picture of my Dad)

We ended up camping about 25 miles east of Klamath Falls

Day 2 (Saturday) 6/26/2010

Got a late start. We were being lazy. Did not get on the road until 9.

We had a tire separate on the trailer so we put on the spare and drove to the next Les Schwab

Good thing I had a Hi Lift! Thank You Hi lift! It lifted the loaded trailer no problem. Ok it was all I could do to get it to lift but that is an 8000 lbs trailer. I don't even remember where we stayed here. Some exit ramp country road. I think it was about 30 miles before Utah.

I ended the night with replacing the thermostat and the gauge temp sending unit in the tow rig. The new temp sending unit did not work at all so I ended up putting the old one back in. We will see if the new thermostat makes a difference tomorrow. The under the hood retractable light that comes in the 90s full size trucks works pretty good. Ended up finishing and eating dinner at about 10. Time for bed.

Day 3 (Sunday) 6/27/2010

Got an earlier start. The truck temp ran perfect right where  it is supposed to. Not a very exciting day. Which is good. Went to Wal-Mart in Salt Lake City. Took us about 10 mins to find the entrance because we did not park in the car garage. What a weird set up. Found a place to stay for the night. Trying to run from the truck cab to the camper before the Mosquitoes got us was entertaining. we are about 45 miles west of Cheyenne Wyoming. Tomorrow we head straight through Nebraska! If you look close enough you can see the Mosquitoes in the picture.

I will add another picture so the site looks longer then it really is. Here is a random picture of a tunnel. All I know is everyone told us to take a ton of pictures. Now this picture does not weigh much so I am not sure how many a ton is but we are trying.

Day 4 (Monday) 6/28/2010

Today was Nebraska Day. Everyone want to see Nebraska?

There you just saw all of Nebraska! It all looks the same, beleive me. It is flat and I-80 is straight. The only good think about Nebraska is we got the best mileage of the whole trip! That is until we met up with Matt.  But that is a story for another day. So Nebraska equals 9 MPG and a flat tire

                       

Day 5 (Tuesday) 6/29/2010

We Drove. Big suprise.... We also ended up meeting up with Matt from California. Here is a pic of his truck. It looks really well built.

He is from the Johnsonville area down by where we went for King Of The Hammers. We ended up seeing him on the side of the road. Luckily he was just tightening some of his straps. After a few short moments and some introductions we were back on the road. 10 mins go by and Matt is having problems. His check engine light came on. It seems that his waste gate on his turbo is not opening so it is showing a check engine light and it is blowing his intercooler coupler off because all the pressure has no where to go. I guess trying to keep up with me he was running the motor harder then earlier in the trip. We ended up putting it back on and slowing down. Hanging right at 59 MPH seemed to work. Now I was getting good mileage. A whole whopping 10! Not to bad because Matt, with his turbo diesel was getting around 8. He has an F350 and he was pulling about 3000 lbs more then I was though. We decided to push through to Jeffs house. He lives in Michigan and is selling me his old rims for the new tires that Goodyear is giving me. We pulled into Jeff's at about 11 PM EST. The rims were down at a shop, so we went down there to get them. We head back to his house and I have all the stuff so I put one of my tires on the rims and install the Staun Bead Locks that I also got from him. 2:30 AM I decide to go to bed

Day 6 (Wednesday) 6/30/2010

I get the rest of the tires all set up with a little help from the other guys and bolt them up

After that we headed over to Jeff's friends "4x4 Shop" and we get the first look at Jeff rig. Remember he is supposed to have this on a trailer and leaving no later then the next morning,

It turned out the rims that he bought to replace the ones that he sold me had the wrong bolt pattern so now he is looking for rims. I told him to just find some adaptors so he called around and thinks he found a set in detoit. For the time being he bolted my old rims and tires on it so that he can get it on the trailer and everyone pitched in to get stuff done on it. I do not want to list everything because I would like to sleep this week. I will say the list had everything from build a front drive shaft to bleed the brakes. there was also install a computer for the tranny so that you can manually shift the auto tranny. I pitched in for about 6 hours and went on my way. Before I left I used some tools so that the tires would clear a little better.

Here is how the 1998 Tacoma looked when we left. Yes 1998.....

After we left we found a Big Boys. They are a burger joint that is supposed to be the BOMB! I was surprised, it was really good. We splurged and had desert also. Behind Big Boy restaurant there was a big parking lot so that is where we are for the night. The trip has been a blast so far and we can't wait to get to the first day of the Ultimate Adventure and meet everyone. The first day is this Saturday and it is more of a sign up and pass inspection day. No driving, just see what everyone has and relax. Tomorrow we drive 550 miles to Virginia and stay the night there. that will be the last night in the camper for 6 days. we have 2 or 3 nights in hotels and then the rest in the blazer until we get back to the camper the following Saturday. This friday we will unload the Blazer and drive it 509 miles to New Hampshire.

Well thank you for reading I am going to bed. I also wanted to thank everyone for helping get us on our way. I know we could not have done it with out the friends and family. We are really having a blast.

Thank you, Lance L

Day 7 (Thursday) 7/1/2010

We drove and paid a lot of tolls to drive on really bad roads. That is about it.

Day 8 (Friday) 7/2/2010

We got to the trailer drop location at about 8:30 the previous day so we got to hang out and relax.  Woke up and found out where to leave the trailer and camper so that it would not be in the way. As we were loading all the stuff from the tow rig and camper to the blazer for the drive to New Hampshire, the Chevy tow rigs engine just died. I had to idling to charge up the batteries and because I still had to pull it about 20 feet to its finally resting place for the week. The motor just turned off. Amber and I look at each other like, that is not good. My first reaction was to pull it over out of the way and get on the road. Then I thought, the last thing I am going to want to do after this week it work on a rig. Plus we are spending the last two nights of the UA in out camper instead of getting a hotel like everyone else. So the rig has to run. If by some chance the blazer breaks down we need to be able to get it.

So I started trouble shooting the issues with the tow rig as Amber kept working on packing. Found out it was not fuel so it had to be spark. Had 12 volts at the coil so it is not a fuse or relay issue. The motor did not sound funny when I was cranking it so I did not think it was a timing chain issue but I wanted to make sure. I pulled off the distributor cap and had Amber turn the motor over. It was spinning, that is good. Racking my brain to try and figure out what was wrong. I figured I would just go to the local parts store 20 miles away and just start swapping parts. I really didn't feel I had a choice. The I remember Gabe and Andy having similar issues with different vehicles. Gabe is a good friend that I went to Rubicon with a few years back and a bad ignition module left us hitch hiking 120 miles around Lake Tahoe to get back the tow rig. Andy is a co-working that was having a "no spark" issue in a car that he was working on. Bad ignition module. I figured that had to be it. So with a brief prayer and the part in my hand I headed to the local Car Quest pars store. Because of you Andy I got the more expensive one. I also picked up a coil when I was there. Even really cool people like me can be wrong. I headed back to the tow rig and put the new module in. If fired right up! I had to do a little dance, and of course Amber laughed at me. I have to so it is very stressful knowing you have an 11 hour 500+ mile drive in a trail rig the the tow rig just stopped running. I was so relieved when that truck started. By this time Amber had finished packing and there were just a few things to move to the Blazer. We got that all buttoned up and took a deep breath, and headed out.

There was nothing really eventful about the drive in the Blazer. Getting peoples reaction to the truck was an every other car event. There was one car that got my attention for a few miles. I could see a really nice newer Camaro coming up on me. I thought, wouldn't it be funny if someone in that $40,000 car took a picture of little old me. People taking pictures and video as they were driving by was not something that was new. They had been doing it all day. Sure enough this bright blue Camaro pulls up, slows down to match speed, and a 10 or so year old buy snaps a shot and the father that was driving gives me a thumbs up. This cracked me up. I reach down for my camera and before I could even get my eyes back on the road the car was about 2 car lengths in front of me. So I floor it. We had been cruzing at about 63 or so before this. My speedo slowing rising it hits 95. I checked the GPS and by the time I caught the Camaro we were doing 83.9. Let me tell you, that is fast it a truck on air bags with 38 inch tires. Granted it took us about 2 miles to catch him, but at least we caught it. I aimed and shot.

I didn't get it in the picture but the look on the fathers face was funny. I saw him double take at his speedometer and then give me another thumbs up. I figured it was a good test for the blazer.

We were going to get a hotel just outside of New York but they were really expensive

(I will add more later but I am really tired I went ahead and did day 8 so there would be more pictures)

Day 8 (Saturday) Day 1 of UA2010 7/3/2010

Today was great! We spent a lot of time hanging out and talking with everyone that was at the hotel. There were only about half the people here until about and hour ago. Rick Pewe and his crew were running behind so they just pulled in the parking lot. Earlier today the started shooting interviews and other shots of the trucks. I do not know why but as soon as they turned the cameras on my mind went blank. Asking me simple questions that I always get asking about the truck I found difficult. I think part of the problem was they would ask me like 10 questions in a row and then want me to answer them. I am not that smart! One at a time please! So of course I goofed up and fumbled and I am hoping they edit most of it out. if they just have a picture of the truck and do a voice over of someone else I would be happy. I know I normally look like a dork but man did I feel like one after that. I told the film crew I will never make fun of anyone on the DVDs doing those interview every again!

We got the trucks all stickered up, and I took some pictures. It is after 1:30 AM and we have a drivers meeting at 7AM so I am going to bed. We have our first trail day tomorrow and I know everyone is anxious to get out there. It is weird, there does not seem to be a competitive vibe in the air. It just seems that everyone wants to see everyone else's rig try their best on the trails. Of course I hope the blazer does well, but if I stay on all fours and don't look like an idiot I will be happy.  There are going to be a lot of rigs and a lot of experienced drivers out there. Ok I am going to bed. I still have to talk into the mirror for more practice before I go to bed. Here are some pics from today to entertain everyone a little bit more.

Day 9 (Sunday) Day 2 of UA2010 7/4/2010

No Typing, to tired. Pictures are better anyways.

Tomorrow is a road day so we will see how that goes after banging everything around on the trail.

Day 10 (Monday) Day 3 of UA2010 7/5/2010

So I really don't remember a lot about this day it is all kind of a blur. No issues that I can remember. Here are some pics

Lets try a video!

Click here

Day 11 (Tuesday) Day 4 of UA2010 7/6/2010

This was the second trail day. Not a lot to say. when I get home I will try and get more details in but right now it is still a mess in my head. I do remember I backed into a tree today and broke out my back window. I was not happy about it but compared to other people I was doing good. Plus no whining on the trip. Just from what I can remember. The Ranger that was in the video. he broke his second hub and his Detroit locker in the front in that video. Earlier in the week he broke out his side window and has a lot more dents in the truck. We were also not the only people having issues just trying to get to UA. The ranger and two other people had wheels fall off their trucks.

Day 12 (Wednesday) Day 5 of UA2010 7/7/2010

This was the second road day of the trip. We stopped for ice cream 3 times today. it was that hot. A lot of people were having issues. We only had a leaky transfer case. had it fixed up in a couple minutes. We swung by an auto parts store and heli-coiled it later that same day. We also got 4 new shocks from BDS because I bent one of mine and it was a pain to drive on the road. Paul (A new friend that we found on the trip) put those on for me as I was working on other things.

Day 13 (Thursday) Day 6 of UA2010 7/8/2010

The first thing that sticks out in my mind today was that it was the first trail day that I did not have to use a winch. the blazer was doing great. Tom in the bronco broke his from axle. now when I say broke I mean BROKE. there was a ton of carnage today. Fred was fixing his bent axle from the trail day before and Hobart was over welding up toms front end. He actually spun the diff on the drivers side axle housing so if you looked at it the pinion was aiming almost straight up. when that happened it snapped his pinion off right at the yoke. for those of you that don't know what any of that is. he was just way broke. Hobart welded the axle tub back and they noticed he also cracked the whole diff from one axle tube to the other. so they welded that too. In 3 hours they had a new ring and pinion on site and in 4 hours Tom was back up and wheeling. Oh I melted a wire going from my alternator to my batteries. it was just the crimp end. shortened it a little and we were back up and running.

Day 14 (Friday) Day 7 of UA2010 7/9/2010

We had it pretty easy. AC going full blast and windows rolled up when the cameras were not on us. they don't like windows being rolled up for the camera! LOL. I can imagine it would come across as disconnected so we would hurry and try and roll them down when we saw the camera crew.  we were supposed to go on a ferry but the river was to low. people were having over heat issues and I was having a problem with power. my motor would go gutless sometimes. I think I had some junk on some of the sensors from the mud bog the day before. I HATE MUD!! The bronco II was being trailered to a shop because he hydro locked it motor the day before in a big mud hole

Day 15 (Saturday) Day 8 of UA2010 7/10/2010

I have to be honest Amber and I were ready to go home and by the sounds of things so were a few other people. there were so many issues going on with vehicles I was just praying mine would make it though the day. it poured rain all night so we knew that the trails were going to be a sloppy mess. By the time we hit the first trial things had turned around though. the sun was out and it was not to hot and there were rocks in site! no mud! Amber ended up driving almost all day. I only drove maybe the first 1/4 and then she finished up the trip. she did a great job. we had no issues and no breakage. never even pulled cable. she needs to drive more often.... Matt broke a front axle. Surprising because he has been having issues with his front locker all week. Tom with the welded front end broke a pulley off front of his motor and broke a belt also. he had to be winched up the last obstacle. that is all I remember or want to remember. I am tired

Day 16 (Sunday) The Trip Home Day 1 and Day 17 (Monday) The Trip Home Day 2 7/11/2010

Things were going great! fridge in the camper broke when we were gone for the week so the camper stunk. I am not goin to try and discribe this stench because it is impossible. I am just going to say it was bad! we decided to go to IHOP with Paul and his co driver and figure out our plan to get home. They had to go to MI to get parts from BDS and Amber and I just wanted to get home with out paying tolls. it seems we were going to end up going in two different directions. Now I have seen the TV shows where people get voted off and they leave these so called friends behind and I am like "what ever!" but I must say it was sad to see them and everyone else go. the odds are we will never see any of those people again. Now Paul lives in Washington so we are definitely going to have to go wheeling with him again but still. these were some great people. Anyways enough of that. we ate our breakfast and said good bye. We didn't get 20 miles from IHOP and the tow rig was pinging and had no power. Now power like we could only go 15 MPH up hills. I also noticed that the oil pressure had dropped A LOT. now the only way I know to get the oil pressure up was to use thicker oil. found the closed auto parts store and what do you know! Rick Pewe and Tim Hardy were there. I guess they were having issues also. they agreed on the oil pressure fix and I bought some Valvoline SAE 50. What do you know the sound is gone and we are a rocken! Oh wait 10 miles down the road and the motor sounds like it is goin to come through the firewall at me. found another parts store and put some Engine restore. I figured good old liquid blue would fix it up right. fired it back up and the noise was gone. 15 miles down the road and it sounded just as bad as it did before. I knew something was really wrong when a couple of diesel guys drove by and gave me a jealous glare. I know they were thinking "man I wish my truck made that much racket". I was going to offer to trade them but they would not slow down to the whole 2 MPH that I was railing up the road at. limped it to a Wal-Mart and figured this was enough. I was going to fix it once and for all. went in and got the thickest oil no smoke additive that I could find. now mind you one bottle would not be enough, so I put 2 in there. this seemed to work. drove about 200 miles and then it really started sounding bad again. Ended up unloading the blazer and Amber was going to have to drive that. we got another 200 miles that night before we stopped.

Day 18 (Tuesday) The Trip Home Day 3 7/12/2010

No big issues thank goodness. between the pickup running really bad. it is always ticking and clunking now but not as bad as with the blazer loaded. We are now getting about 5 MPG in the pickup and Amber is driving the Blazer. She is doing an amazing job. It is funny to see everyone's reaction when they drive by. I mean I would get looks when driving it but image her driving it. she has guys try and talk to her and ask her questions. she just has the AC going and the windows up.

Day 19 (Wednesday) The Trip Home Day 4 7/13/2010

We got though Nebraska and a little of Wyoming we started hitting some hills though and even with the blazer unloaded I can only do about 35 up just the slightest incline. I really do not want to push the motor to hard. if it blows we are really stuck. This is ending up to be a very stressful trip home. to tell you the truth I am surprised the blazer is still going. Amber has put over 1000 miles on it so far. well time for bed.

UPDATE: Just got off the phone with my dad. He is going to head this way tomorrow after work. The plan is to drive west until we meet up and then load the camper in his truck and then pull my Chevy tow rig on the trailer with his pickup. Now normally I would argue with him and let me dig my self out of this mess. But I got to thinking. My wife and I have been praying for the past 1500 miles knowing that the Lord would help us out. I am not going to try and quote any scripture because I know I would get it wrong. The point being, when you are praying and just want to get home, Don't let your pride stand in the way of the Lords work. Well I will leave you all with that. I will sleep soundly tonight knowing that help is on it way tomorrow. I love you Dad!

Day 20 (Thursday) The Trip Home Day 5 and Day 21 (Friday) The Trip Home Day 6 7/14/2010

WE MADE IT!!!! We got home Friday at about 1:30!!! I am going to shower and go to bed..... Thank you dad for the lift.