|The Teal Terror flexing its suspension atop a rock pile in Liberty, Washington.|
Carefully moving up a V notch. Photo by Spencer Whitney.
There were a few hairy moments—a Land Rover falling into a deep V notch (keep reading); the Sidekick nearly going ass over teakettle down a steep descent; and apparently going up on two wheels at some point—but that's part of the off-roading excitement. That being said, I also got to try out my recently installed skid plate and rock sliders. Yes, they work. Ask me how I know.
|The Sidekick headed up an off-camber incline. Picture by Spencer Whitney.|
The first trail run we went on was the planned advanced 4x4 run. Everyone has a different idea of what "advanced" means. However, to my pleasure, there were some good hill climbs and other challenges. However, after the run was over, most people went back to camp. A handful of us decided to go on another run. This group included a four-door Jeep Wrangler, a Land Rover Discovery, and an Isuzu Trooper (sounds like an intro to a joke. "So so a Jeep, a Land Rover, a Suzuki, and an Isuzu drive into a bar ..."). The trails we did were significantly more difficult than the first "advanced" run.
Here's a picture of Spencer's Land Rover Discovery that happened to get a bit off track and fell into the notch. We all worked together to get the Rover out of the notch (thankfully he had a winch and I had a strap and shackle) and the rig escaped without any damage. There were quite a few of the washed-out notches on this trail, which made for extra "pucker factor" in a vehicle as small as our Sidekick.
|Jeff's Isuzu Trooper features lockers front and rear and a 3.4-liter GM V6.|
To add to it, the soil was sandy, loose, and tricky, especially on the off-camber and hillclimb sections. Jeff's Isuzu Trooper (locked front and rear), however, made short work of nearly everything.
|Danny's Jeep Wrangler Unlimited in the Scenic Washington Cascades.|
|Spencer (left) and Nick came down from British Columbia in this Land Rover Discovery.|
|Packing up after the 2014 NW Overland Rally.|
Almost as soon as it started, the 2014 NW Overland Rally was over, and we were headed back to Portland. The wind was fierce; we must have had sustained 35 MPH winds the whole time, and that kept us on our toes. In fact, when we arrived at Interstate 84 in the Columbia River Gorge, we were met with winds that wouldn't allow our little rig to go faster than 65 MPH. We were foot-to-the-floor for 20 miles until we exited for The Dalles, and crossed back into Washington to take the slower (and more picturesque) HWY 14.
|HWY 97 outside of Maryhill, WA.|