Superlift 4xAdventure Spring 2006

If you’ve never been to a Superlift 4xAdventure event, they’re a ton of fun for not much money. We’ve tried for a couple of years to make it to the annual Superlift 4xAdventure they hold out at Barnwell Mountain in Gilmer, TX, but have always had something come up at the last minute that’s forced us to miss it. This year we were able to finally make it to a 4xAventure event, only this time we went to the event held at Superlift’s own ORV Park in Hot Springs, AR, instead of the one held in Gilmer. The Superlift ORV Park has quickly become our favorite offroading spot, and this was also the first time we’d taken our TJ out there.

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The event ran from friday through sunday, and as with most of our trips to Hot Springs, we drove up on thursday so we’d have all day friday and saturday to wheel (we normally break camp and drive home sunday morning). The trails on friday were “self-guided” and there weren’t many folks at the park yet that day, so we just played around on our own on a few of the trails we were familiar with and hung out at our campsite for the first half of the day. The ORV Park is beautiful and heavily wooded, and we just happy to get out of the metroplex and do some camping.

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Later in the day we met up with Billy Mountjoy, a local friend of ours who’s led us around the park on nearly every trip we’ve made there. He’d rouned up some of the other early birds who were there to wheel on friday and we hit up some of the popular 4-diamond trails. The park uses a scale of 1-5 diamonds to rate the difficulty of the trails, with 1 being the easiest and 5 being the hardest.

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As friday wore on, the RV’s and tow rigs started to pour into the park, carrying everything from brand-new super-built Unlimiteds to tube buggies, and even a couple of vintage WWII vehicles.

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Saturday was the main organized trail runs, and we made sure to get in the group led by Billy again. Once again we hit mostly the 4-diamond trails and most of the folks in our group on saturday we the ones that we’d been with on friday. The crew from Superlift TV’s Off-Road Adventures was there filming and there were photographers on hand from many of the major 4×4 magazines. As luck would have it, we made it into the September 2006 issue of 4WheelDrive&SportUtility Magazine (page 46), the October 2006 issue of Peterson’s OffRoad, and an upcoming episode of Superlift’s Off-Road Adventures tv show. We’re pretty excited about all that!

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Since we had Jennifer’s Jeep out there, and it was the first real run with the new gears and rear ARB, Jennifer drove the whole weekend. In fact, I think the only time I got behind the wheel was to go up to the bath house from camp, haha! She did great though, and having a fully locked rear (the front has had an OX locker for many years now) and lower axle gears made a huge difference from the old TracLock limited slip and stock 3.73 gears. I really need to get a hand-throttle installed though.

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The carnage list for our groups on friday and saturday was really pretty minimal, mostly just the usual scrapes, scratches, and dents… except for one unlucky TJ that that ended up rubber-side-up on saturday morning. The guy had been in our group on friday and had run this particular trail without any real trouble then, but satuday he took a different line up a slickrock waterfall and flipped over trying to drop off an offcamber ledge at the top. I was off to the side snapping some photos and TJ came to rest just a few feet from my feet!

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Thankfully noone was hurt, and a full rollcage and front stinger from Poison Spyder Customs kept the damage to a minimum. The windshield was toast of course, as was the driver’s door, but once we got the TJ flipped back on all fours it started back up without much trouble. Once we got everything cleaned up from the roll, the owner headed back to camp to remove the windshield so he could finish wheeling the rest of the weekend. Now that’s a Jeeper!

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We hit a few more trails after lunch, then called it a day and headed back to camp for dinner and the big raffle held at the ORV Park’s huge new pavillion saturday night. Superlift gave away a bunch of great prizes, and we lucked out by winning one of Superlift’s TrueSpeed speedometer calibration kits. This was actually something we really needed because you have to use something like this to recalibrate your speedometer if you’re running a super-shorty SYE kit like the one we’ve got from JB Conversions. Look for an install review on the the TrueSpeed kit later on this year.

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There were more guided trail runs sunday morning, but we opted to just sleep in a bit late then break camp and head for home after breakfast. All in all it was one of the best trips to Hot Springs we’ve had, and we’ll definitely be marking our calendar for the next 4xAdventure Series events held at the park. You can check out all our trip photos on our flickr account.

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