We set up the working man’s challenge to be a test of creativity and ingenuity, to test what you can do with very little money, in very big country.   The 3 amigos started out Saturday morning with our low cost (sub $1000 dollar vehicles).  Ross and Lindsay both had put countless hours of hard wheeling, racing, and jumping on their rigs.  I how ever had not found a replacement for the Scout till the night before the event.  I picked up a 2001 Discovery 2 for the ripe price of $620.

The 2016 Working Man's Challenge Crew.
The 2016 Working Man’s Challenge Crew.

That morning we wrangled up a few copilots and met at the “frat house”.  There was an excitement in the air as we loaded the vehicles with all our gear for an overnight in Crested Butte.  Both Ross and Lindsay loaded up with 2 spare tires, tools, and clothes.  Having just purchased the Rover and not having any friends with Rovers to barrow spares from I simply loaded up an air compressor, can of fix a flat, plug kit and clothes for the night.0910161406

The drive out to Pearl Pass was great and all the rigs seemed to be firing on all cylinders.  Once we got to the trail head we assessed the situation and there were simply to many people around for this to be a race.  Instead it was what you may call an accelerated trail run.  When people were around we kept the speeds low and when they weren’t we upped the pace.  To everybody’s surprise the Rover was setting pace and with only 29 inch tires it was working hard.

The brain trust.
The brain trust.

Crossing the first river was no big deal but did present us with our first couple mechanical fixes.  Eddy (Ross’s Eddy Bauer edition Bronco) lost its negative lead on the battery.   While the Rover was starting to lose its exhaust.   We took a minute while I tried to tie up the exhaust with some speaker wire and Ross banger the Negative back into the clamp with a rock. 8koffroad.com/…/Video-in-Working-mans-challenge-Google-Photos

In no time we were back on the trail.  Ross was leading and we put down a good pace getting up to the waterfall.  This is the only real obstacle on Pearl Pass and it took Ross to Wide open attempts to get up it.  I was up next and what I lacked in tire size I tried to make up for in throttle.  I gave it a solid dozen attempts looing my front bumper and exhaust before giving in and taking a tow from Ross.   Before I could get my camera out Lindsay was coming up it fast bouncing his way to the top.  On 2 separate occasions all 4 wheels were off the ground.  We regrouped and waited while a group of Jeeps passed coming from the other side. 0910161528

For the next couple miles we drove fairly fast and had a great time until just before the giant scree field when we heard a loud POP.  It was a flat on the Rover.  I pulled it over to the side of the trail to assess the damage.  It was fatal, well to the tire.  A 3 inch gouge on the side wall wasn’t going to be fixable on the trail.  With no spare I was done.  WE moved the gear into Ross’s Bronco and kept

Ross stealing the oil out of the Rover to top off the Bronco
Ross stealing the oil out of the Rover to top off the Bronco

moving. 0910161537_hdr

Having 4 in the Bronco slowed our pace by lot.  We made a lot of stops to let Lindsay floor it Baja style through some of the rougher terrain.  Coming to a log in the trail we decided it should be mandatory.  Lindsay high centered on it.  Being a good friend Ross pushed him over it with his front Bumper.  Next up Ross hit it with a little more pace but still high centered and had to be pushed.

High centered
High centered

 

 

 

The rest of the trail was easy and before you knew it we were in Crested Butte.

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