We have spent many weeks receiving and sifting through the photographs of vehicles belonging to potential participants. Participants will be part of a unique group that will have the special privilege of participating in a guided 4-wheel drive tour across some of Canada's spectacular back country.
If you are unfamiliar with ARBs American Outback Series, we opened this special event last June with an adventure across roughly 600 miles of Oregon. We covered lava fields; historic wagon trails, coastal mountains and even huge sand dunes. I believe that if asked, all who attended last years event would say that they had a great time and saw a part of our country they might never have seen otherwise. This years Canadian trip, though not as geographically diverse, promises to be equally rewarding as we push into the wilder and more remote country of interior British Columbia.
As you know may know, the vehicles we are selecting for this trip are rolling showcases for ARB products. So it should come as no surprise that a collection of twenty such vehicles provides ARB with a marvelous marketing opportunity. ARB will naturally be taking advantage of this by inviting magazine journalists, a professional photographer and a professional videographer to cover the event. But equally important to ARB is utilizing all these vehicles and the power of exposure to promote responsible off-roading. Anyone familiar with our sport knows that we are constantly under attack and struggle to keep an ill-informed public from viewing our sport as destructive to the environment. ARB intends to be a positive force in the reeducation of the public and this event is our tool. With this in mind, we ask that while attending the American Outback Series in Canada, you make every effort to conduct yourself in a manner befitting our purpose.
- The Trip -
This years trip has been laid out by Al Vandervelde of Canadian 4WD Magazine. Al has been a longtime friend of our company and has been involved with us on many levels. He also attended last years tour through Oregon and consequently had a very good sense for what we wanted in a future tour. I enlisted Al's services as trail guide and over the course of several phone calls he explained the travel plan, intended destinations and the type of country our group could expect. The following paragraphs will give a general overview of the trip and on separate pages you will find a list of the gear you should and must bring, plus an itinerary with specific dates, times and contact information for hotels. You will also find a release of liability form to be signed and turned in when we meet in Seattle.
We will depart from the Candlewood Suites Hotel in Bellevue, Washington at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday June 20 th . From Bellevue we will head north to the North Cascade Highway which will take us east over the most beautiful section of Washington's Cascade Mountains. Once over the mountains we will head north to the Canadian border. After crossing the border we will make our way northwest and eventually arrive at Penticton where we will stay the night at either the Coast Inn or the Double Diamond Hostel5. Depending on which you chose. This will be our first overnight stop on the trip and it will also be our jumping off point for the off-road portion of the trip with Al Vandervelde.
Monday morning we will gather for an introduction, explain our group operating procedures, and then hit the dirt, mud, snow5 or whatever were faced with. From that point we will make a good days journey north into the Whipsaw country. Camp will be made that evening at a point to be determined, but Al tells me we should be prepared for cold, alpine weather.
Tuesday morning we will exit the Whipsaw country and make a long highway drive northwest to the little cowboy town of Lillooet. We will check into the 4-Pines Motel or the Mile O Motel and spend our time fine-tuning our vehicles and topping off our supplies for the next three days away from civilization.
Wednesday morning we will make our way north into the backcountry and begin a three-day odyssey of exploring that will take us to the Carpenter and Mud Lakes area; Poison Mountain; the Black Dome gold mine and ultimately Windy Ridge. We will rough-camp every night and make adjustments to our path as conditions and whims dictate. Al tells me that we will likely cover at least 100 miles in the dirt and possibly as many as 150.
Friday afternoon we will emerge from the wilderness and make our way back to Lillooet for the same hotels…. and a hot shower.
- The Realities -
On paper this all sounds nice and smooth and with any luck and some careful preparation, it will play out that way. However, I always make the point that we will not be visiting an amusement park where the rides are predictable and the outcome virtually guaranteed. We will be leaving civilization and subjecting ourselves to isolation; the elements; wild animals and the fickle whims of circumstance. For these reasons it is imperative that our vehicles, gear and even our bodies be up to the task. If you have reason to doubt any category, check it out carefully.
This will be a working 4-wheel drive trip. Meaning that ARB and its professional colleagues will be on the job. As for the drivers and their vehicles, I like to think of them as “the talent” and they too will be on the job in a sense. From early in the morning and sometimes until late at night, we will be working with our journalists and videographer to help them record our trip. Sometimes it will be tedious and time-consuming and by the time you factor in long hours behind the wheel, inconsistent meal times, bad weather, breakdowns and who knows what else you can have some pretty tired and cranky companions on hand. When everything is going poorly it is attitude that makes the difference so when mine starts to deteriorate, please remind me of what I told you here…. and then duck!
Western Sales Manager
ARB - USA
Trip Report Trip Photos
Who was shooting the trip: