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All posts for the month July, 2016

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We woke up early to ensure that the Blue JK was prepped and ready for the road in front of us.  Mel had told us the night before, which never happens, that we were running the Dalton Highway from Fairbanks to Deadhorse (Prudhoe Bay) which is the end of the road and the highest point in the United States.  The mileage count was going to be right at 500 miles and while that doesn’t sound like much in the Lower 48, to run 500 miles in Alaska means you’re going to run pavement, gravel, and mostly dirt.  Living in Alaska I’d heard of the Dalton and the TV show “Ice Road Truckers” has made the route famous but in no way could we understand what we would see let alone drive through for the next 500 miles.

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We were an hour and a half in when we made the left hand turn to the Dalton and not far from that we crossed the Arctic Circle, who would ever think that you’d have a chance to cross that line let alone do it in a JK.

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Once we were back on the road the next spectacle we ran into was the Trans Alaskan Pipeline which was built tin the 1970’s and supplies our country with a large portion of its sweet crude oil.  The man made marvel still looks like the the first barrel flowed down the line from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez.

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The next crazy experience for the JKX crew was driving over was driving over the Yukon River which was the principle form of transportation during the Klondike gold rush.  After the river we pulled into Coldfoot, Alaska where we filed up the tanks and rotopaks as the next fuel would be in Deadhorse at the top of world.

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The vista’s and long valley’s are so very surreal as we cover the miles, you feel so small and overpowered by the vast country on either side of you while driving.  The talus slopes are home to Dall sheep and Mtn Goats while Moose and Caribou roam the valleys along with Foxes, Wolves, and inland Grizzly bears.  At the bottom of Antigun Pass we were stopped for construction and were just in awe of where we were about to drive, its insane as its the only pass in the Brooks Range that is crossed by a road.  Bush pilots have a hard times getting over it let alone driving over it!

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With the final 164 miles to Deadhorse in front of us we sped up the pace as everyone was excited to get out of the vehicles after 10 hours.  As we neared the town we were treated to a Grizzly Bear sighting as well as Caribou and a large herd of the reclusive Musk Ox.  We could see the structures come into view and realized how much there actually was in Deadhorse.  Approximately 3000 workers are on the site at all times and the various companies run flights twice a day carrying new people in and taking people home.  Our home for the night was a barracks style compound, they are the only option in town and we were plenty glad to have it.

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Mel and Lisa along with Chris Durham treated us to a Reindeer Sausage BBQ while we stood around in the rain and marveled over the fact that the sun really never goes down up here this time of year.  Mel needed some arts from the 24 hour Napa and Eric volunteered to drive him and while out they saw a large Grizzly bear and the grumpy old guy chased them in the Jeep!

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It was a truly amazing day and everyone settled in to get a few hours of sleep before we headed to the Arctic Ocean to see if anyone was up to the Polar Bear Challenge.

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We began the day with a few road miles to the town of Healy, Alaska for some fuel and supplies. Once everyone topped off and was ready, we headed north to the Stampede Road turn. This trail became famous after Christopher McCandliss hiked into the interior of this road to an abandoned school bus which became his home where eventually he succumbed to the exposure and the elements of Alaska.

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Our purpose today was to wheel this trail and experience the Alaskan permafrost and Muskegs.  It didn’t take long for the action to begin and we quickly learned the concept of teamwork winching and strap pulling as everyone understood what it was like to be stuck in the Alaskan Tundra.

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Our Warn winches and ARB recover gear was put through its paces as we slowly made our way over the twelve miles to the river crossing.  The key to tundra is not to break through the crust because once you do there is no bottom.  You wanted to be on the throttle but not spinning the tires unnecessarily.

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Once we got to the river crossing we assessed our time and decided to make our way back to the pavement as we had other obligations to make for the day.

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It was a good thing we did because the trail out was so much worse than the trail in. After 14 JK’s had made their way across the tundra, it was broken through and it took three hours to go back over what previously took and hour and a half!  It took all hands on deck a lot of help from our Warn winches to get back to the start of the trailhead.

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Once back on the road we were taken to a monument that commemorated Rick Pewe’s father and the work he had done on a study on Global Warming.
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We made it to Fairbanks late in the day and Mel advised us in the driver’s meeting that we would be headed far north and would have a very long road day tomorrow and to be sure everyone was supplied and their JK’s we in top running order.  Randy Byer’s had experienced some transmission shifting issues earlier that had turned into a problem later in the day and the entire crew jumped in to replace two wheel sensors to make sure his JK was ready for the run north in the morning.

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I can’t say it enough, the JK experience isn’t just about wheeling…Its about the people.

 

 

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We started our morning with the driver’s meeting in Talkeetna and Mel explained that we would be having a road day toward Denali National Park. The JK’s rolled out on the highway and the clouds opened up a bit to give us our first glimpse of the mountains that have made Alaska famous.

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Only 30% of the people who come to Alaska to view Mt. McKinley ever get to see the mountain itself because of clouds and weather and well we were not the select 30% but it was still a breath taking view. While we took the opportunity to take a few photos and get the drone in the air, a local gentleman offered us a chance to come do a little trail at his homestead inside the park and also down to the Susitna River, this is a rare treat as there is no off roading in the park unless its on private ground.

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Once we were back on the pavement, Alaska Department of Transportation treated us to some off roading on the highway as the pavement was completely gone for road construction.

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Once we arrived at Denali Village just outside the park, we had another driver’s meeting where Mel gave everyone the options to either go into the park or go whitewater rafting on the Nenana river. As you can see from the photo below, most people jumped at the chance to go rafting.

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Not everyone in the group had been on a river before so it was a special treat and the conditions couldn’t be better. The four boat group was on the river for about three hours and went through many large rapids on the class four river.

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Once off the river, everyone was treated to a BBQ with all the trimmings.

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The night ended with everyone around the camp fire telling stories of past wheeling trips as well as what might be in store for us tomorrow in the wilds of Alaska.

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The Adventure began bright and early as we met Mel in the parking lot to have our daily drivers meeting, he let us know we had some highway miles and then we would be airing down just outside Wasilla at the head of the Baldy Mountain trail. As he went over the logistics Revolution Gear passed out a great lunch and you could see the excitement in everyone’s eyes as the Adventure was about to to begin. We turned out on the Highway with all the Alaska in front of us and the 2016 Nitto JK Experience was under way. Once we hit Wasilla and got everyone aired down to the proper level we started up the mountain as the rain really began to fall.

 

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The terrain was not unlike that of WindRock park from the 2015 East Coast JKX and in fact as UROCK Champ Chris Durham went up the first Hill climb the rain began to fall even harder and the guests quickly understood the day was going to be about wheel speed and if not you would be winching.

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There were several large water crossing and then a hill climb right behind them while winding through the trees, as we got higher and higher the weather became more and more socked in and everyone knew this was going to be a long day but it didn’t matter we were finally wheeling.

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As the rain started to fall harder Mel turned the group toward the highway again and we were off to the Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry (MATI) where we were treated to hot coffee and a look into Alaska’s past. MATI was established in 1967 to give a home to the transportation and industrial remnants and to tell the stories of the people and the machines that opened Alaska to exploration and growth.

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Once everyone was aired up we pointed the JK’s toward Talkeetna to the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge for a hot shower and a great meal. Set on a ridge above the small community of Talkeetna on the south side of Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley), their lodge offers unforgettable views of Denali and the Alaska Range. Day 2 of the JKX was in the books. It was filled with amazing views, great history and lots of mud. We can’t wait to see what day 3 has to offer!

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We arrived in Anchorage to find all participants and sponsors here and ready for the epic adventure as only the JK Experience can offer. All the vehicles arrived and only had minor bumps or bruises from the road and sea miles. Everyone stickered up, did their final inspection and was ready for the road. A few of us took advantage of a free evening and ran south to Portage glacier to get a glimpse of what Alaska has in store for us. Stay tuned as we will recap daily of our experienced during JKX Alaska.

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Earlier this year, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed that the Jeep Wrangler Pickup was finally happening. Now, we present you with a very early look at the Wrangler Pickup everyone’s wanted forever. This is obviously a heavily camouflaged prototype, but it’s the real deal.

Jeep has been teasing enthusiasts with pickup truck concepts for over a decade now, but with the next-generation Wrangler–which is set to debut in non-pickup form later this year–it finally decided to put the pickup into production. We’re expecting the pickup to make its official debut towards the end of next year.

Details on the next-gen Wrangler are fairly slim thus far, though we have a pretty good idea of what to expect. It’ll retain its body-on-frame construction, but like the Ford F-150, it should see an increased use of aluminum to help reduce weight and boost fuel economy. Also in a nod to economy, it’s been suggested that the Wrangler will get a new 300-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Diesel and hybrid versions are also rumored, but yet to be confirmed.

From what we can see here, the Wrangler Pickup prototype has some seriously knobby off-road tires and a fairly large bed, so it looks like a legitimate work truck. We’ve still got a while before we’ll see the Wrangler Pickup in its fully uncovered glory, but these spy shots will tide us over nicely.

Article from www.roadandtrack.com

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These customizable packages will help take some weight off. The Savvy Half Doors are aluminum to cut some of the pounds off and the MCE Flexible Fenders are super lightweight, but extremely durable. Those items paired with Rugged Ridge Uppers, Bestop Tops, Savvy Aluminum Bumpers, and Spiderwebshade covers will help your Jeep slim down but still be able to take a beating!

We have two packages available to help you be the Biggest Loser 🙂

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2 DOOR PACKAGES STARTING AT $539.10

 

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4 DOOR PACKAGES STARTING AT $1033.20

Hurry though! These discounted packages will only be available for the month of July.

Click here to shop now!

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‪#‎AmazonPrimeDay‬ deals got you feeling bummed?

We will make deals today that we can never make. This is only good for today and starts now and ends at 5PM pacific time.

If our phones are busy, make sure and try the new chat feature on our website. As always, we are available by email sales@northridge4x4.com.

Does not apply to already placed orders.
‪#‎NR4x4‬ ‪#‎primeday‬ www.northridge4x4.com

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Looking for more clearance and strength for off-roading?

Our Dynatrac ProRock 44 Unlimited Package ships to you complete, assembled and ready to install.

You decide on the Locker, Master Overhaul Kit, Gear Ratio, Yoke, and Axle Configuration. So you are creating a masterpiece, exactly how you want it!

The Dynatrac ProRock 44™ front axle offers incredible strength and unmatched ground clearance. It is a direct replacement housing for 2007-2016 Jeep Wrangler JK front axles, replacing the factory Dana 44, addressing the critical areas that fail when larger tires are installed and the vehicle is used regularly off-road.

We here at Northridge have the fastest turn-around time for assembly and shipping, and shipping on this item is FREE to the lower 48 in the USA.

The Dynatrac ProRock 44 offers more strength and features than competitors:

  • Patented ProRock shape that delivers more ground clearance than a Dana 30
  • In fact, that’s the most ground clearance of any Dana 44-based axle
  • The strongest end forgings, made by Dynatrac in the USA
  • Heavy-duty 3.0-inch diameter axle tubes with .313-inch wall thickness
  • DOM (drawn-over mandrel) tubing
  • New upper suspension bushings already installed
  • Laser cut suspension brackets that are thicker and stronger than factory
  • Entire axle housing is manufactured in the USA
  • Exclusive Dynatrac no-fault, 12-month and unlimited-mileage warranty

Click Here to Order

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