WOW! The 2012 “American Heartland Tour” of the JK Experience presented by NItto Tire was a great success.
It was exciting to have participants from all over the country, even as far as Mexico and Canada. Of course this event would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. This years event sponsors were:
CHECK IN and INSPECTIONFor some of our sponsors and guests it was a long travel to get to our starting location in Terre Haute, Indiana and for others it was a short flight but either way everyone was excited and ready to get rollin.
Our invited guesst this year were from varies states there was Randy from Texas, Phil from West Virginia, Dave from Colorado, Frank from California, Michael from Nevada and Mike from Canada and Alejandro from Mexico. After a drivers meeting and brief run down of the event we handed out awesome backpacks provided by Discount Tire of which were stuffed with other goodies provided by Dynatrac, ATX, Skyjacker, DayStar, Project JK, Warn, Superchips, ARB, Adart Co. and EVO Mfg.
We were so excited this year to have an awesome group people and excellent semi and trailer support from Nitto Tire and Discount Tire. Couldn’t ask for a better support team! We eagerly began to line up for tech inspection and stickering up.
It was cool meeting all the participants and the energy level was still high as we finished up the day with a hearty dinner provided by Off Road Evolution and then off to bed for an early AM start. The next morning and the very first day of the JK Experience presented by Nitto we were loaded and lined up ready to go by 8:30AM.
We had an awesome treat! Discount Tire would haul everyone’s luggage in their trailer support from hotel to hotel so that everyone had more space in their rigs and wouldn’t have to worry about things fall out or being over packed. Thank you Discount, that sure helped out!
Thanks to the remnants of Hurricane Isaac, this tour through America’s Heartland saw some serious mud – an unusual condition for some participants more accustomed to the dry terrain of the Southwest. Our first trail run, RED BIRD Off Road Park.
After some awesome wheeling at Red Bird and a well needed lunch sponsored by Discount Tire we finished up at the Hi-Lift compound where we had an EXCITING police escort through town leading us there. As we pulled in they graciously set up wash stations for us so that we could clean our rigs. There hospitality was top notch, and the home made BBQ food was great!
One of our special treat scheduled for us the following morning was a loose on a lap around the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway, followed by shop tours of Impact Racing and Don Schumacher in Indianapolis.
After that highlight, the group packed up and headed into Ohio for a meet-and-greet for JK Forum and a tour of the Jeep Manufacturing plant in Toledo.
The Sand Dunes of Silver Lake, Michigan, were next on the agenda and the sandy terrain was a welcome change after two road days.
After a great day of wheeling, we had a great dinner provided by SUPERCHIPS, a sponsor of the JKX.
Heading north from there, the group spent an afternoon wheeling session at the Rocks and Valleys OHV Park, followed by another great barbecue prepared by the local Off Road club.
The final stop on the tour, Drummond Island, Michigan. But first, a stop at Mackinac Park for a delicious catered lunch by DISCOUNT TIRE.
The last day was spent exploring the great trails and views of Drummond Island starting with Turtle Ridge. With some more mud just to make sure no one went home clean. There was one mud hole so deep that the JK known as EVO1 winched through the whole thing, plowing mud up to the top of its 40-inch Nitto Mud Grapplers.
After a great day of just beautiful scenery and trails, we ended the night with a team player game of bowling fun and pizza sponsored by SkyJacker.
As every good thing comes to an end, the past days were filled with wheeling, surprise tours, wheeling and delicious sponsored meals. Now on our final day, we all head out for our last trail run of the 2012 Off Road Evolution JK Experience presented by Nitto.
The event-closing “Survivors’ Dinner” gave everybody a chance to reflect on their favorite trails and exchange contact information with new friends. And, for the father and son team from Yellowknife, Canada, it was the start of a 2,000 mile trip back home.