DAY 7: ANTHRACITE OUTDOOR ADVENTURE AREA
The last day of the Ultimate Adventure is often bittersweet. No one wanted the trip to end, but it was difficult to be sullen during our time at Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Park. AOAA consists of 6,500 acres and miles of trails ranging from mild to wild, making it by far the largest park we visited on our trip. What really makes this park unique though is that it is leased by the Northumberland County AOAA Authority using grant money to repurpose former coal land. This unique arrangement is the result of seven years of hard work and coordination between the local wheeling community and county government and serves as a shining example for other groups to follow in their own communities.
The trails at AOAA ain’t too shabby either! Steve Risk gave us a guided tour of Barney Rubble, Thunder Alley, Screaming Jimmy’s Hill, and more. Despite this being the last day on the trail, no one went for broke at AOAA, and we were pleased to end the weeklong event this year with all of the vehicles and participants we’d started with.
We weren’t even back to Selinsgrove for the wrap-up celebration before we started scheming over plans and ideas for Ultimate Adventure 2019. Where will we go? What should we build? Even though this trip is only one week long, the UA finds its way into your soul once you’re exposed to it, and there’s no known cure. Not that we have tried to find one.
We love that Lonnie McCurry built a Bronco for the SEMA Show and wasn’t afraid to scratch it on the Ultimate Adventure. This rig had the most horsepower on the trip, coilover and bypass shocks, and 1-ton axles, meaning that it put a smile on McCurry’s face whether we were in the rocks, the mud, or on the pavement.
We were amazed that Dana’s JL looked the same at the end of the trip as it did at the beginning. Randall Speir’s skillful driving and expert spotting by his wife, Rachel, kept the new Wrangler in one piece. The couple even removed the rear seats and slept inside the Jeep!
Adams Clarke and John Bailey had made a long drive to Maine to start the Ultimate Adventure, but by the time we got to Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA) in Pennsylvania they were most of the way home. And unlike the West Coast residents, these lucky guys will be able to go back to AOAA soon to explore more of the trails.