WHEEL­ING THE BAD­LANDS

Ranger-based ve­hi­cles and a few oth­ers in­vade At­tica, In­di­ana

Four Wheeler - - Contents - By Mike Mc­gloth­lin editor@fourwheeler.com Pho­tos: Mike Mc­gloth­lin

Ranger-based ve­hi­cles and a few oth­ers in­vade At­tica, In­di­ana

BAD­LANDS OFF-ROAD PARK IS A RARE GEM BURIED IN THE MID­DLE OF MID­WEST CORN COUN­TRY. Lo­cated on the out­skirts of At­tica, In­di­ana, the 800-acre venue makes use of an aban­doned quarry and some­how pos­sesses just about ev­ery type of ter­rain that ex­ists in North Amer­ica. There are frame-flex­ing sec­tions of large rocks to crawl, shelved rock walls to climb, creeks to nav­i­gate, wind­ing trails with hills, mud­holes to play in, and plenty of sand to sling. In ad­di­tion to the myr­iad of ter­rain of­fered at the Bad­lands, there are color-coded trails suited for nearly ev­ery skill level, from begin­ner to ex­pert.

Af­ter a seven-year hia­tus, the Rough Rangers Off Road Club (RRORC) de­cided to bring back an old event (coined “Chubfest”) in a fa­mil­iar place—and we got the in­vite to tag along while they blazed the trails of At­tica. Orig­i­nally, the club was ex­clu­sive to Ford Ranger-based ve­hi­cles (RBVS), but as mem­bers moved on to dif­fer­ent or newer ve­hi­cles (namely Jeeps), they were still welcome. Af­ter spending a day with the RRORC guys, we were re­minded just how ca­pa­ble a bud­get-built RBV can be—and why the Bad­lands con­tin­ues to be one of the hottest spots to wheel in the Mid­west.

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|>Trac­tor­ing through sev­eral mud­holes was An­thony Jack­son and his ’93 Ex­plorer. The 197,000-mile Ex’ still sports the fac­tory M5OD five-speed and axles, al­though the front Dana 35 TTB was fit­ted with an ARB Air Locker and an Aussie Locker made its way into the 8.8 rear. Tony re­lies on Su­per Swamper TSL Bog­gers to dig him through the goo.

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