Pounding the Pavement!


That’s right y’all,  I’m back!! Your irregularly scheduled blog has been hijacked by the cunning man behind the scenes of these pretty machines! So forget that smooth talking, well-worded, and perfectly delivered blog post you’re used too. You’re stuck with me for now, enjoy the word salad!!

This ride isn’t as bumpy as the last run we went on through Browns Camp. Nope, today we are going to a completely different side of the off-road world, a car show.  All I needed to do was obsess over my rig for a few days and drown it in tire shine!


It’s the end of our time in Portland, Oregon. I had a blast getting a chance to make new friends and catch up with old ones. I didn’t want to risk any possible trail damage that would lead to us having to delay our departure from the Portland area. However, you can have fun on the street too!

I entered a 4×4 “cruise-in” at a local off-road shop. The event was held in conjunction with the Pistons Wild Motorsports Club. My group, Jeep Nation, had a really great turnout. It was awesome to show and shine our rigs with other friends in the off-road community. There was plenty of activity, a raffle that went all day, and a hilarious adult-sized tricycle race. 


But my favorite part was the RTI ramp!


RTI or “Ramp Travel Index” is a way to score your own vehicle’s capabilities. In our world, the more suspension travel/articulation usually means the greater obstacles you can conquer. Although I’ve seen some pretty heroic stuff done by drivers purely through great skill!

The ramp is built with a 20% incline. Score is calculated by: distance traveled up the ramp, divided by wheelbase (measured from center of front to rear axle), then multiplied by 1000. Front driver side tire goes up the ramp. Scoring stops if you begin slipping or a wheel lifts off the ground.

Thrity-eight rigs entered the Street and Trail Class. I got 11th place!! Doesn’t sound like much, but I’m proud of my spot on the list. Without getting into too much build detail, I did pretty well for how my Jeep is outfitted. I even scored higher than some vehicles I would consider much more capable than my own.

To give perspective, a stock SUV or truck could easily score between 400-500. I scored a 1063. We had a member with a beautiful Jeep build who scored the highest with a 1500!! I’ll bet you can guess which Jeep in the pictures below. Your score gives you something to build by. With further modification, or changes in equipment, you can find ways to increase your score. It’s all for bragging rights around the ramp, but it’s all in good fun!

I waited to hit the ramp until the mid afternoon. That gave me a chance to mingle and catch some great shots of others putting on a good show.

I like to think I’m well stocked for a problem should it arise on the trail. Carrying recovery gear, safety gear, and other supplies is mandatory in my book. After the RTI ramp there was an event testing preparedness. I entered, but looking around at all the rigs there I highly doubted I would have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning. But why not. . . so five rigs lined up to decide who’s most prepared for a snafu on the trail!

SO…the game goes as follows. Turn on your headlights. Stand in front of your rig. Once the item has been said, you dash to find it, then turn off your headlights and hold the item in the air. Most items were worth one point. A few however were worth five. I’ll try to remember the items they called for. First aid kit, hi-lift jack, 9/16 wrench, fire extinguisher, toilet paper, fan belt, 10 amp fuse, radiator hose, u-joint. I’m probably missing a few.  Let the games begin!

I did pretty damn good! I got second place with six points. The winner was the blue rig to my right with nine points. This was most impressive because they were one point items, he had most of them! None of us had toilet paper or a radiator hose (that wasn’t currently attatched to the radiator). The idea is to carry a “spare” hose, but I did pop my hood for comedic effect. It was a lot of fun. I’d enter that kinda challenge again.

I painfully declined a run in the woods right after the show. I would have loved to go, but we were leaving early the next morning. And knowing I wouldn’t be around this great area and wonderful people for a while, I would probably have pushed the envelope. . .

So Portland, you were great! I look forward to the day I get to come back and visit these friends again. Until next time, happy trails friends. Keep it rubber side down!

6 thoughts on “Pounding the Pavement!

      1. The mystery person is none other than your mom. The event looked like lots of fun. How did you do in the tricycle race?

        And I especially liked the cover photo “I’m back!!” Too cute! Mom


  1. We didn’t participate in the tricycle race. At the time they were signing up participants Brandon was attempting to hide from people trying to get him to sign up for the cheese wiz eating contest. Yuck!


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