By now you know that the 20th anniversary of Ultimate Adventure took place in Alaska. The 49th state is truly an amazing place, full of pristine wilderness, epic vistas, and plenty of off-road challenges. It’s also far away from the lower 48. Like really, really, really far away. You even have to drive through another country to get there. 3,800 miles seems like a big number, but unless you’re an over-the-road trucker and drive for a living, it’s difficult to wrap your head around just how far that really is until you’ve driven that number of miles consecutively. And that’s only one way. Trekking to Alaska from the lower 48 is a pretty big road trip by just about any measure, so just getting to the 2019 Ultimate Adventure was an adventure in itself. This is one of the many stories behind the story of this year’s UA, and it involves two buddies, two vehicles, a big trailer, and a 2019 Ram 3500 with a beast of an engine under the hood.
The 20th anniversary of Ultimate Adventure was special for many reasons. Aside from the destination, the 20th marked only the second time that participating in the UA meant leaving the country. It was also the first time the official vehicle would be an International Harvester, and it would feature the largest number of official UA vehicles built specifically to participate in the event (it was five: The Ultimate International, the Deranged Rover, the Tug Truck, the CJ-17, and the double-ended JK). It also tacked on an extra thousand miles over the previous year’s UA start in Maine from Tech Editor Verne Simon’s and the author’s homes in Phoenix, Arizona. Because the official vehicle was once again powered by a Cummins R2.8, it seemed fitting that a Cummins-powered tow rig should be called upon to get the Ultimate International to Alaska. Even better, Ram announced that the ….