Finally! Every year, Chris Wood of American Expedition Vehicles offers an in-field 4WD Training Tour in Florence, Oregon (read: super fun driving experience and recovery opportunities in the fantastic Oregon sand dunes).
Joe and Dana of MULE have been invited for the last several years and finally had the dates work for us to attend. We jumped at the opportunity given Chris' International 4WD Trainer status and the fact that we've been itching to see what our Chevy Colorado will do in the sand.
The event, hosted over two full days is all hands on training for vendors or customers of AEV equipped vehicles. This year, Chris expanded the class into two different sessions: Chevy Colorados and Jeep JKs. The AEV Gladiator and JL were also on hand -- that color!
So, under the capable leadership of Chris and his team, eleven Chevy Colorados headed out into the dunes for a few hours of parked instruction on recovery gear and winching techniques, then headed into the dunes for some driving practice including failed hill climbs, sideways traversing of dunes, and even blindfolded driving with a spotter and passenger to relay spotter information.
While not all of the "getting stuck" was intentional, we're fairly certain Chris knew at least a few of us would get hung up and those times made for hands on teachable moments on how to get unstuck -- safely.
We were pretty stoked with how our own Chevy Colorado performed even with the weight of the Norweld canopy, all our gear, and of course, fridge. Seriously, pretty much anyone can wheel... but can you wheel a virtual house?!
Thank you Chris Wood, and American Expedition Vehicles. A fantastic couple of days of "work."