In Search of the Spirit of the Wild West
In Search of the Spirit of the Wild West - Expedition Map Black Bear Pass Mesa Verde Beef Basin Needles in Canyonlands Narrow Places Wall Street and Sand Dunes Las Vegas Biosphere 2 The Rest Across America

Can we still find the old western atmosphere? What is really the old west in the U.S.? We went to Colorado, Utah, and Arizona in search of answers to these questions. The goal of this off-road expedition was to search for the spirit of the Wild West. We set out to conquer the mountains, deserts, and canyons and travel away from human settlements, like the pioneers a few centuries ago. We were interested in landscapes made famous by a number of Western movies.

Trip Statistics:

Title of the expedition:
In Search of the Spirit of the Wild West
Find the untouched Wild West, the land of American Indians
August 2012
Total distance driven of this expedition:
10,654 km / 6,620 miles
Distance driven off-road:
431 km / 268 miles
Highest elevation driven:
3,914 m / 12,840 ft
Longest day of driving (one driver):
52 h 37 min
3954 km / 2457 miles
Flat tires:

Preparations for the expedition:

The main challenge of this expedition was the heat; this is because we planned to travel the wilderness in the desert in the middle of summer. To achieve better protection against the sun and high temperatures, modifications were necessary. I installed headliner to protect against heat from the hot plastic roof. The metal floor under the carpet and the interior of all the doors were insulated. An additional benefit of these changes was the reduction of the noise level inside the cabin, and improved ride comfort. It is much more fun to listen to music now. I replaced standard glass in the rear doors with the dimmed version. Darker glass should protect from the strong sunlight pouring into the interior. From previous trip experiences, we decided it was necessary to have stronger headlight bulbs. The terribly uncomfortable rear seat was removed. In its place, I purchased and installed the bucket front seat from the Jeep JK. It is much more comfortable and also allows a reclining position. We also made some cargo compartment improvements. We added a floor panel and a shelf. We also installed d-rings for bungee cords. I need to mention the new tires and black metal rims. Balios received a new front bumper. These and other modifications took us over three months of long nights and busy weekends to complete and test.

Photo Diary:

© 2012 Maciej Swulinski