Plenty of folks have made cross-country road trips -- you might have even made one this summer. But chances are, yours was nothing like the trek that Land Rover just completed.
That's because Land Rover's team did something that's rarely done nowadays, thanks to America's love of asphalt: it made the trip completely off-road.
And in what's believed to be a first, the team made its journey in a production SUV: the Land Rover LR4.
Technically speaking, the trip wasn't "cross-country". The Land Rover Expedition America team followed the Trans-America Trail, which begins in southeast Tennessee and ends at the Pacific coast, in southwest Oregon..
The Trail was created for motorcyclists, and it's not an easy ride. As the website says, the Trail "is NOT a single-track tight woods ride. It is a route using dirt roads, gravel roads, jeep roads, forest roads and farm roads. Dropping down into dried-up creek beds. Riding atop abandoned railroad grades."
It took the Land Rover Expedition America team a total of 27 days to travel all 4,300 miles. At times, it appeared that Mother Nature might bring the trek to a halt. Flash floods in New Mexico and Utah stymied the group's progress. And in the final two days, the team ran into forest fires ravaging Oregon, which rendered many key trails inaccessible. According to team leader Tom “TC” Collins, the group's success is due to the people working to bring those blazes under control: "We give our thanks to the firefighters in Oregon who provided us with detailed advice on how to safely navigate around the fire zones. Without their assistance we would have not been able to reach our goal."
That goal was reached on August 21, when the Land Rover Expedition Team pulled into Port Orford, Oregon. Their three showroom-stock LR4s were a little dustier than they'd been at the start, but according to Land Rover, they made the crossing without any mechanical problems.
The Land Rover team says that they made the trip "to highlight the adventures that are at hand within the United States, and the capability of the Land Rover LR4." It would be easy to read that as a marketing stunt -- which it undoubtedly was -- but it seems like an awfully fun one.
[h/t Marty Padgett]