Our hosts head to the Mojave Desert in California to compete in one of the most varied and extreme off-road races on the planet, the inimitable King of the Hammers. Jessi Combs has entered the event four times, but has yet to finish. For her co-pilot, Patrick McIntyre, this will be his first experience in Hammer Town. Can they survive 117 miles of high-speed flats and rock-crawling traps in the Smittybilt Everyman Challenge? Better yet, can they be competitive and contend for a class win in thei
Another year has passed, the Mojave Desert's Johnson Valley OHV Area was saved, 40,000 spectators moved into the sand and scrub for a week of man-against-the-end-of-the-world racing, we have recently returned and even more recently recovered from another week on the Means Dry Lake Bed witnessing the King of the Hammers.
Amid the dust, euphoria and apocalyptic overtones of last year's King of the Hammers race, there was a fight going on to save the Johnson OHV (Off-Highway Vehicle) area for public use. Part of the area's 188,000 acres borders the 29 Palms Marine Base, and the Marines wanted to claim 160,000 of them for military use. If that happened, it would have robbed the public of almost all of the Johnson OHV area and, in claiming the Hammers collection of rock formations, shut down the race.
Whenever you want, you can play at being Mad Max. The task only requires closing your eyes, powering up the Gas-Free And Violent Post-Apocalyptic Dystopia program in your mental holodeck, then delivering a few lines in your best early Mel Gibson monotone like, "I think we've got some hoon trouble." or "I'm just here for the gasoline."
The Griffin King of the Hammers isn't an event, it's seven days of challenges tailored to Greek deities but instead undertaken by masses of rock crawlers, buggies and motorcycles. There were four competitions during this latest, sixth edition of KOH at the Means dry lake bed in Johnson, California. Hundreds ran the rock crawling and baja-style races, and thousands set up the temporary hamlet called Hammer Town to take part in the action.