Axial RECON G6 – Hunt for UNIO Report – Oroville, CA

RECON G6 Challenge presents The Hunt for Unio

Saturday, April 20, 2012

Bald Rock Trailhead, Oroville, California

RECON must be doing something right.  Why else would I be waking up early on a Saturday morning to drive over three hours to drive RC cars?  Skeeno Jr. and I loaded up the Honcho and Wraith, fueled up at Starbucks, and headed out to find Unio.  We weren’t sure what Unio was; we only had the following photo as a clue.

He kinda looked like Bigfoot.  Skeeno Jr. has watched all the Finding Bigfoot shows on Animal Plant, so she was anxious to get the search started. I on the other hand, was a little apprehensive.

About an hour outside of Reno, Nevada we spotted an old friend

Yup, that’s Cisco Grove; location of the greatest RC festival on Earth, AXIALFEST.  If you have never been, call them right now (530-426-1600) and reserve your camp spot for June 21-23. Tell them Brian Parker sent ya.

Like I said, Skeeno Jr. and I had a little drive and the roads were unfamiliar and twisty. We started to worry we had taken a wrong turn when we finally found the sign we were searching for.

We showed up later than we wanted, but still with plenty of time.  We jumped in line to register with the other 55+ G6ers who also were looking for Unio.

I saw this Unimog in the parking lot.  My favorite G Ride is the VW Transporter that was at Axialfest last year, but this is really fighting me for the #1 place in my heart.

Before I go any further, I have to make sure everyone knows this guy. This is Brad Bailey, aka B-Rad.  He is kinda whiney, but he is the #2 man behind RECON. He cried that I never give him any props in the blog, so here you go Mr. Bailey, your very own special cameo. Once known as the invisible man, he is now like Pinocchio; a real boy! If you give him a Monster when you register, you will receive a time bonus.

Parker had a few new details to go over with the G6 veterans and newbies before the fun began; new trail marker colors…..special shout out to Anthony Rivas for staying up all night with the G Crew to get them all made.

Parker told us he spotted Unio the night before and to be on the lookout.  He warned us that Unio may or may not be friendly.

While Parker continued his pregame instructions, Skeeno Jr. and I snuck away to look for signs of Unio.  We found this interesting tree with a unique bubble.  Could this have been caused by Unio?

This was TM1.  It was a little farther up from the start than usual.  Glad I scouted a bit so I knew where to go once the whistle blew.

Finally it was go time.  The first 20 or so trail markers took you up a canopied trail.  It was a little cool and dark in there.

Once you cleared the tree line, this is what greeted you; the largest slab of granite I have ever walked on. The beauty of this place is hard to capture with a cheap camera like mine, but I recommend a visit of this place.

There were many steep inclines, side hills, and crevices to navigate as you made your way to the top.

The Blog Honcho chugged along and made it to the top of the world.  There were lots of cool wind sculpted rock formations up here.

It almost looks like this Bronco is about to catch a wave. Surfing trucks?  Maybe an idea for the Shaka Brah III.

Every course that Parker lays down has to have some clear dirt.  Thankfully, this clear dirt was very pure, mountain spring water.  It even has a little life in it.  These pollywogs will be delicious frog legs soon enough.

Unibomber found some wildlife up on the rocks.  By the way, Unibomber is another unsung hero of the G Crew.  He is usually the one tasked to pick up all the trail markers at the end of the day.  Shake his hand and bring him a hamburger and a Monster next time you see him.

I run the Ultra class, so I can finish up quicker to capture photos. Skeeno Jr runs in the Adventurist class.  Luckily, every time I go to check on her, there is a friendly G6er to assist her.  Here the PLE crew is getting her Wraith righted.  Special thanks to Sumquak and crew for looking out for her all day.

Speaking of helping out.  G6ers are always quick to pull out a tow line to help a rig clear a difficult obstacle.  If you have never G6ed, don’t be shy.  Everyone helps each other.

This guy was even kind enough to wedge his rig into a crevice, so others didn’t have to pull out their sand ramps.

Since the G6 is not a race, and more of an adventure, it is common to see groups running together.   It reminds me of 1:1 trail runs I’ve taken on the Rubicon and Sierra Trek. It’s a great way to get the family outside for some fun.   Husbands, wives, girlfriends, dads, grandfathers, sons, and daughters are all seen at a G6. This was this young lady’s first G6.  The smile tells me she’ll be back.

It was a little hot out.  Don’t forget to hydrate.  Camelbaks are a good idea at any G6.

Elio is just about finished.  Here he drops in at 97

I’m having so much fun, I almost forgot about Unio.  Did you? This guy is still searching.

G6 Two, Electric Boogaloo?  M-Pham decided to do a little RC break dancing.

I have no idea what this guy is doing, but that doesn’t look like the fast line. He probably went to the M-Pham School of Driving.

Break time in the shade.

Uh oh, looks like the Walk of Shame is coming.  Keep your head high little one.  Every G6er does it eventually.

Check out the new Fast Eddy Bearings G6 Score Cards.  They look slick, work well, and come with a 10% off coupon for all Fast Eddy products.

TM80.  This Jeep is making tracks back to G-Central.

Are those Unio footprints by TM81? Better keep your eyes peeled.

This lady was bumping an iPod in her JK.  Every G6er needs their own theme music on the trail.

One last TM before finishing.

Holy Crapoly, what is that?  Is that Unio? Should I run?

Heck no!  Unio was a good guy.  He really enjoyed the Axial SCX10, but the Wraith was his favorite.

He even posed for some selfies.

This is a G6 right of passage.  The Parker Pickup.  Every newbie gets one.

Props to this guy for working hard for his G degree.  He fixed his rig three times before having to do the Walk of Shame.  Better luck next time and may the G be with you.

Drivers of the Day showing off their unique awards.  My favorite is the Top Banana.  What’s yours?

Again we want to thank all our sponsors for making the G6 a great event to use, abuse, test, and G6 Certify all their products. Finishing a G6 is great, but taking home a little swag makes it even better.

The G Train is currently on a whirl wind tour of the US and Canada.  Check the list of events on for details on events in your area.


AX90031 Axial’s Poison Spyder Wraith

Axial’s latest Wraith™ release is fully licensed by Poison Spyder Customs. The new Axial Jeep® Wrangler Wraith™ also comes with a new fully licensed Jeep body, that is painted to match the real 1:1 Poison Spyder Ultra4 buggy driven by Larry McRae and Shad Kennedy. Ultra4 Racing combines the best of both off road racing worlds including high speed desert action and hard core rock racing. The Axial Jeep® Wrangler Wraith™ appeals to fans of this event series because it offers some of the same spectacular abilities. Featuring a full tubular chassis and a detailed interior just like the full size counterparts, the realism offered by this vehicle is second to none. The Jeep® Wrangler Wraith™ is built with traditional straight axles allowing for maximum suspension articulation. This vehicle features differential lockers front and rear, just like its full size counterpart. With lockers and maximum articulation, there isn’t anywhere you can’t take this rock racing machine! Let’s take a look inside the Jeep® Wrangler Wraith™ and see what new features it has to offer.

A photo of the 1:1 Poison Spyder Customs Ultra4 buggy tearing it up on the dry lake of Johnson Valley! Poison Spyder lives and breaths the off road lifestyle, just like Axial! On their days off Larry and Shad can usually be seen around the Johnson Valley area testing and tuning their latest line-up of products in a real world environment.

All new Trail Ready 2.2 beadlock wheels! Officially licensed Trail Ready HD Series beadlock wheels dressed in an aggressive all black style are easy to assemble and they work with most 2.2 tires. The hub design allows this wheel to mount to any Wraith, AX10 Ridgecrest or SCX10. Our IFD™ (Interchangeable Face Design) wheel system makes it easy to dress it up with a new look. Serrated wheel nuts provide plenty of bite to keep the wheel securely in place and they’re anodized blue for great looks! The new Trail Ready HD beadlock wheels feature a 3 piece wheel design, plastic hub adapters that eliminate the need for an aluminum hex hub, adjustable breather holes and a simple six screw system for ease of use. These wheels are also compatible with Vanquish Product’s popular SLW hubs, which allow you to change the offset of your wheels to fit your needs exactly.

A photo of the new wheels before assembly.

Assembly order.

A few shots from the backside of the new wheel. Notice the adjustable breather holes, and new hubs. The breather hole adjustments are controlled by how the backside ring is timed to the main body of the wheel. Clocking the backside ring to various positions adjusts how much your tire and foam set-up are able to breath. Expose more breather holes for a softer set-up that will work great for crawling, as it allows the tires to conform to the terrain better. If your Wraith is set-up for high speed trail running and bashing less breather hole exposure will be the desired set-up, which will stiffen the tires up and lessen the chances of the sidewalls folding over at speed. The new hub design eliminates the need for a 12mm drive hex, as the hubs are designed to mate directly to the drive pins in the outer axles.

Next new feature that is included with the Jeep® Wrangler Wraith™ is licensed BF Goodrich tires. That’s right, officially licensed BFGoodrich Krawler™ T/A® KX tires! In the full-size offroad world, they are the winner of more rock-crawling championships than all other tires combined (Race spec tire, Years 2004 through 2008). The Axial version captures the same aggressive look you’ve been waiting for.

Another shot of the new wheel and tire combo!

Axial has lowered the overall ride height on the new Jeep® Wrangler Wraith™, by flipping the lower shock / link mounts on the axles 180 degrees. This helps keep the overall center of gravity lower on the new Jeep® Wrangler Wraith™, for better handling in all situations.

The next new feature is a fully licensed Jeep® Wrangler body, which is compatible with any Wraith, and is guaranteed to add some style to your ride!

Close-up shots of the Poison Spyder logos on the new body.

The Jeep hood sports the Poison Spyder logo, as well as the roof panel. Pretty slick!

That covers the biggest changes that have occurred to this new Jeep® Wrangler Wraith™. Keep an eye on your favorite retailer to see when they will be available!

Axial RECON G6 Shaka Brah Classic II – Hawaii 2013

Axial RECON G6 Event Report: Shaka Brah Classic II
Location: Kalaeloa Race Park, Oahu, HI
Photos: Rivas Concepts, Kahana Kauahi, Tatum Bautista
Story: Jason Carter

It was a long year’s wait but the R.E.C.O.N. G6 crew finally made the trip back to the Aloha state for the Shaka Brah Classic II. The G-Crew was met at the airport by a couple of familiar names – DTP and JIA. We loaded our bags and headed to Big Kahuna’s for some local grinds – Kalua pork sandwiches, garlic cheese balls, and sumo pizza.

With our mouths broke and bellies full the G-Crew set course for DTP’s place for a bit of wrenching and relaxation.

It was here where we had the RC equivalent of a Bigfoot sighting – Parker broke form, became the ever-elusive WRENCHNMF, and built a set of Axial Icon shocks for Edna.

As an added bonus, Rivas Concepts’ own Anthony Rivas managed to escape his stint in TSA purgatory and join the G-Crew. Seems Anthony’s RCs were viewed by the TSA as items that could be used as a weapon (you could hit someone with this chassis) and he was pulled off the plane after passing through security, boarding the plane, and being seated. After a day’s delay, Anthony made it to the islands but was only allowed to bring one rig, his Mayhem Honcho. To quote the TSA “You can take one, maybe two, but definitely not three.”

DTP took the G-crew to get the best shave ice on Oahu, Magic Mountain shave ice in Waikele.

After a bit of rest and relaxation, the G-crew loaded up once again and set course for JIA’s house for a bit of G6 Pre-staging. Brian Chong and Josh Edwards were also there to greet the G-Crew, hang out, and “talk story”. Brian is originally from Hawaii, but currently lives in Oregon. Brian made the trip down to visit family and attend the G6.

With everyone together it didn’t take long to fire up the smoker. JIA cooked up some bacon-wrapped jalapenos, sausages, burgers, and for dessert – a pineapple covered in turbinado and cinnamon cooked on the smoker. DTP also cooked up crab legs later in the evening. Needless to say, the G-Crew didn’t go hungry.

To work off some of the food and just get out and enjoy the weather, Parker hijacked one of JIA’s bikes and hit the road. B-Rad, JIA and JIA’s daughter, Megan, saddled up and the group headed out for a 5-mile evening cruise.

Parker was really diggin’ the rat bike.

At around 3am we finally called it a night and got some sleep. This year’s Shaka Brah Classic II G6 was set to start with a night stage on Friday followed by a day stage Saturday and a 2nd night stage Saturday night. Sunday’s action was scheduled to consist of 1.9, 2.2, and Pro-V Terra-X action.

With such a full schedule for the weekend, it was decided that the G-Crew should hit the local stores and stock up on supplies. You can’t have a G6 without some of Parker’s Comp Nachos!

It’s still not clear if Parker was just trying to reach the goodies on the top shelf or if he channeled a bit of the Duke during the shopping trip, but all we know is Parker pulled an impromptu surf session between the pickles and canned vegetables and managed to stay on all the way past the mayonnaise. He didn’t hang ten, but we’ll let you guys judge his form.

Friday’s night course kicked off what would be a weekend that consisted of courses that spanned a grand total of 431 gates over three stages. It was nice to drive a night course to start because many of the 808 G6ers had fresh rigs and bodies for the event. That meant the initial scratches and subsequent damage would go largely unnoticed until the following morning.

There were several silver Axial SCX JK Rubicons on the course, each outfitted with a variety of scale accessories and LED lighting. At times drivers got confused as to which rig was theirs and wondered why “their rig” wasn’t responding properly. Friday’s night course consisted of 73 gates and G6ers had to run two laps on the course.

For G6ers that were running multiple classes, upon completion of their run on the 1.9 course, they came back to run the night course yet again with their 2.2 or Pro-V. With IFS suspension, 2-speed transmissions, and big power, the 2.2 and Pro-V classes made short work of the courses.

The following morning G6ers awoke to the smell of food in the air as Auntie Bautista cooked breakfast for everyone in attendance.

With full bellies it was time for G6ers to top off their Li-Pos and make sure their rigs were ready to hit the course.

Saturday’s day stage had some notable obstacles and driver challenges. The rail slide proved to be a challenge for several G6ers, with drivers watching those ahead of them carefully plan their trip down the pipes.

Shaun Bautista prepares to make his way onto the pipes while the crew from Island Driver TV shoots video.

The pipe slide obstacle proved to be a challenge, but dumpster driving provided quite a few laughs, and the few gates near the end of the stage where G6ers had to drive onto the hood of a dirt oval car, up onto the roof, make a U-turn, drive back down the windshield back onto the hood, then across a bridge onto the hood of a Jeep. From there G6ers had to drive up the Cherokee’s mesh windshield, make a U-turn, then come back down and drive to the first driver challenge of the stage – the slingshot. A few more gates led G6ers to another driver’s challenge – the sled pull. From there drivers had a few more gates to the finish line. Saturday’s day stage consisted of one lap of about 143 gates.

Between Saturday’s day and night stages was the potluck dinner. G6ers brought various items for the dinner, with the majority of the meat cooked on site.

We’re not sure what Brian is up to here, but he’s no doubt excited to be back in Hawaii and getting his grub on.

Since Parker loved the cooked pineapple so much, JIA brought two to the event site and cooked them late Saturday. They didn’t last long!

Saturday night G6ers ran the same basic course as they did in Stage 2 but with a few variations in gates to keep the drivers on their toes. Stamp pads hidden throughout the course changed location and colors from day to night to keep drivers aware of their surroundings. As the dew settled in the gates that led drivers onto the dirt oval car and the Cherokee got rather tricky. The dew made everything slippery and the idea of creeping up the mesh windshields was dumped in favor of full-throttle assaults onto the roof of each vehicle.

Sunday’s action was dedicated to one event, the Terra-X. Two classes of Terra-X were on the schedule – 1.9 and 2.2. Since there was a lone Pro-V driver, the Pro-V ran with the 2.2 class.

A few photos from the 1.9 Terra-X action:

And from the 2.2 Terra-X:

Wall ride or half pipe?

With the Terra-X over, drivers made their way back to the pits where awards were given to Drivers of the Day(s) and Terra-X contestants.

It’s hard to believe that the event was over so quickly. Three days of fun passed by in a blur. A huge thanks to Sheldon Aoki for putting on the fundraising events to help get the G-Crew to the islands and the rest of Hawaii RC Crawlers supporting the events.

Until next time, ALOHA, G6ers!

Axial sits down with Danny Grimes of Grandpa’s Garage – Moab, Utah

Danny Grimes is one of those guys that you see at all the big Jeep related off road events. He always seems to be the center of attention, or deep in the mix. He is also one of those guys you would love to chat with, pick his brain and learn a few things. The trouble is, he is always moving or being chatted up by someone in the industry and hard to pin down. At this year’s Easter Jeep Safari event, we found ourselves at Grandpa’s Garage for an industry party with Spicer and Walker Evans Racing. We took this opportunity to corner (somewhat literally) Mr. Grimes and learn a little about him, the garage and his fantastic collection of Jeeps, both the collection of toys and full size rigs!

Check it out!


2013 Axial Geocache #1 HAS BEEN FOUND!

Congratulations to Robert Morrissey of Rutherford, New Jersey who found the Axial Geocache on April 11th, 2013!

Robert’s story:
I was actually looking at your website on my phone while on lunch break Wednesday April 10th, when I saw the Geocache was up I got anxious! When I saw Zeppelin Hobbies hid the package I called it a day. Off to the park I went. I spent 4 hours there and no luck but I am not one to quit. So the next day I went back and looked at the photos taken by Zeppelin Hobbies and started to look again and there it was right where I looked 4 or 5 times the day before. Had I not fallen on my rear end I would not have found it. Good Job Zeppelin Hobbies!!! Thank you so much for the chance to enjoy some time outdoors looking for a great prize.

Thank you to all of those who participated in our adventure.  Stay tuned as we send out our next Geocache to spark another search, you may be the next lucky Geocache participant!


Original Story:

It’s that time again to get your GPS ready and search for the first Axial Geocache of 2013!
Plug in these GPS coordinates to see if you are close to some Axial Geocache swag.

Axial Geocache coordinates:
N40 59.284 W074 16.049 (if you don’t have a GPS you can use google maps)

Once you find the box it’s yours, this is a cache and carry find!

What we want from you:

Name / Address / Email / Phone
Photos of you and your Axial Rig at the Geocache site.
Time / Date of when you found the Axial Geocache #1.

What you get from us:
More prizes on top of the prize that you will find!!

Here are some additional images to help you find this Geocache! 

Thank you Zeppelin Hobbies for placing this Geocahce!

Click here to check out Zeppelin Hobbies!



Axial SCX10 Rubicon Trek PhotoBlog: The Transit

Photos & words by: Rodney Wills

Hopefully you’ve read the pre-Rubicon Trail story “License to Adventure!” as it gives the lead-up to how this whole trip came about. If you missed it, I encourage you to read that post before reading this post: License To Adventure!

The weekend before we started our trip towards the Rubicon Trail, we first had to have the Jeep SCX10JK all nice and shiny for the Off-Road EXPO in Pomona, CA as it would be in the Maxxis Tires booth courtesy of Rebel Off-Road.

The following Monday we showed up at the Axial office to load all of our gear and slap knobbies on pavement for 10-hours to the Sierra Nevada’s. It took us longer than we expected to pack, and I got a little nervous as I wanted to be packed and gone inside of 30-minutes and that was not the case. It was a tedious game of Jumanji stacking all of the gear inside of the JeepSCX10JK. Yes, it has four doors and a spacious cargo area perfect for a family weekend getaway. But for four guys, gear, food, water jugs and the addition of R/C equipment AND camera gear, we were packed tight by the time we got everything sorted.

I finally took my first photo of the trip once we passed Los Angeles and over the Grapevine Peak on the 5FWY headed north.

This sign can mess you up if you are not paying attention to the arrows. It’s located at the 5/99 split about an hour and 45-minutes heading North from Los Angeles; practically in the middle of nowhere. So it’s kind of easy to just glance up and see the name of the area you want to go but miss the little arrow as to which side you need to be in to reach the destination of choice.

The right sign has the arrow pointing to the left and the left sign is pointing to the right. Either way will take you to Sacramento, but if you were to headed to Oakland/SF and took the 99, you would be doing some extra driving. Plus, you will find 99-ways to not drive on the 99FWY going bumpidy,bumpidy, bump… all the way! We are headed towards Sacto and we’ll turn off to head toward Lake Tahoe.

As we approach Sacramento, it’s getting close to afternoon rush hour traffic. To avoid the traffic, I start looking at the maps for small bypass roads to avoid the city altogether.

From the 5FWY we exited at County Road E13 to Twins City Road 104 into Lone, Ca. From there we took East Plymouth Highway 49 into the tiny town of Plymouth, California.

Heading north of Plymouth on HWY49, the name changes to the Golden Chain Highway and we run this up to HWY50 and on into Placerville, Ca. It’s scenic all the way and we’re busy making forward progression, but we have to stop for 10-100′s!

Did you know that South Lake Tahoe has a hobby shop? We didn’t, but we found it as we drove into town before sun down and before the store closed.

We spent some time with the hobby shop owner and made arrangements with him to leave Brian Parker’s “Red Rocket” in the parking lot as this would be where we would meet up with him and stuff his gear into our SCX10JK.

We would make a stop in town to fill up our 20-gallons of water for the trip. I hope you read my previous post that included how I determined we needed 20-gallons. If not, just jump back to the blog post and read our water, food & waste itel:

And then the final stuffing of the SCX10JK!!!

The final gas stop before we head up Ice House Road to Loon Lake off HWY50. The station was closed but the pumps were open for late night fuel consumption.

Testing out the Rigid Industries bonus lights just before we get to our camping spot for the night.

Next post: Day-1 of the Axial SCX10 Rubicon Trail blog!

Axial SCX10 Rubicon Trek PhotoBlog: DAY-1 On The Trail

Photos & words by: Rodney Wills

First photo of Day-1 on the Rubicon Trail. We camp literally on the rocks at Loon Lake Staging area.

I shoot a photo of Brian Parker from my sleeping bag, sorry for the tilting earth. Parker and I camp under the stars in our sleeping bags donned with Bivy sacks.

ScottG is “glamping” with his cot. Yes, glamor camping…

Brad Dumont pitched the Eureka Timberline 4 tent. Maybe he was the most “glamporous” of all on this first night.

I detect a bit of frost on my sleeping pad as it was a wee bit chilly in the low 30′s. We are pushing the envelope of this trip in the first week of October.

We are tourist, first-timers except for Mr. Parker, so we take a survey of all the signs at the trail entrance.

We were gifted these bandana’s by a small group that was coming in to do some maintenance on the trail this morning.

Time to pack up and start our Rubicon trail journey!

We mount up our Trasharoo trash bag as we want to set an example of not leaving any trash behind on the trail. We also do not like to carry the trash inside the rig and plastic bags hanging off the back of the rig looks a little… well, trashy. Yes, we are victims of style and anything resembling a backpack I have the fever for. At least this backpack’s intention is for a GREAT cause!

Gatekeeper is the first obstacle we encounter, and it barely resembles the spectacular obstacle it once was. Parker told us stories about guys driving days just to get to the Rubicon Trail, only to be turned away by this very first obstacle due to breaking parts or not being able to physically pass through.

Once we get through Gatekeeper and on through a wooded area the trail opens up into this massive view that overlooks rock in every direction! When they named this area Granite Bowl, they were not kidding as it is granite in every direction. Its solid rock from top to bottom.

While we trust Parker’s navigation, we know we are headed in the right direction when we see a sign posted on a tree as we climb up the other side of the massive valley of rock and off into another section of wooded area.

Even with massive 37” tires the rocks seem to find their way to cramp the space below the SCX10JK. Good thing we are equipped with the ICON Vehicle Dynamics suspension and Currie Rock Jock 60 axles. Not that we have to have them to cross the Rubicon, but they do make obstacles less challenging; especially when we have the rig loaded down and self supported, these items help us remain focused on the task at hand: filming the tenth scale Axial SCX10 making its way over the same rocks and obstacles.

There is a trail down there and while it is an awesome view, there are also hidden challenges to navigate. For myself, and I am sure for my counterparts who are also Rubicon first timers, emotions are all over the place when the environmental conditions and terrain provide sensory overload.

And with the sensory overload it is time to interject yet another sensory overload – LUNCH!

Beef Stroganoff, Chicken Teriyaki, Scrambled Eggs with Bacon and Beef Stew are served up for lunch from Mountain House.

Add hot water provided by my little JetBoil PCS stove.

This would be the ultimate test, the moment of truth to see if these guys would like this Mountain House freeze dried food in a bag concept. This is what we’ll be eating for the next three days – three meals a day! With my history with ScottG, I already have a reputation of supplying “cardboard” for food as I like a wide range of “meal bars,” so I know he was going to be a tough critic. Then there is Brad, Mr. Meat & Potatoes and I am not even sure if he likes potatoes. Parker on the other hand, I think he will eat almost anything. Luckily, everyone was very pleased and rather impressed at how good the taste was. Our taste buds were lit and stomachs filled!

Lunch is served and it is time to hit the trail!

This is one of the rare shots of both rigs traversing the Rubicon Trail.

I will tell you now that you are not going to see many images of the SCX10 as my main mission was to document the whole trip in video, so all of these images came from the pocket camera on the fly. Whenever the Axial SCX10 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon was in view, I would be peeking through a tiny hole of the video camera trying to keep it in fame.

I know you have seen the four minute and 44-second long The Axial Rubicon Trek (teaser) video, if not here is that video:

But, there is a scratch longer video in the works!

With well feed stomachs, we make way to Walker Hill.

It’s a nice hill from my perspective as I just see a bunch of boulders, nothing major. But my confidence has risen in both Parker’s trail knowledge and spotting ability as he safely put the full-size SCX10JK through the trail all morning.

We have quickly learned to trust Parker and our Maxxis Trepador tires.

Easy by-way? Yea, NO! I look back and see Parker is starting to have fun putting the full-size SCX10JK through the fun-line with a perfectly smooth by-way sitting on the outside… Parker! That’s our ride home dude!

The Maxxis Trepador’s seem to be right at home walking all over the obstacles.

We are almost to the newly rearranged Little Sluice as we flex the SCX10JK across this rock garden.

Upon arrival to Little Sluice the sun is on the descent and we look up at what we thought would be the end of forward progression for the tenth scale SCX10. I think I murmured this is going to take a long time in a short section. The Rubicon Trail mandate is that all vehicle travel must be within a within 50-ft of the trail. That is 25-ft to the left and 25-ft to the right. My mind is starting to race and ponder if we can actually drive the rig through this section. Brad and I do a quick reconnaissance of the trail before we begin the ascent – it’s just littered with bowling ball size gnar-gnar rocks from the recent reconstructive surgery to the Little Sluice. Brad does what Brad does best… he wheels through the cracks and crevasses and wiggles the Axial SCX10 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon RTR through, over and around a mine-field of obstacles. It was not the prettiest. Saying we scraped is an understatement. To see what I mean, you’ll just have to wait for the video. We ate a lot of time, but Brad wheeled it from the bottom to the top! That will forever be burned into the memory hard drive! At that point, I knew we had earned that badge!

It’s always interesting to see how machinery adapts and reacts to nature as the full-size SCX10JK traverses through a small v-notch. You push the rig up the wall to clear the rock, trying not to inflict body damage on one side and gently slide down the wall to cut around the drop off that is just in the foreground. These are the same types of scenarios we try to put our R/C rigs into for the same visual effect. This was one of those fun moments to watch as this giant full size R/C rig [in Parker's mind] slithers through the v-notch as he spots the driver through the obstacle.

Making use of rock rings on the Walker Evans Racing wheels makes for a real “gritty” noise as it passes over the rock face and especially when we are out in the the quiet of woods. Brings up that whole thing about if a tree falls, does it make a sound? Of course it does!

As we approach our camp point we spot our first memorial of Mr. Richard Carl “Ritch” Theis. That is a very nice quote!

I personally think the main thing is, even if you never make it to the Rubicon Trail, you should get out there and find your own “Rubicon,” in your own backyard. Put yourself in motion on your very own adventure. Ritch and Nike collectively say it best…

I like these lucky shots. The lighting is just so-so and I am lined up on the tail light in a way that the red just burns through like the sun and casts a cool glow.

We make camp out on the end of this ledge as darkness sets in fast. From the ledge in the viewable distance would be Buck Island Lake.

END OF DAY-1! We quickly make camp and Parker asks for the big food bag. You know what that means!

Parker dumps all the Mountain House out and makes the dinner menu call, but more importantly, he is going on about spying the dessert earlier in the day… We hear a loud, “FOUND IT!”

The highlight of tonight’s dinner is Mountain House Blueberry Cheesecake for dessert!

Chef Parker was quite comical but he is down to business!

What a way to end a great day! Food and friends on top of the mountain! It’s a good time to reflect on the day’s accomplishments and the SCX10 did an awesome job getting through the whole day, without issue! Making it through the Little Sluice was no little accomplishment and for that we know the rig has earned its stripes! But, the mission is not over as we have more full size miles and full size obstacles to cover.

Axial SCX10 Rubicon Trek PhotoBlog: DAY-2 On The Trail

Photos & words by: Rodney Wills

The next morning starts Day-2 of our Rubicon Trail experience. Fresh Stance “boy scout” socks are ready to slide on and the NorthFace shoes are ready for another long day hiking the Rubicon. The sun is up and out and we are closing down camp to get ready for the traverse down to Buck Island Lake. Yesterday, the Axial SCX10 1/10th scale Jeep ran flawlessly! Brad had a blast driving the rig over the trail and I’m sure it burned his memory bank as an exceptional time and experience. This is his first time on the Rubicon Trail and he’s hiking while driving the Axial SCX10 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon to earn that Trail Rated badge!

The breakfast of champions! Parker and I are fond of the Cranola with Milk and Blueberries. Brad and Scott are all about the Scrambled Eggs! Hey, food is important out here!

You’ve seen them before. You know how you feel when you see them in unexpected places… little tire tracks in the mix with big tire tracks. Just so cool! It makes you wonder what the next guy is thinking when he sees them? Is he an R/C guy?

Here we are coming into the Buck Island Lake area and our first real water crossing.

SCX10 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon RTR & SCX10JK – in all their glory!

Buck Island Lake makes for a great lunch location! Mr. Brian Parker is sampling the Beef Stroganoff with Noodles for lunch today.

Then he’s on to dessert. Yep, that’s an ice cream sandwich! I know what you are thinking… No, it’s not Adobe Photoshop CS7 with the new “ice cream lasso” tool. It’s a Mountain House Ice Cream Sandwich! Remember, we do not have a cooler for this trip.

You’ll have to try one for yourself!!!

Lunch is over and we make our way up to Buck Island Lake. Nice view and I make a mental note on those clouds, too. It’s a great day, but that could all change very fast.

Axial SCX10 Maxxis Trepador 1/10th tire tracks on the Rubicon Trail. Making tracks and doing work!

While hiking the trail and setting up for each shot, it was impressive to see the full-size Jeep SCX10JK come into frame and pass over the natural terrain. It would be the same as the Axial 1/10th SCX10 Jeep JK came into my viewfinder – looking just like any other rig coming though.

I would be breaking down the video camera from the tripod, I would look up and just giggle as the true perspective of what I just witnessed would sink in.

That was a 1/10th Axial SCX10 Jeep Wangler Unlimited Rubicon radio controlled rig that just drove by!

The other thing I noticed was that Brad would not always take the easy line. I later asked him about that and he said that he too, wanted the real challenge of the Rubicon Trail and to put the Axial SCX10 through its paces. So, at times he would look for those lines that would give him and the SCX10 a good challenge.

The funny thing about this photo is that this little snake is about the only thing we saw on the trail. We spotted him cutting across the road from the Buck Island Lake. But that’s not the funny part. The “funny” was being in town after the trip at the gas station and having people who were inquisitive about our trip and asking if we saw deer, bear, elk, dinosaurs, or Sasquatch. Nope. All we saw was this this little snake! We didn’t give the little guy any trouble and we don’t want any trouble from big mama, so we passed onward.

What was cool about having Brian Parker as our tour guide for our Rubicon Trail experience was just that… the experience! He has it and he shares it. With all that comes some history, as he explains to us geographically how the Big Sluice Box was before and what it took to navigate the terrain.

There were only three times on the trail, that, after we completed an obstacle section, Parker would give out a little sigh of relief and explain that this particular portion of the trail had been his nemesis. This would be the first of three of those area’s. We did not make it around the tree in the direction we are pointed.

We would back up, go right and over a very large set of boulders in effort to not inflict body harm to the bosses rig. Crossing the boulders was not a flat land easy pass either, but did not inflict body damage as the tree-rock combination would have.

While we opted out, Parker explained his trials and tribulations with his nemesis and added raisin body treatment. We thanked him for making our passes look and feel so easy with not a paint scratch. Parker does not like to personally back up and go around… We asked, so what are the next two? Parker replied, “no comment” and something about pleading the fifth with a smirk followed by a smile.

This section of trail was one of my favorite “scenic” sections. I could have spent a half day shooting this section! It was not the degree of difficulty, just something about the long skinny bed-rocked road surrounded by the tall trees that had an attitude about it. The trail was observed by these grand trees and anything on site was just miniscule. These were not super-grandios trees. I’ve seen those before. These tree’s filtered the light in a way that gave off an emotionally shaded tint. Of course the camera doesn’t quite capture that look or feeling… that takes extra time, extra work, extra forethought to pull the trigger in such a way to capture an image that gives those results.


Looking back up from where we drove down you could see this nice long section.

Yea, we where there… we drove an SCX10 down that!

For me personally, this section was the gnarliest section of the whole trail. It looked like a mini Colorado rapids without the water. It just looked gnarly with loose boulders strewn all over the place and ledges dropping into holes the size of Volkswagens!

I think you can see it in Scott’s face that he agree’s with me about this waterfall section without the water is kinda ‘gnar-gnar…

Photos just never capture that true sense of what we saw. We felt like we were going down into the abyss of a black forest. Could you imagine this in the rain? Could you imagine this in the snow? How about on a unicycle? Well, we did it in a 1/10th scale off-road vehicle… that’s crazy talk!

When we did get to the bottom, we did find the abyss of black water!

This isn’t the food color induced black water lagoon at Disneyland. But, Bigfoot and Loch Ness do pass through the metaphysical senses.

And then we passed across the Rubicon Bridge that somehow seemed to transport us from the rough we had just transited through and onto the flat dusty two-track into Rubicon Springs where things seemed to calm down.

Jed Clampett, you in there!?

As we head out from Rubicon Springs it’s apparent that the end of Day-2 is nearing.

The museum of outhouses on the Rubicon Trail Trip 2012

Parker took a moment to practice his high flying tight rope routine. The rope broke – the dust settled and we moved on… nothing to see here kids. Tape erased to protect the innocent.

Parker announced “bonus points if you gently roll the back tire down and off the log…”

ScottG complied with the slow-roll request and an answered with a plush articulate dismount!

It’s getting dark but we’re almost to our prime camp location!

The tents are tossed and Chef Parker goes into action calling out tonight’s options from the Mountain House menu.

JetBoil PCS warms the water to wet the freeze dried food to warm the body. The end of a great Day-2!

The Axial SCX10 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon RTR out-of-the-box after Day-2. Not a lick of work has been performed, no repairs needed, just pure driving bliss!!! What a way to end the day!

Restock your milk and cookies and read on!

If you haven’t read the previous entries, check them out here!

License to Adventure!

Axial SCX10 Rubicon Trek PhotoBlog: The Transit

Axial SCX10 Rubicon Trek PhotoBlog: DAY-1 On The Trail

Axial SCX10 Rubicon Trek PhotoBlog: DAY-3 On The Trail

Photos & words by: Rodney Wills

Day-3: The sun is up and I crack open my tent to check on my camp mates.

We set out for a morning hike as the terrain and views are epic. No one says it, but we know our trek is nearing the end so we want to take in as much as possible and cherish every moment! I’m thinking about my team back at the office who could not come on this trip and take as many images as I can so they too can share the moment. I’m also thinking about our work duties and who knows, you might see these images on future Axial boxes or advertisements. It’s all about the lifestyle that we live! We live to dream, we dream to live.

Lightning hit this tree, burned the center out and peeled the lower portion of the tree down like melted plastic. Just crazy how and what lightning can and will do. Nature inflicting nature.

Wutang Rock! At least that is what I am going to call it!!!

It’s a pretty big rock too as we contemplated a bug-out hut.

Peace Sign Rock. We came in peace and left it in its natural pieces… I’m sure the next heavy rain it will be gone.

That is not our paint. All our paint belongs to us!

So we get camp packed up and start making our way out and I notice how tight the trail is. This is not the Axial 1/10scale rig, this is the full size rig and that is full size paint left by others. I had to climb in from the other side of the vehicle to shoot this so you can get a perspective of just how tight the trail can be even on this relatively flat ground. When the rocks aren’t barking at your vehicle the trees will try to bite!

Time to pay respects when you get to Oakland Ave.

As we approach Cadillac Hill, located at “Oakland Avenue” we pass this memorial site. We pay our respects first and pass through.

Funny, as I sit to write this blog while looking at these images, this one in particular, a song pops into my head… Tyrone Brunson’s Sticky Situation. Yea, it’s on YouTube. Not that the situation for the Jeep is anywhere near sticky, but you get the point… Just play along with me please.

Then we arrive…

Cadillac Hill is #13 on the FunTreks EveryTrail map and a 10.6+ on the richter scale.×4-trail-california/map#poi-9

I would say this was the second most challenging section of the Rubicon Trail, but who am I, I’m just a hiker hauling camera gear! In the first photo, that is Parker walking ahead to do a little obstacle reconnaissance. We also hear a group making their way down Caddy Hill. They made it look so easy as they traversed down, but their rigs where very well suited for the environment, but not big budget built or flashy, very home built and I liked them. I have to make sure the long-cut video includes them as they were the first folks we saw on trail over the three days.

As we crest Cadillac Hill it starts to drizzle on us.

Not minutes later and the drizzle has produced a wet trail ahead.

Is it 1:10th or 1:1?

While you know its the full size Jeep coming up the trail and it looks cool while doing so, my mind is wondering what is ahead? How steep is it going to be? How slick are the rocks going to be? Will it turn to snow?

Nothing to do but carry on!

We find ourselves under dense foliage and on dry ground, but the precipitation must have been isolated to the area behind us. Parker perks up, but for another reason…

We pop out of the woods onto a large slab of rock called Observation Point that overlooks the valley. You can see evidence of the rain that just passed through. But something is missing! You can’t have a glory moment without both vehicles in the picture!

Now that is the real glory in all its rain speckled and dusted-dawg honor! The Axial SCX10 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon did us right and did us good!

And then…

It’s just not a handshake among friends in a posed photo without Parker having his signature “cradle shot!” Here ScottG gets the first lift. ScottG was our driver of the full-size Axial SCX10JK Jeep.

And then…

It’s Brad “Bender” Dumont’s turn for the cradle shot! He prepped and drove the Axial SCX10 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon the whole way – every day! One for the record books.

And then…

With Parker being the master of the “cradle shot” we thought Parker should receive the treatment as well! While this is a small “victory dance” for the Axial SCX10′s accomplishments, this is not the end of the trail.

The good thing is…

We see blue sky ahead!

And it must be lunch time!

Parker said, “I got your blue sky right here in this blue bag holding all these blue sacks of Mountain House FOOD!”

Well, the blue sky has gone to grey, but the stomachs are full and its time to visually inspect the vehicles, mount up and head on down the trail!

The next section…

The trial from Observation Point to the Rubicon Staging Area transitions from the rocky granite to a more dense forest with a dusty trail with very minor obstacles. It became a rather boring transit even for the 1:10th Axial SCX10 with the only “excitement” would be running up on a couple of rigs who were coming into forest for the weekend.

As we arrive at the Rubicon Staging Area we see this very large map and Parker told us about how this whole area would be littered with trailers and tow rigs stacked into the large parking lots, but you would still be staging two miles down the road due to the amount of rigs attending the larger events. It was hard to imagine as we were the only people there with only two tow vehicles in the lot from a couple of guys who where coming in for the weekend. The threat of rain is high tonight so We all load into the Axial SCX10JK Jeep with camera gear and the Axial SCX10 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon sitting in our laps and make our way towards town as we will crash in a hotel tonight.

Its not civilization…

But it is Lake Tahoe and we know our hotel is just around the corner.

I knew we had come to the right spot when I walked in the door and read this quote from Claude Monet! We stayed the night at the Lake Of The Sky Inn in Tahoe City as this is close to the trail head and most of all – affordable!

Now comes the celebration!

What do we do? We crack open the Mountain House food and add hot water boiled right from the JetBoil PCS stove! I know what you were thinking that we should be doing… But we drag the camera gear out, dig for cables to plug into the TV and start watching the video clips eating our Mountain House food right in the room!

Four 32-gigabyte cards filled to the brim! This little adventure is not over until we are home as we have the awesome HWY395 to transit back down from Lake Tahoe to Southern California.

If you haven’t read the previous entries, check them out here!

License to Adventure!

Axial SCX10 Rubicon Trek PhotoBlog: The Transit

Axial SCX10 Rubicon Trek PhotoBlog: DAY-1 On The Trail

Axial SCX10 Rubicon Trek PhotoBlog: DAY-2 On The Trail

Wheeling in Moab with Dan Mick

We were walking the floor at SEMA 2012 when we bumped into a gentleman from Moab, Utah, his name was Dan Mick. He saw the Axial on our shirts and immediately started discussing all the Axial Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicons he saw on the SEMA show floor. He introduced himself as the owner of Dan Mick’s Guided Jeep Tours, a company based in Moab that offers ride alongs and or trail guidance around the spectacular landscape of beautiful eastern Utah.

About two months ago we received a call from Dan expressing that he had purchased his very own Axial SCX10 Jeep Wrangler. We worked with Dan to develop a body wrap that made his Axial Wrangler Rubicon match his full size Jeep. He was like a kid on Christmas morning when he received his newly wrapped Jeep body in the mail.



We were making our final preparations for our trip to Moab, Utah when we received another phone call from Dan, this time he invited us to come experience a guided trail tour, Dan Mick Style. So On March 26 at 8AM, Dan pulled up and we were off to see the back roads of Moab.


Dan was slated to be the guide for a group of Jeepers headed out to see a new trail that was going to be added to the Easter Jeep Safari schedule in 2014. This trail, called “Mashed Potatoes,” would offer some incredible scenery as well as some challenging obstacles for those who would like to challenge themselves and their Jeeps.

Anatomy of a Jeep Run

A Jeep run is an event planned by friends who wish to get outdoors and explore together in their Jeeps. It generally gets started with a Jeep club or group of friends that decide they are going to meet at a certain place and time to go explore.

The day will start off with a meeting with all of the drivers to discuss the days’ activities.


The group is all lined up and ready to go! The first stop is at or near the trail head where everyone will air down their tires and get ready


The trail leader will usually set the pace for the group, and be the one who understands the most about the trail on which they intend to travel.


Most of the communication is done via CB radio or FM radio. While transiting to the trail, Dan introduces himself, then asks everyone behind to introduce themselves as well.


The group will follow each other, one by one through the trail. The tail gunner is the vehicle at the very back of the pack. This person’s job is to make sure everyone makes it through the trail successfully, and that no one gets left behind.



The slickrock in Moab provides both amazing traction, and amazing views. Here we stop on a cliff’s edge for a photo op.



While out on the trail, there are usually several options to choose from regarding the path. The hardest obstacles become the center point of attention. Those with extremely well prepared Jeeps will attempt to tackle these challenges as the rest of the Jeeps and occupants will spectate… or help… or heckle. One thing always rings true though, when someone makes the obstacle successfully, everyone gives them props. Here are a few photos and videos from the “Gravy Bowl.”



Here are the Rebel Offroad guys, Jason and Bond in the Gravy Bowl.

Lunch time is always a favorite amongst the kids in the group, as it is their turn to get out their Axial rigs and do a little crawling of their own!



Here is Dan doing a little Lunch time guided run as well!


This guy painted his SCX10 Jeep the same color as his full size rig.



It’s always fun to take the Axial rigs through the same stuff the full size rigs go through!



Just like the big guys, sometimes a little on trail repair is necessary!


After everyone has had a shot at the Gravy Bowl, and had some lunch, the run continues on through the Mashed Potatoes field.




Here is some action with Dan Mick’s full size Jeep and scale Jeep running together on Mashed Potato.

The end of the trail, does not mean the end of the spectacular views, this part of the country is simply amazing. We are very jealous of Mr. Dan Mick. He isn’t kidding when he says he doesn’t work a day of his life, especially if this is the sort of thing he has to do and see every day!


For more information about tours with Dan Mick, please check out his website here.