Canadian RECON G6 – Search for South Bay Bessie

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RECON G6 Challenge - The Search for South Bay Bessie
Presented by Average Joe’s RC
Vineland, Ontario, Canada - July 13, 2013

Story by Matthew Soileau / Photos by Anthony Rivas

The RECON G6 Challenge had their first excursion outside of the USA to Vineland, Canada. Vineland is located in Ontario and is one of the provinces of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada’s most populous province by a large margin, accounting for nearly 40% of all Canadians. Vineland is only a scant 2,500 miles from RECON G6 Headquarters in Reno, Nevada.  I decided to tag along with Brian Parker to see some Canadian’s become RECON G6 advocates first hand.

Parker picked me up in an empty truck and we quickly went back to RECON G6 Headquarters to load it up.

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The bed of the Red Rocket filled up quickly with luggage, trail markers and swag.  Once loaded, we were off to pick up the third member of the RECON G-Crew.

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As we rolled through Wyoming on our way to pick up the other member of the RECON G-Crew, a tractor trailer threw a retread strip at us.  It hit the windshield and flew off.  Startled but unbowed, we pushed on.

As we pulled into pick up Anthony of Rivas Concepts, we noticed him looking at the Red Rocket funny.  Seems the retread caused a little damage to the Red Rocket.

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No worries, though.  Parker busted out the 10,000 mph tape and fixed her up.

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Thanks to PIAA and Rigid Industries, the Red Rocket had more than enough lumens remaining to light the road ahead.

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We pushed on through the night until finding some comfortable accommodations.  That’s right,  The RECON G-Crew slept under the stars right here. Yes, right here! This is not a mistaken photo… that is the ground in the middle of nowhere! Parker is all about 1st class accommodations! He provided me the use of a very nice mil-sec sleeping system aka: three season military sleeping bag complete with cordura bivy cover in camo!

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Refreshed after a quick three hours of sleep, the RECON G-Crew was off again.

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We drove through the day and night.  Somewhere around Iowa, we spotted a familiar building.

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It was Antique Archeology, home of the TV show American Pickers.  We stopped to check it out and to check Parker’s 10,000mph tape job.

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We pushed on into the night until we hit Lake Michigan.  We got a quick three more hours of sleep before waking up on the beach, well, close to the beach.

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We grabbed our rigs and explored the Lake Michigan sand and surroundings.

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The beach was marked as RECON G6-Ready.

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Parker made me jump in because, well, you never know when you’ll get another chance to swim in Lake Michigan.

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By early evening we reached the Canadian boarder.

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We stopped for gas in Canada, and I spotted this moth.  They don’t grow them like this in Nevada.  Does it look like an alien spaceship to you?

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Around two in the morning, the RECON G-Train finally reached it’s destination.  We were at the home of Joe Ferguson of Average Joe’s RC shop.  You may know him from his YouTube reviews.  We caught him making his newest video.

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The next morning, Average Joe took us on a mountain bike ride of the local trails.  It was good to stretch the legs after three days in the Red Rocket.  The trails were muddy and rooted.  I wondered what the G6ers would think of the mud.

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Finally, Saturday arrived and we were set for the first ever Canadian RECON G6.   Parker finalized the setup of the RECON G6 signature course.   Parker was in setup isolation as registration is usually on site of the event and he gets a sense of how many people are showing up. As the registration was at Average Joe’s RC shop, Parker sent me to handle all that and I too was a little apprehensive of what the turnout would be. My fears of nobody showing were alleviated as we pulled into the parking lot.  It was already full. But, I was still a little worried about the mud situation… hey, I live in Nevada!

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After a quick registration, we all headed out to RECON G-Central complete with Axial tent, sponsor flags, banners and the Canadian flag on top.

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Parker did his usual drivers meeting to explain rules and challenges of the course.

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As Parker talked, I looked around at the machinery these guys would be piloting today.

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Pink car?  I know what that means, the first female Canadian G6er must be here.

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Yup, there she is.

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This sweet Rover caught my eye.

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Southern Ontario RC Crawlers was there in full force.

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A quick group shot of the first ever Canadian RECON G6′ers before they were off.

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Boom! The first wave of Canadian RECON G6′ers are off!

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What the heck are they looking at?  Oh yeah, a culvert.  Parker loves to make you drive in the dark.

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Remember that mud?  Remember how I was worried?  Here is the line at the first bog.

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I was a little concerned about how the participants would take it.

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Are those toes I see?  Yup.  I didn’t have to worry.  The Canadians took to the mud like pigs to mud, except they weren’t pigs, just hard-core enthusiast!

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They loved the mud.  They covered themselves in it.

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We dubbed this mud the Niagara Nasty.  Look and see why.

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The Niagara Nasty created tough vacuums that sucked kits in a didn’t let go. The Canadians embody the true spirit of the RECON G6!  They helped each other through it. Lots of tow straps were used here.

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Once the Niagara Nasty was cleared, the trail got a little smoother or is that rougher… the mud is smooth and rocks are rough… you know what I mean!

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Look how green everything is.  Looks a lot different than Nevada’s RECON G6 events.

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I see the first Canadian kid G6′er and he was smart to wear his mud boots.

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It was a little hike to the top of the hill.

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What is this guy laughing “aboot”?  He just accidentally drove his kit off a 200 foot cliff!

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Luckily, the first Portuguese Canadian RECON G6′er hopped down to retrieve it for him.

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Let’s go up some more.

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That guy in the white hat looks familiar, I’m sure I’ll remember his name later.

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I always figured Rodney was a Toyota man, but I noticed his namesake on this Chevy shirt. Maybe he has some long lost family up here?

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Time for some log crossings.

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There was a huge gap in these logs.  Average Joe was kind enough to let others go KOH-style over him. A-THANKS JOE!

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Remember this kid? Notice he changed his shoes?  That’s right, his first RECON G6 and he came prepared with boots for the mud and shoes for the trail. he must have been reading up on Parker antics at previous RECON G6 events…

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Time to make the decent now.

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Who is this guy watching the action? If you are ever at a RECON G6 and see something that looks out of the ordinary, pick it up and make a note on your scorecard.  You will probably get a reward for it.

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Looks like someone found him because he’s now gone.

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Sketchy Trail?  Sounds like fun.

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What?  Still no shoes?  This guy walked the whole trail barefoot!  That’s a serious mud lover.

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After Stage 1, there was a little Canadian cookout. They hooked theRECON G-Crew up with some great BBQ! THANKS GUYS!!!

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You best believe there was Canadian bacon there.

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And Maria, the first female Canadian G6er cooked up some proper corn.

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During the BBQ, some interesting kits showed up.

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This thing was HUGE! Canada seems to like their monster trucks!

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I finally remember who this is… it’s Ice T!  Coco’s husband and famous rapper and TV actor! Dang! I left my CD’s home – I could have gotten them autographed!

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After dinner we relocated and made ready RECON G-Central for the NIGHT portion of the event!

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Here’s Parker discovering a Canadian secret, Tim Horton’s coffee.  Starbucks takes a backseat to this stuff.

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The Canadians admired our kits we brought along with us and they have a fondness for Parkers woodland camo’ed Axial EXO.

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Here they ignore Parkers Little Lexus to inspect a real man’s kit. Yea, you know it! they are checking out my rig!

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Once it got dark, the lights and lipos were lit.

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The first Canadian Night Stage!

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After rolling over some mounds of dirt, the trail led down a green tunnel to the beach of Lake Ontario.

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Once on the beach, there was sand and more logs to contend with.

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Fight through it Maria. Remember, finishing a RECON G6 is winning a RECON G6.

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Watch out for the tide rolling in.

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Drivers had to time this section to make sure their carburetors didn’t get flooded or worst didn’t float away.

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The turn around spot at the beach and its back to RECON G-Central to finish your first Canadian RECON G6!

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The first Canadian RECON G6 is now in the record books thanks again to Average Joe’s RC shop with huge success, tons of fun with lots of laughs and many memories made. I know it was a hit, because the Canucks immediately started their trip planning to AXIALFEST2014!  I think we may have started the Canadian Invasion! Think of is as more of the extended brotherhood of the RECON G6 and AXIALFEST as the annual family reunion.

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Thanks to all those that showed up and had a good time.  Special shout our to Steve for chauffeuring me around and to Average Joe and his wife for the hospitality.  We’ll see you next year.  Bet on it!

Axialfest 2013 – The Recap!

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Photos by Tristan

Axialfest 2013! Where do I start? Hundreds of night stage gates? Beautiful trail runs through the vast Tahoe wilderness? Backyard racing on an epic handcrafted track? Scalers floating downstream on homemade watercraft? A weekend of camping alongside 200+ fellow R/C enthusiasts? Mud pits that would make your mom cringe? My head’s still spinning a month later! Let’s back-up a little, one year to be exact!

I attended Axialfest in 2012, and had a blast. I got more drive time in on that one 3 day weekend, then all of the previous year combined……………….seriously! I entered so many classes I could hardly keep my batteries charged in time for the next event / class! On top of running the numerous classes that were available, I was there to document the event for Axial. So, it was an extremely busy weekend for me.

Fast forward one year to Axialfest 2013. I decided this year I was going to only enter one class for the Terra Cross races and the rest of the weekend would be utilized shooting photos and video of the whole Axialfest experience, as well as interacting with event attendees. This would allow me to to take in the event’s ambiance a little more than the previous year. While I did miss the R/C side of it a little this year, I had a lot more time to document the event.

Friday got started with the UTAC event and Rock Riot, and the momentum never let up the rest of the weekend. Here’s a quick run down of the weekend!

UTAC competitors line up for the start.
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A lone competitor running the Rock Riot class.
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Friday night was the first big stage for the G6 event. Drivers started out just before sunset, and were on course well into the night. It was crazy to sit at G-Central headquarters and watch all the lights in the woods flicker around you as competitors navigated the courses. Max Gremillion from Pull-Pal and Brian Parker pose for the camera before the night stage gets started.
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There was plenty of water and mud to be had on the Friday night stage.
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Saturday was going to be the busiest day by far with events starting out first thing in the morning, and carrying well into the night. Driver’s were gathering at the rally style start box early in the morning preparing for the day’s events.
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The highlight for Saturday was the creek challenge. Competitors that wanted to participate had to fab a boat / float for their rigs. Once they reached a certain gate marker on course, they had to load their vehicles onto their boat / float and send it down stream. Some competitors built basic floats that went where the stream’s current took them. Others got crafty and had powered boats that were either driven by their own motor, or the wheels of the scaler being carried. It was an interesting spot to sit and spectate from for sure!
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If your float needed some guidance to get downstream resident creek monitor Cole Bailey would help coax your set-up in the right direction.
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An example of a very basic, but extremely effective float. This guys navigated his home made float down stream like a champ!
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More action!
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Braaappp!!
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A couple shots from Saturday night’s stage.
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Good lights are a definite must for the night stages, some gates can be tough to find in the pitch black of the mountain forest!
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A bad jerky commercial? No, it’s just Charlie from Novak and his new found friend. Pretty sure this will show up on both their FB pages!
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The prize giveaway was held on Saturday night after the night stage. Tons of goodies up for grabs from Axial and the Axialfest sponsors!
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Sunday morning got started with the RTX races. RTX is short for Recon Terra Cross, which is best defined as backyard racing at its finest! EXO RTX!
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Hybrid / Wrexo RTX!
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1.9 RTX!
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2.2 RTX!
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And the RTX mud pit which never disappoints!
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That wraps up our coverage of Axialfest 2013! Every year this event keeps getting bigger, we had 160+ competitors this year which was awesome to see! Axial would like to thank everyone involved in this year’s event from the sponsors, to the volunteers, to the event attendees, everyone! We want to see 200+ entries next year, so spread the word and keep the month of June 2014 open!
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AXIALFEST 2013 – The WINNERS!

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RECON G6 G-DEGREE AWARD – SHELDON AOKI

Let us start with the G-Degree award. This is the “hard luck” award that Parker recognizes a person who has struggled through the day. Sheldon had quite a few mechinaicals on top of the fact that he flew all the way from Hawaii to be here. We are stoked to have someone travel 3,000+ miles to our little event, but to come so far and not be able to finish is tough. With Sheldon usually providing the mucho-aloha spirit, Mr. Aoki deserves a little something heavy and security-questionable to take back on the airplane with him.

Pomaika`i & A hui hou kakou

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RECON TERRA X 2.2 AR60 OPEN CLASS

1st Place – Hilo Dianda [center]
2nd Place – John Hubbard [right]
3rd Place – Michael Pham [left]

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RECON TERRA X EXO TERRA BUGGY

1st Place – Ty Campbell [center]
2nd Place – John Hubbard [right]
3rd Place – Mike Thompson [left]

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RECON TERRA X 1.9 SCX10

1st Place – Michael Pham [center]
2nd Place – Matthew Soileau [left]
3rd Place – John Hubbard [right]

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RECON G6 ULTRA 2.2

Driver of the Day – Paul Brackner [left]
2nd Place – Mike Thompson [center]
3rd Place – Jason Elgaard [not present]

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RECON G6 ADVENTURIST 2.2

Driver of the Day – Ward Braustetter [left]
2nd Place – Dan Wilson [right]
3rd Place – Joseph Griffen [not present]

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RECON G6 ULTRA 1.9

Driver of the Day – Cameron Hienkark [center]
2nd Place – Richard Kinyon [left]
3rd Place – Charlie Suangka [right]

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RECON G6 ADVENTURIST 1.9

1st Place – AJ Huddleston [center]
2nd Place – Tim Samuels [left]
3rd Place – Kila Youg [right]

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UTAC WINNING TEAM

Team MRB: Rush Cushway - Frank Testa - Dana Carlton

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RECON TERRA X WREXO HYBRID – 1ST PLACE – CHRIS MEEKS

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RECON TERRA X AXIAL “WREXO” HYBRID – 2ND PLACE – BRAD DUMONT

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ROCK RIOT 2.2 PRO MOA

1st Place – Mike Thompson [center]
2nd Place – Taylor Dooley standing in for her father Michael [right]
3rd Place – Tristan Judkins [left]

 

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ROCK RIOT 2.2 SPORT MOA

1st Place – Mike Boling [center]
2nd Place in Sport Shafty - Taylor Dooley [left]
3rd Place – Please contact us if this is you.

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ROCK RIOT 2.2 SHAFTY

1st Place – Chris House
2nd Place – Taylor Dooley [see photo above]
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House family came to do work!!!
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RECON G6 ADVENTURIST KID OF THE DAY 1.9 – Jake Krshul

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Recon G6 Adventurist Kid of The Day 2.2 – someone tell us who this kid is so we can give him his props!

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THANK YOU ALL PARTICIPANTS AND HOPE TO SEE YOU AGAIN IN 2014!

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Axial Talks with Jeep Design and Executive Staff

If you are into wheeling, Moab’s Easter Jeep Safari aka EJS, is one of those events that you have to go to once in your life. This patch of earth has one of the most spectacular landscapes you will ever lay your eyes on. At some point in time, someone decided to take a Jeep out and explore. Thankfully what they saw, they shared, and to this day, driving Jeeps over this ocean of slick rock is the best way to see the beautiful natural surroundings of Moab, Utah. Sure, there are some national park icons to go and see, but the real beauty happens 15 miles from pavement in a group surrounded by your friends in their Jeeps.

Axial had the pleasure of linking up with the Jeep team at EJS 2013 and sat down with Mark Allen and Ray Durham. We asked them for their opinions on the Axial SCX10 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon vehicles. Check it out!

Mark Allen

Ray Durham

Stay tuned as Axial continues to strive to bring you some great info and provide your source of fun, anytime, anywhere!

Big Bear Forest Fest XVI – 2013

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Big Bear Forest Fest is an annual event that has been put on by the IE4W for 16 years now. It draws a crowd of 4×4 enthusiasts to the parking lot of Snow Valley to camp and participate in the event. This year was a little different than previous years, as the number of registrants continued to grow year after year…. They finally had to put a cap on the event due to a permit limitation from SBNF (San Bernardino  National Forest). The turn out was great, more than 900 people registered for the event and over 350 vehicles registered for trail runs. There were more than 30 organized throughout the weekend and we were signed up for Dishpan Springs 1, departing at 7:30AM. One of the things this event is known for is the hosted dinner on Saturday night, and this year they sold more than 850 dinner tickets. The meal includes a combo of Tri-Tip and ribs and veggies topped with their signature Strawberry Shortcake dessert. This year one of the cool things that Axial did was provide the Tech Inspection stickers. Every vehicle that passed Tech was given a really cool Axial sticker.

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Once we arrived on-site Friday, we began to set up for the weekend. Part of our setup included building a rock area for people to drive their RC’s cars on Friday night at what we called the Friday Frenzy. It was a “Run What You Brung” style of event, meaning that there was no format to competition and there were no rules. It was simple put your rig down and get to it. We even had a couple people buy a brand new rig onsite just to join in on the fun.
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Our new fan Amanda

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Two Rob’s don’t make a right

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Friday Frenzy Time

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Jordan’s AWFP Rig

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Carnage Corral

Saturday morning came quick and early. We had to be in line for trail-run departure by 7:15AM. Since we were in the Dishpan Springs 1 Group, we were just about the first group to head out on trail. Our trail was lead by Larry McRae, Julio, and Bo, they took us to the trail head where we air’d down and started our off-road travels.
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Heading down the trail there are a few places to really flex your rig.

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Larry doing a great job spotting the rigs down the tricky line at the waterfall.

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It’s really impressive to see a stock Jeep Wrangler JK doing these trails. This guy was a smooth driver.

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Jack from CTM

And so the rigs kept coming…. One by one… until we were all safely down the waterfall.
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Covering the last rocky section before we stop for lunch can be a bit tricky.

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We reached our destination, Deep Creek, and stopped for lunch. There was a group, Dishpan Springs 2, coming down our same route so we needed to wait for them to pass before we headed back up. It would not be a complete lunch stop without some Axial R/C car playtime.

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We caught Larry driving the Poison Spyder Wraith.

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It was time to head back up the trail and conquer the waterfalls going up.
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Volunteer Casey doing setup for another new Axial fan

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Raffle prizes getting setup

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TJM on display

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Cal4Wheel & Win This Jeep Reg

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Win This Jeep built by Poison Spyder

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Poison Spyder’s Daddy Longlegs

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Axial’s for sale at the event

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Rebel’s custom blue SCX10

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Success of a young wheeler making the climb up the hill

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More than 850 dinner tickets were sold for the event

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Kids Raffle winner, Wraith RTR

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The crowd gets settled in at raffle time for more than $50k in prizes