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