There’s adventure all around us, the only hard part is either knowing where to look or being adventurous enough to look around and find it. In this case of desert exploration, there’s adventure all over the place, much of it with significant historical value. And right about now is when the Mojave Trail comes into the picture. A trail that early East to West settlers used, navigating them through the Mojave Desert in hopes of green pastures just on the other side of the mountains. Yet, as you travel along the Mojave Trail, you come to find out many people considered it home and an opportunity for generating income. Whether is was mining, establishing water wells, live stock, or creating art like artist Carl Faber.
Loaded up, filled up and in route to Laughlin.
Mile #1 of the Mojave Trail with the Colorado River to our Right.
Take notice, this is a stock Nissan 4×4 Frontier. It’ll be interesting to see how much damage comes out of this.
Hello there Colorado River
Less than 10miles into the Mojave Trail and our Trail Boss Mike Whittington finds himself in this predicament.
Dragging on the body is NOT an option here.
And while Mike is getting is F-150 towed off the ledge Phoebe is ready for more, even if she has to drive.
No more than 15 minutes later after towing Mike off the Ledge I get a flat front passenger tire thanks to a healthy piece of metal.
Not sure how legit these rock paintings are but they’re certainly interesting.
How to spot the water source while out in the desert.. Look for the green.
Off in the distance is Laughlin NV
Needless to say, the sight of these clouds wasn’t exactly helping the cause considering we were in route to our first campsite and the idea of setting up a tent in the rain was not appealing.
A few weeks prior the desert was hit with a healthy rain storm which knocked out parts of the trail. This was a ditch you did not want to fall into. But that could be said about any ditch.
Recent rains have given the desert floor a greenish hue with flowers and plants blooming all over the place.
What are we driving into?
Take a moment and think about how much force as needed to move a rock that large. Then think about the fact that the force of water moved that rock.
Years of water flowing over these rocks has shaped their surface into a smooth and colorful arrangement.
Natures LEGO build.
Sunset falls onto Day One of the Mojave Trail run and those pesky rain clouds have sailed away. However, in there place came a cold night.
Beverages in hand, we’re ready for an evening next to the camp fire.
Day One Camp just above Fort Paiute. Established in late 1859 by Captain James H. Carleton, 1st Dragoons, this desert post was located near Piute Springs in the foothills of the Piute Mountain range, about 25 miles west of Fort Mojave and 10 miles north of Goffs in San Bernardino County, a few miles west of the California-Nevada border.
The sunset just kept getting better and better as the lights slowly went out.
Cast iron pans should be in everyones camping box. Dinner for night one is cut up chicken sausages, onions, potatoes, zucchini, garlic, olive oil, and salt and people for seasoning.
Slight change of scenery, approx 4,000ft elevation.
A desert hare hanging out in the shade watching the sun go up as we cruise through.
It’s best not to poke this nest. At some points along the trail they were all over the place.
Just heading up to mile 35 of the trail and you’ll come across an abandoned school bus and early sedan. Both have been better days.
Yes, that person.
City dog earning her trail dog merit badges.
Don’t forget the coin can donation @ 35.13544 and -115.17731
Spring time in the desert yields all sorts plans blooming with vivid colors.
No reservations were made but certainly an idea for the future.
What you see there are the bits of steel used to build railways that have been added to the Nevada Southern Railway monument.
That’s one way to hold down from railroad ties.
This was the view for quite a while today. One of those stretches of trail were the dog is not allowed out of the truck.
Five-5 not needed. Cylindropuntia is a genus of cacti (family Cactaceae), containing the cholla, native to northern Mexico and the Southwestern United States. They are known for their barbed spines that tenaciously attach to skin, fur, and clothing.
As we’re trailing along this old stone house appeared. Mind you, this was literally in the middle of the desert and someone had put some serious effort in this home. Located at: 35.14143 -115.25704 @4486ft
Seems up to building enforcement code.
Those are aluminum framed windows, which means this house isn’t all that old.
Perfect spot for a lunch stop, at the old rock house.
Well… It’s finally happened, trail damage. Decent technical decent with good sized truck eating holes. A punch and a scratch. Not sure insurance will cover this on. Location: 35.14917 -115.32228 @ 4673ft
I wonder where there is water around here.
Most of the desert flowers were in full bloom, which is something that doesn’t happen all that often.
Wasn’t expecting any road signs out here.
Desert artist Carl Faber’s rock house. May sound odd but, there is a park service restroom on site. So if you’ve got shy open air bowels this is your change for a download. Location: 35.15520 -115.33489 @ 4863ft
Carl Faber’s desert house is small and somewhat cozy with spectacular views.
Safe to assume the concrete slab for this house was poured in 1969.
I’m assuming this is an outdoor shower.
rouge .22 shot through the window. Have no clue if this was during Carl’s residence or just someone plinking around the desert.
Not quite sure exactly what it is but most likely a water well.
After taking a closer look at the tree and the limb that broke off, this had to have happened within the last 6 months. Luckily the water tank within the water tank was not damaged from what we could see.
This was a cool water pump setup using a windmill to pull water from the underground well. A simple lever mechanism engages and disengages the rotating assembly above to activate the pumping action.
This birds nest was larger than the 35lbs dog. Begs the question, what bird might call that nest home.
The view from Mid Hills Camp ground, night two.
The map of the surrounding area around Mid Hills Campground.
Despite a bit of wind blowing around it was great having the ability to setup the tent within the trees.
Campsite activities: SCX10 Jeep JK Wrangler and reading material.
Who said you had to only bring one R/C car.. must have missed that memo.
Day Three: Leaving Mid Hill campground and ready for more trail.
Private residents along the trail.
First sight of paved road in nearly 3 days. Bitter sweet moment considering it was great to see paved road but equally wanted more dirt trail to explore.
While at Marl Springs we came across what looks to be some sort of granite rock crushing circle with center mounting point.
This looked to be the source of the water well that fed the tools and above ground just down the hill.
Just a steady trickle of water coming out into the well that served as a water hole for a slew of bees.
A massive weld for such a small bar. What kind of a welder do you think was used for this?
While at Marl Springs, decided to make a lunch stop and let the dogs stretch out their legs while on mooch patrol.
Along the Mojave Trail there are numerous spots to check out. The Mailbox at mile 74 should be BOLD text highlighted and at the top of your list. Constructed in 1983 by Friends of the Mojave Road, a conservation group and historical society who were looking to add place for travelers to mark their passing on the unmaintained dirt road. At the site you’ll find mailbox donations of food, water, misc knick knacks, candles and etc. Beyond the Mailbox there are several different little shrines; The Frogs, Jeep Rock, Action figures followed by gnomes. GPS Coordinates: 35.18545 -115.69273 @ 4,271ft
Make sure to sign in.
On The Rocks Jeep Club Crew from left to right: John Cary,Nova, Wendy Cary, John Cary jr, Mikala Cary, Phoebe, Mike Whittington, Corkey Wohlers, Laura Whittington and Rich Wohlers.
Mike and Marty taking a moment at the Mailbox.
A small contribution to the Mailbox, Axial decal sheet.
Axial marks the spot!
So many frogs!
Watch out for those gnomes.
Next stop of the Mojave Trail is a slight detour over to the Lave Tubes. GPS coordinates: 35.21599 -115.75248 @3,565ft
The trail crew, box stock trucks: (2) Ford F-150 crew cabs w/ ecoboost and 4wd, (1) Ford Super Duty F-350 diesel crew cab w/4wd, (1) Nissan Frontier V6 crew cab w/4wd
Stairs leading down into the Lave Tubes. Be careful, they’re steep.
Holes looking down into the tubes.
For a split second is almost looks like Hawaii.
It’s interesting seeing lava rock like this up close.
Not a scene from the “Encounters from a third kind”. Just Mike looking up to the light.
Sadly, this little bunny found itself into the cave and was not able to get out.
A donation of Phoebe.
Natures spot light.
After a long trip down a high frequency bumpy rock we’ve finally arrived to the Soda Lake bed that backs up to Zzyzx Road off the 15 freeway. Soda Lake bed is also the Mojave river end point.
Hope you brought a rock for the Rock Pile donation. GPS Coordinates: 35.13073 -116.09529 @871ft This 3k+ drop in elevation showcases a polarizing difference amongst the shrubbery surrounding the landscape.
SCX10 Jeep JK Wrangler posting up at the Rock Pile.
We’ll take your word on that.
This was hands down the most vehicles we had seen during a expedition down the Mojave Trail.
She looks comfortable, it’s best not to disturb.
Last night of camping along the Mojave Trail. We found a great spot just around the corner from Razor Road and backs up to a large hill with scattered volcanic rocks. GPS Coordinates: 35.09494 -116.13889 @980ft
A rig per day keeps the office desk away.
That’s a view.
Surrounding night three camp site was this epic hill side with scattered volcanic rock.
Day four on the Mojave Trail and we’re making our way down to Kelso Train Station. To our left is the National Parks Service boundary line… Don’t cross that line.
The goal here was heading over to Kelso Station, an old rail road town in the middle of the desert. This would have been accomplished if there was a proper railing crossing ramp, which the map said it was there. You guessed it, there was no crossing. GPS Coordinates: 35.04669 -116.16513 @988ft
Driving along the train tracks and looking for a crossing. We ventured about one mile up the train tracks but could not find a crossing. Time to move on and explore more.
Coming up to the Mojave Trail Train Bridge and nearing the completion of our East to West trek through the Mojave Trail.
78 years later the bridge is still standing.
You don’t see power and communication lines like this all that often these days.
The Mojave Trail running parallel to the train lines.
First water crossing of the trip. GPS Coordinates: 35.02403, -116.35798 @1295ft
When it comes to the scaling scene, there’s an abundance of creativity amongst the mix and everyone once in a while there’s that one build that catches the eye. Especially when a builder uses an existing product and morphs it into their own creation. Take Jason Kilpatrick and his Jeep Cherokee XJ with truck bed for for example. Stock Jeep Cherokee body from the AX90046 kit but it’s gone under the knife with some added bolt ons. In the full size realm, Jeep Cherokee’s seem to be canvas people convert their dreams into reality on without a big dollar sacrifice. Jason followed suite by carefully trimming out the back covered cargo area and slid the back door up to the back seat area. The truck bed area was finished off with a styrene built truck bed that’s been grafted onto the body. Next came a Red Bull themed paint job, scale accessories and added small bits of detail. Rewind, notice the Tamiya PS-53 Lame Flake paint backed black? Nice touch!
All and all, solid build Jason. Keep up the good work!
Check out more of Jason’s work within his social media: Facebook
We all know Casey Currie as about the most passionate racer on the earth. He spends every waking hour developing a strategy to surpass his competition on every level. His ability to conquer the rocks at the King of the Hammers, the wide open deserts of Baja California and the shout course venues across America is nothing short of phenomenal. When you spend 40 weekends a year on the road, sometimes you need to sneak in some personal time. So, what does a hard core racer like Casey do to unwind? Have a look!
An Adventure to Gooseberry Mesa with Cannondale Bikes
Story: Rodney Wills
Photos: John Cary & Rodney Wills
Sometimes all the stars align and fun happens!
I’ve known Mark Weir for a while now. He’s been asking us to get together and make some collaborative fun happen. Mark Weir is not from the R/C industry, but he has a lot of fun with his rigs. It’s what Weir does in his full-size world that has a lot of our attention as he is a bit of a celebrity within the bicycle industry. In my digital rolodex, I label him “TOUGH GUY!”
His place of work, Wilderness Trail Bikes [WTB], described Mark as a well-rounded rider who specializes in suffering. Mark Weir, age 43, has remained a successful and dominant force in downhill and endurance racing throughout his career.
There are numerous interviews with him, just type in “Mark Weir MTB” and you will find plenty! Now that you’ve done your who’s-who-research, on with this moment in time.
While Mark and I have been plotting for what seems like years, we discussed it a little more seriously at #AXIALFEST2015. The stars finally aligned and planning started to happen with a window of opportunity! Phone text messages turned into emails, email chains started adding more recipients, and dates and plans were laid out into a bonafided plan!
With all the plans laid out, it was time to GO!
LOCATION: GOOSEBERRY MESA, UTAH
I’m making notes on paper maps with details to a location I have never been to and most likely will be arriving at this location in the dark! I need details.
Why yes, I should be using GPS… but I’m OLD SCHOOL!
On the road again! The local mountains are already showing signs of snow and as we traverse through the Cajon Pass, we see a little sugar sprinkles of snow.
We start making the long grade in route to Las Vegas on the 15FWY.
It was sunny all morning… then it gets cloudy… and then it starts sprinkling.
It’s one of those moments and you think you’re ok with it all… then you notice that tell-tale sign… those sprinkles are hitting your windshield in a way that makes you pay a bit more attention. I ask my co-pilot, “do you see that?! I think its going to snow on us!” You can see the snow is covering the ground and is snowing hard! It’s hard to show it in the photos, but it’s coming down!
You can see the snow flying in the air as I shoot out the side window. The ground was covered!
First dirt road I could find. I’m overly excited to get some photos of the ADV80 in the snow! Yes, living in Southern California, I don’t see too much snow, so I am easily excited! That’s John Cary’s rig behind me with its factory white-camo paint scheme to blend in to such environments.
Snow is still falling and we are making our own little fresh two-tracks. We are looking for enough space to get the R/C rigs out!
Who’s from Southern California? Shorts in a snow storm.
This looks like a great road to come explore, but that will have to be another day! We don’t have too much time to mess around as we will already be landing in our destination after dark.
Here I am getting some images of our rigs in the snow.
Guess who is wearing flip flops and it’s not me or John Schultz. Yep, John Cary is the culprit! I also find myself surrounded by JK’s!
The Axial SCX10 just looks so at home in the snow!
John Cary is looking not so at home in his short sleeves and shorts with flip flops… in the middle of the desert… in the middle of the snow…. But he’s a trooper!
The ADV80 showing just how serious the snow is in such a short period of time!
The Axial YETI SCORE® TROPHY TRUCK® sitting in the snow. Hmmm, I wonder… I wonder if it has ever snowed at any of the Baja events as they do have some serious mountains to cross.
By the time we get to Las Vegas the sky is clearing up a bit. No stops here, we keep on trucking!
We make our fuel stop at Muddy River Bar & Grill in Moapa, Nevada. This kind of fuel!
Hamburgers with bacon and egg and IT WAS GOOD!
It’s a process….
I say it every time I pass through here… I need a couple of days exploring all the little dirt roads I see alongside the 15FWY outside of Littlefield, NV as it crisscrosses over the Virgin River. There is a little campground called Virgin River Canyon Campground that might make for the first night’s stop. Simply need more time to explore and so-so many places to see!!! But once again, carrying on… mission ahead.
We stop in to visit with Dixie 4Wheel Drive in St. George, Utah as they have been carrying our product for a while now!
This is Sharlett Thompson and her and her husband Milt along with the Wada family have built Dixie 4 Wheel Drive into a nationally renowned Off-Road Store, modification, and repair facility. They are located on the same property purchased in 1948, Dixie 4 Wheel Drive operates out of a 12,000 SQFT state of the art off-road facility.
This is a full size hobby shop that also carries our toys! If you are passing through St. George, it’s always great to know a good off-road / RC hobby shop! You never know when you need help even if they specialize in Jeep & Axial products.
It’s not the fact that this wheel failed, you wonder what forces where at play to make it break! That is some serious load!
The Dixie guys invite us out for a quick trail run just minutes from the shop!
EPIC TRAIL that we must come back to!
While we would love to spend more time here, we simply have to get going as we have our main mission ahead of us!
Just outside of Hurricane, Utah we are in search of a little dirt road. We found it and had a few choices in dirt roads along the way, but we eventually found our location!
Once we arrive, we want to light our area so we go for the RIGID scene lights so we can see what we are dealing with.
Then we start the unpacking process!
RIGID scene lights lighting up our work area!
Once camp is set, its food time and the JetBoil stove with Mountain House food has been our staple for a many adventures!
Mountain House’s Beef Stroganoff seems to be the group’s favorite, but the Spaghetti with Meat Sauce is my favorite.
Camping just requires a fire and a big foot sighting!
Speaking of big foot, John Cary and myself are impressed with John Schultz’s idea of a one-man tent! Look at that foot print!
The ADV80 is not afraid of, but regularly participates in IH8MUD.com’s forum. Yes, it’s a Land Cruiser thing…
Camping, bikes, 4X4 1:1 & R/C are in store for this outing!
Daybreak reminds us just what we had encountered coming in under the light of stars. We just didn’t see how red the mud is here!
Now we know where the graphic theme came from! While it doesn’t look like much, it was more sticky-snotty than splashy-mucky.
JetBoil repeat but with the added help of the AeroPress coffee maker! This time we only use the JetBoil for heating coffee water…
BECAUSE JOHN CARY IS A CHEF!!! John Schultz is his assistant sous-chef.
We are NOT going hungry out here in the wilderness!
This yurt is what we had to find in the middle of the night to know we were at the location spot!
Regardless of a yurt though…
When you wake up and see this!!!
And we see a bunch of these guys popping out from behind the trees and bushes.
Preparation quickly begins early in the AM as the Cannondale MTB team has descended onto the Gooseberry Mesa from all across the USA through the night.
We need more artists in RC! This is such the cool piece of art.
Marco Osborne begins his bike preparation. Mark has told us to keep a keen eye on this one… Jake Hamm (camera) “is my studio set up yet?”
IFHT film’s Matt Dennison is on site to do his creative video action!
Matt stated, “Let’s see how many MTB’er can bunny hop over this box!”
Mr. Ben Cruz, this would be our first real-world experience with Ben. Mark Weir was asked to write and intro for an interview by PinkBike on Mr. Cruz.
Weir stated, “When I think of Ben, I think of myself, never to think that this was his intention but things that he does seem to leave you unbalanced with self-position. Some of the best times in my life have been with him, what’s crazy is that those best times came to us in places when we had the worst things happing. Like I said it’s all riddles.”
Go read the whole enchilada on Ben Cruz: http://www.pinkbike.com/news/ben-cruz-getting-to-know-interview-2016.html
Matt Ohran – “Who is running this operation?! I’m the one with pink tape, you have the pink bike with the pink bar tassels only because you cut my course!”
But lets get down to why are we all here? Because of this man, Mr. Mark Weir! If you forgot already, scroll back to the top and start all over…
Camelback is continuous in their development of hydration systems!
The team would take off from our camp location and myself and the media crew would hop into the ADV80 and meet them at the next location. Oh, I guess this is a good time to tell you what is about to go down. It’s the end of the season for the riders, but Matt wants to squeeze a friendly competition out of them! Notice the number plates on the bikes? A get-together-fun-ride, but with points for bragging rights! WITH A TWIST! Axial scale trail action is going to be apart of the wager! A few of the guys are into scale trailing and the others have never touched an R/C car before! This is going to be interesting! But end of the day, its all about fun and working together!
Mark Weir = BRAAAAP!
Keegan Swenson is so fast we did not catch a profile photo of him at the beginning of the event, so we will just kick off right here! He’s only been racing professionally since 2013 and already has a top-10 finish at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cups! Follow him at: https://www.instagram.com/keegels99
Bart Gillespie on the move!
Mark Weir, Marco Osborne, Ben Cruz and Keegan Swenson discuss the fine art of of being fast and the benefits… we get to sit and wait.
3-2-1 GO! Matt is timing everything!
DeLorme is like, “Where’s my talent?!” I got action photos to shoot!”
Lauren Bingham, just point your camera right here sir!
Chris Bingham, “My kids are so fast!”
Keegan Swenson is a CX machine!
Jason Moeschler simply out for a good time at speed!
Nick Dru BRAAP bombing.
Ben Cruz, “They went that way… yep! That way….”
Bryn Bingham getting his action on. I met him on this trip and have had the pleasure of following him on Instagram and have seen so much progression from him in just this year – he spends a lot of time on the back wheel these days learning his manual craft! Check him out: https://www.instagram.com/brynnerthepinner
He puts a little English on it…
Mark Weir throwing rocks at John Cary’s camera and body.
Bart Gillespie knows its all about time and is not playing around!
Marco Osborne showing the science of speed.
Matthew DeLorme showing how to stylize a photo with the tongue out, or is it exasperation from hauling camera gear at speed?
The ADV80 hauls all! Aside from the media crew, its hauling food and drinks for the crew.
This was an awesome moment! You are never really lost… You are just temporarily displaced. You are always somewhere on the map…
While positioning myself next to a rock to shoot the riders coming through, I look over and see this little mystery of nature. WIND-WOOD-ROCK. This is going to be an interesting thing to see in like 20-years.
Day-1 is done and Marco looks to be sitting in the lead. But things could easily change tomorrow… maybe the terrain, maybe the rules… who knows… it’s anyone’s game!
After some riding, it’s lunch time! Anyone recognize this guy from #AXIALFEST2016? Yes sir, that is Chris Cru Jones of Altra Running shoes.
Fuel for athletes.
Scale trail time! For most in this bunch, it was their first time ever on the R/C controller!
After the R/C scale trail session it was dinner time, fire side chat time to hear some great stories from Mark Weir and Jason Moeschler.
Then, it was time for our favorite scale trail time!!!! NIGHT TIME!
This was by far my favorite time as I get to participate with my buddies. I get to wheel as well! Usually I have the big camera in my hands. Sometimes the cell phone images have to work, because, believe it or not, I actually like to drive too! We had a great night wheeling! I think this is the moment that “clicked” for all of those who had not been wheeling before.
Back to camp in the wee hours and a little late night snack… Wood fired pizza…
The Mark Weir way!
Moments like these make memories and friends forever. It may be years before we get to do this again with each other, but we will forever look for the moment again!
When I told you Matthew DeLorme is the camera guy who hauls his own weight, we’re not kidding you! That is a heavy lens and Matthew does not hold tightly on the brakes!
The road literally stops here! But the MTB trails rolls right off the side and DOWN!!!
There is a small discussion about how the day went and who stood where in points.
The group gets ready for the next portion of the event and John Schultz goes over how the scale trail portion of the event is about to go down. While they were out on the pedals, Schultz designed a 100+ trail marked course for these guys to drive through.
OH IT’S OFFICIAL!
And Ben Cruz is chomping at the bit to get on trail.
Customization is important, even at an impromptu event such as this one! Bragging rights is a high-stakes claim! Bart knows the game! “I may not be an R/C regular, but looking factory is key! See, I got my personal name stickers for everything! Mostly to keep Mark and Ben off my stuff! I’m not as factory as they are, so I have to keep’em in check!” hehehe
Mark Weir set’s off on the trail first since he is the most vet of his bunch.
Marco Osborne sets off in chase. Some do-ball with the video camera is in the way of the photographer… oh, that’s me! OOOPS sorry John!
Bryn Bingham is learning the fine art crawling and having a blast very differently from his high-speed point-and-shoot R/C rigs.
Nick Dru doing what Nick does… speed and style as he quickly approaches Bryn. It’s very interesting to see how each individual approaches the trail. Some love the low-speed technical approach, others like the “rock race” approach. Not that one is better than the other, it’s just shows personal temperament and personality.
Jake Hamm is into 1:1 wheeling and is totally enjoying the relationship of Axial’s real esthetic and drivability. Note his heat regulation beanie. He said it’s how he blocks the open window wind noise. Matt Dennison of IFHT shooting his mini-classic.
Mark Weir is such the enthusiast, encourager, heckler, and is simply passionate about his hobbies. He finishes his lap and comes back to Jason Moeschler who started after him, to see how he is doing on his lap.
Jason Moeshcler is a technician on the pedals and the steering wheel! I think mountain bikers just naturally understand and enjoy the pursuit of scale trailing. Along with motorcyclists, 4X4’ers, dentists, doctors, fabricators and badminton instructors. Yep, everyone!
Chris Cru Jones is totally into the scale trail action as well. After meeting him this weekend is when I began to share with him the ideas for the first ever Ultra 5K Enduro at AXIALFEST2016. If you were there, you know he works for the adventure running shoe company, ALTRA. Hence the ALTRA ULTRA 5K Enduro!
Mark is very proficient with R/C and has found our format of scale trailing suited to his outdoor activities.
Mark Weir and Nick Dru getting the scale trail fix on!
R/C & MTB on the Gooseberry Mesa.
This is not an easy task, egos and reputations are at an all time high! Controversy is created for creative strategy haggling!
Hold on kids… I may be a high-poster, but….
The overall winner is…. MARCO OSBORNE with Keegan and Weir flanking him.
IFHT-Matt telling it from his lens-view perspective.
Things started to get a little blurry around the fire on the last night of our trip.
And then… Mark has an announcement to make and John Schultz is armed with the gift-ammo in the background. Let’s get it straight, Mark Weir is a certified R/C nut and he wants to share his hobby with his riding compadres! We love him for his enthusiasm as he brings infectious fun!
Marco Osborne – congratulations on the first place finish and showing us the awesome dirt whips! As you can see here, he is a little speechless!
Keegan Swenson – congrats on the second place finish!
Nick Dru – best sportsman!
Matt Dennison of IFHT, just because he hates all! hehehe
Jason Moeschler is simply gifted!
Mark Weir is taking his time on this one… building the anticipation…
Ben Cruz is simply stoked on life and we love him for it!
I simply can not leave out our man!
So Mark, come on back up here!
Mark made a special announcement recognizing John Schultz for all his hard work!
It took all this so I could finally hang out with my buddy, but what better way?!
Then I have to ride back home with these two John’s… John Cary on the left.
Then I have to ride back home with these two John’s… John Schultz on the right…
And that’s a rap from Gooseberry Mesa!
Atop the ADV80 is Will Dennison of IFHT working on his film. With no further ado, here is his film account of the time spent on Gooseberry Mesa.
Despite his reputation for being a slugger and a human resources cheerleader, back in 93′, famed Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson had a few choice words to say about the Jeep Cherokee XJ. Most of which were good and what a better testing location than Alaska to test out a member of the seven-slot stable.
The SCX10 II brings a slew of new parts for custom builds. This is my first official build on the new chassis. As sample parts started to arrive the wheels started to spin. I was pleased to see the highly detailed JCR bumpers for the Jeep XJ body, and more pleased when I noticed how well they fit on the Jeep Nukizer body. That sealed the deal, SCX10 II Jeep Nukizer here we come! To further separate the build from a stock SCX10 II, I changed things up a bit with a set of 1.9 Maxxis Trepadors mounted on my VP KMC 1.9 beadlocks.
Let the modifications begin! Even though the JCR bumpers were the proper width they needed some massaging. I cut some material from the bumper post mount system up front to bring it closer to the Nukizer grill:
Then I sanded down the chassis brace to allow the bumper to push all the way back.
New front bumper position. Also note I removed some material for tire clearance.
Onto the rear, not much was needed here but I trimmed some material off the profile of the bumper to match the body.
Time to set this body apart from the other Nukizers on the trail. I dug through the stash of plastic cages in the parts bins and found that the Dingo cage width was perfect for the width of the bed rails on the Nukizer. I immediately took it to the saw and cut the A-Pillars off the cage, then removed some height to match the roofline of its new home. The end result was a customized cage ready to completely alter the Nukizers attitude.
With the cage in position I could start marking all the required holes on the body. I carefully used a body reamer to create 2.5mm holes for M2.6mm hardware.
With so much material removed the cage, it required new holes for the M2.6 hardware to attach to the Nukizer body. I have an old tool handle that I use for drill bits, in this case a 2.0mm bit for the M2.6 hardware to bite into the plastic
Here you can see the hardware holding the cage from inside the body.
The end result of the Nukizer / Dingo splice.
Now onto utilizing the JCR Roofrack from the XJ, it’s too perfect! The length of the roof rack ties together the cab and cage.
In order to mount the JCR rack I drilled some more holes and utilized M2.6 hardware again. Attaching to the cage was easy with the 2.0mm drill bit. To mount it at the cab, I used the under body mounts that required some modification. I basically cut them at the 2nd mounting boss.
Now we’re getting somewhere!
Something is missing though… How about some Rigid Industries lights?
The fun part, dealing with the wiring. I used a combination of Axial LED components in addition to the Rigid Lightbar set mentioned above. Enjoy my wiring mess!
Routing all the cage lights through the roof with LED controllers mounted to the underside of the body.
Running both LED controllers on the body allowed me to also wire the headlights and taillights. I used the Axial Light Bucket Set for the tail lights. The 4 string LED up front required the center wire to extend so I cut it and soldered in the correct length. A combination of heat shrink and electrical tape tidied up the remainder of the wiring.
TEST! I also snuck in another LED controller mounted on the chassis for the 4 LED Rigid bar on the bumper and a set of tail lights in the rear JCR bumper. Note this was before the light buckets were installed…
Really starting to come together. Still, there’s something missing…
I pulled this from an AX90045 Wraith Spawn RTR. The clear version is also available.
About a year ago, you may have noticed a project that popped up on YouTube created by HemiStorm RC, an Axial Yeti XXL. For a split second this may seem confusing because you’re probably asking yourself, does Axial make a Yeti XXL? Unfortunately that is not the case. However, HemiStorm had an idea that would technically produce the largest Yeti XL in existence by grafting two, YES TWO, Yeti XL’s together and appropriately calling it the “Yeti XXL.” Essentially the back half of one chassis was cut off just in front of the transmission while the front half of another chassis was cut off just behind the transmission thus giving the Yeti XXL two transmissions. It seems slightly odd, but when you toss in two Castle Creations Mamba Monster X ESC’s the idea starts to make sense. Each half of the vehicle is powered by its own esc and transmission allowing for the possibility of adding front or rear bias to the drivetrain. It’s an excellent idea considering the entire array of channel mixing capabilities within the Futaba 4PL radio he uses. To HemiStorm’s credit, this was a massive task to take on that required a bit of engineering know-how, some trial and error, and the acquisition of a few special tools. In order to properly tell the story behind the Yeti XXL, Hemistorm is going to be the best storyteller.
Think of this as a tutorial or timeline behind his Yeti XXL build. So grab a notepad, some snacks, and click the auto play button on your YouTube account to watch the entirety of his build process because it’s certainly worth a watch.
The entire Yeti XXL progress in one playlist:
Now that you’ve got your healthy dose of video behind what it took for HemiStorm to make the Yeti XXL, it’s time for photos. While Chris was in town for RCX he made a pitstop over to Axial HQ so we could get a closer look.
Chris de Graaf a.k.a. “HemiStorm” and Axial’s Rodney Wills having a few choice words.
It goes without saying, but HemiStorm you’ve truly built a one-of-a-kind vehicle. Keep up all the great work and if you want to follow Chris on his various social media platforms see the links below.
Slow motion video, long wheel travel, wheels tucking up into a Trophy Truck body mixed in with off road bashing is a lot like attempting to say “NO” to that last cookie in the cookie jar. It’s fair to assume that cookie didn’t stand a chance, just like this video had to be watched. If you’ve been following JPRC’s YouTube page you’ll notice he’s a fan of Trophy Trucks, if not, make sure to take a few moments and check out his page.
Adventure comes in many forms. In this case it’s coming from a generational perspective of a family’s love and appreciation for a Willys Jeep CJ-3B. It carries the torch of adventure as it gets handed down through two generations. It all begins with a Father’s appreciation for family adventures. Next is choosing a vehicle that the family sedan simply could not travel to or get far enough away from. Insert Willys Jeep CJ-3B here. Add in a lifted teardrop trailer that’s been outfitted with numerous creature comforts for extended family vacations into the unknown. As time rolls on, the son becomes of driving age and the Willy’s Jeep is handed down with title in hand and the intent of continual exploration. Ownership will never change hands, nor will it ever be for sale. This Willys Jeep CJ-3B, with extended rear quarter panels and tear-drop trailer companion, will continue on in original form acting as that surviving example of a time when simplicity was key. This is where the electronic necessities of today are forgotten and the spirit of adventure is embraced. Go camp anywhere and embrace the spirit of adventure.
Given the opportunity to paint up a few SCORE® Retro Trophy Truck® bodies for the up coming body release, Axial staff nabbed a few bodies and took some creative liberty and ran with it. Lets be honest, wouldn’t have you? And from the looks of it each body has its own unique flare ranging from an old school Las Vegas race truck flare to budget Trophy Truck® with multi colored fender panels. Despite all the differences, all chose to use the full roll cage assembly for full effect. Here is a closer look into each vehicle.
Brandon’s Retro Truck Build
Contrasting colors with a fair amount of flare, more Rasta less Retro.
Randall’s Retro Truck Build
The Every Man’s Trophy Truck.
Jamie’s Retro Truck Build
Look familiar? If you watched “On the Loose in Baja” then you’ve certainly seen this truck. Classic Ford Racing color scheme.
John’s Retro Truck Build
And then there is te classic Retro Trophy Truck paint scheme littered with bass boat gold flake that screams early SCORE race days.
And just in case you missed “On the Loose in Baja”…
On the Loose in BajaWhat do you do when you’re in Mexico for the Score International Baja 1000 with you’ve a couple Yeti Trophy Trucks at your disposal… Let loose and have a great time.