Are You Ready To Rule RC Rock Racing – Axialfest 2017

Rock Racing - Axialfest 2017

There is something going on every single day at Axialfest and whatever it is, it’s going to be something exciting! One of those must attend events is the Rock Racing event. Rock Racing is certainly not new like the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro, but it is still an event that many spend lots of time prepping for… or not. Like many driving opportunities during this week of off-road excitement, Axial has designed Rock Racing to be attended by anyone. So yes, you’ll see the experienced driver who probably spent the last few months hunkered down in his basement building a machine that could take on the terrain of a nuclear warzone or go head to head with a vehicle from a Mad Max movie and you’ll also find the driver that just showed up after removing a vehicle from a Ready to Run box. So is Axialfest Rock Racing really for you? We’re going to run you through the scene and expect to see you next year.

Axialfest 2017 Rock Racing

THE CLASSES
Although it’s safe to say, the first rule to an Axialfest Rock Race is to simply have fun, there are additional rules to help insure that rule number one happens. To do that, your rig gets a quick inspection and placed into a specific class to complete with similarly equipped vehicles. Kids classes are an option too and no, they do not go by mental age. By separating the various styles of rigs into specific classes, it levels the playing field a bit and now just build and driving skill is used to determine who will finish on the podeum. We’ve listed the nine classes available here and for a full break-down of the rules for each class can be found HERE.

Rock Race Classes
10-Under Kids Class – 1.9 & 2.2 Combined
11-15 Kids Class – 1.9 & 2.2 Combined
1.9 Factory SCX10 Class
1.9 Frame Rail Class
Factory Bomber Class
Wraith – OPEN Class
2.2 Tube Chassis Class
EXO/Bomber – OPEN Class
2.2 Tube Chassis Class

THE COURSE
Smack dab in the middle of Cisco Grove Campground is a field like area with an abandoned tennis court surrounded by some rough terrain that most people pass through heading back and forth from the trails to vendor row and the pavilion where registration, concourse and the awards ceremony take place. To some, this midway, is just more terrain of a campground, but to the trained eye of trail building master John Schultz and some eager volunteer crew members, this terrain will be staked out and turned into a rock infested, jump littered, obstacle ridden, chassis scraping moguls; you get the idea a wild rock racing course. The zone for the driver to trek over isn’t exactly a park path either so be prepared with proper attire and watch where you step.

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DRIVING AND STRATEGY
Many participants are excited and some amped up on energy drinks for the three lap sprint around the course. Qualifying takes place first and is pretty intense. Drivers are separated into heat races and trucks are lined up on the grid. When the start is called, it’s full throttle for all on the tennis court surface and a hoard of wheel spinning rigs head for the first obstacle which typically resulted in a pile of intertwined machines with wildly spinning wheels. This is where the strategy starts. Do you pull the trigger with the rest of the pack at the starting tone, or do you wait and snake through the clumps of chaos. Or do you go for it and hope you make it through the first obstacle unscathed? Things to think about, but it doesn’t end there. There is a lot of work ahead of you. Running as fast as you can, yet pacing yourself as not to tire out or overdrive your rig or even stumble on your footing. This Rock Racing isn’t like many locations in the country that have conventional RC tracks with driver’s stands. Here you are on the ground running and attacking a much larger course. There are no marshals to flip your truck over on the course either. If you’re rig goes belly-up, there it lies unless you can right it over with some wicked throttle and steering work. How does the staff keep track of who is placed where? The seasoned pros that make up rock racing crew keep a careful eye on who placed where and track finishes in a notebook; simple but effective for this ultimately fun event. When each of the heat rounds finishes, drivers are placed into mains depending on their finishes and that is when strategy tends to go out the window and drivers go all out in their drive to take home a trophy.

AXIALFEST2017 Rock Racing Winners

THE REWARD
At Axialfest 2017, the event had a “Prospector” theme and that carried over to the rock racing event as gold panning pans with decals inlaid in the center indicating the event and finish were given out to the top three finishers in each class. Each year, the theme changes and so does the awards to keep excitement levels high. Who finished where? Check out the top three finishers in each class along with their awards HERE

ARE YOU IN?
Rock Racing at Axialfest means dedication before and during the event if you want to roll home with the hardware. But if you’re in it for the pure fun of close competition and testing the limits of your rig, then once again this is the scene to be involved in at Axialfest. Congratulations to all of those who participated at this years event, the racing was intense for the spectators to watch as well. If you weren’t there this year, start your preparations for 2018 now!

 

Axial Scale Course & RC Truck Show at 36th Annual Hump-N-Bump • Nov 3-4, 2017

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Axial Scale Course & RC Truck Show at Hump-N-Bump 2017

Date: November 3 – 4, 2017

Location: 1301 Whipple Ave, Logandale, NV 89021

More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/110233193017973

The Vegas Valley Four Wheelers is proud to announce the 36th annual
Hump-N-Bump! Sign up early for this action-packed weekend on November 3 and 4th, 2017 with amazing wheelin’, gorgeous red rock formations, a huge vendor fair, a massive raffle and an awesome BBQ dinner.

This two-day event offers trails for drivers of all skill levels and vehicles from stock SUVs to extreme rock buggies. Our skilled volunteer trail staff will lead you through trails throughout the beautiful Logandale Trails System plus portions of the beautiful Valley of Fire State Park. This event is only open to full size 4X4 vehicles. (no side-by-side’s or quads)

Presented by “Partners in Conservation,” a large portion of the proceeds from the Hump-N-Bump event go towards supporting local and national land-use causes and the local community.. Committed to assisting us so far this year will be The Vegas Broncos, The Desert Wranglers, Battle Born Jeeps, and the Walapai 4 Wheelers.

Hump-N-Bump event headquarters is at the Clark County Fairgrounds in Logandale, just a short drive from the trails. The event’s evening activities will take place at the fairgrounds, including an incredible catered barbecue dinner by John Mull’s Road Kill Grill (featured on the Food Channel’s Diners, Drive-in’s and Dives). Event registration is $65 per vehicle and includes guided trails on Friday and Saturday, 5 raffle tickets, dash plaque, goodie bag and more. Event tee shirts are $18, kids tee shirts are $10. Hoodies, knit caps and hats will also be available. We pride ourselves on having one of the best dinners of any event in the country and it is only $20. Boxed kids dinners will be $6. RV parking with partial hookups will be $20 per night (limited availability). Tent and car camping without hookups will be $10 per night.

As we get closer to the 36th annual Hump-N-Bump more information will be added. For more information also check out the Vegas Valley 4-Wheeler’s website at vv4w.org.

AMain Hobbies Presents AxialFest 2017 Video

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The crew from AMain Hobbies started coming to AXIALFEST in 2016.
This year they brought a video camera to capture what they saw!
Hit the preview screen below or hit the link here – two trails to get you to eight minutes worth of the good stuff: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cixpvxgGZY&t=305s

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Scale on the Con – Day trip

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Words: Anthony Rivas
Photography: Brad Perry

I believe everyone has that one trail they would love to go scale crawl on, maybe even a bucket list of places. The opportunity recently presented itself to return to the Historic Rubicon Trail in northern California with the annual event called Cantina for the Con going on for 1:1 vehicles. CKRC Hobbies of Reno, Nevada was doing Scale on the Con In conjunction with the event and I knew I just had to go!  I was able to go out and trail with a few guys on this over the top scaled out course.

But first, lets back up and talk about Cantina on the Con.
This is an annual Fundraiser for the 501(c)3 Non-Profit Mission: To Enhance the Future Health and Use of the Rubicon Trail while Ensuring Responsible Motorized Year-round Trail Access. The Rubicon Trail Foundation is an advocate for your Continued Motorized Access to the Trail and Surrounding Public Lands. Please go read more about the Rubicon Trail Foundation and what they do for the Rubicon Trail!
http://www.rubicontrail.org/rtf-about.htm

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Brandon Caton of Snowmod RC brought his son up for the event, but he made some time to wheel his Axial Scx10 based LC70. This was definitely no shelf queen.

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Last Chance Gas Station #2 was open for service at Loon Lake Dam! Note those power lines in the background! Yes, no… that is not scale photo-trickery! Those are the real deal! The BLPP&C; Brant Lowe Power Pole Company had to be quickly custom built and shipped over to the Loon Lake Dam.

With power poles on site, Adam & Elio of Two Chainz Scalerz set the poles, then ran power all the way out to the Loon Lake Dam in order for the gas station to power to deliver service for customers. We need to go all 1999-style and seriously start looking at this solar energy stuff! But I got my Two Chainz Scalerz edition custom banana cream filled Twinkiez so I was happy! They excepted my cash while they were still wiring up the cash register.

This is Station #2 as in a new version of the original. Some of you may have pictures with the original version from AXIALFEST that was mysteriously claimed in a “HOGnato” incidence. Yes, H.O.G. + Tornado = HOGnato meaning the hands of real 1:1 humans aka (Hand Of God) swept (Tornado) the original gas station from its location on site at AXIALFEST. The original Last Chance Gas Station has yet to be found…
Swiper No Swiping.

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Quick “pic-stop” and off to the trail! Hey, that might have to become an thing… #PicStop

The Rubicon trail is a destination for lots of off road enthusiasts. For me personally, (Rivas Concepts) being back to drive a scale R/C on the rock was a great unique feeling as my trips across the Rubicon have been 1:1 trips!

I’ve built this Axial Scx10-2 Dingo for such adventures.

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Before we start this scale adventure, the Axial Scx10-2 Dingo was loaded up and looking for Adventure but first we have to have a couple of complementary flex shots!

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Two Chainz Scalerz Adam Dean and Elio Dianda were present, physically and spiritually!
Poor E.W. Lowe…

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Brandon wasted no time jumping into the water! We all looked on in disbelief that he would be willing to throw his 70-Series in harms way as he did! You know it’s not like these 70-Series are offered here in the USA, hence the FaceBook page: Toyota: Bring the 70 Series Land Cruiser and Diesels to the USA. But too, it is a Land Cruiser…
Seeing how Snowmod set the tone, I fell in right behind him and we all followed suit!

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It was truly an epic day of wheeling. Lots of water, cool temperatures, and good people.

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Alec Van Den Brink and his Jeep KJ Liberty, with roof top tent, and Ben Thomas in his Axial Scx10-2  custom Toyota 4-door bringing up the back. ScaleOnTheCon-08475 (Medium) ScaleOnTheCon-08469 (Medium)

Some parts were a little sketchy with water flowing as it was running pretty fast and we were playing pretty scale!

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As you can see, we had an eclectic collection of rigs as well with Brandon’s 70-Series Land Cruiser, my RC-ADV-Dingo, Alec Van Den Brink‘s KJ-Liberty and Ben Thomas wheeling the 1st Gen Toyota. Regardless of personal choice’s we are all enjoying the same thing, wheeling the Rubicon!

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The Rubicon trail provided plenty of picture opportunities, we took them and took our time. It’s easy when we are sitting our our heated cabs while Brad Perry (photo-extraordinaire) is wading out into the river with his hip looking Patagonia Waders with the addition of the rubber ducky embellished 24″ Classic Round Green Inflatable Swimming Pool Inner Tube Ring Float for safety. We simply zipped out winch line to him when the current swept him out a bit.

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You could easily get line-drunk here. Everywhere you looked was a new line. The CKRC Hobbies Scale-On-The-Con trail was a nice long loop, averaging about 3 and half hours to complete the trail. Our little day trip was roughly the same amount of time, but we didn’t cover near the terrain due to our numerous #PicStop’s.
ScaleOnTheCon-08555 (Medium)Lil’ “LibBroTee” getting its creek crossing flex on!
ScaleOnTheCon-08914 (Medium)This event had people driving well into the night!

Where is a place you want to go crawl?
Mark your calendars for next year to go run Scale on the Con!  With the Cantina for the Con being an annual event, I can only expect the Scale on the Con to continue with and carry on!

More cool scale stuff to be seen here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1468545179899127/?active_tab=discussion

The Cantina for the Con event should be around the first weekend of September 2018, Labor Day Weekend. Check http://www.rubicontrail.org/rtf-annualevents.htm for more details. Once details get posted there, I’m sure details for Scale on the Con will be posted on CKRC’s FB Event page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/ckrchobbies/events/

 

Skeeno’s AXIALFEST 2017 Report Part 4

adventures_skeenos_axialfest_2017_report_part_4_500pxSkeeno’s AXIALFEST 2017 Report Part 4

Photos by Matt Soileau and Michael Morris

So, Here it is, Part 4 of the Axialfest 2017 Skeeno Report! Day 4 consisted of Rock Racing and the Awards Ceremony and Raffle. If you somehow missed reports 1-2-3, please pop back; Report Part-1, Report Part-2, Report Part-3.  Let’s take a look at what went down on the final day of Axialfest 2017.

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Scott Kerkes was still going strong teching rigs on Day 4.

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He must be the undisputed tech champion of Axialfest 2017.

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Scott has a special way with the little ones as well.  Here he reminds this little guy that Fast is Slow, so don’t try to win the race at the start.

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Pham was all teched and checked and ready to race.  This is what he was waiting for all week, the Rock Races!  I think he podiumed in every class last year.  We’ll have to see if he could repeat that performance this year.

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Anthony Rivas was ready to count racers and laps.  See that paper in his hands?  That must mean something official.

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Looks like this crew is ready to rumble.

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Hold up, is that a Yeti and Yeti Jr?  It’s like a father/son team.

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The Axiallet haircut was pretty cool, but an Axial tattoo?  That’s dedication. Raise your hand if you have an Axial tattoo.  Free entry to Axialfest 2018 next year if you show them your tattoo by September 20th.

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Jawn Shulzz was race director.  Here he gives the drivers meeting.

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Rules are pretty simple, fastest to three laps wins and goes to the mains…oh and no turn marshals, so don’t flip over.

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The Mod Squad, RC Driver’s Greg V, Hemistorm, and Scale Builder Guild’s Matt Kett, ready to catch all the action.

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First up are the littles.  This has to be my favorite class.  They get so excited.  It’s pure youthful fun.

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You never can tell where the rigs are headed when the little’s are behind the trigger.

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You can always tell a female driver.  I think pink is the mandatory color.

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See, pink shirt. And pink shoes.

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Pink shirt, Little Tazzette, yup, my theory seems to be true,

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These must all be guys, I don’t see any pink. Wait a minute, is that a pink shirt back there?

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The Littles attracted quite a crowd.

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Everyone likes watching the Littles. They also came to check out the Bigs aka the Olds.

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After the Littles was the Little Biggers. Oh, no! A rolled rig! I hope he can work it out, because, remember, there were no marshals to right your rig.

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The Little Biggers gave the Olds a run for their money.

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One wrong move and your race could end quickly.

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Once the Olds got one track, the racing became even more intense.

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Hey, there’s Pham.  One of the 5 or 6 classes he raced in.  I lost track, but you can count his face in the podium shots.

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Pham again? It seemed like he was in every shot, because, well, he was in every race.

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Finally, a shot without Pham.

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No Pham, but that’s his truck. Oh wait, I think I see his dome in the background.

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I see Sheriff Barton back there pointing out the leaders.

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Dang, another shot of Pham.  I’m starting to think he paid me to post so many photos of him.  I better check my paypal and see if I got funds.

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Let’s end this with a picture without the Pham in it. You can see the winners of the Rock Racing below during the Awards Ceremony.

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After Rock Racing, the Award Ceremony area was getting set up. I snuck in to take a look behind the scenes.

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Nice, a free set of the world’s best RC shoe, the Altra Lone Peaks!

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Dang, that’s a lot of trophies.  Notice the custom ones in the foreground.  That’s because we added some last minute classes to the Concourse.  Next year, there will be even more new classes added.

IMG_20170715_193541 Sheriff Shawn was all smiles, even though his ankles were not smiling. Word on the street is that he got robotic ankles, so he’d be ready for Axialfest 2018.

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Before people could enter the Awards Ceremony and raffle, they had to get raffle tickets. Cici, Cathy, and Mike are ready to rock.

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Here’s a table of swag to grab after getting your raffle tickets.

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People were eager to get good seats. They started lining up early.

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Waiting to wait, good thing they brought chairs.

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Finally, the gates opened and the masses flowed in…

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…and down to the arena.

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I see your shaka, hang loose my friend.

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Spots filled up fast.  I hope you brought a chair, or you were sitting on the ground.

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What is this?  A Honda Mugen engine?  What could that be in?

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Oh dang! An Axial 1:1 Comp Buggy.  Sorry, I got distracted, back to the ceremony.

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I like to cruise the arena and see who I can spot.  Here’s Dan the Man, Old Dan, Dollar Dash Champ, Dan Wilson of Team Vanquish.

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My Wheelers for the Wounded buddy, Mr. L.D.

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Hey, Crawler Fab with their sweet puppy.

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He looks tired. I wonder if he walked all the Scale Trails. That would have been over 10 miles!

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Chris Cru Jones of Altra fame. I can’t thank him enough for turning me on to Altras, truly my favorite shoe of all time.  I have three pairs now, and have my eye on more.

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Mike Bier with Root Bier and Ginger Bier, I know that last nickname needs work. I’ll think of something better for Axialfest 2018.

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Team Voodoo in the house!

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All the way from Hong Kong for the second year in a row, Jason Tsang of Boom Racing.

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Marc Bettencourt of Crawl4Cure.  They have a new location this year.  Go check it out: https://www.facebook.com/events/1099973673456868/

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Is that Little JJ on top of big JJ’s Jeep?

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I’m not sure, but pretty girls always get their pictures taken.  It’s a rule somewhere.

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OMG, OMG, OMG! It’s Two Chainz Scalerz!

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A-Main had the whole front row on lock.

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Finally, let’s get this party started. Oh no, Jahn Shuls has the mic.  This will be a while.

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I decided to check out the raffle swag. Dang, that’s a full table.

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I took a long time to give out all this swag.

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Oh Snapple, I see the A-Main/JRC creations. Sweet!

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And the Kona bike from Pedal’s Bike Shop and are those RTRs and kits behind it? If only I didn’t have one of those orange STAFF shirts, maybe I could win one.

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Dang, that crowd is HUGE! See if you can see yourself here: Axialfest Attendees Group Shot

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Wait, I think I see Jon Shults calling us up. I wonder what he wants.

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Oh, group shot to thank all the hard working volunteers of Axialfest.  Look how many people give up their hard earned vacation days to volunteer. Without them, Axialfest wouldn’t run so smoothly, so remember to thank the STAFF shirts when you see them next year.  Thanks ya’ll’s.

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Finally, I think we’re ready to start.

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Wait, why is Rivas up there? He hates attention.

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SURPRISE! Last year Rodney Wills caught the ol’dusty eyes when he was surprised with a special Vanquish thank you.  This year it was Rivas who caught the dusty eyes.

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Rivas has been volunteering for lots of Axial events for years, and when they found out he lost his RC stuff in a vehicle theft, wheels were put in motion.

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I’m not sure how many hands were part of making this happen, but Vanquish was definitely a big part again.  Full Vanquish set up on this SCX10 with custom Rivas Concepts paint on the body.

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OK, finally, let’s give some trucks away.  These two took home the A-Main/Judd Rummage trucks.

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Lucky Ducks! I’m mega jealous.

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Hold on, pause again for 2CS to pass out tickets to the kids.  Special SCX10-2 just for kids only.

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This took a while.  I was amazed at how many kiddos were at Axialfest.

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Speaking of kids, this guy won one of the many Canyon Coolers.  These things are amazing and the owner is a great guy.  I definitely recommend them, just for their customer support.

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Hold up, if that the winner of the 2CS rig?

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Yes, yes it is! Congrats young lady.  See you on the trails next year.

IMG_20170715_194917On to the winners of the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro.  Sadly, it wasn’t me. But, I’m back in action and ready for next year.  1st: THE Jake Wright, 2nd Mikey Thompson, 3rd Kyle Listul

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From the 801, Katie Murphy was the fastest female.  She gave me a run until my servo died. Skeeno Jr. has her sights set on her title next year.

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Rock Racing Winners, see how many Phams you can count.

Kids 10 & Under

1- Simon Kirsch
2- Joe Zuniga
3- Andrew Pena
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Kids 11-15
1- Kason Ernest
2- Hunt Parr
3- Ethan Mulhollen

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Factory Scx10
1- Michael Pham
2- Paul Russell
3- Bryan Kautz

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1.9 Frame Rails
1- Michael Pham
2- Angelo Lanford
3- Brian Richards

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Factory Bomber aka Team Tazz Takes the Top Three
1- Dominique Judkins
2- Harley Judkins
3- Saphira Judkins

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Exo/Bomber Open
1- Jake Wright
2- Mike Thompson
3- Chris Duran

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Yeti
1- Michael Pham
2- Devlin Shipley
3- Ben Thomas

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Tuber
1- Michael Pham
2- Rich Bolts
3- Danny Ensor

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Wraith
1- Spencer Bell
2- Mason Dunievitz
3- Michael Pham

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Before I say goodbye and see you next year, let me show you my mysterious camp mate one last time.  Here he is, Mr. Cory Shafer with Shawn Barton. on Sunday morning as I drove home.  Fitting shirt that Shawn is wearing.  They spent long hours and many days making Axialfest a success. I barley saw Cory at all.  He came in after midnight and was gone before the sun came up every morning.  I think he got less than three hours of sleep a night.

IMG_20170715_200014So, that wraps up Skeeno’s Axialfest 2017 Report.  You better start making plans for Axialfest 2018, because you know it’s going to be even bigger and better.  It is every year.

 

Skeeno’s AXIALFEST 2017 Report Part 3

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Skeeno’s AXIALFEST 2017 Report Part 3

Words: Matt Soileau aka The SKEENO’naterrater
Photos: Michael Morris & Matt Soileau

By now I hope you have read Part-1 and Part-2 of the Skeeno’s AXIALFEST 2017 Reports. This Part-3 report will cover Friday, July 14 of AXIALFEST 2017.

Friday events included the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro and the inaugural AXIALFEST parade. I also got out to check out lots of trail action.  Let’s go see check out day 3 of AXIALFEST 2017.

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Real or RC? Across the way from us, I spotted this 1:1 SCX10-2 XJ, or should I say the inspiration for it.  Note the license plate. Does it look like the Axial version? Peep the blog post: Building the full size SCX10XJ: Part 1 It’s very cool to come to AXIALFEST and see this kind of stuff in person!

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There was also this OG SCX10-1 JK replica on the other side of my campsite.  Axial fans even love to scale out their 1:1s!

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Friday morning, bright and early at 7 a.m. was check in for the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro.  I got up and made sure I was fueled for the race.  This was my first time running a 5K, so I was a little nervous. My breakfast choice is more for calming my nerves!

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Our breakfast must have smelled pretty good, because this little bugger was drawn over by the smell all the way down in D camp.  Actually, this is Nate Hart, an old RC nerd from Reno, former A-Main Hobbies tech support guy, and fellow bike nerd.  I’ve know Nate since he was a little 12 year old grommet. Great to see him at AXIALFEST.

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Here I am all kitted out with orange Altra Lone Peaks, orange striped socks, and orange shirt.  I heard if your kit matched your rig you’d get a time bonus. #KitMatchesRig It might be a thing…

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Chris Cru Jones of Altra Running was all smiles, after all, this event was partially his creation along with Rodney Wills.  You can read about the origins of the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro here: ULTRA 5K ENDURO HISTORY

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Chris got busy getting our buddies from the 801 crew signed up. These guys are one of the most progressive clubs in the scene!

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Cassie Currie was already checked in and getting his batteries ready.  Matt Kearney and Jaime Seymour don’t look as enthused about being up at 7 in the morning. Late night trail runs maybe… ?

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RCDriver’s Greg Vogel, #rodneysaiditwasok Wills, and the Judkins were all smiles and ready to watch the action.

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Mike Thompson was getting some scale shots with the scale banners from scaleultra.com. Check them out for more Altra Ultra 5Ks.

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After I got my race bib, I lined up in the correct spot. Racers started in numerical order, so I started in 47th place. By the way, that sweet wrap on my Bomber was done by Jay at S.O.R.  He did lots of rigs for AXIALFEST participants!

Screenshot_20170714-115549I’d like to say that this is me finishing the Altra 5K, but sadly this is just me on lap 3 or 4.  I DNF’ed halfway through lap 5.  I needed 6 laps to complete the race.  #SadFace
A stripped servo was my personal gremlin. Now, I want that new Tekin servo even more!  Hey Ty@Tekin, hint, hint, wink, wink.

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Turns out, the DNF was a semi-good thing.  It allowed me to take some photos of the other competitors that I otherwise would not have had time for.

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Here, Ben Thomas hooks the corner at the Start/Finish line. Rodney, Cathy and Mike Morris were the official visual lap-counters relaying bib numbers and “line-crossed” to Scott G on the computer. This system is very much the same for MTB and cross country races. AXIALFEST has a lot of progression of R/C all around us with these types of events and we are very stoked to be apart of it all!

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Jason from Pedals bike shop mobs his SCX10-2. He was able to finish the race with this mostly stock rig, so don’t think you need to upgrade to race.

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Hey look, the Phaminator, Phamtastic, Mike Pham gets a brief second to stand static as we are always on the move during the the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro.  I guess Chris and Jawn did convince him to participate!

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This young lady was jamming.  We diced it up for a while until my servo gave up on me. Her stock RR10 Bomber finished. She was our one and only female competitor this year.
I expect to see more ladies joining her next year! I know Skeeno Jr is ready.

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Anthony Dianda set some impressive lap times with his stock SCX10-2.  Are you catching the theme here?  Stock is good for the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro. Stock is good… At least you should try it so you know where the base line is. It’s that old 4X4 rule of thumb, learn to drive it stock, know your rig and when you modify you will know the full effect (full value) of the performance addition or if it’s truly an addition… #Dollar2PerformanceValue

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CKRC’s Alec Van Den Brink makes his way thought the dry creek.

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On the other side of the road, the creek was still flowing, yet just two weeks prior this trail was completely under water due to the amount of rainfall, snow pack melt earlier in the year.

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The section behind the pavilion was both fun and frustrating.  These rocks were difficult to navigate, but it made the racing exciting with lots of drivers trying to drive around or over one another. It was also a moment of respite from our running flat out! The Altra Ultra 5K Enduro is both technical driving and physically demanding! Just like a 1:1 KOH rig! Have your ever watched the live feed of King Of The Hammers as the drivers come across the finish line? They are WIPED OUT looking!

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Battery changes are almost a must when racing for over 3 miles flat out!  I personally swapped a battery every lap and half. I was running 2200mah batteries. I might need to rethink my mah rating to save some pit stops next year. #mahpermile

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All the coolest people race the Altra 5K. Here Ryan Gerrish from DSPro comes out of the Bottoms.

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Ben Thomas’s headband was working overtime here.

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Tony Mazza was in it to win it.  He passed me at least once.

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Not sure who #39 was, but he was kind enough to pose for me in the middle of the race.

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Team Voodoo coming through!

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Here’s Mr. Van Den Brink sprinting in to the finish.  If you want to see more of the AXIALFEST Altra Ultra 5K Enduro, check out this blog post: Athletic RC Adventure Mashup – Inside the Axialfest Altra Ultra 5K Enduro

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After the Altra 5K Enduro, I was a little hungry. Lucky for me, Starkey’s Food Truck was back with the bomb pizzas and sushi! Yes, I said sushi and so should you!!!

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Wood fired pizza oven! This is the real deal!!!

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Team MRB’s Franky Testa shows off the goodness…mmmmm.

DSCF1360 After lunch, I headed out on some trails to check out the trail action.  The river was finally flowing again this year.  With temps in the 90s, the water was looking really tempting.

DSCF1355 The rocks down at the river are slippery smooth.  The scattered sand makes them even more challenging.

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Some awesome rocks and lines over here.

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Hello there!

DSCF1362 Looks like this guy remembered his neck cooler, anything to try to keep cool.

DSCF1364 I caught the 801 Crew celebrating a birthday. I think it was the Utah gang, I see Mikey T and THE Jake Wright in there. Forgive me if it’s not.

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We all sang him happy birthday.  He was so pumped, he threw his rig in the air.

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One of the cool things I noticed this year was some new features cut into Hell’s Highway.

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It made the long walk down the hot road a little more interesting.

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I don’t know who cut all these features into Hell’s Highway, but BRAVO! Great idea and I appreciated your hard work.  It couldn’t have been easy moving all that dirt and rock.

DSCF1379Best part of Hell’s Highway for me was not having to walk it.  I brought my putt-putt again this year.  The old CT70 makes catching all the action A LOT easier.  I did catch old Putt-Putt ogling this DRZ400.  Think he’d trade me for a lightly modified CT70 turned 125?

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Dad and son about to conquer Hell’s Highway.  AXIALFEST is great family binding time.

DSCF1383 Can’t be an AXIALFEST without at least one trip up and down The Slab.

DSCF1385 I caught Butte County Scalers over behind The Slab.  This is a popular spot because of the water. DSCF1388 See how pretty it was back behind The Slab this year?  It was great to have some water running again.

DSCF1389 Down the way, I ran into Papa Don Hughes trying out this teeter-totter.

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It teerered, but it needed a little persuasion to totter. I think that rock was blocking  it.

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I Trail?  A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I? That’s 9 Trails!?!? Actually, there were 11 trails.  10 scale trails plus the Altra Ultra 5K trail that opened after the 5K was finished. Not sure how many miles of trails there were, but I hope you pack some mega mah when you come to Axialfest. Who is tracking their miles hiked at AXIALFEST? STRAVA anyone?

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I caught up with this crew up front by the gate.

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Let me tell you a little secret, sometimes I miss some shots and ask guys to drive lines again, so I can get better pictures.  I felt like a huge jerk when I re-positioned that silver rig up there and accidentally pulled apart part his roll ball.  I apologized profusely. I hope I didn’t bum out his AXIALFEST participant.  Sorry again, good sir!

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Of course, up by the campground’s main entrance is the Welcome to Cisco Grove sign.  Looks like it needed some maintenance. I caught this little guy working on it…or maybe he was posting up a garage sale sign.

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Around the corner and through A camp, I ran into Werty Jr. He was piloting his dad’s RC wagon.  He told me his dad was just back across the bridge, so I turned around to say hello.

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Ol’ WERTY really wanted to show off his short wheel base leaf spring conversion he had just finished up.

DSCF1407Stock Axial frame rails?  Nicely done, Werty!  If you want those parts, I’m sure he’ll make you up a set as well. PS: Rodney said he wants to commandeer a set!

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Ok, here was one of the coolest features at AXIALFEST.  The 50/50 grinding rail on the CKRC Trail.  Speeds on this were insane. But one of the coolest videos was one where the dude slid down the rail and at the bottom, pinned it and jumped over his buddy! Can anyone find and send us a link to that video? Think it was on IG.

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A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, and 5K.  Yup, 11 trails.  Luckily, there were these signs all over to direct you in the right direction to find them all.

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Dang, these two Jeeps are still kissing?

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I had heard rumors of all kinds of scale buildings and whatnots all over the Scale Trails, so I went on a mission to find some.  I’m sure I missed plenty, but here are some that I did find.

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On the way in I saw these guys coming out.

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General rule is if it’s not yours, don’t touch it.  Volunteers work long, hard hours building these fun displays, so it’s best to leave them alone, so everyone can enjoy them.

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Mine Shaft!

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Cabin?  Old Mill?  What do you think it is?

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Hmm, gated.  What does that sign say?

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No way! An Area 51? Could there be aliens at AXIALFEST?

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Holy moly! A UFO crash site!  And I see at least three green guys.  If they are green, they must be Axial fans.

 

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An old log cabin.

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Another mine shaft.

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Not really scale, but there was this bridge I caught a couple Axialfesters driving over.

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A Mercantile. I wonder if they sell Axial parts.

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Scale Cisco Grove was back.

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I love this building, so awesome. It’s a replica of Cisco Grove’s main office!

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A little bit of everything over here, EZ-Up, picnic table, water wheel, cabins.

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The A-Main Jeeps was packed to the gills and ready to hit the trails.

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Must be a bad neighborhood if they have to post wanted signs. Recognize any faces?  I see #rodneysaiditwayok Wills up there.

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Wait, another mercantile? Looks like I got here just in time to foil a robbery. They had the owner all tied up. I guess it is was a bad neighborhood.

IMG_20170712_155012_1 Good thing I ran into R. Lee Ermey. I sent him over to handle those idiots in the mercantile.

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Since it was hot, and since there was water, I decided to take a little wade to cool off my tootsies over at the Golden Nerd Bridge.

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There was lots of action over here.

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Everyone wanted to conquer these scary, but fun obstacles.

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It’s a little nerve wracking when you can’t quite see what your rig is doing near water 50 feet away.

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Some Axialfesters, like Heather O’Connor, also decided to wade next to their rigs. See Mike in the background?

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He pulled out his boat and we got a little scale speed boating action going.

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When will Axial release a boat?  What kind of boat should Axial produce?

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See, that’s a long drive across.

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I didn’t see many speed demons blasting across these bridges.

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There were lots of families enjoying the cool water.

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Some even offered to escort trucks across in case any accidentally decided they were amphibious.

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Dang this day seems long, must be that getting up at 7am thing.  Anyway, I headed back for dinner and couldn’t resist checking out the Knight Customs Toyota display again.  I thought this was a brilliant way to see all his parts in action.

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Finally, food.  Tacos was the treat.  Can’t eat too many tacos.

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Tonight was carne asada night. What’s your favorite camp food?

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After dinner it was the First Annual AXIALFEST Parade. I stopped by Mike Bier’s camp on the way to the parade. He was showing off his Go Hard jersey from the Grinduro mountain bike race. The Grinduro is sort of an AXIALFEST of the MTB world, part race, part party, and total celebration of MTB.

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This jersey is awarded to the rider who goes the hardest each night and finishes the best the following day.  Mike Bier has the skills to do both. You can check out the Grinduro here: https://grinduro.com/

 

IMG_20170714_193207That’s a long line.  Can we make it even longer next year?

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I knew Two Chainz Scalerz would be at the parade.

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Wait, what? Are those 8-ohm house speakers up there? Did he carry those relics on Fordyce?

 

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Go time! Best of Show Concourse winner, Todd Pearson, got the honor of leading the parade with his amazing military build.

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Around the corner, Matt Wolfe set up this flaming Arch de’ AXIALFEST.

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See the flames shooting out the top?

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I see the Pro Line guys stopped to shoot some video.  They always have great video recaps of AXIALFEST.  Look for them on their YouTube page.

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This good looking crew was a set up and ready to watch the parade.

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After the parade, I was ready to hit the sack. This was my longest day at AXIALFEST and my feet and body were ready for some rest.  I needed to recharge, because tomorrow would be another long day of fun at AXIALFEST.

In Part 4 of the Skeeno AXIALFEST 2017 Report, I will be covering Rock Racing and the Awards Ceremony and Raffle on the final day of AXIALFEST 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

Skeeno’s AXIALFEST 2017 Report Part 2

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Skeeno’s AXIALFEST 2017 Report Part 2

Words: Matt “Skeeno” Soileau
Photos: Michael Morris & Matt “Skeeno” Soileau

I’m sure you’ve read Part-1 of the Skeeno Report.  In Part-1, Wednesday of AXIALFEST 2017 report, I saw registration and tech and visited lots of vendors.  This Part-2 post will cover my second day at AXIALFEST 2017, Thursday, July 13.

I saw more vendors, more people on trail, and lots of great builds as I helped judge the concourse. So, without further ado, let’s go!

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I told you I’d get back out after I ate that bacon.  Here’s me cooking up breakfast for Mike and myself.

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We called it the Conglomerate; fresh eggs from my chickens, bacon, hash browns, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, and cheese. Mmmmm.

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So, yesterday was registration. Here’s what was in the swag bags this year.  Lots of goodness in there.

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My trail tracker didn’t get much use.  I was busy with my AXIALFEST duties, so I only ran the Altra 5K Enduro this year.  If Joe Ferguson makes it down from Canada or Marcos Rojas makes it up from Costa Rica next year, I will make it a point to get some trails in with them. If Chris Scheurer from Austria comes, Daniel Siegl and I will make him another nice warm cup of bacon grease.

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I updated my patch rack when I got home. Who has all of these?

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I’m starting to get a good collection of AXIALFEST memorabilia.
How’s your collection coming along? Sorry, I’ve been lucky enough to be in the inside…

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I might need to build a new closet or trophy room just to hold all my AXIALFEST swag. Sadly, my older AXIALFEST shirts got a case of the mildews and tatters, so Mrs. Skeeno tossed them when I wasn’t looking.

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Alright, enough reminiscing about past AXIALFEST’s. Right next to Camp Skeeno, Canyon Coolers snuck in overnight and set up shop.  They had lots of product to display and a comfy couch to relax on.

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A couple spots from Canyon Coolers, I saw this beast from Rebel OffRoad.
Much want in this thing!

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I’m very jealous of the Rebel Off Road crew.  I’d love to overland in that.

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Vanquish Products also must have snuck in after hours because here I spotted old Bobby T manning the booth.  Bob Tarvin has been an Axial fan since way back. He’s also a pretty amazing photographer.

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Down at the Pro Line Racing tent, Paul was giving swag away.  Not to be greedy, I scored this XXXL sweatshirt for our friend, Mr. Tree. What did you get from the Pro Line booth as I heard all kinds of cool items flowed from this claim?

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Speaking of “claims” Pro Line also had this scale mine out for photos.

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Remember S.O.R. Racing that was next to Pro Line?  Well, here’s the downtube wrap he made for my bike.  He can make custom vinyl for just about anything.  Hit up Jay Kendall if you need some custom work. Sorry my bike is a little dirty.

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I had to go for a ride as soon as I got back.  Also, yes, I do still run a 2X crank, so what. I heard Rodney still has a triple in his collection.

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Over at Tekin, they had some old and some new on display.  I love Tekin.  I run the RX8 in my Altra Bomber. It wasn’t the ESCs and motors that caught my eye this year….it was the servos.

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Hold up! New servos from Tekin?  I can say that these are amazing just from what I heard!  Infinitely adjustable endpoints that are programmable. Just pop on your servo horn and go.  No more lining up the center.  Also, it’s almost like there are no gears, they are sooooo smooooooth.  Maybe they mount directly to the motor.  They tried to explain it all to me, but I’m not a electronics nerd,  so I’m not sure.  But, I am sure that I want, want, want one of these for my Altra Bomber.  Ty, if your reading this, feel free to send me one.
Ty, can you hear me back there!

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Here’s why Gigabit Games rules.  They like goats, I have goats.  A match made in heaven.

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Boom Racing was also back with a huge display.

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Jason Tsang wanted to make sure I got it all in, so I took two pictures.

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Knights Customs was back and with much coolness on display. No not James, the product! OK, James, your cool too..

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Knight Customs make so many amazing accessories. That Pull Pal is available fully folding with a custom mount.  It was… truly amazing.  He also had the new Bug Out Racks available.

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Knights Customs had these genius displays with clear bodies.

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Knights Customs also brought out their scale shop. Check out the scale Axial boxes.

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Pedals had their Kona Big Kahuna on display.  Some lucky Axialfester took this home on Sunday. If you live in SoCal and need a bike, go talk to Pedals.  They will hook you up!, just mention #AXIALFEST2017!!!

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I finally caught the great Ryan Gerrish at the DSPRO booth photo!  He’s another Axial OG from way back-time-machine, from the stone age comp crawling days.  He was a fellow judge of the concourse, as well.

DSCF1539 RC4WD was all set up today.  They had lots of their accessories on Axial rigs to check out first hand and in person!

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I made it back over to the Two Chainz Scalerz campsite to get some pictures.
The lighting was better today. Half-cast shadow over two half-cocked TCSZ’erz.

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Here’s some more shots of the waterfall in nice lighting for dramatic effect.

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This Hilux was enjoying the cool water in the July heat.

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Behind the water feature was the church and cemetery.

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These headstones were awesome.  V. Terra, died of a broken link. That dude tried to square up on backdoor and got gangked. He had it coming… So the towns people said…

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The ‘motel’ had lots of business all weekend.

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I just noticed that guy sitting on the blacksmith.  That’s some strong metal work to support him.

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While I was taking pictures, I noticed Two Chainz Scalerz passing out some limited edition trail swag to these junior Axialfesters.

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Did you get one of these necklaces?  Have you ever been lucky enough to be blessed by 2CS?

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Lunchtime! Tacos at the Axial camp.  Pastor was my flavor of choice.

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Spotted this vintage tent trailer after lunch.  Thought it was a Sherwood like mine for a second. Turns out it was a Heilite.

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I also spotted this little motorcycle tent trailer out in the campground. I love tent trailers.

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I almost thought Rodney got the Yakima RTT for his ADV80 along with a new paint job.  Turns out it wasn’t Rodney’s Land Cruiser, but #rodneysaiditwasok with him.

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It was getting close to concourse judging, so I had to get over to the pavilion.  Lots of rigs were already staged.

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Participation quadrupled this year!  There were TONS of amazing builds in here.
It really made judging a difficult task. My brain was starting to hurt from all the coolness…

or was it that taco? No, not the Tacoma, but the taco-taco, loco… This concours action has gone loco, thats for sho! And for show!

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Lighting made it difficult for me and my cheap point and shoot camera to get good pictures.  I got a few good ones and my buddy Mike took some as well.  So, here’s a few of my favorites.  I loved this cab-over build by Ben Thomas.

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This Bronco was another one of my favorites.  My first real 1:1 wheeling trips were in Broncos, so they are dear to my heart.  This one had unbelievable detail.

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Bad shot of this amazing 70-Series Land Cruiser truck built by Todd Norton.  I love this thing. Also, that 3 wheeled thing next to it was really unique.

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2CS’erz had lots of builds entered.  They are the kings of scale after all.

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Eliott, aka Coleman, was checking out all the builds and live streaming the judging.

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Chris Zemek drove all the way from Texas to display his work truck and trailer.

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That TV worked and played movies.  This set up was A….A…..A…..Awesome.
I bet you thought I was going to say amazing.

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Hawaiian style! Check the stretch on the wheels. Or is that new school JDM style?

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I’m always inspired by the FC builds.  One day I’ll get mine built.

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Here’s the A-Main / Judd Rummage entry.  Look at all the cool accessories.

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Here’s another A-Main creation. Word on the street is Matt Hauck built this.

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Scale By Chris had some amazing monster truck entries. While I didn’t get a great shot of this rig, it was a translucent red body and very very CLEAN!

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Scale By Chris also entered this crazy show truck Blazer.  It went straight out on the trails after the awards.

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I like the Dead Bolts because they remind me of Broncos.

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These custom fender wells caught my eye. I dig the stickers in there. SoCal pre-runner style meets inland empire bro’sive meets this new stretch tire look… no crime in being creatively different! Catching eyeballs is the name of the game!

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The judging was difficult and took a while for all the judges to get their input.  Luckily, #rodneysaiditwasok to grease the judges.  That’s why all my friends won. Here is Rodney (on crutches) talking to the participants for this class and delivering the verdict. Schultz was stoked he didn’t have to deliver this news as competition WAS SO STIFF!!!

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Ok, just kidding.  Not all my friends won, but all that won are my new friends, because making new friends is ALL PART OF AXIALFEST! If you want to take a closer better look at all the amazing rigs and winners of the concourse, check out this blog: Axialfest 2017 Concourse

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On the way out I talked to this guy.  He scratch built this Shasta trailer set up.  It was pretty amazing, but unfortunately, there wasn’t a class that quite fit it.  Look for more classes next year. It’s going to just keep growing!

DSCF1278Look how scale that interior is.

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All that judging made me hungry, so we headed back to camp for a little snack-snack.

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Right when we about to finish off our snacks, a little bird flew over and told us we were missing the Monster Jam.  Mike and I dropped our glasses and ran over to the park.

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Elio was on the mic directing the Monster Jam. We iz in troublez now!

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I’m not sure what the rules were or how they set up the brackets, but I saw some fun racing and jumping carnage.

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Some people played it safe…

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…and others let it all loose. All the racers seemed to have a great time.

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The action was fast and really testing my camera.  I really yearned for a better camera to capture the action.

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Even Tristan aka Tazz, aka “Photos By Tristan, the camera master, was being challenged with all the speed and jumping. But rumor is, he’s jumped to the dark side – CANON! And #rodneysaiditwasok Even with working with a new camera, I’m still sure his images turned out better than mine. Can’t wait to see a massive Photos By Tristan Photo Blog here on the Axial Blog! Hint Hint RODNEY!

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Looks like SBChris is getting serious here. Lining up his truck like a golfer.

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Even the kids got in on the action. Heck! All week, kids are the action at AXIALFEST!
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Don’t forget to bring your SMT10 next year.  I’m sure the Monster Truck races will be bigger and better next year.  The racing is just too fun to watch.

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After the races, I wandered the campground and spotted the infamous Charlie Sue, aka SwankySu,  aka Mr. Hobby Wing, aka Charlie Suangka.  It’s always good to see Chucky and his crew.

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Next to Mr. Suangka was RichDog51.  If you haven’t watched his AXIALFEST videos on YouTube get over there right after you finish reading this blog.

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Hold up, it’s Mike Bier, aka Mark Weir the legendary Mountain Bike racer. Let me tell you, he is a mega RC nerd.  He has two tracks at his house for racing.   It was great talking to him about bikes and RC.

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It was also fun watching his son shoot mosquitoes with the Bug-A-Salt rifle.

IMG_20170713_181245 It was getting late, so we headed over for some dinner. Mmmmmmmac and cheese. Also, the BBQ was delicious.  It’s good to eat with the Axial crew.

IMG_20170713_183648 Cute dogs seemed popular this year.  I’m not sure what breed this one was, but it don’t think it ever touched the ground.  Here, an unidentified AXIALFEST Staff member gets some cuddles.

IMG_20170713_215131 It had been a long day and I was tired, but the CKRC Dollar Dash was in effect again this year.

IMG_20170713_215323 So, we headed over for a bit to watch the action.  $1 per run.  Best time wins. Touch the ribbon and you DQ.

IMG_20170713_215408 Is that Coleman live streaming again?

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Team MRB member Russ gets his game face on here.

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Well, I was tired, so I retired early.  I didn’t get and pictures of Dan W of Team Old Guys. He won the Dollar Dash again this year with a time of 35.2 seconds and took home a cool $153 for his driving skills. Please bring your dollars next year and take this guy down.  His bragging is beginning to hurt my ears. Yes, I think he won last year too!? DW, true or false?

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So, that was my second day of Axialfest 2017.  I’ll leave you with this one last photo of Casey / ScalerFab and her cute puppy. See you in Part 3 for everything that went down in front of my lens on Friday of AXIALFEST 2107.

Skeeno’s AXIALFEST 2017 Report Part 1

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Skeeno’s Axialfest 2017 Report Part 1 – Hey! That’s me!

Text: Matt SKEENO Soileau
Photos: Michael Morris & Matt Soileau

You all know the deal.  July is AXIALFEST time; the annual gathering of all Axial fans to Cisco Grove, California for the world’s largest gathering of scale RC enthusiasts. This year AXIALFEST expanded to five days, starting on Wednesday and ending on Sunday.  Of course, I made my 10th consecutive trip to play, visit, and help out.  Here’s what I saw on my five day adventure at AXIALFEST 2017.

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Part 1 of the Skeeno Report covers Day 1, Wednesday, July 12 of AXIALFEST 2017.

IMG_20170712_054303 Mike and I met up early Wednesday morning and packed up all our stuff.  We packed pretty heavy.  He and I both brought our tent trailers this year.

IMG_20170709_094325Since we were staying for five days, we had to make sure we would be eating right.  Luckily, Axial is making these sweet mini fridges.  I got a prototype.  Look for them to be in production by AXIALFEST 3018. I will be doing some seriously long-term testing…

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A look inside shows they left room for hearty breakfast and dinner supplies. I didn’t need much lunch food, because I’m working on my bike diet and ate with the rest of the Axial staff.

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There was a fire next to I-80 near the Reno city limits, so we anticipated lots of traffic delays, but that didn’t happen.  We got to Cisco Grove around 7a.m.  The camp office was closed, so we proceeded to the Axial motorhome.

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I’ve been in the same location for last five or six AXIALFEST events, so it was easy to find. I was slated to share with Anthony of Rivas Concepts, but I don’t think he ever sleeps.

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There’s Camp Skeeno all set up and ready.  Mike’s trailer made a nice sun block in the afternoon.

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Inside you can see I settle for nothing but the finest orange shag and 50 year old canvas.  Ignore that heater.  July was extra hot this year, so there was no need for that.

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Once we got set up, I did head over to the camp office to check in and see how things were going. Next to the office is this cool scale area…

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There were already some rigs out on the trails and it was only 9 a.m. on a Wednesday!

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I spotted several groups getting early morning trail runs in.

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This guy was topping off his tank before heading out.

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I caught the office ladies off guard and they vehemently protested their photo being taken.

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Once they found out I was the world famous Skeeno, they begged me to take their photo. Ok, that might be a lie, but they did tell me 430 campsites were sold for AXIALFEST 2017.  That’s 80 more than AXIALFEST 2016! They also said that at least 400-campers had checked into the campgrounds on MONDAY! This tells me that AXIALFEST is becoming a WEEK LONG EVENT VACATION for a lot of RC enthusiast!

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I spotted this RC sticker bombed cruiser as I was leaving.

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I’m sure Rodney would approve of the basket on the front that was used to haul his SCX102 around in. Remember that cute little dog for later.

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I headed up to registration, but it was still early and while all the banners and barriers were up and ready, nobody was to be found. Again, technically the event is not open yet, so understandable. But you can see signs that a lot of work has already been happening.
I jumped on the CT70 and cruised around to check out some campsites.

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Last year was #yearofthebridges and the bridges returned this year with the addition of the Golden Gate bridge, fitting for this years theme #ProspectorFever

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This hobbit seemed friendly, but I don’t think that screen door is keeping any flies out.

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First thing I spotted in A-Camp was Zotti’s Bagz.  If you need a scale sleeping bag, hit her up.  She’s got lots of colors and styles to choose from.

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A-Camp is the location of the very first AXIALFEST’s.  It’s mostly tent camping and there were already lots of people set up and ready.  I had heard that many were coming up even earlier next year for AXIALFEST 2018, but I didn’t expect to see the campground so full Wednesday morning this year!

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The paper lanterns in this campsite were a nice touch.  Customization is the key to a good campsite.

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Speaking of custom, this roof top tent on a tear drop is pretty custom.

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I kept running into groups out trailing.  Will AXIALFEST start on Tuesday next year?

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These guys had a full tarp city. I’m not sure what was behind the curtain.  It might have been Oz.

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The Down with the Sickness crew had more canopies up than I could count.
These guys roll DEEP.

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I’m not sure how many rigs the DWTS crew brought up, but here Big Country poses with 22! And this doesn’t even count the ones that were already out on the trails.

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Speaking of Sickness, check out this sick haircut. I thinks it’s called the Axiallet; business in the front…

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…and party in the back.

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This young lady came up with the group from Monterrey Bay. She was extra proud of her pink wheels and cage.

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I’m not sure what was going down in this campsite, but I counted eight or so Power Wheels.

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This 16 window bus was my favorite.  I wanted to take it out for a spin, but the owners weren’t around to ask permission.

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The minimalist award goes to this guy.  One step up from sleeping in the car. I admired his style.

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I caught the Strider Bikes crew headed out to get on trail.

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I headed back to see what Mike was up to.  He had just finished setting his trailer up and handed me a pint to toast to our start of AXIALFEST 2017.

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After our toast, I headed back over to registration.  Things were starting to pick up.  Registration would be opening soon, so we had to get everything organized and ready.

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I spotted Chris Cru Jones of Altra and Juan Schultz discussing adjustments to the Altra 5K Enduro course.

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Miss Cathy and Mister Matt didn’t have time for pictures.  There were hundreds of swag bags to organize.

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Here’s Cathy getting the hats ready.

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Do you have an AXIALFEST 2017 hat?

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How about these special limited edition AXIALFEST hats?  They didn’t even have my name on one of these! OUTRAGE! hehehe I will protest!

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If your last name starts with an L, M, N, O, or P, your score card and lanyard was in those boxes. This is one station of the many for AXIALFEST 2017.

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Steve Miles, now you are famous.  That’s your score card.

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I’m glad Scott G doesn’t work in quality control with those peepers.

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OK, here’s where we knew things were getting serious.  Cathy started to hand out the STAFF shirts.  Head of Security, Shawn Barton gets the pick of the litter as Anthony of Rivas Concepts waits patiently.

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Scott Kerkes was the face of calm.  This wasn’t his first rodeo.  He was ready to get his tech on all week. I think that is Brad Perry telling ScottK, Rodney said it was OK, gimmie the keys to Jeff’s Jeep! I know this dope spot…

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Cathy and Cici were all smiles once registration was ready to be open.  Let the party begin!

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The line formed and went smoothly. The Axial crew has their system down!

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DSCF1099It’s amazing how quickly the hundreds of participants can move through tech and registration.

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I’m not sure why, but Chris from SBC seems to always be one of the first in line.

DSCF1096Remember the cute doggy earlier? I think that’s sticker bomb cruiser guy with his trail buddy.

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If you didn’t print it and sign it at home, there were extra liability waivers at registration.

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Someone got a little creative with the chalk. Is that a Deadbolt?

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Before the registration and swag tent was the tech area.  There guys  worked at a fevers pitch to get everyone checked out.

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They tried their best to keep the line moving at a good pace.

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Matt Kett from Scale Builders Guild was all smiles. See Scott Kerkes teching like a champ?  He kept it up all weekend.

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Axial’s R&D VP, Matt Kearney even got his hands dirty in the Tech Booth. Applying stickers is tough!

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Carts and wagons were a popular option for many that brought multiple rigs to get tech’ed and checked.

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American Flyers.  Those are some American classics.

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When you have lots of gear, it’s way easier to pull than carry.

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This young lady somehow levitated against this tree.

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The trusty EMT’s happily assisted anyone with medical needs, mostly dehydration and heat issues is what I heard.  Drink your water, people! With ELECTROLYTES!!! This message is “Rodney Approved” Electrolyte Replenishment – Why It’s SO IMPORTANT and HOW TO DO IT RIGHT!

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There were lots of cool 1:1s hanging around AXIALFEST 2017 as well!

Now, there were TONS of VENDORS at AXIALFEST 2017 too!  Many had swag to give away and deals on products. Here’s a few that I spoke with.

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Hitec was there. They not only had their servos on display, but also some sweet chargers. I might need to upgrade my old units for one of their all in one units. They were impressive.

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Super Shafty came all the way from upstate New York! They had a climb ramp for people to try for raffles.  I saw lots of flips and a few jumps.

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Super Shafty had lots of products on display as well as some fun decorations, but their product is way serious!

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Gigabit Off-Road had the coolest stickers, but maybe that’s because Mrs. Skeeno loves goats.  I caught them here before they were finished setting up.

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Phoenix Design LEDs was here again.

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Corey Shafer was my campmate, but we didn’t see him much. I think he and Rivas share the same sleep pattern.  Here, he briefly chills with Dan Huff in the Phoenix Designs booth.
Green shirt, back to work…

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Merica!

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A Main Hobbies had this amazing Axial SCX10 with Jeep FC body fully built and kitted as an overlander on display.  They gave it away on Saturday night during the AXIALFEST awards ceremony!

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Judd Rummage was commissioned by A Main Hobby to design and build this rig and trailer combo and it was unbelievable.

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There were so many details on this that I couldn’t even begin to tell you about them all.

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Blow up these pictures and just stare.  OK, I’ll point out my favorite part, the Honda Trail 50 hiding in the trailer.

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Cody Waggoner and Jesse Haines from Team Lasernut came out.  Cody’s been an Axial fan since the first Axial West Coast Championship in 2007. They are both top competitors in the 1:1 crawler scene.

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Hummer Portals seem to be all the rage in 1:1 crawling now.  Jesse Haines brought out his comp crawler for everyone to ogle over!

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He gets an amazing amount of steering out of those things.

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Cody also brought out his comp buggy.  Some lucky ducks got to take it for a spin.  I think Jay Kendall from SOR was one of the lucky ones. I got to drive it last year.  You can check it out here: AF16P1

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Ty from Tekin is an AXIALFEST veteran from way back.  He brought out the big tent this year.  I still remember when he drove his Subaru Impreza down. Times sure have changed.

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Ty built this 6X6 with custom 3D printed body built on a custom SCX10 chassis. It was pretty incredible.

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Speaking of incredible, the Two Chainz Scalerz crew brought out their amazing scale features again.

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This year it was a waterfall with a working water wheel…oh, and scale water tower.

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There was a scale town behind it, but I had bad lighting, so I decided to come back later.

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But, I couldn’t help myself from checking out the scale cemetery.  Each headstone had a members name and epitaph.  My favorite was Dan W, old guys can only rule so long.

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I caught Coleman from Extreme Scale Performance.  Have you participated in his weekly Axial Scale Wars? Did you catch his live stream of AXIALFEST?

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Proline had their scale garage and junk yard out for people to take pictures with.

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Lots of amazing details in there.

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Elio and Tristan’s Jeeps are either kissing or fighting.  I’m not sure.

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Jawn Shuhls and Chris Cru Jones were trying to talk Pham Bam into running the Altra 5K.

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JavaGoGo bumped the techno and made some delicious beverages.  The Funky Monkey was worth it.

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There’s the Giga Crew all set up.

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Jason from Pedals Bike Shop of Riversidea, Ca delivered Rodney Wills to AXIALFEST after a little accident that left Rodney cruzing on crutch-mobile status. Jason is a KONA Bikes dealer and together they donated a Kona Big Kahuna 27.5+ bike to the raffle pile! I see Jason read my Bomber build blog and stole my orange wheels idea.

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Prairie City representing California State Parks came out to play and also talk about their awesome OHV facilities. Check them out at http://ohv.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=1221

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Toyzuki had their rigs on display.  I was fascinated by their chassis kit that allowed the easy swapping of regular and overdrive gearing with the use of a transfer case.  It’s genius.

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My other favorite thing at Toyzuki was this custom VW Thing.

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I love the Type 181.  I spotted this almost immediately.

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Hailing from the east coast, Brazen also had a small booth set up.
Note Rodney on crutches…

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Forester coming through!  Subiworks brought their cool Subaru Forester. Check out the ground clearance, custom front bumper with winch and Rigid lighting.

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It also had these really cool RotopaX mounts built into the window openings.

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This was my first spotting of #rodneysaiditwasok which became the phrase of AXIALFEST 2017.  Something happened online and it spread like wildfire! Did you get your limited edition RSIWO shirt from SBG?

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Of course CKRC was on site with their fully stocked hobby shop.

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CKRC also had some limited edition giveaways as well as a customer appreciation dinner and their infamous Dollar Dash on Thursday night after the Concours event.

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Next to CKRC was the start of their trail.  There were lots of scale buildings on this course.

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Hemistorm came all the way from the other side of the planet to visit AXIALFEST with Castle Creations! I had the pleasure of  judging with him during the Concourse event.

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Hmmm, sensored motors from Castle?  I’m listening…

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Vanquish’s Dan W photobombs the Proline guys.

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Not only did Proline bring their scale junkyard, but also this amazing scale shop.

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Next to Proline was S.O.R. Graphics, not sore, but eS Oh aRe Graphics.

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Jay Kendall was a little camera shy, but he is super friendly.  He did the amazing wrap on my Altra 5K Bomber and even hooked my bike up with a custom sticker/wrap.  Hit him up at www.stuckonracinggraphics.com

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Some top brass from Rigid Industries brought giveway swag, prizes for the awards ceremony raffle and they brought their SCX10s to get their scale trail action on!

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It’s all a blurr now, but at some point in the day Jaime Seymour made some of the most amazing hamburgers ever cooked at AXIALFEST!

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GFE – Grumpy Fast Eddy of Fast Eddy Bearings is another veteran AXIALFEST supporter and he still yelled at everyone to get off his lawn.  I’m waiting for the time lapse video to come out.  I’m in there somewhere around 2:24am.

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Random sighting of “Brokenib” aka Chris Goris.  He’s another long time AXIALFEST participant!

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RCP Crawlers are one of the OG RC Crawler shops and still make parts from some old school rigs that we used before Axial was around.

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Team KNK came all the way out from Ohio with loads of their hardware kits.  If you need screws, bolts, washers, etc.  They are your go to.

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RC4WD had all their good stuff on display.  I caught them before they were fully set up here, but this tracked SCX10 had me dreaming of this set up on an FC Jeep. I’ll be back later…

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I heard people screaming, “Bear!” I was a little afraid, but it turned out to be this adorable Pomeranian puppy at the Scaler Fab booth. Dang, he is CUTE.

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Scaler Fab had all their bumbers and other wares available.

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Last but not least was RPP Hobby.

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It wouldn’t be AXIALFEST withouth RPP Hobbies.  They brought out their super-shop-tent-set out again to AXIALFEST 2017.

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I’m not sure when they slept, because their tent aka mobile hobby shop was packed every time I walked by.

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RPP Hobby also had a their trail start right by their booth.

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They also had a photo booth for AXIALFEST’ers to take scale photos at.

So, that’s just a small taste of AXIALFEST 2017.  It was a blurry fast day and I missed lots of things.  Luckily, I had four more days to come back and catch more action.

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So, keep your eyes out for Part-2 of the Skeeno Report coming soon, right after I eat this bacon. And I promise to try not to use the word amazing in any more blogs.

 

 

 

NorthWest MogFest 2017

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NorthWest MogFest 2017

We love off road vehicles of all types, they come in all shapes, sizes and styles. One of the most unique events to visit and see some of the most relatively obscure vehicle selections in the USA is Northwest MogFest held in Sheridan Oregon. Although this event is meant to be primarily a celebration of all things Unimog, it has over time developed into the central meeting hub in the northwest for all European 4×4 and off road vehicles. People tend to travel from all over the country to the Waldersee Farm to experience this awesome event.

On our way to the event we just happened to be on the same road as Barry (@pacificbikerguy on IG), owner of #Voldomo, a very cool Volvo C303. We couldn’t resist following him to the event, we managed to get a little road going footage from our Rigid Industries Capture; so check out the footage!

Isn’t the ground clearance on this thing just incredible???

We are fortunate to have one of the organizers of this event on the Axial Team, Mr. Ryan Gerrish. He has been telling us about this event for years, it just so happens that this year we were able to drop in on the event and see what it was all about. This year’s event theme is “Halloween in Mogust”, so we couldn’t even imagine what we were going to see there, especially with Ryan Gerrish on site!

Yes…. Those are Axial electronics!!

When you arrive at the Waldersee Farm, you are greeted by Barbara or Maren where you must sign in. This is not an event where you pay your entry fee, show up and report to your designated camp space. Instead, you must register (email and ask permission to attend) and then are asked if you would like to donate upon entry. The suggested donation was $10 per person per day. We happily doubled that figure (for two persons) and rolled onto the property in our humbled Subaru. We were definitely out of place with our Subaru (being a Japanese car), although it was unique enough to receive the nod of approval from a few of the already settled guests.

Ryan Gerrish came out to greet us and gave us a little tour, so we turned on the Go-Pro once again and rolled in to check it out. This 100 acre property has a beautiful river running at its edge, offering an awesome place to get out of the heat, do a little swimming and relax.

The Event
This is a private event held on private property. It is set up that way, allowing Jim Molloy and family the option of banishment, should it be necessary. It is a great idea, as people who have paid their $$$ for an event tend to have a sense of entitlement. You won’t find that type of person in attendance here, but instead a light hearted, fascinating group of hardcore off road enthusiasts who aren’t afraid to wheel the piss out of their odd vehicles. There is something to do every day, all day.

Here is a shot of Jim we managed to capture, with him on his Usal sidecar….
Love this guy! (Thanks for the “Euro Pass” Jim!!)

There is a backhoe contest for men, women, and children to participate in, where one must touch a few 5 gallon buckets with the backhoe bucket, and then return it to start position. AxialFest volunteer (and noob backhoe operator), “B” decided to give it a go, and we caught it on video. It is awesome that one of the Mog owners lets anyone and everyone who wants to try it, dive right in!

The Pit
The highlight of the event is always the “pit”. The pit is a long trench that is dug out through the middle of the property with ditches and moguls everywhere. This playground is open from sunrise to midnight, though it really comes to life at night. You can find almost everyone in attendance lined up on one side of the pit watching and participating in the mayhem until it closes down for the night. We were floored to see how much the vehicles on site were used and tested to their absolute limits. These rigs are being used for their intended purpose which is awesome to watch!

Our Subaru gets a Euro Pass
In order to participate in the pit shenanigans, you have to have a European vehicle unless you are granted a special “Euro Pass”, which usually means you have a Euro vehicle, but, not with you at the event. Very few of these passes are given away. We were fortunate enough to have parked near the gathering spot during the rules speech given by Jim, he used our Subaru as an example of the vehicles not allowed in the pit, and immediately following his example, he said our Forester was pretty cool and offered us one of the coveted “3 pointed star” passes! The pass consisted of mounting a huge Mercedes emblem on the hood or grill, and (more formally) a special yellow tag. We happily fastened it and were stoked to be accepted!

With being granted the special pass we had to drive down to the river and try the pit, right!?!?!?!

Expedition Trucks
Some of the vehicles on site were awesome to check out in more detail. The large Expedition type builds are always fascinating to us, so we ventured to their camping locations to get a couple of shots. One day we will have one of these to take to all the Axial events around the country! Here are some fine examples of our dream!

Unimogs
The stars of this show are the Unimogs. These rigs are so capable they will blow your mind! Described by some to be clunky and tractor like, you cannot deny their ability to conquer almost any terrain. They come in so many differing shapes and sizes, every style and taste is displayed with pride.

We did manage to get a little video of these portal axle giants in the pit showing their stuff. Very cool to see how easily they go wherever their owners point them.

Check out this very cool Jeep JK, that rides on a Unimog Chassis, talk about a sleeper! It was the only vehicle to our knowledge that actually came out of that mud hole under its own power.

Syncro Vans
Another fairly large group of vehicles in attendance were the VW Syncro guys. Man, these little campers are not just compact and very cool, but also their drivers wheel the living daylights out of them! Equipped with lockers and no fear, some of these rigs (and their drivers) can attack the most hardcore of terrain. We wish we had gotten some more photos and videos of these rigs, but with so much to see and do, we captured what we could… Maybe Rodney will have to come capture photos and video of them in action next year!

Speaking of VW’s, check out this little extremely rare vehicle. It is called the Iltis, or Type 183, which we believe is the replacement for the Type 181, or VW “Thing”…..

Pinzgauer
What in the world is that thing, and where can we get one? Those were our words when we first discovered this Star Wars themed Pinzgauer. Love the style of this rig, and it is pretty damn capable too!

Steyr Puch Haflinger
The Pinzgauer’s little bother, the Haflinger, has become one of our favorite vehicles from this event. These little 11’ long, 5’ wide, fully independent suspension rigs with portals are awesome! Did we mention they have locking front and rear diffs? We didn’t know that at first, but when you lock them up, they’ll go anywhere! It was fun watching guys try to make climbs without the lockers engaged, made for some good laughs and good fun!

Crazy cool rigs
There were so many other cool vehicles on site, including a plethora of Land Rovers (always capable), Steyr Puch G-Class wagons, Volvos and a few we have never seen before, even a Subaru van with swamp donkey tires on it :)… We snapped a few shots.

Our Favorite, #Voldomo


Driven all the way from San Diego! Beautiful Volvo C303

No idea what the next two are, but very cool regardless!

These are always cool to check out!

We’ve seen the above GWagon at KOH once before!

Those Defenders though….

And this Subaru Van!

Those moments
This event is awesome for so many reasons. This is a place where anyone who owns one of these unique vehicles can get together with other owners and learn the limits of their rigs. Sometimes that process is painless; sometimes it hurts a little more. We caught a few of those instances on film, check it out!

Go to NorthWest MogFest 2018!!!
All in all, this has been an incredible experience. Coming from a Jeep/Subaru background, it was really cool to see how these vehicles are celebrated. The people are what really make this event what it is. We experienced so much kindness, acceptance and openness from everyone we spoke with. The on-site breakfast, lunch, and dinner were extremely good every day and quite inexpensive for what you get served! The jambalaya dish in particular was an inexplicably epic meal, you’ll just have to try for yourself. I’d fly half way around the world just to have this annual iconic dish on Saturday night.

The whole voluntary crew and staff do a great job facilitating an awesome group of people. The Waldersee Farm is a beautiful place to come and visit, the rigs are unique and awesome and the people are the salt of the Earth. Gerrish was right, we have been missing out!

Fore more information about future Northwest MogFest events, please check out
http://www.northwestmogfest.com/