Hiking the Redonda Ridge with an SCX10 Trail Honcho

Hiking the  Redonda Ridge with an SCX10 Trail Honcho

Words & Photos: Rodney “GCRad1″ Wills

Hopefully you’ve read the lead-up stories:
Planning a SCX10 Hike over Redonda Ridge OHV Trail 1W17
Getting There – SCX10 Hike Over Redonda Ridge – Big Bear, California
 Axial AX90059 SCX10 II™ Trail Honcho 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – RTR

All the planning is sorted, now we are about to do this thing! We wake up early, I think my alarm went off at 6:00am. Didn’t sleep that well, I think I was too excited.
Too much planning made for too much anticipation.
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It’s Wednesday Morning, October 25th, and I get myself physically prepared; Altra Lone Peak 3.0 Trail shoes, Stance Training Crew socks and Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes for cramp prevention as its going to be a warm day.
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I load the beloved SCX10 Trail Honcho into my ADV80 and we get ready to depart camp and make our way down to the the start of the trail just past Crab Flats Campground. We will start here (Google Map Link) at the Redonda Ridge 1W17 trail marker sign. Four of us will be walking the trail and John Schultz and ScottG will be taking the two vehicles back to camp awaiting our return to camp later this afternoon – evening.
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Last minute morning bits; I get my water bladder filled and of course I have my Hammer Nutrition Heed pre-mix going!
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John Schultz hooked me up! I have a magnetized hood so I don’t loose my body clips!
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Rather simple and rather simple silly cool! Schultz learned it from somewhere and we will make a little blog about it at a later date.
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Load in the first battery and mark the time of start.
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OFFICIAL START: 9:05am Wednesday October 25th, 2017
Axial Trail Honcho Hike Over Redonda Ridge OHV Trail 1W17 is now underway!!!Redonda Ridge Planning-7
This first portion of trail is actually down hill. Everyone is in good spirits!
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I can’t help it, I shoot photos of everything… even the trees. And the landscape! I love the textures and the colors. I’ve been known to “#textures” on my IG before. I can hear my buddy Jarod DeAnda laughing now, “your and your #texture hashtag.”
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Big Bear is a mix or a transitional point from the desert to the mountains, depending on your location on the mountain, you can get a mix of cactus and pine trees of which we will see both today along ridge route to Big Pine Flats.
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The SCX10 Trail Honcho doing what its suppose to do, trailing along.
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Still working our way down hill.
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The sun is warming up quickly, but luckily we still have some shade as we make our way down to the creek, but once over we are fully exposed and will be in “up hill mode!”
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Trails crossing… should put us right about here on Google Maps.

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Keep on mini truckin’ hehehe That’s funny! I know all the GMC dude’s rock the #TinyTrucks tag. I’m an og Mini-Truckin’ dude! I’m going to see if I can dig that old hat out!
We might upset some folks… hehehe
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BRAAAP! off the air craft landing strip shrapnel – the OG Sand Ladder aka Marston Mat. Know your overland-spec history yo! Look it up!
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We are almost to the creek crossing, more like stream crossing, but it is coming up soon.Redonda Ridge Planning-28
I’m usually the one hauling the video camera on these missions so it’s a bit strange for me to see my colleagues carrying the gear.
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It’s been at least a month since my previous crossing and the water level is going down quickly.
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Anthony Rivas got roped into hiking this trip with us and he is doing what he does best, directing some social media shots!
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Hey look! It’s not me on the vid-cam, it’s Scott Roberts doing the video camera action! While most people don’t see or know much about this man right here, he has worked here at Axial with me since 2011. Everything you see visually from Axial basically comes from this man or at least across his desk.
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We crossed over it at the creek crossing, the PCT runs along it through here making yet another appearance in my face! It keeps calling me… But not a full blown thru-hike, maybe just the SoCal weekend section hiking…
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The SCX10 Trail Honcho looks down on the PCT like, “I got this!”
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Who is a fan of desert tan, green eggs and ham mixed with DJ Red Alert.
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Since we left the creek crossing it has become very apparent that THE ASCENT IS ON!
The trail surface to this point has been mostly course sand mixed DG based.
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But as we continue on and up, rocks are starting to litter the trail.
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Also too, after the creek crossing, we are out of the tree cover and exposed to the sun.

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The crew said there was suppose to be a picnic table set up at this GPS point location. Something about pre-paid Amazon air drone delivery service…
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I keep on trucking as I want to get the SCX10 Trail Honcho into rockier conditions!
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The crew finally gives up in protest about the picnic table. “We are canceling our PayPal payment!” The sun laughs and turns up the temperature and add some incline for good measure.
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See! Cactus… on the edge of the forest!
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At the one shade spot…
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We see deer tracks.
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Little ones…Redonda Ridge Planning-51
Hey guys, where you at?
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Carrying on our climb dance!
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Climbing… It’s what the SCX10 Trail Honcho eats for breakfast.
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Climbing… It’s what the SCX10 Trail Honcho dream about before breakfast. Redonda Ridge Planning-59
Climbing… It’s what the SCX10 Trail Honcho does at high noon.
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Climbing… It’s what the SCX10 Trail Honcho does just for fun!
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We make the first major climb for what seems like two hours straight…
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but we finally reach a little plato of earth… Redonda Ridge Planning-67 Redonda Ridge Planning-68
POSER SHOTS! Scroll back up three images…. The guys are asking if the trail goes up over those hills.. “The trail looks like it goes over…” I ignore or I think I said, “yea, naa, I think it cuts around to the right out of sight… Time to roll!”
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From our moment of flat perch, we get to see down this little canyon and its cool to see the small batches of trees. Feels like some wilderness to me!  Redonda Ridge Planning-71
“Therezzz GOLD IN DEM DAR HILLS!!! FOOLS GOLD YO!!!” I gotta’keep the spirits high!
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It’s cool to see the terrain change.
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More #texture change.
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I think this is my favorite shot of the trip. I saw the setting as I was walking up to the crest, stopped, snapped one photo and said, “Yep! Leave it chance and see how the “film” comes out!” Came out all right…
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As the SCX10 Trail Honcho takes in the view, I check the spot to see what it looks like from the front. It’s not as cool of a shot but see that trail we are coming up! Yes sir, we are doing this thing!
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I circle back around to verify the animal footprints. Small one here, but I did see some larger “kitty cat” prints earlier, most  likely a healthy bobcat.
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The Axial SCX10 Trail Honcho is its proper surroundings.
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Trail Honcho bossing the moto trail, but the gnar lay ahead.Redonda Ridge Planning-83
I nicknamed this “scary bush.” Especially if we was coming through here at night.
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The tree is still wearing it’s charred skin from the Butler Peak fire of which I think was back in 2007.
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Did I ever tell you that I actually like shooting photos? But just look at that trail! It’s an “ALL BRAAAP!” section! But wait…
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Now we are getting into some gnar! It’s not easy to get a 2D photo to show the dynamic perspective of hills and their steepness, but take note of Scott Roberts walking ahead, you get a little since of the angle here.
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Maybe this will give you a perspective… Rest stop! SR & Rivas taking a breather, because they can see what lays ahead… ANOTHER HILL!Redonda Ridge Planning-91
The Trail Honcho is upholding it’s SCX10 heritage and just eats up each mile regardless of steepness.
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Meanwhile the steepness is eating up my crew. “Look SR, we have to climb that hill, that other hill behind that and then that other one way back there…”
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Kinda’ spectacular out here!
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Interesting how the cross section view of this tree’s rings looks like four trees in one.
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The SCX10 Trail Honcho just churning out the climbs.
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This trail has obviously been here for a while and been well “knobby traveled” but you have to wonder, who did it first? Who cut this trail? Was it an Indian foot path before? One day I need to stop into Malcolm Smith Motorsports and ask Malcolm directly as this trail is called the Malcolm Smith Trail. But there is very little historical information about this trail online.Redonda Ridge Planning-99
Same photo as the one preceding this one, but I wanted to show the ridge of which we traveled. We’re kinda’ out here! Yes, civilization is just over the mountain the in the background, but your still out here… We haven’t seen anyone else all day… and I like that.
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The SCX10 Trail Honcho takes the hard line just for fun I however will walk the easy path.
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More gnar please.

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The SCX10 Trail Honcho FINALLY runs out of gas! It would… just feet from a nice shady flat area.
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Good thing I have my Schizzle-magnets! I’m a fan! Thanks John!
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Battery #2 loaded and battery #1 marked with the elapse time.Redonda Ridge Planning-108
Just a few more feet and my view looks like this and I join the crew in the shade.
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While I’ve been self-fueling all along, we take a static moment to enjoy our nutrition bars.
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Time to roll!
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With another crest of a hill reveals another view!
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And then more climbing!!!
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While spectacular, the views keep showing those climbs… Redonda Ridge Planning-116
Here you get a little sense of the climb as you can see the crew pushing on.
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I like this shot! I think it shows a bit more of the hill but the view is spectacular!
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But the climb has a summit and a summit reveals more.. See that little trail thread? Talk about onion layers! Redonda Ridge Planning-122
We take a moment in the shade.
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I know you guys are on the Altra Trail Running shoe tip, but are you on the Trial Gator tip? I’m diggin my shoe gators! As goofy looking as they are, they’re total function! With the small gravel-DG-dirt, the gators are perfect for keeping all that stuff out of my shoes!
Get some! https://www.altrarunning.com/gear/men

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SCX10 Trail Honcho is back in the trail saddle.
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The sun is starting to throw the long shadows…Redonda Ridge Planning-125
The team is working to push themselves forward as elevation and the rate of steepness has not given in!
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We start to get into another step section, but its been steep all along. I guess it’s more like a steep chute.
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ou sorta’ get a sense of steepness from this view, but regardless I’m just shooting it for the view, the memory, the way the sun is flaring.
Just as I drop the camera back to my side, I’m having to get after this little section. I actually start to wonder if I can actually make this section! I won’t say I am nervous yet as I know I can trail blaze the SCX10 Trail Honcho around if I have to, but it will be limited space to do so. I stay in the trough or chute of a trail and work the rig through the boulder and then in the deep heavy granular sand or DG – decomposed granite. The combination of having to use wheel speed to push up hill in the DG while also the tires dig down and find bite on the rocks below… I hear it… Wait, what? I don’t want to hear that!!!
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After we diagnose the issue, Tony takes my tools and jumps into action so I can
document the wrench action.
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Again, dig the magnet trick as we can drop the screws here on the underside and the body clips are on the top side.
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As suspected, idler gear gone fishing for the afternoon.
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We fish out what debris we can in preparation to install a new gear.  Redonda Ridge Planning-128g
We install a metal idler gear Mr. AX31585 Redonda Ridge Planning-128h
Field repair is almost complete!
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Buttoning it all back together and we will be back in action in moments!

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Now we are back in action and started where we pulled off and it’s the start of
the nasty climbs!
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As you can see, there is a cleaner easier path to take, but what is the fun in that?!
I came here to put the rig through its paces on the rugged trail of the Redonda Ridge.
I could have just stayed home and drove circles around in the parking lot, but that is not my idea of fun! Being out here is fun, while it is both grueling on my body and the SCX10 Trail Honcho. But it’s worth it as it’s an additional layer of testing.Redonda Ridge Planning-131
These climbs also showcase some scenic views!
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Photos never seem to capture the true steepness of a hill, but looking at ScottR and Rivas as they make their way up, shows a bit of how steep this section truly is. When I begin to question if I will be able to drive a section due to the steepness, I really start looking creative driving lines!  Redonda Ridge Planning-134a
When you see motorcycle parts on the ground, you know its a tough section.
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But we are “still not out of the woods” yet, insert “rocks” in place of woods. Yes, we are still in the woods, with rocks strewn about! hehehe   Redonda Ridge Planning-138
Rivas making his way up. The team has come to the conclusion that there is no end in hills, they just keep rolling at us. Only to discover around each bend, more hill!
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And more hill it is!
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The lighting from the sun is just awesome! We are within the “golden hour” and I could sit on this hillside and shoot till dark!
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But, I only snap off a couple and keep moving as I knew we have at least a mile or two further to go and we will be hiking in the dark.
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The sun is is about to drop behind the mountains and the ground bush on our mountain is blocking some of that light, but we finally made it through that section! Redonda Ridge Planning-143  Redonda Ridge Planning-145
You just want a lounge chair and a big dinner as this is the perfect wide-screen!
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But we must keep going, the SCX10 Trail Honcho marches on!Redonda Ridge Planning-147
Another big boulder garden! Who plants these things?!
Who would want these things to grown like this?
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The SCX10 Trail Honcho makes no worries of such matters and see’s only the playground in mother nature’s garden of rocks.  Redonda Ridge Planning-150
WHAT?! A moment of downhill or even flatness is a happy moment!

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Only to be defused by another uphill climb as Tony makes more reveling with his headlamp that we will be engulfed by darkness on the backside of this climb.
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Everyone is beat tired, but the view is magical.
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Battery change time!
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There is both excitement and angst in the air from the crew. The hills are behind us, the darkness is ahead of us.

Maybe the last climb? Redonda Ridge Planning-172
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Hike team headlamps streaking by.Redonda Ridge Planning-174
The SCX10 Trail Honcho awaits the last of the team to pass for the final view of darkness and the final decent to the trail gate at Crab Flats. The end is near, just ahead down a dark mountainside with ZERO moon light. We make our way down and ScottG is awaiting us, with lights on in the rig, we can see how much further we have and the excitement builds for the team!  “GET US OFF THIS TRAIL!” is what a think I heard! Redonda Ridge Planning-181
WE ARE HERE – WE ARE HERE – WE ARE HERE!!!Redonda Ridge Planning-184
We extract the third and final battery out of the SCX10 Trail Honcho and mark the times.

OFFICIAL FINISH: 7:30PM Wednesday October 25th, 2017

Total mileage: 9.68 mile / Total Elapse Time: 10-hrs & 25-mins
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This trip epic, awesome, fun, grueling and was a big learning curve!
The crew will forever remember this trip! Redonda Ridge Planning-185
That’s a wrap! Spark Arresters Required!

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Back at camp, ScottG aka “BKGriller” makes HAMBURGERS for the HUNGRY!!!

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[L2R] Tony Phalen (cam-2), ScottR (cam-1), Rodney Wills (SCX10 Pilot), John Schultz (team basecamp & rig prep), Anthony Rivas of Rivas Concepts (guest & social documentary) ScottG (team basecamp & trail transpo & chief).

See the rig:
Axial AX90059 SCX10 II™ Trail Honcho 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – RTR

Planning a SCX10 Hike over Redonda Ridge OHV Trail 1W17
Getting There – An SCX10 Hike Over Redonda Ridge
Axial AX90059 SCX10 II™ Trail Honcho 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – RTR
About the Author: Redonda Ridge Planning-191
Rodney Wills may not have been born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but he was more than compensated for it by being able to grow up behind the wheel. At eight years old he started driving heavy equipment on his uncle’s farm. Flouting child labor laws, his uncle would put him to work; he would get him started and jump off the tractor, and have Rodney cut and plow fields. The uncle found Rodney a willing employee. Now, while he did not engage in any tractor races, the seed had been planted (literally); the passion for driving already raced through his veins.

Later on in Alabama, Rodney would drive his father’s old pickup truck. As young teenagers sometimes do, he would sneak the truck out to splash in the mud on the local country back roads. Rodney did not limit himself to four-wheel rides, however. Motorcycles were always apart of family life and Rodney had started riding at age five. Racing came at age six on the dirt oval flat track at Talladega. Trail riding was an everyday thing in the backyard woods and local mountains.

Magazines would introduce Rodney to skateboarding and then BMX in 1977. Normal by today standards but then in rural Alabama, Rodney was way ahead of his peers. Just like his hobbies, his life went in the order of Art, Music, and Cars. His passions led him to the California College of Arts and Crafts after two years at the Atlanta College of Arts and Crafts. After achieving a bachelors degree of art in graphic design, Rodney went on to work ten years in the snow, skate and surf industry through his art, working for the famous O’Neill wetsuit company. Next came music as the art director for the car audio speaker manufacturer Image Dynamics. That led to Rodney starting the import car culture lifestyle magazine, TMRm’zine [1996-2000]. This magazine put the “lifestyle” label on the import market that has now grown to enormous proportions in the automotive industry. For the next 10-years Rodney worked in magazine publishing. During a meeting between colleagues, Wills was helping an event promoter make his event better, which lead to a more in-depth connection to the R/C industry pulling Rodney in to work for HPI Racing [2006-2010]. Since 2010, Rodney has worked for Axial as Global Marketing Director coming up with wacky ideas such as this.

Getting There – An SCX10 Hike Over Redonda Ridge

Words & Photos: Rodney Wills

Hopefully you’ve read these previous blog posts, building into a little mini-series adventure story:
Planning a SCX10 Hike over Redonda Ridge OHV Trail 1W17
 Axial AX90059 SCX10 II™ Trail Honcho 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – RTR

Logistics logistics logistics, what do you mean the log is tics?
Who said tics? What log is full of tics?! Get the gas! I’m bringing bug spray! Who’s got grey spray paint?! “Logisticmundo’s” will NOT be televised on Telemundo at 7:00pm to protect the innocent of the children. Does that mean that it’s logical to just use bondo?

The logistics of looking after your crew is like looking after your kids!  Add in adventure and the stakes increases six-fold. No, not the ones on the grill, the risk-factor! In all seriousness, six persons coming from six different directions and we only need-want two vehicles for our mission, this requires some sorting the details out! We will actually have three vehicles in use for this trip; ScottG is picking up ScottR, Rivas is driving to Schultz’s house and riding with him and I am picking up Tony Phalen from his house. No, ScottK is not on this trip as he is holding down the office-fort. Three “Scott’s” one office, I got it sorted! “G-K-R!” What we will be doing is traveling from our six personal locations and all descending onto a camp location nestled north west of Big Bear lake called Big Pine Flats.
This area was chosen as discussed in this previous blog post: Planning a SCX10 Hike over Redonda Ridge OHV Trail 1W17 (Hence the mild suggestion, “Hopefully you’ve read these previous blog post…”). All kidding aside, lets get on with this operation!

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We are traveling along the 91-FWY just before the HWY-241, the area where the Canyon Fire broke out and took some homes.
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The burned homes are visibly up on our right, but what I was looking at was the “burn-dust” coming across the hills as the wind is still blowing strong. We’ve seen our fair share of fires in southern California and as I put the finishing touching on this  (December 12th, 2017)  “At 230,000 acres, Thomas fire is now the fifth-largest wildfire in modern California history” as reported by the Los Angeles Times. Needless to saw, we will have a watchful eye when we are in the woods.

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We are all traveling from three different directions to the mountain. While in route, Tony and myself were having a good chat and I drove right past my exit as my brain was thinking I was driving to King of the Hammers. Guess what we was talking about… The first two guesses don’t count. We wound up coming in the same way and meeting on the road Schultz & Rivas.
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Our meeting point before going into the woods is the Deep Creek Drive-In Restaurant in Running Springs, California, serving Burgers, Taco’s and BREAKFAST!
The last meal… It’s the joke of the morning. Redonda Ridge Planning-5
I’m enjoying my morning coffee…Redonda Ridge Planning-7
in good company with (L-R) ScottG, ScottR, Anthony Rivas, Tony Phalen, Rodney Wills (me) and John Schultz.
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We are packed into these three rigs; the #ADV80, the #XJSchizzle and the #SHTFV.
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What would be funny is all six in one!On our way into Green Valley Lake, we see this rig up for sale. But someone had to go off and buy a 6X6 instead.

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Poser shots of the ADV80 at the intersection of Holcomb Creek, Pacific Crest Trail, 3N16 and 3N93 Google Maps Link to this spot. This dang PCT trail just keeps talking to me! While the thought of through-hiking it is everyone’s dream, it’s truly that, a dream.
Book- Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail- Southern California by Shawnté Salabert
BUT, we can weekend section-hike southern California section of the Pacific Crest Trail! Thus, I have recently purchased the book Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Southern California by Shawnté Salabert.

On with the show:
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The crew coming up from the Holcomb Creek / PCT crossing towards the Big Pine Flats Area. The “Family” campground there is closed for the winter season, but I didn’t want to stay in there anyhow.
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I like camp spots that are as remote as can be, but for this trip I need convenience as the trail that we will be hiking ends near by. This is YP #7.
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We make camp on this small hill top just off the road.
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Tents are located as best possible out of the wind.
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But those RTT guys throw caution out with the wind just toss it up where’evz!
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The XJSCHIZZLE remote R/C pit-camp compound with included RTT overland-spec kit with ground anchors. Note that license plate…
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SR looks on and informs us we are doing it all wrong! This needs to be drilled and hollowed out of the rock, add the front porch and fireplace here please.
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Camp GCRad1, I try to be the minimalist of the bunch.

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Granite’s got grip! At least I hope it’s granite, I’m no geo-rock-hound, but we are hound dogging this rock with the SCX10 Deadbolt with a game of RC horse of course!
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The game play rules are simple. One rig, everyone gets a chance on the wheel. Roll-3, pass the wheel. Follow the leader, standard issue camp-rules.
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ScottG – still got game! Look at that concentration! This is serious! Big bragging rights are on the line! The fun of R/C – this is as PURE AS IT GETS!

The wind was a bit howling as the night set in. It was a bit cold and no fires were allowed at this time due to the high wind. With the recent fires we just had, we didn’t want to contribute to the destruction so we didn’t have a camp fire. Bit of a spoiler. We went to bed early thinking we would get some sleep and awake early, charged and ready for tomorrows pursuit….Redonda Ridge Planning-36
WRONG! 1:00am and EVERYONE IS AWAKE and crawling out of their tents.

The wind had died down by this time, but we were still awake.
We mill about in camp for a short bit, raid the snacks and back off to bed.
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I snap off a couple of long exposure with the camera sitting on whatever was available to hold it steady enough.Redonda Ridge Planning-38
Time to try and get some sleep! I think the anticipation in killing me!

Planning a SCX10 Hike over Redonda Ridge OHV Trail 1W17
 Axial AX90059 SCX10 II™ Trail Honcho 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – RTR



Text & photos: Rodney Wills

What to carry on a hike and what do you need to carry to keep your rig running in the field? Axial has been enthusiastic about RC hiking for quite some time  and hopefully you’ve seen us talk about it before. If your just getting into hiking, give this a read too: Proper RC Adventure Hike Prep – GCRad1′s Basic 101: 10 Essentials

Hopefully you read the blog post “Planning a SCX10 Hike over Redonda Ridge OHV Trail 1W17.” Upon recently riding over the Redonda Ridge, I was inspired to come back and SCX10 hike this trail! I just wanted to do something in the namesake of the vehicle; on a “honcho” of a trail! This was no walk in the park and I wanted to have my pack properly sorted for this trip.

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Pack of choice for this trip is my London Bridge Trading LBT-1476A Standard Three Day Assualt Pack. As previously stated, just choosing the pack is my hardest decision almost every time! It’s shouldn’t be.. But I’m a bit of a “gear junkie” and “bag lust” is at the top of the pile! For this trip I am not just hiking into a remote location, I have to carry R/C batteries, tools and spares for the rig. Plus, I will most likely be carrying camera gear. Even though I am not shooting the video for this trip, it’s my nature to document the trip on a personal level, but at the same time, I have yet to find a specific camera pack that suits the other carry needs.

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The basic theory in packing is the systems approach in that everything going into the pack needs it’s own storage-pack or bag. I’m getting better at the systems approach to packing, but it’s been a long hard battle as I would typically just throw everything in the bag and go. But, I jump from pack to pack often and some things would get packed and some things were getting accidentally left behind, depleted or accidentally ON!

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The simplest thing to stock every pack in your house with, is toilet paper. You don’t need it until you need it and if you didn’t prepare, you have to cut your trip short or you going to be minus some shorts or one sock. Don’t waste your efforts to get outdoors. Thank you zip lock bags! In this pack I have my TP, emergency shelter (orange item), flashlight and spare batteries. The map is the “floating item” that will get changed out depending on the mission.

Also going in this trip:
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Two USB battery packs because my cellphone is dying the slow death and the what if we have to stay out longer than intended… The Giant Loop pack will carrying my R/C tools for this trip. The Bedrock Bags is carrying nutrition.
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Bedrock Bags that is a bag manufacturer out of Durango, Colorado for the bike packing scene. Check them out if you are looking for bike packing equipment: http://www.bedrockbags.com
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Inside the Bedrock Bags is Nutrition! Food is IMPORTANT and I like to eat! For a day long trip I have 6-nutirion bars, a bag of mixed nuts (something natural) and the small zip lock has my “old man” Hammer Nutrition vitamins. Just as we were about to leave I grabbed two more bars… Just in case!

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The Giant Loop Zigzag Handlebar Bag is a new bag for my moto that just came in right before this trip and due to his heavy construction it carrying my R/C tools for this trip. Because the SCX10 requires massive amounts of tools, I have a long laundry list of tools required to carry on-trail, hence the heavy-duty bag! HAHAHAHA! This is my minimalist R/C tool kit that only consist of 7mm nut driver, 1.5mm hex driver, 2.0mm hex driver and a pair of bent needle nose pliers. MASSIVE!

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Here at Axial, we’ve been fans of BRAVEN! I’ve had this Braven BRV-BANK Ultra-Rugged Portable Backup Battery for a couple of years now and it has been great! The BRV-BANK revolutionized power on-the-go as the world’s first Bluetooth®-enabled, USB-controlled power bank. The ANKER Astro E3 Ultra Compact 10000mAh Portable Charger was my first power bank, but was more for my business trips as it is not as rugged, nor waterproof. I carry it in a neoprene coozie sleeve and inside a sunglasses case.

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I found a great use for my Oakley sunglass Soft Vaults! I can put two Petzl headlamps in here! Why do you want to put your headlamp into a protective case? I’ve reached into my pack and pulled out a head lamp that was on or already with dead batteries due to the button getting pressed. Too many times this has happened at a time when it would have been nice to have a head lamp! You may notice I’m a little bit over zealous in the light department has I have a backup flashlight and a pocket light as well.

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First Aid & supplies are carried in the TOPO Designs Accessory Bag.
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Contents of the First Aid bag are: Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight & Watertight .3 and a Adventure Medical Kits Survival Kit 1.9. Little box on the top left is magnifying-tweezers and I’ve used it a ton! Much better tweezers that most medical kits. Second little bag is self explanatory with the Tylenol & Peppermint. Silver roll is duct-tape to use for blisters BEFORE they become blisters. Backup lighter as I usually with have a lighter in my camp stove kit bag. But because the camp stove is not on this trip, it’s good to have one in this bag. Additional AAA batteries. Axial Chap stick, para-cord and waterproof matches. All this is ready to jump from this bag to my moto bag in one grab!

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Layers, layers, layers.The season is changing and in the mountains, weather can change on a moments notice! I pack a thermal top, long-johns and a pair of socks. All this packs into a lightweight pouch made by Aerostich. Aerostich is another one of my favorite companies who is a supplier to motorcycle riders especially in the adventure-travel market. They have these affordable Ultralight Stuff Bags from $7 to $12 in five sizes. In the top photo (not this photo) you may have noticed the 5.11 bag as it is the 5.11 Tactical Packable Jacket. This thing is AWESOME! It’s quickly deployed wind resistant protection against unpredictable climates, the Packable Jacket folds easily into its own carry pouch and easily packed!
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I think through London Bridge Trading I discovered Source. This is the Source WXP 3L Storm Valve Hydration System with their exclusive 3 layer co-extruded Polyethylene construction with Taste-Free™, low maintenance, Glass-Like™ liner. Integrated Grunge-Guard™ antimicrobial. What I like about this hydration pack is its tough construction as it feels a lot tougher than a standard mountain bike unit.

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The SCX10 Survival Pack (vintage Crosman 760 pellet gun not included):
AX31380 SCX10 Shock Hoops
AX31312 35T Electric Motor
AX31148 WB8-HD Driveshaft Coupler Set
AX31381 AR44 Steering Knuckles
AX31585 Metal AX10 Transmission Gear Set
• 1 Completely built SCX10 Shock
• AR44 HD Axle Housings (front and rear)
Tactic TSX45 Metal Gear Servo
Fast Eddy Bearings
Max Amps AA Batteries

Total Pack Weight: Approx 24-lbs


Planning a SCX10 Hike over Redonda Ridge OHV Trail 1W17

Story & photos: Rodney Wills

This is a four-part blog series:
Getting There – SCX10 Hike Over Redonda Ridge – Big Bear, California
Hiking the Redonda Ridge with an SCX10 Trail Honcho

Planning a SCX10 Hike over Redonda Ridge OHV Trail 1W17
The back story of the pre-story – inspiration overflood…

You can’t plan for inspiration, you have to be open to receive it at all times.

Back on September 24th, 2017 Jason Markley of Pedals Bike Shop and myself road our Yamaha TW200′s up to Big Bear, California for a day of dual sport trail riding. Nothing technical, just wanted to clock 100-miles in the dirt on our mini dual sports for the day.37343884961_e6e565f8d3_zIt was a great pleasurable day of putting in the dirt miles, nothing technical, nothing high speed (impossible on these bikes! hehehe), just consistent riding to get the miles in. After lunch in the Fawnskin area of Big Bear, California we went out Coxey Road (one of many dirt roads in Big Bear) and just pass the Big Pine Flats Campground, Jason took us though a little fence opening with some trail markings. I paid no attention to the trail name we had just taken, but I should have known when I saw the two black diamonds on the sign though… In no time we hit this great wall of rock and dirt.
The photographer in me had me jumping off to snap a photo of Jason before helping him! For the next portion of our day, everything we had done earlier in the day ( easy) was now juxtapositioned against this trail that was kicking our little bike’s butts! And ours!
Small diameter tires (in height) with low foot controls, especially in comparison to our normal dirt bikes, is what made this trail most difficult! I bent the brake foot lever and gear shift lever respectfully around each foot peg due to banging into massive boulders that I was attempting to thread through and around. While the advantage of low seat height is a plus on these little bikes, the ground clearance is the negative, everything has it’s trade-off.

To add to the situation, the sun was going down fast. We didn’t know if we would be on-trail in the dark and we still would have a 30-mile commute back down the mountain. The high of the day was 59-degrees and the temperature is already dropping.Redonda Ridge Planning-1
Upon reaching the end of the trail in Crab Flats, we came upon the trail’s end/start sign.
I took a photo as I wanted to know what trail we traversed for future reference because the whole time along the trail my brain was thinking, “this would make for a great SCX10 trip!”

Upon getting home the thought of going back and SCX10 hiking that trail kept growing.
But just what is this “1W17″ trail? Why did it seem familiar to me?
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Digging around on Google got me to the San Bernardino National Forest webpage with not much information. https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/sbnf/recarea/?recid=74053

However, further search tells me this is the Malcolm Smith Trail! If you’ve watched “On Any Sunday”  then you know Malcolm is a bit of a legend in the motorcycle world! But how did this become “his” signature trail? No real info readily available… Another story!

While on the trail at about the halfway point it all came to me that I have been on this trail a couple of times before back in 2009 as my buddy John Schultz and I rode it on bigger motos.
That day back in 2009 we ran the trail both ways and on our way back down we wanted to see how these 4X4′s were coming though here! I also discovered there are different sections to the trail as the section we road today is the moto-only section or the 50″ or less vehicles… something like that.
What I remember about that ride in 2009 was that is was quicker for us to get through here on our bikes in comparison to the Jeepers. It’s one thing to thread two wheels through a rock garden and even a “footpeg scraping” boulder garden, but to put 4-wheels through these obstacles got our curiosity on one particular section. We stopped and waited to see how the Jeeps come through as we were able to thread through the rocks with our bikes, but the Jeeps will have to straddle, go over and work around some of the obstacles.
Remember all this, digging up these old photos, the “flood rush” of memories, my excitement level about the possibility of SCX10 hiking this trail grew even quicker! Redonda Ridge Planning-16
I started by getting the Big Bear map out and visualizing the dream.

Then I start exploring the possibilities with some more visual planning. With Google maps I start selecting screen captures and printing them out for a larger view. The trail is not indicated on Google Maps. I had to flip into satellite mode and find it visually.Redonda Ridge Planning-10
With a yellow highlighter, I start highlighting the path so I can see it from my desk.Redonda Ridge Planning-7Redonda Ridge Planning-14
Now I have some nice inspiration on my wall!
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Now it’s time to start making more solid plans…

I walked into Scott Roberts (SR) office and asked him if he would like to hike with me over this trail as he has hiked a few trails with me previously. My idea was to have him document my efforts over this trail.

SR agreed to roll, but said we should use this trip to shoot a video for an upcoming project. I was planning on using my GCR1 SCX10ii, but SR suggested a little something different. I like the idea and my simple plans instantly turned into bigger plans as timing of an upcoming project aligns, thus more personnel which leads to more planning. SR also said that Tony Phalen should come and shoot with the second video camera as SR would be shooting with camera 1. I’m usually the one shooting all the video for us, so this will make for an interesting change. SR went on to state that we should invite Anthony Rivas as he “has a good eye,” lives close enough – maybe, and if he came, could capture the whole trip from his perspective for his social outlets.

While I am a little concerned that I am loosing sight of my original goal, it is the end of the year and I rationalize the team effort as a team bonding effort. It has been a tough year, thus roughing it in the backcountry with the team is a perfect counter-balance to the mental stresses of work. I’m sure lots of you are laughing right about now, “oh the stresses of working at a big time R/C company!” “Really dude!” I say the same thing in talking with my bicycle-moto-auto industry colleagues!

But I do think about what you think about us, I think of how you will react to what we say and do, I think about what you think of what we write-say-do…
I try to be self conscious and always try to wear your shoes on my feet. I’m a size 10.

OK, back on trail topic! Once it becomes more than just covering “the three primaries” for myself, adding the dynamics of the group becomes more critical!
Food, water and shelter are “THE” three primaries in my book.
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It’s one thing when we you only have to worry about food for yourself, but when you have to look after your team, especially in the remoteness of outdoors, it’s a little more serious. But it’s kinda’ old hat for me now as I’ve done this a few times. I have the formula (so do all moms); X # of guys (kids), X # Breakfasts, X # Lunches, X # Dinners, X # of days and I can quickly assemble what food supplies are needed. More names are added to the feed list and I will get into those details later.Redonda Ridge Planning-4
Time to choose which pack I will use as I have various ones collected over time.
Between hiking, mountain biking, motorcycling, I have various bags for various jobs.

Sometimes… rather always referring back to The Book of knowledge:Redonda Ridge Planning-6
I always have this book close by as it is a great reference with years of knowledge behind it! If you are remotely interesting in hiking the great outdoors, this book has been the standard of which Field & Stream magazine has dubbed as the Hiking Bible, The Complete Walker IV by Colin Fletcher & Chip Rawlins. Read my review here:

Tools of the trade:Redonda Ridge Planning-23
Aside from the personal gear, the R/C will need support as well. I’ve honestly have yet to assemble a “field tool kit” separate from my full R/C tool kit,  just for RC hikes, until now. This is my minimalist R/C tool kit as it will only consist of 7mm nut driver, 1.5mm hex driver, 2.0mm hex driver and a pair of bent needle nose pliers.

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The beginnings of the assembly of necessities. Just choosing the pack is my hardest decision almost every time! It’s shouldn’t be.. It should just be, stack everything up  and fit it into which pack  it fits best, or better yet, just have one pack and that it, that all.. But I’m a bit of a “gear junkie” and “bag lust” is at the top of the pile!

When I am multi-tasking my mission I have to think through every process. I’m not just hiking into a remote location, I have to carry batteries, tools and spares for the R/C rig. Plus, I will most likely be carrying camera gear. Even though I am not shooting the video for this trip, it’s my nature to document in photo the trip on a personal level, but at the same time, I have yet to find a specific camera pack that suits the other needs.
In the photo above, here are the items shown:  London Bridge Trading LBT-1476A
Standard Three Day Assault Pack • North Face Boonie Hat • Stance Training Crew SocksBedrock BagsTopo Designs Accessory PouchAerostich Ultralight Stuff Bag •  5.11Tactical Packable JacketREI Silk-weight thermals5.11 Tactical Socks (backup’s) • Source WXP 3L Storm Valve Hydration System  • Petzl Headlamps (2)
I will get more into my load-out list details in another article.


In the mean time, hydrate hydrate hydrate & stay the course.
#SCX10LIFE #AxialAdventures
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Getting There – SCX10 Hike Over Redonda Ridge – Big Bear, California
Hiking the Redonda Ridge with an SCX10 Trail Honcho

The Complete Walker IV Backpacking Book by Colin Fletcher and Chip Rawlins

The Complete Walker IV  by Colin Fletcher and Chip Rawlins
Words: Rodney Wills

The Complete Walker IV is an in-depth guide to backpacking. It can be read as a book or as a guide, but I will get into that later, more importantly, this is the book that I tell people that it saved my life!

Back in 2007, I broke my neck in an off-road motorcycle accident and for a period of time (4-6 months) I did not know what my physical condition outcome would be. LUCKILY, I knew I would be walking, but what I didn’t know is what type of activities I would be able to pursed afterwards. Instead of dwelling on the unknown, I needed something positive to looks towards to, so hiking it was going to be. I needed something to soak myself mentally into (positively) and began reading every possible thing I could find on hiking! In my quest to find the backpacking authority, I discovered this book.

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For me personally, this book is great in that it can be use this book multiple ways; like a traditional book from cover to cover or as a resource guide using the index as it organizes topics specifically and you can reference where in the book that topic is discussed.
I like Colin’s writing style as he tells you more than just the material makeup of a product, he will give you his personal opinion of the product, good, bad, or salty. He also gives in great detail how he is using it within nature and he typically engages you in a way that has you wanting to be with him in that moment or location. While I have not read this book in a while, I still use it be it a specific technical reference, or for some quick inspiration as it sits at by bedside table. I can now simply pick it up and open it to whatever page and just start reading it is a very entertaining read. With the years of experience from both Fletcher and Rawlins, this book is largely credited with launching the modern-day backpacking movement.

Since its first publishing in 1968, this book has been one of the most used sources for hiking and back country information, so classic in fact that Field & Stream magazine called it “the Hiker’s Bible.” But when Fletcher talks about “carrying your house on your back” his writing captivates you beyond just the nuts and bolts “how-to’s” of backpacking.

Mr. Fletcher wrote. Although “the best roof for your bedroom is the sky,” a light tarp is better than a tent. Among his other suggestions: trim the handle of your aluminum pot and even that of your toothbrush thus making impressions upon anyone captivated by the outdoor life. “Colin was sort of the founding father of modern backpacking, the first person to write about going out for an extended period and being self-sufficient,” said Annette McGivney, the Southwest editor of Backpacker Magazine.

But for me personally it was a passage Fletcher wrote on page #5 talking about how he felt he had gone as far as humanly possible into the depths of nature, when out stepped two men from the dark depths of the “unknown!”CompleteWalkerPassage
When I was laid up with a broke neck (literally) this was the type of inspiration that I needed! Even now, fully healed, this is what I seek out!

Colin Fletcher, (now deceased) was almost 80 years old when this 4th edition of his classic book was published in 2002. The IV edition is updated and enlarged, mostly due to the efforts and contributions of Fletcher’s co-author, Chip Rawlins. From Chip, I learned more about minimalist backpacking and the art of just getting out to any spot, even if it is to just sit by a tree on a hillside vs having to do the “big adventure.” While Colin inspired me, Chip made me see the reality and to not “over big” it and just go get out there.

According to David Strevenson of Backpacking Tips, here are the three reasons why you should read The Complete Walker IV:

First, the contents of this book reflect the years of experience in “walking” — what we now call backpacking — by the man who years ago walked the length of the Grand Canyon and then wrote about it in a series of books, launching the modern-day backpacking movement. Fletcher describes in detail everything from how to pack your backpack for crossing a river, to what snacks are best to take with you, to measuring humidity, to calculating the right mix of food for the energy output you need, to real-life example of the dangers of dehydration.

Second, Fletcher’s sometimes brutal reviews of the latest backpacking equipment don’t just give a simple Yes or No review, but actually go deep in discussions about the science of the fabrics and technologies used. Sometimes, where the two authors disagree, you’ll find each of their opinions labeled with their names, and the back and forth dialogue is simply fascinating and very educational.

Third, we know of no other book on the subject of backpacking that is so in-depth and also so full of practical advice and examples from real-life treks as The Complete Walker IV. We guarantee that you’ll find this book loaded with very helpful information if you can set aside some time to read it. At over 800 pages, you won’t finish it in a day or two, but you’ll find yourself coming back to it again and again, and it’s great for reading several months ahead of a major backpacking trip.

With regards to the history of Colin Fletcher, it seems http://colinfletcher.com/biography/

The Complete Walker and Colin Fletcher’s other nine books are reviewed by Schwert who also weaves in some of his early backpacking experiences: http://outdoors.magazine.free.fr/spip.php?article281&lang=en

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Video documentary of the Axial SCX10 Rubicon Trek

Words/Photos: Rodney Wills

Back in 2013, we published a series of blog posts that I wrote documenting our efforts to take a bone-stock 1/10th scale Axial AX90028 SCX10™ 2012 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – RTR out of the box and drive it over the world renowned full-size Rubicon Trail.

Our Rubicon Trek took place in October of 2012, and those blog posts reflect each day’s events from start to finish. What those blog posts did not show is the video footage documenting this trip – until now! We have two video’s; one at 9-minutes long talking about the trip over video footage and the second one at 55-minutes that shows a lot more footage for your milk & cookies viewing pleasure.

The photos from that trip was purely secondary to the docu-trip as they were shot with a little Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS pocket camera carried in my pocket. The video camera and heavy duty tripod was the “heavy equipment” weighing in at 19-lbs. I did not shoot every square inch of the 15+ mile trail, so there was a lot of shoulder time with the camera as getting in-and-out of the Jeep was not practical as we had all the camp gear and equipment spread out in the Jeep once we were on trail. Regardless of the rigors I personally went through, I am very stoked to have the opportunity to plan, execute and document this trip. These videos reflect the Axial SCX10’s pure performance capabilities.

Need a jump-link to those previous blog post?


Proper RC Adventure Hike Prep – GCRad1′s Basic 101: 10 Essentials

Words: Rodney Wills aka GCRad1

Let’s get down to reality. We are grown adults playing with toy trucks! Yes, I said it out loud. But today, that is besides the point, yet is the cause for this article. We are often times so enthusiastic with our hobby, we tend to neglect “the three basics” along with backpacking’s 10 essentials once we are full-steam into our enthusiastic adventure pursuit of escapism aka scale trailing, RC adventuring hiking…

No mater what you call it, you know you forgot to drink water and bring snacks on that last RC adventure hike! Nothing wrong with that, but these three basics are the things that matter most in life! Food – Water – Shelter.

• One can not go without water for roughly 7-days
• One can not go without food for roughly 21-days
• One can not survive hypothermia for extended periods

Water, food and shelter are provided to us from day one, until we learn how to provide for ourselves. These are the simple truths of life.
I hear watchyasayin, “Come on! I don’t want to read all this philosophical Rad1 rhyming rhetoric! Get on with it!”

But back to our pursuit of play. No matter if you are hiking, camping, off-roading or mountain biking, food-water-shelter are the three raw basic essentials across the board. The root of the Axial brand is the SCX10, THE adventure rig! Thus hiking with your SCX10 can take you into a world of adventure beyond the backyard boundaries. Your rig is adventure ready right out of the box as seen in our 2012 trek Across Rubicon, but are you?

You know I love adventures of all sorts and some of you may know I’ve been very passionate about bicycling as well. While I like all the hard parts techno-babble lust, it’s the physical engine on the bike that makes a grandpa on his ’80′s 20-lbs steel frame bike smoke a dude on his 14-lbs all carbon bike! It’s been my interest in cycling that has built my passion for attempting to be more physically fit so I can take on all these adventures. But simply walking into a bike shop and asking questions on physical performance will NOT get you what you want, rather what they want to sell you. What you need is information first and I have spent a many nights doing my research and Hammer Nutrition has given me some serious education over all the other brands. Lets start at the beginning.

The single most important element, water. Yea, sure… we’ve all gone without it for a few hours on a hike or ride, but how did you feel afterwards? How did you feel the next day? Often times, doing the right thing now for your body doesn’t give you instant results, but the effects of properly hydrating means you will be better suited for tomorrow. And as I age, I only find it more important! Here you thought it was just your job on Monday that made you feel like crap… OK, maybe the margarita too. Back to education.

I like the fact that Hammer Nutrition will tell you that you do not have to buy their products, others will work, but they are winning my dollars with their education!
Let’s start with, “Keep fluid intake during exercise between 16-28 ounces per hour.IMG_9703
You ever notice the 24oz symbol on your AXIALFEST water bottles? There for a
reason! Here is some more great education from Hammer Nutrition.
Hydration – What You Need to Know & How your cooling system works hit that link and make sure you read down to the “ELECTROLYTE REPLENISHMENT – Why it’s so important and how to do it right” link too. That’s a lot of information just about water!

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As you can see, HYDRATION is the first on their Essential Knowledge list and Hammer Nutrition does NOT sell you any sort of super advanced coal mined calcine denatured bio-lab fortified pasteurized WATER!

Now, while a lot of Hammer’s info is geared towards endurance athletes (all you ULTRA 5K ENDURO guys should be reading every ounce), everything is a sliding scale that you will tailor to your physical needs. My rule of thumb, if this is what gets you to peak performance levels, I can scale down to my personal needs.

We all start at zero with the outer limit being the unknown. Getting a grasp on the outer limit now gives us a “window” or sliding scale to work from to suit or test our needs. You can’t go from zero to “FULL PUNCH” in 2.2-seconds and not expect consequences. You have to build up.It’s baby-steps, building blocks built on time, thus patience is involved in building endurance to tap out miles on a bike or a hike.

Another good story on water: https://www.thehikinglife.com/health-safety/hydration/

You may have heard me refer to my Scooby Snacks and ScottG calls it my “cardboard bars” but when we are on our go-missions, I like to travel light and physically fuel as simple and efficiently as I can. Again, through cycling I’ve learned about proper nutrition for physical activities.
Photo courtesy of Rob Stinnett on Flickr.com
Yes, I started with the original, the PowerBar somewhere around 1988 when I moved down to southern California and started mountain biking. I’ve tried them all! I technically don’t have a hands down favorite… it’s like saying I only eat hamburgers. I like variety and switch around with both brands and flavors. But the most important part of all is getting good calories into your system vs “sugar-crash” calories from candy bars.

We come into this world naked, thus clothing starts as a basic of shelter within a shelter of our homes of which our parents all provide for us. No, I’m not going to show any baby-nakee photos! But, our parents dress us, we revolt, we make bad decisions, our parents tell us to “bring a jacket!” then that one day, they don’t tell us… we learn through tough tactile relationship with mother earth no matter how many times our parents TOLD us to “bring a jacket!” (bonus reading)
RodneyWills ADV80 Tent


Whenever you step into the back country, even on day hikes, is a good habit to have the essentials. True, on a routine trip you may use only a few of them. Yet you’ll probably never fully appreciate the value of the Ten Essentials until you really need one of them. That’s the whole idea behind being prepared! It’s almost like preventative maintenance, having the tools to fix yourself. It’s the 5.11 Tactical motto “ALWAYS BE READY.”

The original Ten Essentials list was assembled in the 1930s by The Mountaineers, a Seattle-based organization for climbers and outdoor adventurers, to help people be prepared for emergency situations in the outdoors. In 2003, the group updated the list to a “systems” approach rather than listing individual items (for example, map and compass now fall into the Navigation “system”.)

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The updated “systems” approach made its debut in The Mountaineers’ seminal text on climbing and outdoor exploration, Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills (The Mountaineers Books), now in its ninth edition! See the book here: http://www.mountaineersbooks.org/Mountaineering-Freedom-of-the-Hills-9th-Edition-Softcover-P1882.aspx

Since we are all just learning this together, lets start with the original list:


1. Appropriate footwear. For a short day hike that doesn’t involve a heavy pack or technical terrain, trail shoes are great. For longer hikes, carrying heavier loads, or more technical terrain, hiking boots offer more support.

2. Map and compass/GPS. A map and compass not only tell you where you are and how far you have to go, it can help you find campsites, water, and an emergency exit route in case of an accident. While GPS units are very useful, always carry a map and compass as a backup.

3. Extra water and a way to purify it. Without enough water, your body’s muscles and organs simply can’t perform as well. Consuming too little water will not only make you thirsty, but susceptible to hypothermia and altitude sickness.

4. Extra food. Any number of things could keep you out longer than expected: getting lost, enjoying time by a stream, an injury, or difficult terrain. Extra food will help keep up energy and morale.

5. Rain gear and extra clothing. Because the weatherman is not always right. Dressing in layers allows you to adjust to changing weather and activity levels. Two rules: avoid cotton (it keeps moisture close to your skin) and always carry a hat.

6. Safety items: fire, light, and a whistle. The warmth of a fire and a hot drink can help prevent hypothermia. Fires are also a great way to signal for help if you get lost. If lost, you’ll also want the whistle as it is more effective than using your voice to call for help (use 3 short bursts). And just in case you’re out later than planned, a flashlight/headlamp is a must-­have item to see your map and where you’re walking.

7. First aid kit. Prepackaged first­aid kits for hikers are available at any outfitter. Double your effectiveness with knowledge: take a first­aid class with the American Red Cross or a Wilderness First Aid class.

8. Knife or multi­purpose tool. These enable you to cut strips of cloth into bandages, remove splinters, fix broken eyeglasses, and perform a whole host of repairs on malfunctioning gear.

9. Sun screen and sun glasses. Especially above treeline when there is a skin­scorching combination of sun and snow, you’ll need sunglasses to prevent snow blindness and sunscreen to prevent sunburn.

10. Daypack/backpack. You’ll want something you can carry comfortably and has the features designed to keep you hiking smartly. Don’t forget the rain cover; some packs come with one built­in.

The 2003 Updated Ten Essential “Systems” from The Mountaineers

Navigation (map and compass)
Sun protection (sunglasses and sunscreen)
Insulation (extra clothing)
Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
First-aid supplies
Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candles)
Repair kit and tools
Nutrition (extra food)
Hydration (extra water)
Emergency shelter

In 2003, the essential list was revised as part of the 7th-edition of “M​ountaineering: “The  Freedom of the Hills”​ to keep up with modern equipment. The 8th-edition​ continues with the new essentials list with no major revisions. The list takes a “systems approach” giving more definition to each subject or function.

Hydration:Add extra 2 liters of water for one additional day (for emergency).

Nutrition: Add extra food for one additional day (for emergency). Dry food is preferred to save weight and usually needs water.

Navigation: Topographic map and assorted maps in waterproof container plus a magnetic compass, optional altimeter or GPS receiver.

Sun protection: Sunglasses, sunscreen for lips and skin, hat, clothing for sun protection.

Insulation:​ Hat, gloves, jacket, extra clothing for coldest possible weather during current season.

Illumination: Headlamp, flashlight, batteries. LED bulb is preferred to extend battery life.

First­ Aid: supplies,​ plus insect repellent.

Fire: ​Butane lighter, matches in waterproof container.

Repair kit and tools: Knives, m​ulti-­tool,​ scissors, pliers, screwdriver, trowel/shovel, duct tape, cable ties.

Emergency shelter: ​Tarp, b​ivouac sack,​ s​pace blanket,​ plastic tube tent, jumbo trash bags, insulated sleeping pad.  ­­­­­­­­

OK, so there you have it, the first installment of the GCRad1′s Basic 101!
Stay young, play hard and get your RC Adventure Hike on!
Always in search of adventure one rock at a time! – Rodney Wills.



Mesquite Pizza Over Camp Fire with Yeti & Yolo and Know How Studios

Mesquite Pizza Over Camp Fire with Yeti & Yolo and Know How Studios

Words & Photos: Rodney Wills

Before we get into making pizza on a campfires, let me briefly give you a little bit on how I got to know Yeti & Yolo of Yeti Built, a couple of full-time adventurers!
Back in December of 2016 I met Yeti & Yolo for the first time during the Goose Gear Open House in Huntington Beach. As I was cruising around checking out all the overland rigs, this one rig with a very distinct trailer caught my eye! It’s a super unique trailer with very interesting design! 
Upon closer inspection of the trailer I noticed Yeti’s Axial SCX10 and I started my barrage of questions! That is a 8,000-word untold blog into itself!

But our paths would not cross again until the 2017 King of the Hammers as Yeti and Yolo were in attendance for the whole week and their booth-camp was right behind ours!
We got to spend time with them and really hit it off and needless to say I’ve been cyber-following them ever since!

Anthony Rivas (right) did some preventative maintenance to Yeti’s (left) SCX10 as they hit the road for the summer (and for life), yet while at KOH, Yeti ran his SCX10 in the nightly rock races and also in the Ultra 5K Enduro on the Saturday following KOH.

The Sunday after KOH we would all pack up and invited Yeti & Yolo to run Rattlesnake Canyon with us! L2R: John Schultz, Shawn Barton, Anthony Rivas, Jason Markley, The Wild Yolo & The Jeep Called Yeti. Yes, that’s their names and we are sticking to it!

Recently the Yeti & Yolo duo did a post in conjunction with Know How Studios on Mesquite Pizza. Yeti loves to cook and since he truly is a full-time adventurer, why not wood fired pizza!

His IG post put me on the chase; swipe-swipe-swipe of the photos and chasing down the link to the thread over on the Know How Studio page!

Yeti stated on the Know How Studio’s page, “Open-flame cooking delivers major flavor in this taco-pizza fusion, inspired by an off-roading adventure through Baja California. Check out the full details on how you too can make great food in the great outdoors, or your backyard while pretending like you are on safari like I do!”

Here is how Yeti does it so you and I can do it too, in our backyards, pretending to be on full time safari!

Follow them:

Yeti Built Stickers

Two Axial SCX10 II’s Embark On An Epic Scale Crawling Adventure – VLog #6


This is what #AxialAdventures is all about!

Screen Shot 2017-09-29 at 11.49.44 AM
July 30th, 2017 – Joe From JPRC and myself, Matt of RC Overload, decided to get together and hit up a hiking trail that I had never been too before. What I did not realize was how insanely awesome this trail was actually gonna be for the scale Axial SCX10 II’s that both Joe and I brought with us! Come along as I share my entire day-adventure out on the trail! Its definitely one that I will never forget, and can’t wait to get back to doing again!

RC Overload YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/RCoverloadMattW
JPRC YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/user/JoeRC2013


Tungsten Peak Trail RC Adventure Hike – Bishop California

Words & Photos: Rodney Wills

On Dec 27, 2011, I published what had to be my single longest blog post with a massive amount of photos! It’s practically three separate stories all smashed into one long blog! One in particular is buried way down at the bottom. It was a little SCX10 Adventure Hike that I did while on my way home back from Reno, Nevada in the cold December of 2011.
So, I figured I would re-purpose that portion into a single blog post.

Tungsten Peak Trail RC Adventure Hike – Bishop California
December 3rd, 2011 – Reno, Nevada – Weather: High of 28 °F with a low of 19 °F

It’s O’dark:30, it’s the closing ceremony with fingers, ears, noes and toes freezing cold, but the event prizes are flowing! Freezing and all, everyone had a great day and a great closer to a great year. We all said our goodbyes and wishes for safe travel, happy holidays and all that good stuff. I put the ADV80 in “D” and in the wind with my Jack Sparrow compass sent in a homeward direction, with a couple of side-trip plans in route.

I hate going to the same place twice unless overall conditions are different. I tent camped in Davis Creek Campground last night, and I have chosen to pass it on my way home as I have intentions on doing some R/C scout-inspection of the Ridgcrest area of the California desert.

So I hit the road..
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I depart Reno making my way back down HWY395 through Gardnerville. They have  awesome small town charm and their Gardnerville’s Carson Valley Christmas lights have the streets lit with holiday cheer. It made me think of my wife and may have been on the phone with her tell her about the sights of this small town and how she would like to visit it.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Carrying on with X-mass lights blurring by, and two and half hours and 120-miles later, I’m in the Mammoth area.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011

On down HWY 395 I cut off at Toms Place in Mono County.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I wanted to see what was up there and made my way up Rock Creek Road passing Rock Creek Group Campground.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Rock Creek Lake looks like a nice place! Need to see it in the daylight!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
At this point I decided to head back down and save this road and adventure for another day.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
FOOD! Too late – they are closed… I bet its a great place to eat. Wishful thinking.

Back on the road:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011

I land just North of Bishop, Ca around 10:00PM, and I was tired.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I pull off HWY395 on a little dirt side road to find a tent “pitchable” location.
I found a big powerline dirt road that traversed the mountain side. Found a little cutoff road from there that led me to a dead-end into a hillside with a 100ft drop-off. There was a nearby trailhead marker so I was hoping to make this the camping location.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Gave a quick 360º inspection, saw a trail-marker which noted that this is a hiking trail called Tungsten Peak Trailhead, making this the perfect camping spot for the night.

First things first:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Set up the tent and dig a fire pit and get it going!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Get the Jetboil PCS stove fired up and boiling water!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
DING DING – Dinner is served via Mountain House! Tonight is Beef Stroganoff night. Boiling some more water for some hot tea! It’s rather CHILLY OUT HERE!!!HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
After dinner I set the camera up for a couple of night shots. Check out our
Night Photography Tips blog by Ian Coble. I should’ve had him with me on this trip!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Moring View from the tent
Next morning, this is the view from the tent window. I was expecting the sun to come blazing into my tent, but that was just wishful warm thinking. Temperature is in the low 20′s. Due to being nestled back into a little canyon of sort, the ridge was blocking the direct sunlight.

So I crack open the sleeping bag to chilly morning air that has yet to be touched directly by the warm sun. I check out my surroundings under the peaceful early light of day.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Today, seeing how I’ve discovered this trailhead, my mission is to drive my Axial SCX10 Trail Honcho as far as possible up the Tungsten Peak Trail and see what I can see. I didn’t drive during the event yesterday, but that does not mean that I didn’t wish to participate, I was simply doing my job of documenting the event. But I too am a enthusiast! I’m nowhere near as hardcore as you guys, but I do like my R/C adventures, just a little differently than most, as you are about to see. I think you like to do the same though…

It’s still chilly in the shadows of the ridge as I set off on my RC adventure hike.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
The sun has finally broken over the ridge, but it is still very chilly outside and the sun has yet to reach me.

A desert motorcycle riding buddy once told me to not let your hands get cold as they will hurt when I get older, he is in his late 50′s and so I see his troubles with his hands and took to heart his words. Warm gloves it is!!!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I’ve had these gloves for a long time as I bought them to shoot photos during my trip to Rally Great Britain in 2001. It was raining and COLD and these gloves proved CHAMPION! These are actually wool mittens. The thumb has a slit in it so I can stick the thumb out for critical touch situations when needed. Same with the fingers, but they are 3/4′s covered with a mitten cap that wraps over, so when I need those indexers, I can pull the cap-mitten part back. Or as you see here, just one digit out so I can feel the throttle.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Finally some direct SUNLIGHT on me!

That means I can pause for a break, lose a layer and grab some super-nutrition!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
POP TARTS! I’m known for eating “cardboard” as my buddy ScottG calls them, you know granola bars and such, but today I treated myself to something that I found in the cabinet at the house before leaving on this trip and stashed it into my backpack. SORRY KIDS!

Onward and upward.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Me and my SCX10 Trail Honcho are on the go!

I keep looking back:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
My 1:1 rig and camp get smaller and smaller.

The trail ahead of me gets more technical:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
We press on.. We, as in me and my trusty SCX10…
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011

The SCX10 Trail Honcho just plain works!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
It gets a bit hairy in sections, and my mind wonders – how far will the SCX10 Trail Honcho go?

Just staying calm, searching out the lines, and being patient is half the battle.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
It’s a chess board and you have to survey all your options.

BUT sometimes….
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
You reach that spot…
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Checkmate! NO matter how many times I tried, I could not get the truck up the crevasse even to the point of where I would roll the rig over on its lid several times attempting to make it through. I was trying to stay scale and then went full KOH-mode, but the obstacle was too hard to tackle,  beyond the limits of the truck capabilities, and/or at the end of my driving talent.

Yes, I could have used a winch at this point, but it’s sitting on the workbench back at the office. I contemplate if the Axial Wraith would have been a better trail rig choice? Would it have made it through this section? This was it for the SCX10, and I am a SCX10 purist. Even if a 2.2-rig could have made it, for me, its not the same as a SCX10 on 1.9-tires. More realistic. What is real for me is different than say, a Casey Currie or Cody Waggoner. They can haul any vehicle to any location, offload it and drive that rig through whatever they wish. Heck, they even have street-going vehicles on 40″ tires. That is not my reality, thus my choice in R/C I like to keep in the same realm. I do own a Wraith, but that is not my rig of choice is all I am simply stating. I love my Axial SCX10 Honcho. And truth be told, this is my OG original Honcho that I’ve owned before coming to work here. It’s so old, it has the brown-channel sticker on the radio box to prove that it was once a FM transmitting rig previously. Carrying on… sorry!

I preview the entire area. No spots to drive around, no other route for passage. This is one of those moments where I could have easily HOG’ed it [Hand Of God] up the tricky section and move on. But, that is not my style. This is where I toss in the towel and chalk it up to be done another day, on another adventure and give it to chance that I come through here again, better equipped. Or time willing, to construct a ramp-bridge of sort.

But today, this is where I pack it up:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Literally. I put the SCX10 on my backpack.  BUT, I wish to continue this little adventure further up for scouting purposes as the terrain shows signs of a promising valley ahead.

I look back and take a moment to reflect on what has occurred thus far! I was proud of my little feat.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
It was a good fight to get to this point…
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
And what laid ahead… I WAS SO CLOSE TO MAKING IT!!!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
As I progress on my hike with the SCX10 strapped to my backpack, I can see the valley ahead. Again, I was so close! My heart was torn by the the beauty and the ferocious, rugged rock.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
The rocks where laughing at me with it’s mock torn heart shape!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Very strange – very cool rock formations to be seen up here.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I finally reach the little valley.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
This area looks like an RC Playground Paradise to me!

I go out to the edge of this little valley, and see that it overlooks my camp area below:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011

After a bit of exploring this little valley, I see that the trails continue on up the next ledge, so I follow:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
This only reveals more peaks and another large peak/ridge barely poking up in the background. Curiosity draws me in…HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Look closely on the back ridge and slightly left of center, you will see strong wind peeling snow off the lip into the sky. It is December, and that is some howling wind!

I have yet another hill in front of me to reach that peak:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
The below photo is an 180° view opposite from the above photo, looking out across HWY395.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
What a spectacular view as well! There are just amazing sights of wild rock formations in every direction.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I call it the lean-to UFO crash rock shelter. You just wonder how these rocks got into these shapes and positions. It’s as though the fell from the sky and stabbed the dirt!

As any good photographer would do, a self portrait in action. For scale purposes only.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
One foot in front of the other, taking my time, slow and steady and I will get there,
wherever there is. That’s the quest, the question of curiosity leads to adventure!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I think I am about to make a little summit on the Tungsten Peak Trail!

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I make the peak! And find more interesting views and formations.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
And looky-looky here! I’ve discovered my second geocache by accident!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I place a Axial sticker on the container, place an Axial sticker sheet inside and sign the register.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Jacket goes back on as it was even colder due to the wind on top of Tungsten Peak!

Like all mountain peak pursuits, the top is only the half way point.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
The decent down is all ahead of me now.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
WOW, my truck, of which cannot be seen at this point, IS WAY DOWN THERE!

It’s comforting…
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
To see my 1:1 rig again. Yet, it is still way down there, but I can see it.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I’m back to the little mid-valley, so I take a moment for a break.

I see lines… I see driving lines…
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
And I see more driving lines… this rock playground is a R/C climbing mecca of a playground! This could make for a great pack in, camp overnight shoot session!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
An oddity of rock formation all around!HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Dropping back into the final canyon.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I call this the handrail chute. This was the area that put an end to my SCX10
Tungsten Peak Challenge. Next time…

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I see the tire marks and begin to wonder what other hikers might think when they see these little tire tracks on this steep trail.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
My ADV80 is in view once again.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I think there is a super hero sleeping in these rocks. Guess who?

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
This concludes my solo hike SCX10 adventure on the Tungsten Peak Trail.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I take a moment to see my whole camp in the sunlight, the ridge I just came down, and I contemplate coming back with maybe a small group of us to run our rigs in the valley just above. Or maybe you will find yourself here, just as I have, and make a solo-trip of it!

I think about that big snow-blown Sierra ridge that was across from the peak I had climbed and know that I am not ready for a big back country backpacking trip.
You know, like Mt Whitney or the PCT! But we all have to dream!HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
As I head out on the dirt road, I look back in the mirror and see the majestic mountain taunting me, calling me back.

Further down the road in Lone Pine…
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
My view of the Sierra’s massive ridge is constant. There’s the PCT Trail that runs the length of it…actually it runs the length of California and beyond. Our dreams are what keeps us driven.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I finally make it to the Ridgecrest / Jawbone area.
Dirt Diggers Camp Road HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I run a quick scouting loop and up onto this little plateau. The sun is falling fast already,
but it never really gets overhead during the winter months, thus the day seems short.

I climb back in the rig and back onto the tarmac of HWY395 for the final journey home.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I’m still looking down every dirt road and scanning the horizon, searching for what…?
I don’t know for sure, but I keep looking… in a wanderlust search for a new adventure. When I find it, I will know… I hope I never do… I hope I keep looking… at everything through curiosity! I see I am not the only one seeking adventure as I pull up along side
this guy in Victorville. At least his bike represents adventure even though he may just be going to the store.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
The fastest AFFORDABLE way to cover a lot of ground in the desert is on two wheels.
Yes, I love my dirt bikes too.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
The sun is going down fast. At arms length – four fingers is approx 1-hour / each finger 15-minutes. See page 53 of the Backpacker’s Guide.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Through the Cajon Pass, the sun is filtered by clouds making for awesome lighting.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I’m coming into Corona and I see the last ridge I will cross and I will be home. That is my little Saddleback / Santa Ana Mountains and our Axial office sits on the other side as well.

From the peak of this mountain there’s an ocean view. We do get snow on it and it is in Orange County, California. It’s my little quick adventure spot; be it on foot, mountain bike, motorcycle or truck and yes, even the R/C rigs have seen some action up there.

Mountain peaks are great for reflection and contemplation, but the only way you are going to get on top of one is to just get after it. You can read, talk and think about it all day and you will do that forever. But one day you just have to make a call to action and actually GO do it! GO! Find your adventure!

My first year working here at Axial has been an amazing time that has just flown by at light-speed!


Tungsten Peak Trailhead HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
- rodney wills / AXIAL RC Adventure Hiker