Hiking the Redonda Ridge with an SCX10 Trail Honcho

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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
PACK CONTENTS FOR A SCX10 TRAIL HIKE
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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Climbing…
Climbing…
Climbing…

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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Y
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!!!
OH NO! NO FORWARD MOMO.. MO – MOTION!
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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
PACK CONTENTS FOR A SCX10 TRAIL HIKE
Getting There – An SCX10 Hike Over Redonda Ridge
Axial AX90059 SCX10 II™ Trail Honcho 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – RTR
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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.

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

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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.

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• 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.
GCRAD1
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.

WATER
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!

ZERO TO FULL PUNCH IN 2.2 SECONDS
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/

FOOD
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.
ProteinBars
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.

SHELTER
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

PACKING THE TEN ESSENTIALS

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:

THE 10 HIKING ESSENTIALS

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.
RodneyWills.GooseberryMesaUtah.Nov2015

 

 

Tungsten Peak Trail RC Adventure Hike – Bishop California

TungstenPeakTrail_Dec2011
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

Finally!
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!

AND YES – SUMMIT!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
SPECTACULAR VIEWS IN EVERY DIRECTION!
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!

GODSPEED TO YOU ALL – HAPPY HOLIDAYS and
MAKE LIFE AN ADVENTURE!

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

Axial RECON G6 – Mountain Mash Event Report – Upland, CA

RECON G6 Mountain Mash Upland, California January 5th 2013

words / photos: Rodney Wills

First event on Axial’s radar for two thousand thirteen and within an hours driving distance of Axial HQ makes for an easy start to the year! Add in warm sun in typical sunny SoCal standard, but the mornings have been chilly. Then add in some good RECON G6 goodness is in Southern California makes for a fun day!

After registration is sorted, it’s hats-off for the National Anthem.

 

The event is coined “Mountain Mash” as the event takes place below Mt Baldy; the closest ski resort to the bulk of southern Californians located in Upland, CA. Mt. Baldy sits within the Angeles National Forest mashing up against all of metropolis and for many it is a very overlooked quick escape to wilderness but for those who know, when the snow conditions are thick, Mt. Baldy exceeds in radical terrain of the more popular local ski slopes. What make it so radical? Mt. Baldy is like Mammoth, just mashed into a quarter of the space thus it is very steep!

This particular weekend a bunch of us were mashed into a little parking lot adjacent to the Mt Baldy Trout Pools on Mt Baldy Road. Recently Brian Parker, director of RECON G6 has added a southern California chapter as a handful of guys from the area have shown some serious passion as they attended almost every RECON G6 held in 2012. With their dedication to the hobby, Parker crowned them as the RECON Crawlers SoCal chapter.

 

For the first time readers, the RECON G6 event series is a lifestyle, an R/C scale fun adventure for the entire family! RECON G6 events are held in outdoor environments making use of the natural terrain. RECON G6 events are based around adventure, battling the environments and building camaraderie with fellow competitors. This is very much the same type of competitive event as the globally famous Camel Trophy Cup pitting vehicles and teams against the environments and skill tasks. Like those globally famous events, RECON G6 events are point to point challenges with special skill sections pitting man and machine against the elements.

This particular weekend saw 67 adventurist come out to tackle the Mt Baldy terrain.

Brian Parker of the RECON G6 made the trip down from Sparks, Nevada to be onsite for the SoCal chapters first event. I’m always stoked to see all the comradery these events bring and I get to see people that I would otherwise not be able to see. The surprise to me for this particular event was who showed up from my other world. You know how it is, you have friends that you see at these types of outings and you see other friends at other types of events. It is of no coincidence that our full size automotive world collides with our 1/10th radio controlled world, but I still get excited when I see the two worlds collide.

This little Mountain Mash event had a visit from Dylan of ICON Vehicle Dynamics. Him and his son spectated the G6’s doing their thing and got their rigs out to do a bit of driving.

Also in attendance was my buddy Matt of 5.11 Tactical. He was wheelin’ his R/C rig along with wheelin’ a big lensed camera. look for some additional bonus images from Matt in the future.

Also wheelin’ Axial rigs in the event was Eric of Yotamasters and his father was also trailing along with an Axial rig. This was their first ever entry into an R/C event and I’m always stoked to see guys come into R/C community, especially driving Axial rigs at a RECON G6!


Last not but least is Max of Pull-Pal.


Yes, we are talking about the real deal full size Pull-Pal. Maybe you know of the long history of the PullPal and Max looks just a wee young to fit with that history and true… it is his father’s invention proving once again that off-roading is a family affair. Max came out to his first RECON G6 with his daughter in tow in May of 2012 at the RECON MALVADO G6 CHALLENGE – Apple Valley, California.


Max has been bitten by the R/C bug as he has also attended several RECON G6 events since his first while also developing the 1/10th’ish version of the Pull-Pal.

For additional event highlights…

just yards away from us, these three kings of the mountain! One seemed that he wanted to prove he was the true king.
THANK YOU TO ALL THE AXIAL FANS for making the RECON G6 SO FUN!!!

See all the images from the event on the Axial Flickr Set:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/axialrc/sets/72157632484439704/with/8366446646/

Speaking of kings, get ready for KING OF THE HAMMERS!!!

Yes, there will be a Axial RECON Ultra4 G6 at the Ultra4 King Of The Hammers!
Read all about it on the info page: http://www.axialracing.com/blog_posts/1073902455

GCRAD1′S ROAD TRIP TO RECON G6 BDAY BASH 2011

Words & Photos: Rodney Wills

What was it?
The one-year anniversary of the RECON G6 Challenge + travel story to and from.

Where was it?
Final destination: Cotton Wood Park in Sparks, Nevada

When was it?
Day of event: Saturday December 3rd, 2011 + day before and after.

What was it like?
Temp / Weather – Day of Event:
From a low 21º to a high of 34º degrees Fahrenheit across the sunny day.

—————————————————————————————————————
WARNING-WARNING-WARNING-WARNING-WARNING-WARNING

LOTS OF IMAGES TO LOAD – PLEASE READ THE BELOW STORY AND GIVE TIME FOR IMAGES TO LOAD FOR BEST VIEWING PLEASURE!
—————————————————————————————————————

FIRST: CONGRATULATIONS TO BRIAN PARKER & Family, Brad & Cole Bailey and StuartG!!! And all the RECON SUPPORT TROOPS!!!

I know we have already posted a G6 BDAY Report, but this is my personal report with a bit different approach and twist. Yes, there will be a LOT more G6 BDAY BASH IMAGES so adventure along with me over the course of three days!

The RECON G6 Challenge “Birthday Bash” presented by Axial Racing; was the celebration for some 15-events that RECON Crawlers administered for the 2011 calendar year! OUTRIGHT IMPRESSIVE!!!

The RECON G6 Birthday Bash held in Cotton Wood Park of Sparks, Nevada was the celebratory event for the massively successful one-year anniversary of the RECON G6 Challenge. It is easy to say that this single event series has changed the game of R/C with a formula that spread across the globe – all in one year! And this is just barley scratching the surface as the G6-Train has been on a closed course loop around the western region of the USA! Yes, we would love to put this event on the road and travel around and spread the gospel of how much fun R/C can be. All in time…

Some call Brian Parker and the RECON G6 Challenge ingenious, some call it madness, some even curse it while out on the trail [all with a smile and a grin of corse] but we have all come to love Mr. Brian Parker; the mad scientist of trial course and obstacle prop design that challenges drivers and equipment, not just physically, but mentally as well. Beyond anything or any way that we have ever seen!

We wanted to personally join the Birthday Bash to say thank you to both Brian Parker and the whole RECON Crew and and especially ALL THE PARTICIPANTS!!! So, I’m sitting in sunny Southern California in the middle of the largest wind storm in 60 years looking at Reno’s low temperatures ranging from 14º to 19º degrees and thinking I need to test out some winter camping gear and this being the perfect time to do so.

Parker knows we are shipping him some prizes for the participants and is calling Brad “Bender” Dumont as Parker keeps seeing the brown truck drive by his house but not stopping. The whole time “we” [Brad and I] know that I will be driving up so there will not be a brown truck delivery to the Parker residence. Just a couple of days before the event, I finally break down and tell Brian I will personally be coming as Parker is way worried knowing it is now way too late for a brown truck delivery or even a purple & orange parachute. I tell Parker its coming in the sand colored 80 Series Toyota Land Cruiser better known as the ADV80 sled.

Its a good 9-hour drive from Irvine, Ca to Reno, Nevada. The two most popular ways to travel up to Reno is either up the west side of the Sierra’s through Sacramento and over the Donner Pass into Reno or east of the Sierra’s up highway 395. The 395 route is the most scenic and I actually looked forward to making this trip as this is the larger portion of the trip we make up to the AWCC event at Cisco Grove as well. Spectacular scenic views!

Through Expedition Portal’s forum I found out about a campground local to Reno that allows tent camping and open year round. Yes, even during the snowy periods! Davis Creek Campground is located in Washoe Valley, Nevada, within 30-minutes from downtown Reno/Sparks so perfect for what I was trying to do. You may think this is all madness, but I have a plan, plan is to stuff in some short quick adventures while traversing HWY 395 from Southern California to Reno Nevada without adding on major travel time AND testing out my winter camping gear. Plus, I’m constantly scouting locations… you know, epic scenes to shoot photos and videos for our product line; SCX10′s, Wraiths, XR10′s and the EXO Terra Buggy!

So let the solo road trip begin!!
///////////////////////////////////////////////////
Real EARLY IN THE AM Friday morning!

Do you remember those Apple computers that where frosted clear with color bezel? The 1998 iMac made influence an a lot other household products, such as this clock that was given to me by Ryan Hill who worked with me on our magazine called TMRm’zine. We did the whole magazine from my tiny tiny two-bedroom 1-car garage. The whole staff was up in my house! It was an awesome time and this clock reminds me of those amazing times and experiences my wife and I had – every day! Insert Soundtrack: Public Enemy Timebomb.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Yes, I am walking out the front door at 4:17AM on the Friday before the event. The 66° is the inside temp. I want one of those temp gauges for the outside, but you know how that goes… I just never deem it necessary and usually just door the open-door litmus test. The clock Ryan gave me will stay on my wall for as long as it keeps running and its liable to stay on the wall even after it stops working. It is a piece of plastic, built by someone I do not know, given to me by a dear friend and holds memories of moments in time… remember that the next time you are looking at your Axial rigs, bits and pieces working together, making memories – moments in time. Insert Soundtrack: Pink Flyod Time.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
The 80-Series TLC is purring and ready…
With 203,415 on the clock:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I bought and paid $2,800 for this 1992 FJ80 Toyota Land Cruiser with 160,000-miles on the clock in July of 2008. I intend to extract every pennies worth out of it!

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
From my house it’s just a blur of continuous neighborhoods [all of Southern California is nothing but continuous neighborhoods] until you hit the Cajon Pass and then over to highway 395 at Victorville, drive past John Schultz house and contemplate a early ding-dong ditch or some type of something to let him know I drove past. I will just text him later, but you know how it is on the road, your mind wonders and you wish for more time to hang out with friends, family and such. You do a lot of contemplating. Road trips alone are GREAT! Insert Soundtrack: James Brown Slaughter’s Theme.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
This is where I turn my radio off, partly due to static or lack of interest and I do not have a iPod plug in. Go figure for someone who use to work/live car audio! Imagine this view for three days straight… This is what it is like to drive across the little state of Texas. Being from Alabama to living in California working in various industries all of which have had shows in various states… I have driven across the USA a few times!!! Insert Soundtrack: Black Caesar Sportin’ Life. It’s another piece of music touched by James Brown.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Randsburg has a cool living ghost town. Next up Ridgecrest..

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Sun is cracking over the edge of the jagged mountains.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Almost to where HWY 395 meets the 14 FWY. I like how my truck is trowing a big shadow and it looks like the ADV80 has big ears. I laugh and keep driving. The foothill of the Sierra’s are in front of me.

Its not long on the 395 before I see a little dirt road with a “scenic sign” for a place called Fossil Falls:
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
Cue Gnarls Barkley theme music for this GNARLY ROCK! Get your XR10 hustle on!

Back on the 395 slab and traversing the Sierra’s:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
“There is some SNOW – in them there MOUNTAINS” with ‘Bama drawl…

The sky is filling up with clouds:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
And that can be a bit concerning… But it was just one of those moments to see some sun trickling through the clouds touching the mountain peak in the background. Note, if I had a big lens I would stop and set up the tripod and get all artsy-fartsy with it, but I just keep driving and snapping along. Had I stopped I would have most likely missed the whole shot – the whole moment! It is those “moments” that make the difference in a hundred shots of the same place or thing.

I stop in Bishop and check out this little “Yamy’hammy” YSR50:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
SO CLEAN! And they where street legal with license plates and the whole nine! Speaking of license plates… look at this little gem! Flat tracker with a LICENSE PLATE!!!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Sorry to sidetrack, but I grew up around motorcycles and there is no hobby shop in Bishop.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
But they had snow blowers!

Over the hill of Mammoth and through the curvy canyon, I call it “the pass” as the road cuts through the mountain and has a river running along side it. Ice has formed around the edges:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011

Clouds are breaking up – spirits lift:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Mountains are growing in size.

Clouds fill and flatten the sky – mode is somber:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Snow has fallen. This could be my first tent camping in the snow since Boy Scout days.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Sky clears to a crystal blue with a bitter sharp edge as I do the window down temp check.

On previous trips, I’ve seen this little dirt road that cut around the corner into a great wide open landscape that just invites you in. On that previous trip I almost got buried in the snow with no one around for for miles.
Here is that one such time:
GCRad1 Toyota Land Cruiser in the snow OC to Reno HWY395 RECON AXIAL G6 Challenge Sparks, NV March 11-13, 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
This time the road was clear and I got to drive back up into the hills!
I find a trail:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I travel back quite a ways and the trail has a gate and snow.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011But the side trip was not a waste as it had some epic views.

I head back down the moutain road and the 80-Series picks up the pace:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I’m having rally flashbacks! Insert Blackalicious “Chemical Calisthenics” soundtrack as the Falken High Country tires howl in the wind spitting rocks across the bottom of the truck making that sound that is oh’so familiar in a rally car – rocks slapping metal! A dirt road that flows for eight or so miles gets the adrenaline flowing! Back onto the controlled and crushed rock of the 395 tarmac.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Mono and Topaz lakes blur by at the whopping slow speed of the 80-Series in-line-slow-six. But its a Cruiser, it says so right there on the badge on the back, so when you are behind one – excuse is stated. I need a bumper sticker that says, “CAUTION – This slow truck turns off for unmarked dirt roads”

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I arrive to Davis Creek Regional Park campground in Washoe Valley, Nevada

Pick my camp spot:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
So many to choose from as I am the ONLY ONE THERE!!! YEA!!!!

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Pitch the REI Passage 2 tent.

The next side trip is on foot as I found the Discovery Trail at the back of the campground:
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
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Parker! Are you seeing what I am seeing!?!?!?! WOW! That is the most information I have EVER SEEN for a trail!!!

OK, so on the trail I come across this little water fall:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
These are the Christmas trees that escaped the farm and are hiding out.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
So you are hiking along alone… thinking, thinking about a little sticker I saw back at camp, on a brown box:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
This sticker is on the brown box in which you are to place all of you food and toiletries aka: BEAR BOX! So, with such a sticker and with such a box there has to be a real purpose for such. Your mind weighs heavy. When you’ve grown up your whole life and the biggest things you run up on in the woods are 1,000lb. wild pigs or a 8-10 point deer. Not so bad when armed, but that was a different time and place. Things are different now and more rules forces us to deal with things in a different manner. So, you have to clear your mind and just be smart about your person.

Not to switch gears, but to actually assist in awareness is this awesome book, The Complete Walker IV.
The Complete Walker IV Colin Fletcher & Chip Rawlins
It’s the only book that I have read more that once and is actually set up in a way to be a guide or directory too. It sits on my bedside and I can open it at any page and enjoy reading its contents, yes, it is that awesome! It is authored by Colin Fletcher and Chip Rawlins for the forth edition. Since it’s first printing in 1968, the words of Colin Fletcher have been credited with starting the backpacking industry and the book christened as “the Hiker’s Bible” by Field and Stream magazine.

Best place to find a copy is to go onto alibris.com and search “The Complete Walker IV” Alibris is great for finding used and out of print books and has a wish list function.

OK, with getting my mind off of being food, its time for food!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
My little Jetboil PCS Stove is awesome and lightweight! These stoves are designed for the backpacking community and I’ve used it far more than just backpacking trips.

Get a fire going to warm the bones and then its off to the sleeping bag for an EARLY AM wake up – again:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Tomorrow is G6BDAY2011!

////////////////////////////Saturday
“The Axial Racing SCX-10 line up, the Dingo and the Honcho are the Official Truck of the RECON G6 Challenge. And for good reason, right out of the box, they are G6 rated and proven to complete stages and bring a driver back to G-Central after an awesome adventure.
- Brian Parker / RECON G6 Drill Sargent

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Saturday morning I pack up my camp and head on into Reno to find Parker and the RECON G6 Crew:
Brian Parker RECON Crawler Wood Pattern
Parker is looking the the Abominable Snow Man, just in natural wood camo print to blend in with the lower elevations.

Parker likes to give demonstrations so he shows me how well his camo blends in:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
If it where not for the red hoody, we would totally not even see Parker laying on the ground here. This is truly the level Parker goes to in setting courses. This happens to be right in the middle of this massive thorn bush.

Parker gets a little thorn bush extraction assistance:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
It’s only 7:30′ish in the morning.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Parker has devised a little system to check your game and or to see if you have game as in can you follow the numerical order system… Miss this gate, and you get a 15-point penalty.

Setting the trail is an early AM process:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Yes, there is a trail in there somewhere. A G6′er is like a coon dog that will sniff out these trail markers in hiding.

Parker in action:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
He loves doing this stuff for the fun of the G6 enthusiast or the punishment! Maybe a little of both as I can here Parker snickering as he blazes a trail.

Trail markers…
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Seemingly so simple…

But this is what is about to be in store for these adventurers:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
What the HECK!?!?!?
OH YEA – that is a shaving cream pit that will be driven through…
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011

But then, there is the slip’n’slide:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
to mud pit…

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
R/C Adventure enthusiast start showing up for the days activities. It’s a brisk 21º degrees.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
The come for the honor of survival, bragging rights and rewards.

Today’s surprise was a little cake too!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
But not to eat… but will later drive through on the course. During registration, each driver had their rig photographed by the RECON crew on the cake.

No, this is not trash collected as so many of the G6 Challenges have performed in the past.
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
This time, the participants also brought donations of toys and can-goods.

Also during registration,
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Drivers where required to remove their spare tire. No, Parker is not donating these to charity… we will show you, just keep reading along…

THIS CUSTOM BUILT WRAITH IS AWESOME!!! Its not a trailer queen, it is adventure ready and about to “DO WORK!”
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
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Parker is going over today’s notes, weather, world events, and forestry service announcements.

Since this is the RECON G6 CHALLENGE BIRTH DAY BASH – ONE YEAR CELEBRATION, Drivers came with the spirit! Here are the examples:
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
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
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
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

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
This guy has his own celibration action going on… Must be his trophy from that UKC Coon Hunt Championships. Blue Tick or Treeing Walker? I grew up hunting a Walker myself back in Alabama.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Fireworks at a birthday party? hmmm, Interesting, I will have to try that one next time…

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
WOW, this guy must hang out with the other fireworks dude… this is going to be interesting. He has propane too!

And they invited some of their scary friends along…
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Folks got nervous.
Because they know what happens with the “PARTY CREW” comes into town…
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011

They mix the alcohol..
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
With the gasoline AND more propane! GOOD GREEF!
Add some more fireworks..
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
And the local straight-lacers get all nervous, on edge and chatty..

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Everyone knows the the ruff-n-tuff rowdy bunch is the working class and came to DO WORK!
BUT NO…
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
They came to party as evident with the BOOM BOX blasting a 90minute Maxell Metal Cassette Tape with Down Under’s Men At Work mixed with Village People’s YMCA.
AND THEN!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
This TUFF GUY lets loose a BIG FART and everyone LAUGHS and its PARTY ON LIKE ITS 1999!!!

The tuff guys and gals…
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Take a moment for the National Anthem. Its was a duet featuring Brian Parker & Whitney Huston.

First trail challengers are off the starting block!
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
On the trail, there is some opportunity to swap paint.

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

No, this is not a miss-placed image…
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
This is a part of the RECON G6 Challenge – Survivor Skills Section. Participants would arrive to this skill section and stop their rig, pick up a small particale of either dog or cat food and place into the slingshot and take two shots at the pie plate on the wall for bonus points. I asked Parker about the food and he said it was safe and also would add an extra element to its flight pattern as the irregular shape would curve during flight. Parker is so purposeful and thoughtful.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Just some simple rock crossing…

Then you come upon this Trail Marker:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Remember that part where I said you had to give your spare tire to the Timing Control Committee?
They placed the spare tires 50-clicks out by this tree:
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
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011

Hmmmm, Tires with tape…

From the Wraith Goes To The Baja 1000 Blog Post.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011

The first sign of solid ground..
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
was a great time to swap your spare tire back to the spare mounting position. Becuase you where about to go back to playdirt:
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

This section of trial would put drivers and machine next to and into the Truckee River’s bone chilling cold waters and the edges where fringed with ICE!
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

Further down the river, as the trail markers would lead us, it was less about the ice and more about the obsicle cut into the section of river:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011

Here we have a step-by-step demonstration:
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
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
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 that my friends is how the Ultimate Wraith Explorer finesses through a visually challenging but minor obsticle as he was the first driver through this section of trail. Once the trail gets cut then, the following participants have a little bit of an atvantage with a trail to follow.

Here is another decked-out rig!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I love how everyone is setting their Wraith’s up for Overland Adventures!!!

There was this sink hole to be traversed:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
This is about the time that you wished you had installed that turbo diesel.

The big block Ford said he didn’t need a stinking turbo!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
And the BB-Ford played the roal of good trail samaritan by pulling out the little Suzuki Samuri.

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
The amount of wood that woodchucks would chuck on a given day varies greatly with the individual woodchuck. According to a Wall Street Journal article, New York State wildlife expert Richard Thomas found that a woodchuck could chuck around 35 cubic feet of dirt in the course of digging a burrow. Thomas reasoned that if a woodchuck could chuck wood, he would chuck an amount equal to 700 pounds.
Some say it depends on three factors:
The woodchuck’s desire to chuck said wood.
The woodchuck’s need to chuck the aforementioned wood.
The woodchuck’s ability to chuck the wood when it is a woodchuck
Source: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_much_wood_would_a_woodchuck_chuck_if_a_woodchuck_could_chuck_wood
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
But this is all work of mister Truckee Beaver. So what is the difference between the beaver and woodchuck? Funny you may wonder: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081013112042AAIltL1

The beavers seem to be industrious by the looks of these woodchip piles:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
These girls where making there way down to the riverbed section with ease in a very popular JEEP!

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
A couple of more inches and this rig will appear to be full size! This rig is just driving by and teasing all the street-limited full-size rigs…

This trail marker presented a nice little hidden gem challenge for the rigs. This SCX10 Axle-based tubber had its fair share of orchestrating a doable line.
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
This rather stock SCX10 Honcho seemed to have the magic with a little less orchestra. Maybe it was just a good ol’ bango and juice harp. This is the perfect example of why the RECON G6 Challenge is so awesome – its awesome because it does not matter how much money you have or the lack there of because it was spent on modified you rig.

Driving, the art thereof, can not be compinsated for with mechanical modifications. There are the basic modification that yeild additional reliabilty and then there are the USDA mods that most red blooded Americans o-so-crave and those actually require more ART and TALENT to drive! Build, tinker, modify all you want and you and your dog “Enzo” can watch TV on the Art of Racing in the Rain and its not going to actually make you a better driver. Time on the steering wheel is real time on the steering wheel. That is the real value! And do your PM’s! [Preventative Maintinance].

Speaking of the “Art of Driving” here is a collection of 1:1 rigs:
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
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Cool vintage Poison Spyder sticker!
And he had this little sticker:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
My measly little 3FE power 80-Series Toyota Land Cruiser.

Back to the action and the action was thick in these cumbersome boulders:
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

Here is some mid-field aftermath:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011

This is where the birthday cake WAS:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
It still presented an obsticle.
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
There where a couple of sizable rocks that where planted in the cake:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Sticky or slicky?

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
And then you have technical obsticles that require serious concentration and observation of all four wheels.

And then..

You overservation is jepordised.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Here the driver comes into a trail maker and is indicated to take one of the bandana’s.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Wrap it over your eyes.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
YES! WRAP IT OVER YOUR EYES!

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Then your trail buddy hands you your radio and he is now your true co-pilot! Or better yet, he really is the pilot and now you are just a monkey at the wheel.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Opps, back up… little more to the right!
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
BINGO!!! Just a walk in the park – PARKERS PARK!!!

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Poor guy was sick as a dawg, monkey on his head, bandana over his eyes and and I bet that sounded like Santana’s Soul Sacrafice at the 1969 Woodstock. The sacrafice of health for a RECON G6 tells you everything you need to know… A: G6 = FUN! B: G6 = Healthy Vitamin C: Yea, I dropped another Soundtrack Insert on you.
Answer: A, B and C are all CORRECT!

More co-driver assistance:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011

The Michelin ZXL
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
It’s not just an ordinary tire… It is a tire to dream and desire about.. about six of them, four on the ground and two hung on a special rear tire carrier! That is my dream… But, here at the RECON G6 its just a tire in the dirt, an obsticle to drive over…
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011

Every event needs a little mud:
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

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Here sat Rodney Wills, Marketing Director of Axial, high up on the hillside to observe the festivities.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
And here sat the company issue media chase Hummer, stuck on the bottom of the hill. Some folks tried to help pull the rig to the hilltop, but it was not manditory, just a friendly favor.

From the media observation deck was an awesome view of the hillside climbdance:
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
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

Another rig doing the dance:
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
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

Another rig scrambling:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Notice on the upper left of the rig you will see my tent meaning this rig put me at risk!
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

Down by the river…
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
presented another hill climb.
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
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

Another hill section:
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
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011

Drivers out on the 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
The look on here face was priceless as she was trying so hard to get the rig up the hill and it suddenly took a turn to the left on her.

OUT ON THE TRAIL:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011

After a quick splash of fuel, Team Swanson dropped into this gnarly rock garden that ran alongside a cliff that was a rather long drop if all went ooops. It required total attention or three lengths of tow-straps, most drivers only carry one:
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 must be a righthand drive EU import of an American vehicle. Why? Becauase that is a 10-gallon yellow cooler in the passenger seat. He must have a little hose hook up to it to keep hydrated. And with that much liqued flowing through he is either taking a lot of 10-100 pitstops or using the Baja style external catheter
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
More trail action as I came across this rig that looked much like a prerunner, but worked really well in the rocks!

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
As the day ends, rigs looked as though they got a good workout!

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Everyone gathered for the closing ceremonies.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
To aviod attention I stepped back.

What is that..
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
In that big burly Carhatt jacket…

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
The Axial EXO Terra Buggy makes its first public appearance at the BDAY Bash!

So its dark:30, it’s closing ceremony, fingers, ears, noes and toes freezing cold, Parker pouncing out names, prizes flowing and all had a great day and a great closer to the great year for the RECON G6 Challenge events! We all say our goodby’s and safe travels, happy holidays and all that good stuff and I put the ADV80 in the wind with my Jack Sparrow compass sent on homeward bound with a couple of side-trips in route.

I hate going to the same place twice unless overall conditions are different. I did the Davis Creek Campground last night and I had intentions on doing some scout-inspection of the Ridgcrest area of the California desert.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
So I hit the road..

Mammoth area:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011

On down HWY 395 I cut off at Toms Place and wanted to see what was up there and came upon another mountain road that lead up the mountain:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
And to what seemed like a nice size lake:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
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
Doing a little window looking – its 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

Leaving Sparks, NV after the event put me just North of Bishop, Ca around 10:00PM and I was tired. I pulled off on a little side dirt roads to find a tent pitchable location.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I found a big powerline dirt road that traversed the mountain side to Bishop. Found a little cutoff road from there that lead me to a dead-end into a hillside with a 100ft dropoff. 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 with closer inspection to the trail-marker and noted that is was a hiking trail called Tungsten Peak Trailhead and deemed this the 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!

Get the Jetboil PCS stove going!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
DING DING – Dinner is searved! Boiling some more water for some hot tea!

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
After dinner I set the camera up for a little night shot, or two:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011

//////////////// DAY-3
The next morning I was expecting the sun to come blazing into my tent but due to being nestled back into a little canyon of sort, the ridge was blocking the direct sunlight.
Moring View from the tent
This is the view from the tent window.

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 the surroundings under the early light of day:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011

Today, 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 RECON G6 Challenge, but that does not mean that I don’t wish to participate. 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.

It’s still chilly in the shadows of the ridge as we set off to see what we can see:
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’ve had these gloves for a long time as I bought them to shoot photos during my trip to Rally Great Britian in 2001. It was raining and COLD and these gloves proved CHAMPION! A desert motorcyle 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 and listen.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011

Finally!
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Direct SUNLIGHT!

That means I can pause for a break, loose 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 granolia 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:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
And upward we go!

I keep looking back:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
As 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 and simply 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 as to just how far will the SCX10 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

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
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 it several times. I was trying to stay scale and then went full KOH-mode, I was simply at the limit of the truck and or the end of my talent.

Yes, I could have used a winch as this point. Its sitting on the work bench back at the office. I contemplate if the Wraith would have made it through this section. But this was it for the SCX10. 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.

So, 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 for scouting purpose as the terrain shows signs of a promising valley ahead. I look back to take a moment to see what has been concurred this far! I was proud of my little feat.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
And the 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 on my back, I can see the valley ahead.
Again, I was so close! My heart was torn by the the beauty and the ferocious gagged rock.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
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 XR10 Playground Paradise!

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 continues on up the next ledge and 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 forth…

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Look closely on the back ridge and slightly left of center and 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 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:
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.

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 your time, slow and steady and it will get you there.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
I think I am about to make a little summit on the Tungsten Peak Trail!

AND YES!
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

And looky-looky, I’ve “Russled” my second geocache:
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
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
Yea, it was windy and cold on top!

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 can not 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.

I’m back to the little valley.
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
Time 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
And oddity of rock formation.

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.

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

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.

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.

I take a moment…
HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
To see my whole camp in the sunlight, the ridge I just came down, I contemplate coming back with maybe a small group of us to run our rigs in the valley just above.

I think about that big peak that was across from the peak I had climbed and know that I am not ready for a big backpacking trip. You know, like Mt Whitney.

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 is constant of the Sierra’s massive ridge. There is the PCT Trail that runs the length of it, actually it runs the length of California and beyond. Yea, dreams are what keeps us driven.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
So I 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.

I climb back in the rig and back onto the tarmac 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…

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.

HWY 395 Trip To RECON G6 BDAY Bash 2011
The sun is going down fast. At arms length – four fingers is aprox 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 and the sun is filtered with 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 it is the ocean view. We do get snow on it and it is in Orange County, California. It’s my little quick adventure spot; be it afoot, 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!

GODSPEED TO YOU ALL – HAPPY HOLIDAYS and
MAKE LIFE AN ADVENTURE!

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

2011 SEMA Show – GCRad1 Edition

SEMA Show 2011 GCRAD1 Edition

SEMA SHOW 2011 Las Vegas, Nevada
Words & Photos: Rodney “GCRad1″ Wills

SEMA began in 1963 by a small group of manufacturers who made performance equipment for the early American hot rods. In those beginning days the SEMA stood for “Speed Equipment Manufacturers Association.”

Forty plus years later and the small group of speed enthusiast that began to manufacture their passion for speed were joined by thousands of companies, designers, producers and suppliers of specialty products. With growth and diversity, the show became known as the Specialty Equipment Market Association.

For me personally, I’ve always called it the worlds largest “toy” store for a week as I have been attending the show since the early ’90s. With Axial’s recent partnerships with the likes of Hankook Tires, Griffin Radiators, TurnKey Engines, Wilwood Brakes and ICON Vehicle Dynamics and more; it was cache-cool to make the world debut of the Axial EXO Terra Buggy with these partners at the globally attended SEMA show. See all the display rigs in our Laser Beam Metal Machine thread.

While there were a few Axial members at SEMA, the photos below are just my shots as hopefully those guys will pop in and post a thread with some commentary on their photos as well. These photos are also pooled into a Flickr SEMA 2011 Collection for your viewing pleasure.

At the Wilwood booth:
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills

SO CLEAN SO COOL!

At the RACELINE Wheels Booth:
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
Axial’s 2.2 Raceline Renegade Wheels – 41mm Wide (Black) AX08135
Axial’s 2.2 Raceline Renegade Wheels (Chrome/Black) AX08137

Dana Spicer Drivetain Components Booth:


SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
A cool booth for parts that are usually overlooked by many, for for the off-road/rock-crawl communities, very sought after items!!!

Griffin Radiators Booth:
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
Griffin Radiator Axial EXO Terra Buggy
Check out the silver painted Griffin radiator in the Axial EXO Terra Buggy! Get your silver paint markers ready!

Walker Evans Racing Wheels Booth:


SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
See the SCX10 down there? See the new Walker Evans Wheels on our new SCX10?
Axial SCX10™ Trail Honcho™ 4WD – RTR AX90022
Axial SCX10™ Dingo™ 4WD – KIT AX90021

TJM EQUIPPED!
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills

TURN KEY POWETRAIN!!!
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
Get on the train! I was trying to stuff this into the EXO and all of a sudden I woke up on the floor! WOW – what a dream that was! TEKIN rhymes with Turn Key…

ICON Vehicle Dynamics booth:
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
Mike Brown and Russ Jackson of www.justacarguy.blogspot.com checking out the debut of the Axial EXO Terra Buggy at the ICON booth.

SCX10 sitting on the hood of the ICON Dodge, just in case you could not get your eyes past the ProAm wheel.

OK, here’s eclectic collection of random images that happened in front of my lens:
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills

Overland Journal in the trenches doing work!
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
Overland Journal is a great “coffee table” magazine to check out and work in conjunction with a great forum for the 1:1 Overland enthusiast at www.expeditionportal.com

SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
There is a truck in there somewhere!

The olive-drab-green military-theme is still in play:
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills

But black will never go out of fashion:
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills

SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
MOPAR POWER!

SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
I have a passion for these old relics! Toyota Celica If ever you are in California around September there is the cool Japanese Classic Car Show to check out! www.japaneseclassiccarshow.com

Roll cages, proper ones.. are ALWAYS COOL!
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills

Especially in rally cars!
Respectfully to the cages above:
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
The top cage/car is living the rally dream within the means and the bottom cage/car is full-tilt rally car.

Hand Painted:
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
This Starwars theme was actually hand painted onto the car!

The old school of numbering:
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills

SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
May as well let us know that it really does go fast in the dry lake beds! Even the dry lake beds can get a little wet sometimes…

This MONSTER:
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
Breathes through this little hole:
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
Little is an understatement.

Speaking of “monsters”

Does anyone know who this belongs to? Think Pikes Peak and think Suzuki… if you answer is Travis Pastrana – YOUR FIRED!!!

Jarod DeAnda of CapitalA "official voice" of Formula-D at SEMA 2011
Jarod DeAnda “official voice” of Formula-D was on hand to announce for the live demo area.
check his blog: www.jaroddeanda.com/blog/

POWER
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills

And more power:
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
Yes, all that power in this little sedate sedan… WOW!

OK, throw some flex at you:


SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" WillsSEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
Im sure it could flex if it had to. If not, no worries – roll cage all around for the roll-over assist…

Need a tow? There is only one with the “green pin” and we like the color GREEN!

The Van Beest Shackle from www.MasterPull.com has a Breaking Strength of 6,000lbs.

While this “tow-hook” shackle is so very pretty..
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
You never want to use it as it means that your day at the track is done.

Track car or street car?

We met Anthony Carvallo:
Anthony Carvallo SEMA 2011
He built the “Blue Crush” Jeep Rig:
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills

Sled:
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
Love the raw metal look!

Another in the raw:
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills

And then..

All CARBON outer wheel – yes, the whole thing – not covered metal or sugar coated – real deal carbon wheel… with aluminum center.

I love stuff like this wide-body DTM style VOLVO!
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills

To this chopped and channeled creepy crawler:
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills

FATLACE SONIC:
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
Sonic: FF 1.4 cast iron block TURBO powered – from the boys at GM.

Wagon-Wip:
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills

SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
SCX10 chopped channeled – fried dyed and laid to the side…

SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
What is really going on here sir!?

SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
Did I already tell you that mud flaps are cool!? Also, it’s the only way to make an ugly car cool! How do I know? Here is a Ford Escort ZX2 with mud flaps to show how a “chick car” can go to cool car by adding mud flaps and a few other items…

This guy forgot his mudflaps!
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
Must be a dry weather queen. YEP! California license plate!

SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
50-points at the next Recon G6 if you know what this is and what it is for.
First person who puts it into scale use properly will get another cookie at the next Recon G6.

My Land Cruiser is so slow:
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
I’m dropping in this HKS powered Twins-Turbo™ prepped motor!

Hey look!
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
A giant parts tree!

SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
Jeff is buying us new furniture!!!

With all the money he saves, he is buying us a company track car!
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills

But all we came home with was this class 10 Buggy:
SEMA 2011 Axial's Rodney "GCRad1" Wills
JK JK JK This is LaPaglia Motorsports Class-10 Buggy that we saw on the road as we where coming back from SEMA – Cajon Pass FWY15.

There is just SO MUCH DESERT between California and Nevada:
Axial Videos YouTube Axial EXO Terra Buggy
It’s coming… subscribe please:
www.youtube.com/axialvideos

Axial Travelogue: AWCC Finals 2011

Wors & Photos: Rodney Wills

With a few weeks of fever-pitch AWCC pre-event preparation behind us, we were excited to get out of the office! There is just something about traveling and getting out to see new landscapes that is exciting. We have our GPS coordinates set for Cisco Grove Campground located just below Donner Pass in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. With this being a road trip with opportunity to see old friends, make new ones, camp out in tents, drive R/C vehicles in the name of competition and get our G6 challenge on, all makes for a fun trip in store!

June 21, 2011, It was the Tuesday prior to the AWCC Finals weekend. Brad “Bender” Dumont and myself are loaded into the ADV80 like well rehearsed Mt Everest sherpa’s with a military CH-47 Chinook!
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
It’s just the two of us traveling in my rig, but we are loaded to the roof! I was avoiding the wind drag as I have a fully capable roof rack. But we are liable to pick up something on the way back and may need valuable cargo space!

GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Our route starts with the 91-FWY that sends the largest portion of Orange County residents from the O.C. Eastwardly. Our road-trip should be approximately a twelve hour seated endevor as we are choosing to drive up the more scenic HWY 395 to the Sierra’s.

No trip is without the potential for drama and or accidentals. Brad and I are just in morning motion as we drive along, the morning sun is starting to creep over the mountains. Everything is just clicking along serene and smooth as we making our way from the 91FWY and onto the 15FWY. The 15FWY has this section before the Cajon Pass that is rough due to the amount of heavy loaded trucks getting out of “Dodge” but more known more for 18-wheelers getting knocking over due to high winds, and while it may have had the smallest of breezes we witnessed this horrific accident first hand!
Motorcycle accident on the 15FWY - East Bound June 21, 2011

But wind did not strike this rider down as we where traveling east. He was struck by a tire that came from a vehicle traveling in the west bound lane. The tire struck the motorcycle diagonally on his front wheel at such speed that it knocked the motorcycle over and out of control. Look at the image above and note how the front fender is bent inward as this was the impact point of the car tire that flew from the other side of the freeway. We never saw the wheel coming from the other lane as the bike blocked our vision of the flying tire! I had to change lanes quick to avoid running over the motorcycle and rider as they slid from two lanes left of me. It was a horrific moment! The rider was coherent, but suffered a broken left arm from our observation. Police and peramedics where quick onto the scene. Another driver stopped along with a few others, but this particular driver was behind us and saw the tire come from the other lane. Brad and I looked at each other with grief and disbelief and we both knew at that moment, if it was not for the biker, that tire would have hit my rig for sure! Talk about early wake up!!! Once CHP & paramedics arrived and we update them of the situation I chose to continue on and chose to do so as I have seen and been involved in my fair share of motorcycle accidents. I can handle all of my own pain but get the “heebeegeebee’s” with other’s pain. All this gives me the flashbacks for which I have to count my blessings and I now always ride with the “jewelry” Leatt Brace!

OK, let’s get back to calm and serene:
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
AND SCENIC! Cool old ghost town in-them-there-hills!
ATK 605 First Outting to the DESERT! July 2010
In “desert season” you will see hundreds of off roaders from from all vehicular aspects hanging round the ghost town of Randsburg. Especially the General Store and they serve food and AWESOME MILK SHAKES!
Randsburg General Store in Randsburg, CA. ATK 605 First Outting to the DESERT! July 2010

GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Jeff and Brent are traveling in the AXL Motorhome as we meet up along the freeway.

GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
It’s June and still signs of snow on the mountains as we skirt the Sequoia National Forest.

Refuel time:
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Brent’s girlfriend hooked him/us up with some cupcakes!!! WOW! Talk about refueling!

GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Back on the road and next stop is Bishop with a purpose!


GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
The main purpose to stop in Bishop is for the Meadow Farms Country Smoke House! This was tipped off to the Axial Crew by Scott Hughes as this has been a family traditional stop off. It must be his squirrel activity keeping his slim stature if this is his eating spot!

The door at Meadow Farms Country Smoke House…

All kinds come through here!
And all kinds of cool vehicles come through the parking lot too:
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
My ADV80 will get the overland expedition treatment one day! Things to add and check off the list:
__ Snorkel
__ Winch
__ Suspension
__ Rear Mounted Spare
__ Gas / Water Can
__ GET A/C FIXED FIRST!!!

GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Back on the road…

GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Co-piloting and cupcakes make for nap nap time. Bender bending time – teleporting himself to the rocks already…

GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Snow coverage is a bit thicker as we traverse north.

GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Got any more of those cupcakes in there? Just put one on the stick and hand it out the window!

GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Mono Lake

GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
She will be coming around the mountain when she comes… How does that song go? The AXL-MH rolling into the big metropolitan city of Bridgeport, Ca.
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Where they watch paint dry for fun:
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
The all-mighty ADV80!

More scenic views as we are making our way to the “big mountains!”
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground

Hey, what are those things called again?
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
SIGNS! Oh yea, almost forgot! And we get to make a navigational change too!
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Just up and over that little hill and we will be looking down onto Lake Tahoe!

GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
It’s been over fifteen years since I have seen this lake!


And back to Southern California in the blink of an eye! Did Brad take over this thread? Did he teleport himself through the event and back home already?

No… Just some good ol’ Lake Tahoe road construction…

More climbing and we know we are getting close!
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Coming up on Donner Pass and I get a history lesson!

GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Now we know we are close!

GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Check in time and sort the details… Pink floaties or purple raft?

GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Camp is made and time for some quick dinner from chef Brent Brammer. Have you seen his cooking show? The one with the BBQ and pork chops… oh, sorry, they had to take that one down too!?

Brent fires up the quick stove:
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground

This would be my first experience with Brent in the woods…

His cooking is simply AWESOME!!!

GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Night:30 and good night! It was a long day! Time to crawl into my sleeping bag.

The RECON G6 CHALLENGE Gamblers Paradise Las Vegas 2011

The RECON G6 CHALLENGE “Gamblers Paradise” Las Vegas
Date: April 2nd, 2011
Location: Some N.E. hillside outside Las Vegas, Nevada
Words: Rodney “GCRad1” Wills
Images: Brandon Coonce & Rodney Wills

RECON G6 CHALLENGE Gamblers Paradise Presented By Axial Las Vegas Nevada April 2nd, 2011 (116)

The year Twenty-Eleven has barely started and the RECON Crew has already and totally changed the game of having R/C fun in a friendly environment!

The G6 Challenges first started in January with “Erzberg” and “Folsom G6 Blues,” February saw “Love of Rock” and “Folsom G6 Blues part Duex,” then March brought on the “Maddness.” Finally, April was not fooling around with “Gamblers Paradise!” All in all, six events of G-six’ism this year!

RECON G6 CHALLENGE Gamblers Paradise Presented By Axial Las Vegas Nevada April 2nd, 2011 (16)
The casual bystander would view the landscape for a G6 Challenge as beautiful to view from a distance but would not consider the terrain and environment as “friendly,” but for the adventure G6’ers, the rougher and less traveled, the better! But what is this G6 Challenge that has Trail Honcho’s in a frenzy to adventure into the unknown?

RECON G6 CHALLENGE Gamblers Paradise Presented By Axial Las Vegas Nevada April 2nd, 2011 (149)
The Gamblers Paradise Edition of the G6 Challenge was actually a “no gamble – all win” event with spectacular al la natural landscape, awesome weather and course design on the Scalers’ list of paradise-type terrain! Yes, this event was EPIC for the adventure enthusiast!

While on a previous G6 Challenge in Reno, I did a little sample driving as I spent most of my time filming and shooting photos. I had such a blast with the little time I drove my rig at the “Maddness” event, that this time I wanted more seat-time! Jeff Johns [Axial President] and myself went out to participate in this event from start to finish. With two very stock SCX10’s in hand, we wanted to get the full flavor of fun and a full-day of seat-time… ok, steering-walking time. Either way, it was the adventure of the unknown we were chasing!

Here is Jeff just past #20-Trail Marker into the 100-TM course:
RECON G6 CHALLENGE Gamblers Paradise Presented By Axial Las Vegas Nevada April 2nd, 2011 (177)

RECON G6 CHALLENGE Gamblers Paradise Presented By Axial Las Vegas Nevada April 2nd, 2011 (158)
The G6 Challenge events are comprised of three trails ranging from 50 to 200 course markers- pretty much however many Brian Parker feels like putting in that day, but with heavy emphasis on “challenge” as in the most challenging courses set in natural terrain. At G6 Challenge events, two guys work together as “trail buddies.” The mission is that one person drives his rig and the other guy goes along as “co-pilot” alerting the driver to course directions while scoring his driver. Once the driver finishes a trail, the participants switch duties for the same course and repeat for the other trails. Yes, this is the honor system with nine million ways to seek the gray area. But hey, this is the very reason we are seeing a flip as the other side coin has nine million rules to follow. At the end of the day, we currently only need/want general guidelines for some wild style adventure fun!!!


Jeff Johns, Axial President getting his G6 ON! Yes, our president is also an enthusiast!

RECON G6 CHALLENGE Gamblers Paradise Presented By Axial Las Vegas Nevada April 2nd, 2011 (143)
Jeff and I being first time G6’ers, we were also trail-buddies and driving showroom bone-stockers! Can we make it any harder!? From a participant standpoint, it is very easy to show up and run at one of these events! As the event was getting underway, I couldn’t hold back my urge to snap a couple of shots of the other adventure seekers as Jeff was making ready his SCX10 murdered-out Honcho. OK. So his rig is not that stock, he has custom flat black paint and a couple of scale accessories.
RECON G6 CHALLENGE Gamblers Paradise Presented By Axial Las Vegas Nevada April 2nd, 2011 (172)

RECON G6 CHALLENGE Gamblers Paradise Presented By Axial Las Vegas Nevada April 2nd, 2011 (201)
It dawned on me that while I understood the rules, I was not familiar with the score keeping process and in just a few moments we would be out on a trail, clock ticking and no way of returning to G6 base-camp to ask about rules and scoring, so I made a quick inquiry about rules right as Jeff approached the start line. Talk about cutting it close!
RECON G6 CHALLENGE Gamblers Paradise Presented By Axial Las Vegas Nevada April 2nd, 2011 (137)
“Rules – EASY! Don’t hit trail markers and don’t hit boundaries. Have FUN!,” stated Stewart G. with assistance from Brad Bailey while starting other G6’ers out onto the three trails simultaneously. OK, so that is (I hope) rather simple, I thought and we started our adventure in the “deep-end of the pool” with the 100-trail marker course!

RECON G6 CHALLENGE Gamblers Paradise Presented By Axial Las Vegas Nevada April 2nd, 2011 (225)
StewartG [center] of RECON, the man behind the digital clocks and all things keeping up with Brian Parker [right].

RECON G6 CHALLENGE Gamblers Paradise Presented By Axial Las Vegas Nevada April 2nd, 2011 (222)
The coolest thing about participating in the “chase of adventure” at a G6 Challenge is that it is not about the podium finish. It’s about the massive amount of seat-time driving and possibly surviving the unknown unscathed and then, sharing stories at the end of the day- “How in the heck did you clean TM-24 on the 100-course?” “Did you see that Bender-6X walk-it!” “Did you get passed by the Swanson Swagger!?”

RECON G6 CHALLENGE Gamblers Paradise Presented by Axial - Las Vegas, Nevada 2011

WELL. Let me tell you! I personally witnessed the “Swanson Swagger!” I got passed on the 100-course by the man himself, Mr. Tom “Swagger” Swanson, somewhere after TM-66 and before TM-75 on the radical terrain of the 100-course. I was in disbelief, but the “rumor” is in fact true! “The Swagger” as he will now be known, was walking, not running, in a brisk and smooth manner as he somehow piloted his SCX10 Dingo [the only one at the event] through the Vegas outback. As he navigated his rig past and was a few feet ahead, he shouted back for me to look on the left as he thought he may have seen a cleaner line for me to attempt. I looked in a fit of frustration and why yes, I saw the line! HOW THE HECK!? I’m laughing as I line my Sharpe Camo’ed SCX10 Honcho up to the rock and could only punch the skinny pedal and succeeded in launching my rig up the rock on the left side only to take out the course marker on the right. Luck will only take you so far and did at this point as some of my previous course marker clearings where finessed in complete amazement even to myself and stage partner. I’m sure everyone knows of what I speak, everyone needs video to capture the proof of pure amazement.

Here at TM-74 is where I would be passed by Tom “Swagger” Swanson:
RECON G6 CHALLENGE Gamblers Paradise Presented By Axial Las Vegas Nevada April 2nd, 2011 (210)
I pulled out of the way in order for Tom to have a clean-through line. Also, I was attempting to reverse through the trail marker diagonally without having to winch without the winch I do not have and without the use of the stage buddy winch. Tom of course needed no stinking winch as he boosted up the ledge on the third approach!

RECON G6 CHALLENGE Gamblers Paradise Presented By Axial Las Vegas Nevada April 2nd, 2011 (153)
Tom Swanson in action – standing for a brief moment.

Later at the G6 Base Camp, I asked Tom Swanson for some of his hysterical magical swagger to be sprinkled on my rig to make up the difference in driving talent that expired and without instant renewal, back there around TM-68. He graciously popped the Dingo’s bonnet [it was European] and showed me his personal outback setup! This is the comradery that the G6 Challenge members have! It’s us that have to survive both the outback wilderness defined by the trail markers of Brian Parker and the G6 Crew. It’s all part of the mystery and adventure that happens at the G6 Challenges.

RECON G6 CHALLENGE Gamblers Paradise Presented By Axial Las Vegas Nevada April 2nd, 2011 (233)
We came, we drove and we performed our wilderness clean-up duty!

FIRST PLACE:
Brian Parker and Brad Bailey of RECON Present Thom Kowatch [center] his First Place at RECON G6 CHALLENGE Gamblers Paradise Presented By Axial Las Vegas Nevada April 2nd, 2011 (256)
Brian Parker and Brad Bailey of RECON Present Thom Kowatch [center] his First Place “Wagon Wheel” Award

SECOND PLACE:
Brandon Coonce of Axial at RECON G6 CHALLENGE Gamblers Paradise Presented By Axial Las Vegas Nevada April 2nd, 2011 (255)
Brandon Coonce of Axial Inc., is presented the Second Place “ashes to ashes – dust to dust” Award

THIRD PLACE:

Brain Parker presents Tom Swanson with the Third Place “Vegas Desert Shark Landmark” Award

TOUGH LUCK AWARD:

Brent Brammer is presented the Tough Luck “G-Degree Good Apple” Award. Brent battled electric gremlins from the very start but fought them through the 100-TM course and the first 50-TM course before expiring his battle. This was inauguration to the G6 family.


Brad “Bender” Dumont’s 6XSCX10 set the fastest time on the 100-TM Course!!!

RECON G6 CHALLENGE Gamblers Paradise Presented By Axial Las Vegas Nevada April 2nd, 2011 (243)
G6 Participants where given the first public viewing of the Wraith Rock Racer!


You can bank on there being more… more G6 Challenge in store!