Although this trip had been on the official WAYALIFE Run Schedule since the beginning of the year, getting it to happen took a lot more effort than I would have preferred and for that matter, it almost didn’t happen at all. Coming off the heels of King of the Hammers, we still had 3 Jeeps that were down and for a while, I just didn’t think we’d be able to get one fixed in time. But, as luck would have it, our good friend Tony sent me a message on the Thursday before and asked if it was safe to assume the trip was cancelled. This of course was the kick I had been needing to just figure things out and make it happen and, that’s exactly what I did. The crazy thing is, even with the run being announced just a little more than a day before the trip, we still managed to get a total of 9 Jeeps to come out.
For our purposes, the 2015 WAYALIFE Presidents Day Weekend run would be one that explored the Inyo Mountains just east of the town of Lone Pine. Using the Dow Villa Hotel as our base camp, we spent the first part of our Saturday up in the hills digging for the fossil remains of Ammonites, extinct marine invertebrates that lived in an ancient sea over 235 million years ago. From there, we descended into the depths of the earth as we drove a 1/4 mile into the Reward Mine and then finished the day with a visit to the old WWII Manzanar Japanese Interment Camp. On Sunday, we climbed our way up and over 9,000 feet to explore the old Swansea Salt Tram ruins before heading out to another fossil bed to dig for ancient shark teeth.
Below are some photo highlights from our trip and I hope you enjoy them.No comments
Our final days of the JK-Experience would start off with a road trip to the south, down into the State of Oregon and to the town of Clackamas where we would get a first hand look at how WARN winches are made and right here in the U.S.A. After our tour, we made our way west, out to the Tillamook State Forest and up into an area known as Browns Camp. In addition to running trails such as Firebreak 5, Airplane Hill, 7up and The Waterfall, we would also get to do a night time rally run before heading out to our final destination along the Oregon Coast, Cape Kiwanda. Additional shots of us playing on the dunes of Sand Lake can also be seen as well.
We hope that you’ll enjoy our final presentation of Pacific Northwest: The 2014 Off Road Evolution JK-Experience presented by Nitto Tire.No comments
Our 4th day of the JK-Experience would start off with a trek to the west, over the Cascade Range, through the Mt. Rainier National Forest and down to a part of Washington that is famous for its deep ruts and menacing mud trenches – the Elbe Hills ORV Area. Named after a creek that runs through a part of it, the Busy Wild would be our trail for the day and it is without question the toughest of the 8 that make up the area. After finishing up the trail, we headed west to Silver Lake which is just west of the town of Eatonville and setup camp for the night.
We hope that you’ll enjoy our presentation and that you’ll come back for more.1 comment
Day 3 of the JK-Experience took us up into the Wenatchee National Forest and onto the Naches Basin OHV Trail System. Our destination of the day was two off-road playgrounds up on top of Manastash Ridge and the first of which is an area known as Funny Rocks. Similar to what you’d find out in Moab, the slick rock surface offers a lot of traction and there are some big ledges you can take on. The other playground is known as the Moon Rocks and I can only assume it gets it’s name from the craggy terrain that makes it feel as if you really are wheeling on the Moon. It would be here that we would really put our Jeep JK Wranglers to the test and a couple of us would have to leave with a few new battle scars.
We hope that you’ll enjoy our presentation and that you’ll come back for more.No comments
For 2014, the Off Road Evolution JK-Experience presented by Nitto Tire, would take 22 built up Jeep JK Wranglers, 46 people from around the world and put both man and machine to the test as they worked their way down the beautiful Pacific Northwest. In this first of a four part series, you will get to see our adventures begin at one of the best wheeling spots north of Seattle, the Walker Valley ORV Park. Located just east of the town of Mount Vernon, Walker Valley is a premier off-road destination filled with tight trees, slick mud, nasty roots and big rocks. You will also get to follow us along as we make our way over the breathtaking Cascades, have some fun playing in the sand dunes out at Moses Lakes and all before we end our second day on the JK-Experience at the Suncadia Resort near the town of Cle Elum.
Cindy and I always try our best to share what it’s like to attend an event like the JK-Experience from our perspective. To us, it’s the great people we get to spend time with, our friends, that really makes it an “experience” of a lifetime and we hope that we were able to capture as much in this film. We hope that you’ll enjoy our presentation.No comments
With a convoy of 60 Jeeps that stretched about a half a mile long when parked end on end and well over 2 miles long when moving across the trail, the 2015 WAYALIFE New Year Kick-Off Run was by far the biggest runs we’ve done to date and maybe because of it, one of the most fun ones we’ve done as well. Certainly, having a starting point so close to Primm, Nevada didn’t hurt as it allowed more than half of our group to meet up the night before and party with new friends and old.
For those of you who weren’t able to join us, we started our run from the north east corner of the Mojave National Preserve, made our way to the Cinder Cone National Natural Landmark where we explored a lava tube there, cut through the Old Dad Mountains, drove over a section of plank road, visited an old ranch called Sands, climbed up to the mysterious Mojave Megaphone, examined the petroglyphs at Mesquite Springs, climbed our way up Spooky Canyon, forded two deep water crossings and 75 miles later, worked our way out of Afton Canyon and back on to pavement again. Unfortunately, with a group this big, it was all that Cindy and I could do to keep everything organized and moving and so it was next to impossible to take as many photos as we would have preferred but, here are a few shots of what we were able to take as well as shots that others were able to take. We hope you enjoy.No comments
This is a concrete arrow that I’ve known about pretty much since I first heard about the transcontinental airway beacons. While I have been meaning to check it out for a long time now, I suppose I kept putting it off being that it’s so close to Las Vegas and somewhat easy to get to. I mean, being that I’m always in the area, I figured I’d get to it sooner or later and as luck would have it, that later happened on New Year’s Day 2015. After spending some quality time with Cindy’s folks, we drove to the south end of town, parked our Jeep and went on a short hike up a small hill to see this very well preserved concrete arrow. Click on the link below to see more photos.No comments
For the longest time, if you were to have asked me what I thought about half doors, I would have been the first to say that I don’t like them. I mean sure, they look cool and I had even considered buying a Jeep JK Wrangler Unlimited with them on in the past but for the most part, I’ve never really been a fan. They let in too much noise, the window are difficult to use and really, when given the chance, I would just prefer to run doorless.
About a year ago, my friend Greg picked up a set of Rugged Ridge half doors and at the time, made a comment to the effect that, half doors were “just stupid” but that they did serve a purpose and that he could still run graphics/logos on them. More recently, during the 2014 JK-Experience, my friend Randy laid his Jeep on its side but, thanks to his half doors, you could hardly tell he went over at all. Of course, it was on this same trip that Moby took on a considerable amount of damage to both passenger side doors and, I think it was about then that I decided it might be time to finally give half doors another look.
Now, I should note that our first priority was to still find a set of replacement full doors as both Cindy and I still prefer them but, the idea would be to now leave them at home and run half doors whenever we knew we’d be playing a bit harder. Certainly, half doors would be lighter in weight, cheaper to fix or replace if needed and by their design, would offer a lot more visibility on the trail. And, after seen all the options available in person, we came to the conclusion that the Rugged Ridge JK half doors were the ones we wanted to get.
Okay, so now that we’ve had our Rugged Ridge half doors for a couple of months and have tested them out with and without the soft uppers, on a long trip to Death Valley and back and even in a snow storm… here’s what I have to say about them.
The Rugged Ridge half doors look AWESOME!! Without question, these half doors by themselves will completely change the overall look of your Jeep, in a great way and for that alone I would recommend them. The fact that they have interior panels that have a factory feel is a huge bonus too. If you’ve never driven a Jeep with half doors before, you will LOVE the extra visibility that they provide on and off the trail. While the actual safety they provide is just superficial, they will help to hold things inside your Jeep while still giving you a sense of being doorless. Another benefit of having half doors is that they help to keep you warmer on cold days when driving around topless. The half doors will help keep the wind out of the cab and allow your heaters do a better job by holding in the heated air.
If you buy the Rugged Ridge half door soft uppers, I think you will find that they really add to the overall look of your Jeep as well. We run ours with a Bestop Trektop and together, I think they look outstanding. The biggest benefit of having the soft uppers is that they’ll help to keep the elements out and allow you to run your half doors all year long. Now, I get people asking me all the time about how well do these soft uppers really work and honestly, what more can I say other than the fact that they are “soft uppers” and NOT hard doors. In other words, the fitment of them is less than stellar. Being made out of fabric, they will be noisy on the highway, cross winds will cause them to pull outward and they will leak a bit when it rains. Also, these soft uppers do require you to apply Velcro to the upper edge of your half doors to keep them sealed but, after paying $600 for them to be painted, we opted not to do this. Unfortunately, by not applying the Velcro, the base of the soft uppers will lift in the wind and allow a draft to come in. But, in spite of all this, they still beat running doorless and will offer enough protection to keep you somewhat dry, somewhat dust free and keep you warm or cool inside depending on whether you are running your heater or AC. Of course, the best part of these soft uppers is that they are easy to remove and light weight and that will allow you to have a doorless feel whenever you want.
Overall, Cindy and I are extremely happy with our new Rugged Ridge half doors and at only about 25 lbs. each, absolutely love the weight savings they offer over factory full or even half steel doors. While there are a few short comings on the soft uppers, we feel that they are insignificant when compared to all that we get out of them. If you are considering a set for your Jeep, I would highly recommend them.
To see a bunch of photos before and after these half doors were installed, click on the link below:
HALF TIME - Rugged Ridge JK Half Doors for MOBY
Thanksgiving weekend has always been a time where Cindy and I have taken a trip out to Death Valley and done some exploring. In fact, we had been doing this for years by ourselves and more recently, with all our WAYALIFE friends. For 2014, we decided to begin our adventures in the town of Ridgecrest, CA, and spend our Black Friday working our way over the Slate Range, through the historic Fish Canyon, across the floor of the Panamint Valley, up Goler Wash into the Butte Valley, down into Death Valley and then finally end our day in Shoshone, CA. On Saturday, we headed back into Death Valley to enjoy some of the tourist traps like Ashford Mill, Bad Water, the Devils Golf Course and then worked our way up and over the Funeral Range through Echo Canyon and ended our day in Beatty, NV. For our final day on this epic three day adventure, we paid a visit to the historic ghost town of Rhyolite, headed back into Death Valley through Titus Canyon and then made our way back to Highway 395 where we all said our goodbyes and went our separate ways. Below is a photo narrative of all the things we had seen and done and I hope you enjoy them.No comments
It’s been about a week since we first started to cover the 2014 SEMA Show live in Las Vegas, Nevada, and now that it’s all over, I thought it would be good to do a quick recap on some of the cool rigs and innovative new products that caught our eye. I should note that the first thing we noticed about this year’s show was just how busy it was. The crowds were out in force like I haven’t seen in years and I really hope this is an indication that the industry is finally turning around and that people are really starting to think about toys again.
Much like the last few years, the display outside the show was filled with plenty of big flashy wheels, truly lame 7-slot grille deletes and, what I like to call, the “caveman” grille thanks to its bizarre Neanderthal looking unibrow shape. On the inside (where all the things we really want to see are), there were a handful of rigs that really stood out to us and if I had to name a few, I’d have to say that the Fab Fours “Legend,” the Daystar FC170 and the CRC’s IFS Jeep JK-RK (Raptor Killer) would have made the top of the list and you can see and read all about them by clicking on the link below.No comments
On Tuesday, November 4th, the worlds largest auto show dedicated to the manufacturers of specialty equipment will be taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada. Of course, I’m talking about the awesome SEMA Show and this is not only the show of shows, it’s one that everyone wants to be a part of. Unfortunately, this show is for vendors and those in the industry only and, unless you know someone who can get you in, it’s not something that most can attend… well, at least not physically anyway.
Starting today, Cindy and I will be covering the 2014 SEMA Show LIVE and invite you to join us virtually by following us here on WAYALIFE.com! You can be sure we’ll be covering EVERYTHING Jeep related and more with TONS of detailed Hi-Res photos. Of course, if there’s anything in particular you’d like to see, please let us know and we’ll be sure keep an eye out for it. All you have to do is click on the link below:No comments
For 2014, the Off Road Evolution JK-Experience presented by Nitto Tire, would take 22 built up Jeep JK Wranglers, 46 people from around the world and put them to the test as they worked their way down the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Starting in Burlington, Washington, they would take on Walker Valley OHV Park, the Moses Lake sand dunes, challenge themselves on the Naches Funny Rocks and Moon Rocks, the thick muds of Elby and all before heading down to Oregon to play on obstacles such as Airplane Hill, 7up and Waterfall out in the Tillamook State Forest. Almost 1,000 miles later, they would finish up their epic journey on the dunes of Sand Lake and relaxing on the shores of Cape Kiwanda.
Click on the link below to watch the official PACIFIC NORTHWEST : The 201 JK-Experience Teaser Trailer now:No comments
Last Friday, Eddie and I got to be a part of the Discount Tire/Off Road Evolution pit crew as they took on the 2014 General Tire “Vegas to Reno” race presented by FOX. At 535 miles of pure dirt fun, this race is considered to be the longest off-road race in the United States! This year, 304 vehicles entered the race ranging from Trick Trucks, 1500 class rigs, Jeeps, UTV’s and Ironmen and of them, only 114 finished. Of course, Mel Wade in EVO 1 was not only one of them but, for the 2nd year in a row, he was also able to take 1st place in the Ultra 4 class with an impressive time of only 14:48:12.388 - that’s over 3 1/2 hours faster than last year! This was not only the fastest time of any Jeep out there, it also put him at 88th place overall! Here are some photos from our epic day of racing out in the Nevada desert, I hope you’ll enjoy them.No comments
2 weeks, 9 states, over 4,000 miles and an adventure of a lifetime! In a nutshell, that was the WAYALIFE California or Bust epic trek across the historic California Emigrant Trail. This short 3 minute teaser video is made from the thousands of photos we took along the way and in it, you’ll get a glimpse of all the things we saw and all the fun we had. We hope that you’ll enjoy the presentation.
A BIG THANKS needs to go out to Carl, his sister Toni, Et and his son Joe, Tony, Stephanie and their daughter Christina, Don and Lori, Ray and his son Kevin, Tom and Susan, Ken and Doug for joining us on this amazing trip!1 comment
Running big heavy off road tires on wheels that have a lot less back spacing will put a lot more strain on your unit bearings and that will cause them to wear out prematurely. Worn out unit bearings can cause your wheels to look like they have camber to them and much like bad ball joints, can allow for enough movement to cause death wobble. Fortunately, replacing them costs less than $200, is a relatively easy job and is one that can be done at home with a few simple tools. All you have to do is make sure you have the tools listed (can be found at most any auto parts store) and follow the instructions below.
I know it’s been over 2 weeks since we did this run and for that, I must apologize for not getting pics of it up sooner. As some of you know, Cindy and I literally got home, helped get everyones tops and doors back on, wished them a safe trip home, did some laundry, washed Moby, changed his oil, mowed the lawn, caught up on some bills and then headed out for another 2,500+ journey across multiple states. After we got back last week, we headed strait up to Tahoe again and have been doing what we can to wind down. Anyway, this literally has been the first chance I’ve had to work on posting these up and I hope you enjoy them. Please note that due to the significant size of our group, I was only able to get shots of those immediately behind me and hope you can be understanding.
Having said all that, here are shots from the 2014 WAYALIFE Rockin Rubicon Run:No comments
Over the weekend, Cindy and I headed back out to the Northern Nevada desert to continue our search of these historic Transcontinental Airway Beacons. However, unlike most of the ones you’d find out here that have concrete arrows pointing east to west, I recently discovered there were a handful that actually pointed west to east and these are what we were in search of. And, as luck would have it, we did in fact find four of them and for the most part, in amazing condition. Below are a few shots of what they look like today, I hope you enjoy.No comments
A few weeks back, I had read in a local paper that there was a decent wildflower showing going on in parts of Death Valley and this in spite of the fact that California is suffering from one of the worst droughts in 15 years! Needless to say, this was something Cindy and I had to see and fortunately for us, it was something that our good friends Moochie, Doug, Joshua, Tony and Stephanie and Ray, his father and brother would all get to see with us as well.
After meeting up with everyone in Big Pine, we headed out bright and early out to the Eureka Sand Dunes where there had been reports of Dune Primrose were in full bloom along with Apricot Mallows, Desert dandelions and an assortment of other flowers as well. From there, we made our way through Steel Pass, traversed the Saline Valley, worked our way up to the Lippencott Mine, set up camp and then spent some time exploring the Race Track playa. The following morning, we made a stop over at Tea Kettle Junction, climbed to the top of Hunter Mountain, left the park through Lee Flat and then made a final stop over at China Springs before heading home. Below are some of the photos we took along the way and I hope you’ll enjoy them.No comments
In a remote corner of the Northern Nevada Desert and high up on a mountain ridge, there lies a cabin built underneath an enormous rock and for those who know about it, it is known to them as Bass Camp. While there are a lot of stories regarding this amazing destination including one suggesting it was some kind of moonshine shack, the most credible information I could dig up indicates that the cabin was in fact built back in the early 1900’s by an Albert Andrew Bass and his wife Anna. The two were miners who moved into the area prospecting for gold and silver and worked the surrounding claims for about 20 years until she died in 1930 and he following her in 1934. About a year after the end of World War II, a miner by the name of Roy Ladd took over and worked the claims for about a year and from what I understand, there may have even been one other individual who worked it for a bit thereafter. Today, this cabin under a rock and adjoining structures stand as a testament to the early miners who came out west, lived in inhospitable places like this and pecked out a living digging in the ground.
For those of you who are interested in seeing this place, I am sorry to say that I will not give out directions to it. The location is purposefully kept a secret by locals to help prevent vandals from destroying it. What I can show you are photos that we took of it from a recent trip that Cindy and I made out to it and I hope you will enjoy them.No comments
Crossing four states in just seven days and covering almost 1,000 miles of America’s wild west, the 2013 Off Road Evolution JK-Experience presented by Nitto Tire was by far one of the most demanding adventures to date. In Part 2 of WILD WILD WEST, you’ll get to follow our continuing journey across Arizona, Nevada and California. Along the way, we got to see amazing historic sites, blast through hundreds of miles of wide open desert and test out our Jeep JK Wranglers on trails such as Logandale and the famous Rubicon Trail. We hope you’ll enjoy our presentation.1 comment