Exploration of the Nightingale Mountains

You know you’ve got a keeper when you ask your wife what she wants to do for her birthday and her response is to get in our Jeep and head out into the desert! On this particular year, Cindy wanted to head out to the Nightingale Mountains to explore some of the amazing rock formations, petroglyphs, colorful canyons, mine ruins and… other weird stuff you can sometimes find out in the middle of nowhere. That being said, click on the link below to see some of the photos we took from our recent trip.

Exploration of the Nightingale Mountains Photo Trip Report

I hope you enjoy them as much as we did taking them :)

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CRUCERO : Exploring the History
& Mysteries of the Mojave Desert

As much as Cindy and I love to play on the rocks, it has always been our love of the desert and our passion for exploring it that brought us into the world of Jeeps. It is for this reason that we always try to spend the first weekend of January taking friends out into the Mojave Desert and to show them some of the amazing places and things we’ve found over the years. On this particular trip, we took them out to an area known as Crucero and showed them the remains of an old F-4 Phantom jet crash, had them push their Jeeps as fast as they could across the Broadwell Dry Lake, invited them to make guesses as to what the Mojave Megaphone really is and had them scramble their way through the depths of Spooky Canyon.

This short destination film is a project that Cindy and I started a while back but had to shelve due to other commitments. While there isn’t much “wheeling” in it, we decided to dig it out of the archives and finish it because we felt that the places we visited, the things we saw and all the fun we had with good friends was worthy of sharing and something that a lot of you might still enjoy seeing. We hope you enjoy our presentation.

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MOJAVE-X 01.01.2016 : An Exploration of
Shadow Valley & Turquoise Mountain

Being that the 2016 WAYALIFE New Year Kick Off Run was going to take place out in the Mojave Desert, Cindy and I decided to make our way down to SoCal a couple of days before hand and do some exploring. Even though we have covered vast sections of the Mojave over the last 25 years, there were still places we had yet to see and some of them were out in an area known a the Shadow Valley and Turquoise Mountain. Fortunately for us, a few of our close friends were willing to join us out in Barstow on New Year’s Eve and join us out on the trail the following morning. Click on the link below to see some pics highlighting the things we saw and all the fun we had. I hope you enjoy.

MOJAVE-X 01.01.2016 : An Exploration of Shadow Valley & Turquoise Mountain

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ARROW QUEST : The Search for
Transcontinental Airway Beacons
Part 10

Thanks to a post that M38A1Driver made here not too long ago, I was reminded of an airway beacon out in the Mojave Desert that I had known about for quite some time but wasn’t sure if you could actually get up to it. Fortunately for us, we were planning to be in the area and on New Year’s Day, we decided to go looking for it along with a few of our friends. And, what we ultimately found was nothing short of amazing! Here are some pics from the site, I hope you enjoy.

ARROW QUEST : The Search for Transcontinental Airway Beacons - Part 10

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2016 WAYALIFE New Year Kick Off Run
Photo Highlights

As we have done for as long as I can remember, Cindy and I made our way down to the Mojave Desert to kick off the New Year with good friends both old and new and out on the trail. For 2016, we decided to revisit a part of the Mojave that we hadn’t been out to in a few years and it is known as, the Black Mountain Wilderness. Along the way, we made our way up through a historical stage route where travelers back in the late 1800’s left their signature along side petroglyphs that are thousands of years old. We also visited caves that were once inhabited by Native Americans and dug for fire opals at an old mine that was once owned by the Tiffany Corporation. Of course, to wrap things up, we drove out to the middle of an ancient dry lake to pose for a group shot and to have some fun racing our Jeeps around it. Click on the link below to see some photo highlights of all the fun we had, I hope you enjoy them.

2016 WAYALIFE New Year Kick Off Run Photo Highlights

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HAPPY JEEPIN NEW YEAR!

May all of you have a wonderful 2016 filled with tons of cool new mods for your Jeep and awesome wheeling adventures all year long!

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MERRY JEEPIN CHRISTMAS!

Cindy and I would like to wish everyone here on WAYALIFE a very Merry Christmas. We hope that all of you are able to enjoy it with your family and good friends. For those of you in uniform who are unable to be home for the Holidays, please know that we are grateful for your gift of service to help keep us safe here in America.

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Wheeling in a Winter Wonderland!

I wouldn’t have guessed it when I got up this morning but as of about noon today, there was no need for us to be dreaming of a white Christmas. In just a few short hours, we got about 6″-8″ of snow and in spite of it being Christmas Eve, Cindy and I just had to get out and do a little wheeling in a winter wonderland. This time around, we decided to take Moby out and if you click on the link below, you can see a few pics from all the fun we had.

Wheeling in a Winter Wonderland!

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The Weekend Before Christmas Gathering 2015

As I’m sure is the case for most people, the Holidays is a busy time of year for Cindy and I and planning things like trips with friends is difficult to do. And, when I got a message from mcpuck saying that a few of our old friends were planning a get together out in Laughlin and that we were invited to come, we moved things around and made sure that we could join them. Of course, we didn’t know what the plan was beyond meeting up with them for the weekend but really, it didn’t matter to us. It’d been way too long since we’ve gotten together with everyone and that alone would make it worth the almost 1,500 mile round trip. Anyway, click on the link below to see some pics from our trip, I hope you enjoy them.

The Weekend Before Christmas Gathering 2015

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Dynatrac ProRock 44 Front Axle
Differential Fluid Change Write-Up

If you’re someone who’s upgraded your Jeep JK Wrangler factory front axle with beefy Dynatrac ProRock 44, you’ll find that changing out the gear oil on it is a bit different and really, a bit more old school being that the housing doesn’t have a drain bolt. That being said, this step by step write-up will show you just how easy it is to do and being that it’ll give you a chance to inspect everything inside, it’s really a much better way to service your differential.

Dynatrac ProRock 44 Front Axle Differential Fluid Change Write-Up

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CARPE NOCTEM - Midnight Snow Run

Thanks to the well needed El Nino we’re seeing this year, we’ve been having an awesome winter and one filled with lots of snow. Yesterday was no exception and after spending the better part of the day indoors catching up on work, Cindy and I started to go stir crazy and decided to stop what we were doing and get out into the white stuff for a bit. Granted, it was about midnight when we packed up and headed out to do some snow wheeling but, what the hell - you only live once right?

Click on this link to see more photos!
CARPE NOCTEM - Midnight Snow Run

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How to Install U-Joints w/ Full Circle Clips
onto a Chromoly Front Axle Shaft

In spite of what so many people on the internet will try and tell you, Dana 44 front axle shafts on a Jeep JK Wrangler Rubicon are NOT inherently weak and you do NOT need to go out and buy a set of expensive RCV shafts to prevent breaks. The problem with factory axle shafts is that they utilize c-clips to hold the bearing caps in place and over time, movement in the caps can cause the c-clips to work themselves free. Once the c-clips are gone, there’s nothing left to hold the bearing caps in place and if they fall out, it’s just a matter of time before the trunnions tear apart the ears of the yokes. That being said, a great solution to help prevent this from happening is to run a good set of chromoly shafts and u-joints with full circle clips, much like the kind that AlloyUSA makes. The full circle clips will not come free of the bearing caps and this alone will help prevent the number one cause of front axle shaft breaks. This video and the write-up below will show you just how easy it is to install a set of AlloyUSA X-Joints with full circle clips onto one of their chomoly front axle shafts.

See the written write-up with photos here:
How to Install U-Joints w/ Full Circle Clips onto a Chromoly Front Axle Shaft

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King Canyon Snow Play

Woke up this morning to another glorious day filled with snow and couldn’t resist the urge to get out in it. So, Cindy and I had a quick cup of coffee, packed up Rubicat and headed up King Canyon to have some fun. Back in the day, this trail used to be a part of the old Lincoln Highway connecting Carson City to Lake Tahoe and before that, was one of many cutoffs along the Emigrant Trail. Today, it’s just an easy trail with beautiful views and when it’s snowing, can be a great way to kick off the weekend. Anyway, click on the link below to see a few pics from the fun we had this morning.

King Canyon Snow Play Photos

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CONCRETE ARROW QUEST
Search for Transcontinental Airway Beacons
Part 9

After spending the last few days in the garage working on Jeeps, Cindy and I decided we needed a break and so we packed up Rubicat and headed out to do some exploring. Specifically, we had been scouting out some concrete arrows on Google Earth and went to see if we could find a way up to at least one of them that was close to home. And, as luck would have it, we were able to do just that and it was maybe one of the most unique one we’ve found to date. Unlike just about every concrete arrow we’ve found to date which has an arrow, a mid section that serves as a foundation for a tower and a tail which typically, but not always houses a generator shed, this arrow only had an arrow, a really long and bent shaft section and a tail. There was no mid section for a tower. Upon closer examination, we could see where there might have been some kind of concrete footings at the end of the tail that may have served as a foundation for a tower but, we couldn’t be sure of it. Anyway, click on the link below to see a few photos of what we found today.

CONCRETE ARROW QUEST Search for Transcontinental Airway Beacons Part 9

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SECRET of the SAND
The Singing Sands of the Kelso Dunes

For Cindy and I, the Jeep WAYALIFE has always been more about the places our rigs can take us than just getting out and driving over stuff. Not that there’s anything wrong with the latter but we already make plenty of videos of that. With that said, we wanted to change things up a bit and decided to make this short video to highlight an amazing “destination” that our Jeep took us to. We hope that you’ll enjoy it and maybe be inspired to get out and do it for yourself!

About an hour and a half east of Barstow and located deep inside the Mojave National Preserve, there lies a 600 ft. mountain of sand known as the Kelso Dunes. For those of you who are willing to make the arduous climb to the top of them and be willing to do it in the middle of summer when it’s sure to be the hottest out, there is a secret that the sands will reveal to you and in the form of a song. The trick is that it has to be hot… REALLY HOT - like triple digit hot and it has to of been like that for some time. Once out there, you have to climb to a crest that’s over 120 ft. tall and with a slope of 30° or more. From there, all you have to do is start pushing down the crests or walk down the slope and the sand will sing for you in the notes of G, E and F and as loud as 105 decibels. It’ll quite literally feel and sound as if you’re standing on an enormous cello.

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SHO us the SNO!!

Okay, for those of you who don’t live in California or Nevada and have no idea how bad the drought in our neck of the woods has been, this might seem a little over the top but for us, the snow pack up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains is where our water comes from and the more snow we can get, the better. Needless to say, it was super exciting to see some of the white stuff sticking around for the first time this winter and I can only hope to see more of it in the near future.

The link below is a thread we have going on WAYALIFE and in it, you will get to see all kinds of great photos of Jeep JK Wranglers and more out in the snow.

SHO us the SNO!!

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Tonopah Rockhouding Rendezvous

The weekend before Thanksgiving, Cindy and I were getting the itch to get out and do some rockhounding. We had been reading about some trilobite fossils that can be found south of Goldfield, NV and so we decided to pack our bags and our Jeep Renegade and headed on out. Of course, as luck would have it, our good friends Tony and Stephanie let us know that they were looking to get out and play with their new 2015 Jeep JK Wrangler and being that they enjoy rockhounding as well, we invited them to rendezvous with us out in Tonopah.

Click on the link below to see a photo essay from our trip:
Tonopah Rockhouding Rendezvous

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ARROW QUEST : The Search for Transcontinental
Airway Beacons [Teaser]

Back before the invention of GPS, radar or even rudimentary radio communication, there were brave pilots who flew across vast empty stretches of America using only a system of brightly painted concrete arrows and lights on top of towers to guide their way. These markers were established back in the 1920’s by the United States Post Office and Department of Commerce and became known as the Transcontinental Airway Beacon System.

Ever since Cindy and I first heard about these concrete arrows, we have spent have spent countless hours looking for and documenting as many of them as we can find. And, being that so many of them are located in the State of Nevada, we have chosen to highlight them in our very first episode of, Nevada Silver Lining - a new show we’re working on that showcases all the cool places you can visit here in this amazing state. In this short trailer, you’ll get a taste of what you can expect to see. We hope you enjoy.

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CONCRETE ARROW QUEST
Search for Transcontinental Airway Beacons
Part 8

Being that it was my birthday last week, Cindy and I decided to drop what we were doing, load up our Jeep and head out to the Northern Nevada Desert to look for some concrete arrows, also known as, Transcontinental Airway Beacons. As some of you may know, we’ve been looking for and photographing these 50 ft. arrows and on occasion, towers as well for over two years now and on this trip, it was our hope to find a few located all the way out on the eastern edge of the state. Of course, it’d be near impossible for us to not explore some old ghost towns and do a bit of rock hounding along the way and in this thread, you’ll get to see a little bit of all the things we got to see and do. I hope you enjoy.

CONCRETE ARROW QUEST : Search for Transcontinental Airway Beacons - Part 8

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Hunter Lake Trail Snow Run

With all the snow that we just got up in the Reno/Carson City area, Cindy and I were just itchin to get out and play in it. So, after taking care of some work, we packed up Rubicat and made our way over to a trail that starts on the west end of Reno and climbs up the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Known to the locals as the Hunter Lake, it isn’t the hardest trail around but it does afford you some amazing views of the “Biggest Little City in the World” and when you add in some wet heavy Sierra snow to the mix, it can be a bit of a challenge. Being that we got a late start and running the trail solo, we decided to turn around about half way to the lake after the shelf road leading there became blocked with fallen trees and snow drifts. Anyway, click on the link below to see some photos from our impromptu snow run, I hope you enjoy.

Hunter Lake Trail Snow Run

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