If you are a Discovery Channel junky like myself, then I’m sure you’ve seen the Howe & Howe Tech TV show. In every episode they build amazing tanks and crazy machines. These are two guys that seriously know machine design. When Mike and Geoff contacted us about lifts for their trucks, we were flattered. We were hoping to get a company personal assault vehicle out of the deal, but that has yet to materialize.
We headed out to run Poison Spider Trail with a couple of Jeeps and an F-Toy converted 4Runner. This trail, like most of the others, had a wide range of terrains including sand, rock, and extremely steep climbs. While out on the trial you’ll see Jeeps, full size rigs, buggies, ATVs and dirt bikes. This trail has the opportunity to be extremely challenging, but offers up bypasses on many of the obstacles. After climbing 50-degree grades and racing through the sandy desert, we came to more amazing views and a chance to take lunch.
We continued on the trail along with hundreds of others that came out to play on this warm, sunny day. On our way off the trail, we saw a number of Crawl feature trucks and top truck challenge competitors which made for quite a sight.
This was the first day of the vendor show. To our surprise it was snowing outside and the wind was blowing like crazy. Fortunately for us, our booth was indoors. Although the arena isn’t heated, just the wind protection was a blessing. The bad weather outside drove the masses indoors and we were extremely busy all day. The vendor turn out was strong and there was definitely a lot for everyone to look at.
With a good nights sleep we woke up ready to hit the trails. We met up with Warn Industries to run 7-mile rim. This trail, more scenic as it was, still offered up a number of rocks, off-camber obstacles, and steep climbs. With obstacles like the waterfall, ledges, the crack and open sand to run wide open, we pushed the suspension through it’s fair share of testing only to come out unscathed. No further body damage on this trip, however the 40mph winds took a beating on us all day long.
After a long and anxious 24hr drive, we finally made it in to Moab and prepped the BDS TJ for hitting the trails with Crawl Magazine. The town has been taken over by jeeps, yotas, and full size trucks towing trailers. About 10 minutes outside of town we met up with Crawl Magazine at BFE to run some trails. Crawl debuted their new buggy which didn’t disappoint out on the trails. After a quick drivers meeting we headed out to run the Green Day trail following Larry from Crawl in his yellow LJ. Watching Larry smash in the driver’s door of his rig seemed like a good idea so we followed suit and there were many more that followed. What made for some great photos for everyone else left our driver’s door mangled. On the positive-side our door is closing better now, being that previously it didn’t due to carnage at the Ultimate Adventure 2009. On the negative side, the window won’t go up, but who needs windows anyway.
After a long day of wheeling and watching all kinds of trail carnage, we hit the road to head back into town. On the way out of the trail we had a minor issue when we got passed by our left rear tire. I have learned over the years that you shouldn’t go wheeling if you aren’t prepared to fix your Jeep on the side of the trail.
If you’ve never attended a Baja race in person then it is hard to appreciate a trophy truck flying by you at 100 miles an hour less than 10 foot away. Granted, be prepared to be pelted by dirt and rocks. I was pretty sure by the end of the race that when I got home I was going to immediately start construction on a BDS trophy truck. However, I realized that some one forgot to put it in the budget this year, not to mention the chase helicopter.
I, like many of you, have sat on my couch watching a Baja race on Sunday afternoon with the typical beer in hand thinking “that doesn’t look that tough – I could do that”. After seeing it in person I have trouble even articulating the level of performance displayed by those teams. The speed, undulation of the course and constant abuse on both driver and equipment is just ridiculous. Watching a truck at those speeds handling that kind of terrain is just nothing but amazing. Although pictures and video doesn’t do it justice, I had to include some here.
In addition to the racing, the quiet town of San Felipe was basically taken over by thousands of fans, locals and race teams all enjoying the festivities. I did happen to see a group appreciating the local spirits and I’m sure they were counting on the “what happens in Mexico – stays in Mexico” motto. I’m really not sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing that I didn’t have my video camera with me at the time, but let’s just say a good time was had by all.