Monday

I was recently invited on a trip up and over Rug Road to Aravaipa Canyon by Wildcat Off Road. Wildcat Off Road is an off road group put together by University of Arizona students. I was lucky enough to be invited on this trip as it ended up ranking up there with the best of them! This trail had the combination of everything: Scenery, history, water and off road challenge (suspension, clearance and traction). This was not a trail you'd want to break down on either.

Everyone all aired down at the trail head and ready to depart.
trail head



Some good stuff along the way. I was busy driving most of the technical sections, but was able to stop and take some pictures of the flora fauna along the way.
cactus flower



Once we had gone up and over the technical section of Rug Road we stopped to eat lunch at this vista.
lunch on the ridge



Alex enjoying a fine beverage-New Belgium's Ranger IPA.
Alex on the ridge



Then we got into the good stuff, mining remains! An old boiler system!
boiler



Slag run off as they call it, from the processing of the ore.
slag running down hill



alex light


It's crazy to think that someone lived all the way out here. At least a 6 hour drive to get groceries.
abadoned house


Andrew kickin back and relaxing on an old lounge chair. It actually still worked!
andrew in the lounge chair



holly flower hold



Andrew packing it in. If you look closely, he can barely hold it together... From laughing.
andrew getting more fire wood



Nona's dad traversing some of the last sections of the trail before it dumps into Aravaipa canyon-gettin it done!
nona's dad descending ledge



The rest of the group ahead. Look closely and you'll see the trucks.
group in the distance



With the rest of the group ahead, I had some time to take more pictures.
landscape descend into the canyon



And we made it! We rolled in as the rest of the group was setting up camp.
camp



Various states of happy times ensued.
group photo camp



holly and tina



tina and jason


The most iteration of my kitchen/cooking setup
tina



tangueray sean



The next morning we awoke to go hang out at Aravaipa creek. The water was nice and cool.
looking at water



group in water



nitro



group in water2



Then Stephanie decided it was time for aerial acrobatic maneuvers in the water, errr whatever it's called!
stephanie sitting in air



stare down



stephanie lift with water spray



dance twist


hand stand



mid body twist progression



mid body wrap around



hand stand2


Taking a step back in time.
telephone booth


This trip was the perfect way to spend a weekend. It wasn't too far away, but far enough to make you feel you are really out there. It was nice to meet some new friends





I decided to head up to the Gap yesterday to test out some recent modifications and work on my photography, which by the way i'm still terrible!



Chippy ready and excited to be in his natural environment!
chippyready



Some bee's doing what they do along the way.
flowerbees



I have been real happy with the new ome coils and rear sway bar removal, nice and smooth flex in the rear. The tires still don't rub since Jake modified the rear bumper.
4runnerflex

Testing out approach and departure angles, not bad. Yes, I did go all the way up. I was alone, so no action shots!
4runnerwall



4runnerfrontwall



4runnermountainbackdrop



Ocotillo's starting to pop!
ocotillo



All in all it was a good day. Everything was starting to bloom and green up.
gapcactus




Thursday

4runner got the OME 861's installed

image by Cruz Adventures
image, a photo by Cruz Adventures on Flickr.
You might remember from my last post, that I had purchased some new springs for the rear of the 4runner. These new springs are OME (Old Man Emu) 861's designed to provide 3/4" inch of lift on the front of a Landcruiser. I finally got around to installing these to compensate for the added weight from the new CBI rear bumper as well as additional weight I will be adding with a storage platform and other gear. They were a bit challenging to get in, but nothing my uncle and I couldn't figure out. I think the goal was achieved, looks just about right unloaded and they ride way better than the stock landcruiser rear coils I took out. They ended up giving me about 5-5.5 inches of lift over stock, not bad..