Skeeno’s AXIALFEST 2017 Report Part 3

By Axial on Sep 22, 2017

Skeeno’s AXIALFEST 2017 Report Part 3

Words: Matt Soileau aka The SKEENO’naterrater
Photos: Michael Morris & Matt Soileau

By now I hope you have read Part-1 and Part-2 of the Skeeno’s AXIALFEST 2017 Reports. This Part-3 report will cover Friday, July 14 of AXIALFEST 2017.

Friday events included the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro and the inaugural AXIALFEST parade. I also got out to check out lots of trail action.  Let’s go see check out day 3 of AXIALFEST 2017.


Real or RC? Across the way from us, I spotted this 1:1 SCX10-2 XJ, or should I say the inspiration for it.  Note the license plate. Does it look like the Axial version? Peep the blog post: Building the full size SCX10XJ: Part 1 It’s very cool to come to AXIALFEST and see this kind of stuff in person!


There was also this OG SCX10-1 JK replica on the other side of my campsite.  Axial fans even love to scale out their 1:1s!


Friday morning, bright and early at 7 a.m. was check in for the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro.  I got up and made sure I was fueled for the race.  This was my first time running a 5K, so I was a little nervous. My breakfast choice is more for calming my nerves!


Our breakfast must have smelled pretty good, because this little bugger was drawn over by the smell all the way down in D camp.  Actually, this is Nate Hart, an old RC nerd from Reno, former A-Main Hobbies tech support guy, and fellow bike nerd.  I’ve know Nate since he was a little 12 year old grommet. Great to see him at AXIALFEST.


Here I am all kitted out with orange Altra Lone Peaks, orange striped socks, and orange shirt.  I heard if your kit matched your rig you’d get a time bonus. #KitMatchesRig It might be a thing…


Chris Cru Jones of Altra Running was all smiles, after all, this event was partially his creation along with Rodney Wills.  You can read about the origins of the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro here: ULTRA 5K ENDURO HISTORY


Chris got busy getting our buddies from the 801 crew signed up. These guys are one of the most progressive clubs in the scene!


Cassie Currie was already checked in and getting his batteries ready.  Matt Kearney and Jaime Seymour don’t look as enthused about being up at 7 in the morning. Late night trail runs maybe… ?


RCDriver’s Greg Vogel, #rodneysaiditwasok Wills, and the Judkins were all smiles and ready to watch the action.


Mike Thompson was getting some scale shots with the scale banners from Check them out for more Altra Ultra 5Ks.


After I got my race bib, I lined up in the correct spot. Racers started in numerical order, so I started in 47th place. By the way, that sweet wrap on my Bomber was done by Jay at S.O.R.  He did lots of rigs for AXIALFEST participants!

Screenshot_20170714-115549I’d like to say that this is me finishing the Altra 5K, but sadly this is just me on lap 3 or 4.  I DNF’ed halfway through lap 5.  I needed 6 laps to complete the race.  #SadFace
A stripped servo was my personal gremlin. Now, I want that new Tekin servo even more!  Hey Ty@Tekin, hint, hint, wink, wink.


Turns out, the DNF was a semi-good thing.  It allowed me to take some photos of the other competitors that I otherwise would not have had time for.


Here, Ben Thomas hooks the corner at the Start/Finish line. Rodney, Cathy and Mike Morris were the official visual lap-counters relaying bib numbers and “line-crossed” to Scott G on the computer. This system is very much the same for MTB and cross country races. AXIALFEST has a lot of progression of R/C all around us with these types of events and we are very stoked to be apart of it all!


Jason from Pedals bike shop mobs his SCX10-2. He was able to finish the race with this mostly stock rig, so don’t think you need to upgrade to race.


Hey look, the Phaminator, Phamtastic, Mike Pham gets a brief second to stand static as we are always on the move during the the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro.  I guess Chris and Jawn did convince him to participate!


This young lady was jamming.  We diced it up for a while until my servo gave up on me. Her stock RR10 Bomber finished. She was our one and only female competitor this year.
I expect to see more ladies joining her next year! I know Skeeno Jr is ready.


Anthony Dianda set some impressive lap times with his stock SCX10-2.  Are you catching the theme here?  Stock is good for the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro. Stock is good… At least you should try it so you know where the base line is. It’s that old 4X4 rule of thumb, learn to drive it stock, know your rig and when you modify you will know the full effect (full value) of the performance addition or if it’s truly an addition… #Dollar2PerformanceValue


CKRC’s Alec Van Den Brink makes his way thought the dry creek.


On the other side of the road, the creek was still flowing, yet just two weeks prior this trail was completely under water due to the amount of rainfall, snow pack melt earlier in the year.


The section behind the pavilion was both fun and frustrating.  These rocks were difficult to navigate, but it made the racing exciting with lots of drivers trying to drive around or over one another. It was also a moment of respite from our running flat out! The Altra Ultra 5K Enduro is both technical driving and physically demanding! Just like a 1:1 KOH rig! Have your ever watched the live feed of King Of The Hammers as the drivers come across the finish line? They are WIPED OUT looking!


Battery changes are almost a must when racing for over 3 miles flat out!  I personally swapped a battery every lap and half. I was running 2200mah batteries. I might need to rethink my mah rating to save some pit stops next year. #mahpermile


All the coolest people race the Altra 5K. Here Ryan Gerrish from DSPro comes out of the Bottoms.


Ben Thomas’s headband was working overtime here.


Tony Mazza was in it to win it.  He passed me at least once.


Not sure who #39 was, but he was kind enough to pose for me in the middle of the race.


Team Voodoo coming through!


Here’s Mr. Van Den Brink sprinting in to the finish.  If you want to see more of the AXIALFEST Altra Ultra 5K Enduro, check out this blog post: Athletic RC Adventure Mashup – Inside the Axialfest Altra Ultra 5K Enduro


After the Altra 5K Enduro, I was a little hungry. Lucky for me, Starkey’s Food Truck was back with the bomb pizzas and sushi! Yes, I said sushi and so should you!!!


Wood fired pizza oven! This is the real deal!!!


Team MRB’s Franky Testa shows off the goodness…mmmmm.

DSCF1360 After lunch, I headed out on some trails to check out the trail action.  The river was finally flowing again this year.  With temps in the 90s, the water was looking really tempting.

DSCF1355 The rocks down at the river are slippery smooth.  The scattered sand makes them even more challenging.


Some awesome rocks and lines over here.


Hello there!

DSCF1362 Looks like this guy remembered his neck cooler, anything to try to keep cool.

DSCF1364 I caught the 801 Crew celebrating a birthday. I think it was the Utah gang, I see Mikey T and THE Jake Wright in there. Forgive me if it’s not.


We all sang him happy birthday.  He was so pumped, he threw his rig in the air.


One of the cool things I noticed this year was some new features cut into Hell’s Highway.


It made the long walk down the hot road a little more interesting.


I don’t know who cut all these features into Hell’s Highway, but BRAVO! Great idea and I appreciated your hard work.  It couldn’t have been easy moving all that dirt and rock.

DSCF1379Best part of Hell’s Highway for me was not having to walk it.  I brought my putt-putt again this year.  The old CT70 makes catching all the action A LOT easier.  I did catch old Putt-Putt ogling this DRZ400.  Think he’d trade me for a lightly modified CT70 turned 125?


Dad and son about to conquer Hell’s Highway.  AXIALFEST is great family binding time.

DSCF1383 Can’t be an AXIALFEST without at least one trip up and down The Slab.

DSCF1385 I caught Butte County Scalers over behind The Slab.  This is a popular spot because of the water. DSCF1388 See how pretty it was back behind The Slab this year?  It was great to have some water running again.

DSCF1389 Down the way, I ran into Papa Don Hughes trying out this teeter-totter.


It teerered, but it needed a little persuasion to totter. I think that rock was blocking  it.


I Trail?  A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I? That’s 9 Trails!?!? Actually, there were 11 trails.  10 scale trails plus the Altra Ultra 5K trail that opened after the 5K was finished. Not sure how many miles of trails there were, but I hope you pack some mega mah when you come to Axialfest. Who is tracking their miles hiked at AXIALFEST? STRAVA anyone?


I caught up with this crew up front by the gate.


Let me tell you a little secret, sometimes I miss some shots and ask guys to drive lines again, so I can get better pictures.  I felt like a huge jerk when I re-positioned that silver rig up there and accidentally pulled apart part his roll ball.  I apologized profusely. I hope I didn’t bum out his AXIALFEST participant.  Sorry again, good sir!


Of course, up by the campground’s main entrance is the Welcome to Cisco Grove sign.  Looks like it needed some maintenance. I caught this little guy working on it…or maybe he was posting up a garage sale sign.


Around the corner and through A camp, I ran into Werty Jr. He was piloting his dad’s RC wagon.  He told me his dad was just back across the bridge, so I turned around to say hello.


Ol’ WERTY really wanted to show off his short wheel base leaf spring conversion he had just finished up.

DSCF1407Stock Axial frame rails?  Nicely done, Werty!  If you want those parts, I’m sure he’ll make you up a set as well. PS: Rodney said he wants to commandeer a set!


Ok, here was one of the coolest features at AXIALFEST.  The 50/50 grinding rail on the CKRC Trail.  Speeds on this were insane. But one of the coolest videos was one where the dude slid down the rail and at the bottom, pinned it and jumped over his buddy! Can anyone find and send us a link to that video? Think it was on IG.


A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, and 5K.  Yup, 11 trails.  Luckily, there were these signs all over to direct you in the right direction to find them all.


Dang, these two Jeeps are still kissing?


I had heard rumors of all kinds of scale buildings and whatnots all over the Scale Trails, so I went on a mission to find some.  I’m sure I missed plenty, but here are some that I did find.


On the way in I saw these guys coming out.


General rule is if it’s not yours, don’t touch it.  Volunteers work long, hard hours building these fun displays, so it’s best to leave them alone, so everyone can enjoy them.


Mine Shaft!


Cabin?  Old Mill?  What do you think it is?


Hmm, gated.  What does that sign say?


No way! An Area 51? Could there be aliens at AXIALFEST?


Holy moly! A UFO crash site!  And I see at least three green guys.  If they are green, they must be Axial fans.



An old log cabin.


Another mine shaft.


Not really scale, but there was this bridge I caught a couple Axialfesters driving over.


A Mercantile. I wonder if they sell Axial parts.


Scale Cisco Grove was back.


I love this building, so awesome. It’s a replica of Cisco Grove’s main office!


A little bit of everything over here, EZ-Up, picnic table, water wheel, cabins.


The A-Main Jeeps was packed to the gills and ready to hit the trails.


Must be a bad neighborhood if they have to post wanted signs. Recognize any faces?  I see #rodneysaiditwayok Wills up there.


Wait, another mercantile? Looks like I got here just in time to foil a robbery. They had the owner all tied up. I guess it is was a bad neighborhood.

IMG_20170712_155012_1 Good thing I ran into R. Lee Ermey. I sent him over to handle those idiots in the mercantile.


Since it was hot, and since there was water, I decided to take a little wade to cool off my tootsies over at the Golden Nerd Bridge.


There was lots of action over here.


Everyone wanted to conquer these scary, but fun obstacles.


It’s a little nerve wracking when you can’t quite see what your rig is doing near water 50 feet away.


Some Axialfesters, like Heather O’Connor, also decided to wade next to their rigs. See Mike in the background?


He pulled out his boat and we got a little scale speed boating action going.


When will Axial release a boat?  What kind of boat should Axial produce?


See, that’s a long drive across.


I didn’t see many speed demons blasting across these bridges.



There were lots of families enjoying the cool water.


Some even offered to escort trucks across in case any accidentally decided they were amphibious.


Dang this day seems long, must be that getting up at 7am thing.  Anyway, I headed back for dinner and couldn’t resist checking out the Knight Customs Toyota display again.  I thought this was a brilliant way to see all his parts in action.


Finally, food.  Tacos was the treat.  Can’t eat too many tacos.


Tonight was carne asada night. What’s your favorite camp food?


After dinner it was the First Annual AXIALFEST Parade. I stopped by Mike Bier’s camp on the way to the parade. He was showing off his Go Hard jersey from the Grinduro mountain bike race. The Grinduro is sort of an AXIALFEST of the MTB world, part race, part party, and total celebration of MTB.


This jersey is awarded to the rider who goes the hardest each night and finishes the best the following day.  Mike Bier has the skills to do both. You can check out the Grinduro here:


IMG_20170714_193207That’s a long line.  Can we make it even longer next year?


I knew Two Chainz Scalerz would be at the parade.


Wait, what? Are those 8-ohm house speakers up there? Did he carry those relics on Fordyce?



Go time! Best of Show Concourse winner, Todd Pearson, got the honor of leading the parade with his amazing military build.

IMG_20170714_193821 IMG_20170714_194107

Around the corner, Matt Wolfe set up this flaming Arch de’ AXIALFEST.


See the flames shooting out the top?


I see the Pro Line guys stopped to shoot some video.  They always have great video recaps of AXIALFEST.  Look for them on their YouTube page.


This good looking crew was a set up and ready to watch the parade.


After the parade, I was ready to hit the sack. This was my longest day at AXIALFEST and my feet and body were ready for some rest.  I needed to recharge, because tomorrow would be another long day of fun at AXIALFEST.

In Part 4 of the Skeeno AXIALFEST 2017 Report, I will be covering Rock Racing and the Awards Ceremony and Raffle on the final day of AXIALFEST 2017.







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