SPRING EPIC 2022
Hopefully you’ve read: Day 1: SpringEpic22 – Friday March 18th, 2022
Day 2: The Red Line Land Cruisers Spring Epic Overland Trip 2022
Photos & Story: Rodney Wills [Saturday – March 19, 2022] Last night’s temperature dropped down below 30-degrees so the inner warming effect of some hot coffee is priority before we start todays mission! And at some point today we will be hitting DIRT!
Today we will slide southwesterly some 4+ hours and 263-miles down the road for a half day of slapping knobbies on the black slab!
The weather is a bit overcast, chilly and snow is still on the the ground, but nothing too “threatening” as we slab our way through Utah on HWY70. Yes, we are in search of a little non-snow covered desert and a little warmer weather! It is spring break!
Spotted on HWY89. This 80-Series Land Cruiser upholding it’s namesake, cruising…
As we slide into St. George, Utah we see the Saturday morning peloton crew getting their laps in! While they are burning calories we will be finding a spot to grab lunch to pack on calories and sort out our next plans…
One simple photo and not much of a photo at that, but this one image gets me excited as I’ve been up there before! GOOSEBERRY MESA! I’m no virgin, but we are traveling through Virgin, Utah on HWY-9 and I see the cliff-side of “the Goose!” I shot this little “ditty” up on the Goose a bunch of years ago.
LUNCH TIME!!! Nothing visually spectacular, but we are in the DIRT!
Lunch… It’s a process! This is our first “meal stop” on the trip and its a little bit of unpack, resort configuration and repack as I want quick and easy access to my camera gear and allow semi-easy access to the cooler, food and snack. It’s a process. Bryan and I would later joke about making a “packing map.” Barcodes and bin locations anyone?
Jay’s third generation Toyota 4Runner was recently outfitted with the Solo Motorsports Long-Travel Kit and equipped with King Shocks. We told him we were going to Baja… He is so ready!
Bryan’s XJ is equipped with BIG MEATY’s and a tool box and he’s not afraid to use either!
Lunch humor, for a lifetime… (Bryan’s lunch box).
I’m excited to be on this trip and when the rigs are loaded for more than a day-trip, it’s especially exciting!
ALSO, I’VE BEEN MISSING THE DESERT!!!! This trip is getting me back to my “happy place” as I have not been to the desert for some time now! Especially when it was a weekend occurrence previously.
Before we get into our real adventure, a few of our crew had not been to Zion National Park, so we opted for a little side-trip to make a pass-through. You really need a couple of days+ to really experience Zion with all the hiking trails and such, but this would be a little preview teaser.
The difference six years makes! I made the trip from Southern California to Zion back in 2015 and Zion was very “OPEN” as we drove through here a few times… Maybe my memory is getting bad or my “soft-memory hard drive” has dust particles as I simply do not remember all this “pay structure” to get into Zion.
Also too, BUSES!!!! If you want to actually go into the Zion “Narrows” now, you park your vehicle and load up onto buses and they drive you into the canyon via TOUR BUS. WOW! This is not how it was! I consider myself lucky as my family trip was very free-flowing as we drove the ADV80 through everywhere in Zion. For our Spring Epic 2022, we deemed the bus trip would be too timely and we had a pet with us, so scratch that bus ride part. We opted for a little pass-through…
The #RLLC80 looking good for the camera!
Very “MOAB’y” driving through Zion. Impressive nonetheless! But the most impressive part of Zion is in the main narrow canyon where the Zion National Park Lodge is located. Hopefully if you are staying at the Lodge you can drive directly there, but as we were attempting to drive-through, it is now a “bus-only” affair.
Beauty shot of the The #RLLC80 & 4Runner tarmac touring through Zion.
Such awesome views in every direction, even outside of the narrow canyon.
The Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel.
SPOTTED THIS 80-Series driving through Zion:
CLICK-CLICK-CLICK-CLICK-CLICK!!!!! The ol’ Canon 7D still fires off nicely! But it’s all about that glass! Camera “glass” that is!
As we are standing around rubber-necking and gee-gawking, we spot the “red shirt” high up on the cliff.
Looks like Zion is a bit of a destination for the mountaineering types.
Lollie is not so impressed…
We make our way back to town to stock up on a couple of supplies as we will soon drop into dirt for a while!
Someone in town is stocked! I always “have eyes” for fuel cans! These are decent ones…
Not the best Jerry’s but a good second best. Reminds me… I need to do that blog post. Why do I always have “eyes” for Jerry cans?
Because Jerry cans can get you to the remoteness… AND BACK! They really can!
A quick navigational recon…
Just a little while south of Hurricane, Utah we hitch our ponies at the Dinosaur Track Site.
Looks like a few of these “super-turkey’s” once cruised through here! I love how this place is “open” and up to us to preserve and protect. It’s great that it is a fenced “walk-in” location so we can actually know that these “preserved in rock” imprints are here. The desert holds many mysteries!
Time for us to scout out a camp spot for the evening…
Backcountry fence… When you pass through these “structures” do you ponder when they were installed? I imagine a covered wagon filled to the brim with post and wire… BARBED WIRE and pains-taking days upon days to post-hole the desert floor and string a “boundry!”
I can only imagine these fence posts were set by hand, no machines…
How many man-hours do you think it took to post and string barbed-wire across the desert floor?
Still on the hunt for that “O.K. Corral” to rope our rigs up and call home for the night!
Seems like a legit spot!
Our camp area looks great with lots of visual curiosities to ponder and the kids to climb over, under and around!!!
No cactus was hurt in the making of this image. The rig is here for the protection of plant and for the good of the children!
Camp is set for the evening – Day two of our Spring Epic 2022 is in the bag and we are in the dirt!
This was Bryan’s “tender vittles.”
Primitively instinctual – FIRE! The right of passage… True outdoor confidence is mastering the art of fire making. Do you agree? Maybe a bit over the top, but it truly is a joy of camping!
Then comes the dark and I love light painting! Not that I am great at it, but it’s fun!
And, I can NOT do JUST ONE!  Bryan and Jay hanging by the fire.
 Justin is moving around in the background by his tent getting the kiddeooo’s to bed!
 Little more Moody Blues… The RLLC80 side profile can be slightly seen on the right and some type of light is “on” in Jay’s 4Runner.
 Jay’s 4Runner lit up!
 Filtered in yellow with red LED streaks…
 Purple Haze – Even though we are on our Spring Epic 2022, we know we are not far enough into the desert just yet when the sky is lit up as such by the city glow.
The lights are from city of St. George, Utah. But maybe tomorrow camp will be further out.
Campfire Sidenote: My pops always told his little jokes and sayings… (My dad and I are from Alabama…)
He would ask you, “How far can you go into the woods?” So I re-ask it, “how far can you go into the desert?”
The answer is… Halfway!
You can only go into the woods or desert “halfway” as the other half is going out of the woods or desert.
Day-3: Spring Epic 2022 #SpringEpic22
Posting December 2022.