SPRING EPIC 2022
Hopefully you’ve already read: Day-4.
DAY FIVE: The Red Line Land Cruisers Spring Epic Overland Trip 2022
Photos & Story: Rodney Wills [Tuesday – March 22, 2022] Today we are hitting the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park located in Kanab, Utah. We will also do a little side-trip to see some Native American petroglyphs in the area as well! We are camped very close to the entrance of the park, yet we packing out our camp this morning as we are not sure if will be returning to this same area at the end of the day. We are continually traverse forward.
TODAY – WE ARE HERE! We are always somewhere on the map… We may not always know where, but we are somewhere… No such thing as “lost,” just temporarily displaced. It’s a state of mind over your physical being.
Apparently there is some good “sand boarding” at these dunes! But we didn’t come here for the sand boarding, we came here to play in the dunes with our four wheel drive vehicles – FOR FUN! We simply obtain park maps, purchase park passes and buggy whips.
With this level of “duneage” about to happen, we choose to offload our payload and setup a makeshift “Adventure Popup Shop.” We sold zero, but we are here for a good wheeling time!
The park is fairly mellow in the beginning and the more you get into it, the more you get into!
Jay in the RLLC4R attacks another entrance to another sand hill to somewhere in search of remoteness within the park!
Justin in the RLLC80 navigates away from the crowd and start looking for the steeper stuff and successfully pulls some good hills!
OH WHAT A FEELING – TOYOTA! And a Jeep.
We make our way further back in the park and it feels very “remote” back here! We can see the highway if we look hard enough, but for the time being, no one is back here and we are making fresh tracks in the sand! That is a cool feeling!
We drop into some steep bowls and for me, I’ve always called the dunes the worlds largest automotive skate park! I remember my first trip to Glamis in the early ’90 with an 1988 Toyota Pickup truck prerunner’ed out with a 14″ widened frontend on 32″ BFG’s with a LOCK-RIGHT locking rear differential.
With a little dune-scouting we find a good one! BERM TIME!
The RLLC4R gettin’ jiggy with the wall!
I hop into Bryan’s XJ to grab these images to show you how steep of an angle these guys are hitting.
Same image as above, just cropped and rotated. It’s like giant BMX berms!
Sand dunes are both fun and dangerous at the same time! Learning to drive in this type of sand helps build your confidence and I always think about the DAKAR Rally as those guys are racing for days across the dunes! And those dunes dwarf these dunes!
Justin gives the berm-bowl another go!
Then I get all three of them to line up and run it together.
Yes, we let a Jeep in front of the Toyota’s and onto this page… GEEEZ!
We set off to explore some more.
The wind and the sand have an interesting relationship… Constantly changing.
Then we come upon a narrow pass side-hill… Justin is sizing it up and Jay is telling him, just add more skinny pedal. Justin tells Jay, I got your skinny pedal and we’ll use it for firewood… Luckily Jay stuck his non-skinny pedal leg out! Can’t sing your way out of this one Jay! Things where getting a little delirious on the sand dunes, maybe it was the nervous excitement! Meanwhile, “Metal-to-the-pedal” Bryan goes shooting up and over the pass in his tin can of an XJ. Must be the low-carb lightweight Diet Pepsi aluminum version as the XJ’s power-to-weight-ratio (P2Wr) is strongly suited for the climb dance. Jay jumps in the 4Runner and makes chase up the sandy pass as well. But we want to see if the fully loaded and heavy 80-Series can make it in one go.
It’s a no-go! Even with a winch-line jumped to Bryan’s XJ it was a no go. Yes, we could have three-way-strapped the vehicles together or strapped to the tree and tacked our way up, adding three+ hours worth of work! Save that for a C4RS Recovery School Demo! But too, if you where soloing this trip, you would not even consider attempting this with a perfectly suited dune on the left and your entire family in tow!
Again, this is why you go out with friends and equipped for your experimental wheeling. Maybe when the RLLC80 gets the LS-swap we will come back and attempt it again. But in theory, it could rain, the sand would be a little more “packed” and we would be able to drive right up it. But OK, it’s just theory…
We back down, go around and onto our next adventure. It’s only Day-4 and we have so much more to explore!
Tires and air pressure play a major factor in the sand game. But we’ve had enough sand dune play for today!
Have to say we are quite pleased with the Yokahoma Geolandar‘s on the 80-Series Land Cruiser as this is our first time using these tires and this trip has been our first dirt/sand session on them. And no, the Geolandar’s are not sponsored to us as we purchased them through our local Discount Tires on Woodman Road here in Colorado Springs.
We air up all twelve tires… and properly spool the winch line.
And Jay tweaks a little on the 4Runner’s bumper where he came into a dune a little hot.
Thats what Solo / King suspension combo gives you, confidence to cook it!
It’s all fun and games as long as you are willing to do the work!
Also, this is our first real outing with a final production RLLC Battery Tray Bar and we are quite happy with it! Another result after too many “fun & games” overcooking it in the RLLC80! Can you say “at-speed touring?”
Onward to more adventuring!
Next stop, a little adventure hike!
On foot in “1WD” we go!
Across this little path, down that trail..
Over this little snow covered trail and then around this slab on the sandy “beach” trail…
All leading down into the abyss of this this little canyon.
For the sake of seeing ancient American artifacts by native Americans.
We do not post direct locational links nor name the locations. If you truly want these spots, you will seek them out! Much like one of our favorite Instagram pages 395North, as he has no locations given “policy” other than the long immense highway along the High Sierra’s, hence the name “395North.”
Like 395North states, “Petroglyphs are fragile cultural resource that is an extremely important part Native American identity. They are a tie to ancestors, the past, and land while being a critical part of the culture’s future. Once damaged they can never be repaired nor replaced. Please help preserve cultural landscape for future generations by following a few guidelines:”
• Look but do not touch! Even a small amount of the oils from our hands can darken petroglyphs, making them impossible to see.
• Don’t walk on them! The oils are even worse on pictographs.
• But it’s on public land: do a little research and find out if your presence is welcome.
• Sometimes sites are still actively used for cultural education & ceremony.
• Speak up if you see someone defacing or desecrating sacred sites or individual petroglyphs.
• Call BLM, National Park, National Forest, or local authorities.
• Always encourage and teach good practices.
More on Utah’s Native Americans from a generic starting point, but if you are truly interested you can dig much deeper: https://www.visitutah.com/things-to-do/history-culture/tribal-cultures
We make our way to a new camp location for the evening.
These lands are long and hard…
Especially when you consider how they were first covered, by foot, by horseback, by covered wagon.
We find our camp and I choose to try out these sand / snow stakes I’ve had but never used..
Tents pitched… We are camped on a nice little rise surrounded by tree’s but we have a 360-degree view and not another sole in sight!
A little camp scouting the views surrounding us. It’s not long before it’s dinner time!
With dinner done, it’s long exposure photo time!
That is all for tonight! What a day! I walk into each day with an open mind and walk out with the unexpected!
Day-6 of the Red Line Land Cruisers Spring Epic 2022.