#SpringEpic23 – DAY 2

The 2023 Edition of the Red Line Land Cruisers Spring Epic Overland Trip

Photos & Story: Rodney Wills – DAY-2, April 22nd, 2023 • Yesterday was the long tarmac transit stage to Page, Arizona. We do not do too many hotels, but checking in and out of the hotel in Page, Arizona makes it a bit easier with the long haul from Colorado Springs and the early mission for today because TODAY WE HIT DIRT! We get our rigs packed and head out! 

As previously stated we are becoming even more eclectic of a vehicle collection with the addition of the Ford Ranger, Ford Bronco and Lexus GX470 to add to our 80-Series Land Cruiser, 3rd Gen. 4Runner and Jeep XJ Cherokee.

This year we will cover some area we areas that were covered before, but we are adding new routes as well! There is simply so much terrain to cover! So much to see, so much to explore! Luckily for our group, a few of these guys have been through here before because the next “encounter” would have been one of those scenarios where I would have questioned the possibility. I love following dirt roads to see where they lead to and many dead end into private properties and many go into the abyss of nowhere. But this next photo had me at the “beyond belief” state of amusement!

As we traveled along a little dusty road I was looking out of my passenger window and spotted the horse corral. I was riding with Bryan at this time and he said nothing and we were the lead vehicle. As we rounded the right-hand turn the road ran right into the corral area and seemed to “disappear!” “DEAD END!” I expressed. Bryan said, “OH NO! This is just the beginning!”

Bryan had me open the gate and make sure the horses do not get out and Bryan drove the XJ into the corral and replied, the trail goes down there! This moment and situation has to be one of the coolest experiences that I have encountered in all of my desert excursions! It was as though we were traveling back into time as this little horse corral simply oozed with history and mystique!

we got everyone lined up and passengers on horse-patrol at the gate to make sure this process would be a smooth process. I haven’t mastered my lasso skills, so not trying to wrestle up the herd! Everyone creeps their vehicles through and the horses are quite OK with us passing through!

I was so giddy with excitement I was shooting photos of me shooting photos! Such an epic spot!

With everyone lined and passing through the chute, where are they going?

From the looks of this image (above), you do not see a road, a track or trail. I was simply in awe!

When you see the route, the excitement only builds! This is how you start the day! We traveled down and around and down some more.

Once to the bottom of the canyon we traversed along the bottom and crossed out of the other side. From here we would go up the other side of the canyon wall! It looks OK here, but once the trail reached the second level it quickly got a bit rough and steep!

We are going up there!

And then up through that! As we were about to go up the hill, a couple of elderly hikers came up and asked if we were going up? She expressed that she would love to get up there and camp at the location we were in route to and that they would only be hiking up to the rim and then back across from where they had park.

This has to be the “magic shot” as I capture this image of all six of our rigs in action, in one frame!
From here I scramble my way up to capture the following to images.

The image looks so simple, part of what I love about this image, but too, it gives you no reference as to how steep, off camber and tight the slot is. This is Trevor of Crawlorado wheeling his GX470 up through the slot to discover what lies ahead.

I took zero photos while up top as Bryan hadded over the wheel of his XJ to me so he could ride with his son driving the desert-ready Ford Ranger! It was an absolute fun section to drive!

Then we came to the edge… See the crew up there? THE EDGE-ish! But the edge as far as we can drive…

This is our overlook view for the evening!

We get camp set for the night and take in the sunlight!

If you follow the Red Line Land Cruisers Instagram page, you can check out some of our video clips and images from the SpringEpic23 trip, even on the desktop! Just give it a minute to load the content – be patient!

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