It’s been a busy few weeks and it was time to relax… in a different way. My very good friend Hubert Barnum recently shown some interest in off-roading and really wanted to take out his girlfriends Jeep Wrangler JK. There’s actually a great OHV park in Azusa, California and it’s the perfect place for beginners. The park opens to the public on weekends from 8-4:30 and it’s just a 15 minute drive right off the 210 freeway. The best part, there’s no signal up there and no one can bug us while we have some fun. We extended an invite to our buddy Brendan Taft and into the hills we roll.
Brendan brought out his beautifully built Toyota Land Crusier (FJ80). If his name sounds familiar, you may know him for his NA ITB built MKIV Supra. Shoot over to his IG page (@NA_HERO) and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Equipped with ARB bumpers, ARB snorkel, OME suspension lift, Yokohama Geolandars and a set of white set of TE37’s to compliment his white LC. Even bigger kudos for actually using his TE’s for what they’re meant for. Me personally, I can’t find it in my heart to scratch up beautiful TE37’s. Haha.
For those that don’t know. I’ve recently picked up a 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road 4×4, yeah it’s a mouth full. Though modding wasn’t in my immediate plan, I got bit by that contagious mod bug and all hell broke loose. To start off, we’ve installed an Icon Stage 4 Suspension kit, Rotiform SIX-OR, Nitto Ridge Grapplers, Relations Race front bumper and GGLighting LED bars. I’ve only owned the truck for 5 months now and the photos up top is the results. What really got me into off-roading was during my time Falken. The company sent us out to Oregon for a off-road excursion with over a dozen vehicles. I only sat passenger during the trip, but ever since then, I knew my next car would be a 4×4.
Hubert and Denise has never taken their Jeep JK off-roading, nor do they have any experience driving in these conditions. They were a little nervous at first, but they got through their first couple obstacles and they were having the time of their lives. They’re hooked.
Their Jeep JK is actually stock from the ground up and is a very capable rig and does the job. I mean… it is a Jeep.
After a few obstacles. We drove down all the way to the end where there’s a HUGE community of mudders and it’s quite the show.
These guys build these swamper trucks equipped with huge mud tires. They charge at full speed into very soft mud. They either make it through, or get stuck and dig themselves top tire deep.
As you can see, this one didn’t make it through. As I’ve said, there’s a huge community of these swampers and other people are willing to jump right in to lend helping hand and tug them out. We’ve seen trucks getting pulled out and immediately go full throttle back in the pits just to get stuck again. Personally, it boggles my mind, but they enjoy it and we definitely enjoy watching.
Hubert, Denise and Brendan enjoying the show.
Most of the time these guys actually make it through while flinging mud 50 feet into the air as well in the cabin area. You’ll hear the screams of hundreds of spectators cheering and clapping on for these guys. You can kick back with a nice cold drink and be entertained for hours.
Speaking of getting stuck, we left the mudding area to have some fun of our own and on the way hit some soft mud. I made barley made it through and Brendan followed before I could warn him. Oops. Haha.
It’s always good to be prepared. Brendan’s pulled out his ARB recovery rope and I pulled him from the muddy mess to safety.
Sometimes you just gotta laugh it off.
Surprisingly, Hubert and Denise’s Jeep performed very well through most obstacles. Shows you that you don’t need a crazy 4×4 to have fun.
A lot of the local SoCal trails don’t have water crossing. So a great part of this OHV park is that you can run your rigs down stream and kick up water for a good half mile.
Hopped out of my truck to get one final photo before we head back home.
Azusa Canyon may not be very technical, but if you don’t want to drive 100’s of miles to get your fix and just want a little local get away with your friends. All you need is a 4×4, a nice set of all-terrains and 8 bucks to enter.
Visit the website below for more info
Huge shout out to my friends at Nitto Tires, IDL Design USA, GGLighting, Relations Race Wheels, ShowStoppers Off-Road and Icon Vehicle Dynamics.