Alpine Loop, Poughkeepsie Gulch, Lake Como, Tuttle Mountain, Mineral Creek, California Pass & Million Dollar Highway
The Hell’s Revenge trail is one of my favorites—it’s close to Moab, obstacle rich and provides spectacular views in all directions. Eager to feel slickrock under my tires after a 10-hour haul from New Mexico, this is traditionally the first trail I run after arriving in Moab. Characterized by sand, boulders, ledges, slickrock and steep grades, the trail provides something for every off-road enthusiast. For those looking to tackle the trail’s most challenging obstacles (sans The Escalator) vehicles with the following equipment are strongly recommended at a minimum: Solid rear locker, underbody protection, winch, aggressive approach/departure angles and 33-inch tires. Hell’s Gate, the trail’s most notable obstacle, requires drivers to negotiate a steep V-notch climb for nearly 100 feet. The seven mile long trail is clearly marked by yellow flame symbols. Please use caution as Hell’s Revenge crosses the path of the heavily traveled Slickrock mountain bike trail.
This week, American Expedition Vehicles unveils their all new Dodge RAM off-road accessory line at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The American Expedition Vehicle built concept truck features a stamped steel bumper (capable of supporting 30,000+ pounds of recovery load), premium 3-inch suspension lift system (with custom valved shocks), high clearance fender kit (allowing the use of 35 to 40-inch tires with minimal lift), 10-inch wide cast aluminum wheels, 40-inch BFG KM2 tires and a robust 6.7 liter Cummins diesel power-plant. If New Mexico Backroads built a full-sized pickup, this would be it (just add a Flip Pac and auxiliary fuel tank).
AEV Ram Front Bumper Features: Industry's only stamped steel, winch compatible front bumper for the Ram, 3/16" steel construction, 1/4" steel winch mount accommodates 12-16.5k winches, Heavy duty shackle mounts, Provisions for 6.5" integrated off-road lights & Compatible with 2010+ Ram 1500/2500/3500/4500/5500 trucks
AEV Ram Wheel Features: 17X10 Ram-specific fitment -OE-quality, A-356 cast aluminum construction, SAE J2530 Certified, 3,650lbs Load Rating, Cast-in hub cover & Recessed valve stem surround
AEV 3" Ram Suspension System Fetures: Raises the vehicle 3" in the front and 2" in the rear for a level stance, Retains OE coil springs to maintain capability, Optimized suspension geometry for improved handling and increased roll center, Custom-tuned shocks to improve ride quality & High Steer Kit to correct steering geometry and provide precision steering
AEV High Clearance Fender Flares Features: Provides additional clearance for larger tires with less lift, Accommodates a 40" tire with only 3 inches of lift & Fender Flare design integrates with and compliments the AEV Premium Front Bumper for an aggressive yet refined appearance
Press release information, photos and equipment specifications via American Expedition Vehicles
After winning a slot for the Valles Caldera's annual Photography Adventure, I was given an all-access pass to explore the 89,216-acre preserve unaccompanied. The Valles Caldera is a massive 14-mile wide wide volcanic caldera located in the Jemez Mountains west of Los Alamos. The preserve's landscape is defined by vast grassy valleys (or valles), boulder strewn mountains and rugged volcanic outcroppings. The Valles Caldera National Preserve gained notoriety after being featured as the prime shooting location for Ron Howard's 2003 film The Missing. One of the historic homesteads depicted in the movie later became known as "The Missing Cabin". During my time at the Valles Caldera, I logged over 200-miles exploring the preserve's vast valleys and vistas, never crossing paths with another soul. Sunrise was spent in the golden hills of the Valle Grande; evenings were spent in the far reaches of the meandering Valle San Antonio. After dark, I'd return to my basecamp below Redondo Peak, greeted by the galaxies above and buzzing locusts. This is New Mexico truly wild.
For more information on the Valles Caldera National Preserve, visit http://www.vallescaldera.gov/
View of the Rim Trail — a roller-coaster-like, 20 mile long singletrack outside of Cloudcroft, NM. The trail winds through aspen groves and thick forest along the westernmost edge of the Sacramento Mountains providing a bird’s eye view of White Sands National Monument and beyond. - Lincoln National Forest, NM
Images of the Silver Fire - New Mexico Veteran Wildland Firefighter Pilot Program - Mimbres River at Cooney - Black Range of the Gila National Forest
Earlier this year, New Mexico Governor Martinez launched a program for New Mexico Veterans seeking training and employment in wildland firefighting.After several very active fire seasons in recent years, the Veteran Fire Crew Pilot Program was created to address the need for more wildland firefighters in the state.
"New Mexico's veterans have made remarkable contributions to our state and our country. We owe it to them to help them find employment when they return to civilian life.- Governor Susana Martinez
The pilot program currently provides 40 seasonal wildland firefighter positions with wages starting at 17.00 per hour and benefits. The new Military Veteran Wildland Firefighter Pilot Program crew will join the 200-plus State Forestry wildland firefighters presently assigned to protect state, private and federal lands from wildfire. In only a few months after the pilot program crew's creation, the 40-person crew has worked major fires in the Santa Fe National Forest and Gila National Forest. The veteran wildland firefighter program will be a great resource as we prepare for what could be a very active fire season.
"I salute all the veterans who are taking part in this program and thank them for their continued service to the people of New Mexico." - Governor Susana Martinez
A very special thanks to Crew Boss Michael Gonzales and the New Mexico Veteran Wildland Firefighter Pilot Program crew for allowing me the privilege to photograph them as they cut firelines ahead of the Silver Fire.