15 Sep Back From The Falken Tire Photoshoot
This past week, RPG was fortunate enough to be invited with Falken Tire to do a photo shoot in the Eastern Sierra’s. In a previous post I already said how impressed I was with the road performance of the Falken WildPeak A/T. Now that I’ve I had the chance to put the tire through its paces in mud, sand, water crossings, sharp rocks and certain death switch backs up 10,000 plus foot peaks, my impression of the Falken WildPeak A/T passed the test, and passed it with flying colors. Never once did I struggle for grip, got stuck in the sand or feel like the tires were over matched by the Raptor. My mpg was great driving up highway 395 and made it to and from the destination problem free.
I met the guys from Falken at their headquarters in Fontana CA at about 7:00 am Monday morning. The photo shoot consisted of the RPG Raptor, the Demello Motorsports Toyota 4-Runner, a privateer Toyota FJ cruiser and the Falken Tire Jeep JK. All very distinct vehicles that serve very different purposes, but all impressive in their own right. We headed straight for the Olancha Sand Dunes off of highway 395 and was immediatly blown away at what I came across. I’ve made the drive to Mammoth Lakes, CA more times than I can possibly remember and never once did I know there were amazingly playful sand dunes a few miles off the pavement
When we arrived the photography team scouted the exact location they were seeking. They needed depth, the right light and a setting that captured what the Raptor is all about. Shortly thereafter, we aired down the WildPeak A/T’s to about 15psi and headed up the dunes. For the next 3-4 hours, we were pelted with a sand storm that wasn’t far off from shutting down the shoot for the day. The guys hung in there, got the shots they needed and were very pleased with the day’s events. When shooting concluded, we packed up and headed north about 90 miles to Bishop, CA to the next day’s location.
Day two was simply amazing. We started out in 90 degree heat and ended up in low 40 degree temp range surrounded by the most beautiful scenery I have seen in a long time. Early on we spent the better part of the morning filming and shooting water crossings to show the versatility of the WildPeak A/T’s. As the elevation climbed, and the air became increasingly thinner the power of the RPG 5.4L Raptor hung in the best it could. My usual tire spinning antics were replaced by picture taking and sightseeing as the truck struggled for power. When we arrived at the summit the views were spectacular and the air had the feeling of ski season lurking just around the corner. The balance of daylight was spent taking rolling shots of the vehicles around 45 mph. The lighting was just right and the action shots came out amazing.
Upon our decent down the backside of the summit, the pace began to quicken and the business like attitude of the shoot suppressed itself in the ear-to-ear grins of the trail to the bottom. The trail weaved in and out of the deep mountain valleys through water crossings, Jeep like rock crawling sections, tight twisty bends and high speed launching pads. What’s even more incredible was the watching of each vehicle excel in its given environment. The Jeep ate up the rocks, the Toyota’s gripped the mud and the Raptor just powered through it all. When we finally reached the bottom, the day had grown dark and the road back to town was almost as enjoyable as the terrain we just concurred.
Day 3 was the last day of the shoot. It was only scheduled to be a few hours for some vehicle group photos. The plan was to meet at the Alabama Trail at the base of Mt Whitney, the tallest peak in the lower 48 states at over 14,000 ft. The topography was incredible, but the group photo was shot. It turns out you need a permit to shoot at the base of Mt Whitney. No more than 30 minutes into the shoot we were asked to leave because of the permit issue. Needless to say, the day was cut short and some of the most famous words in Hollywood were uttered by James, the lead organizer of the event “gentlemen, it’s a wrap”.
I would like to thank James, Nester, Jessie, John, Cale, Martin and Gene of Falken Tire for an amazing event. I have found a new trail I want to share with others and a new set of tires that far exceeded my expectations.