tire stickers

I love a good road trip.

This past weekend, myself & Jake from Slightly Mangled drove over 6 hours to Troy, NC to attend the first ever AWD Fest. This is an off-road event hosted by our friends at HRG Engineering , No-Lo Design & Ridgeline Store. This event was created for AWD vehicles specifically, such as the Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester & others. The event was emceed by the one and only Big Mike – who if you are unaware, you should definitely check out his Instagram page. I spent the weekend documenting the event as it went on. Here is what I captured:


We arrived at camp after the sun had set on Friday. This made the perfect opportunity to do some light painting. This Honda is HRG’s “War Wagon” – one of the wildest Hondas on earth.

Paul brought his Civic wago – an incredibly rare 3rd gen Civic. Shortly after this photo was taken, my light stick crapped out for good. 


Waking up to the smell of fried bacon & pancakes is not the worst alarm clock ever.

Paul attempted to diagnose a no-start issue with War Wagon. Turns out, it had jumped time & was unable to participate in the event.

Here is a photo of camp, packed full of Hondas & Subarus.

Jake and I tagged along with Dan and his highly modified 2004 Subaru Forester.

We ended up hitting the trails with a pack of Ridgelines and a Honda Pilot.

To be fair, these are all modified pretty heavily. Both the Pilot and the Forester have HRG’s lift kit components installed.

This is an inside joke to the Ridgeline community.

We happened to be out on the trails the same day as a massive Land Rover festival. Half of the cars we encountered on the trails were modified Land & Range Rovers. Pretty cool to see some of the older models getting used today.

Here’s a friendly reminder that these trucks are still unibody. Lots of 3 wheel action on the day.

As we came to one of the harshest climbs in the park, all of the cars were struggling for grip. 

Everything was going great… until it wasn’t.

Dan snapped BOTH rear axles attempting to go up a very tight climb. We quickly realized that the car needed to be limped back to camp some 5-6 miles away.

Dan & Jake were able to assess the situation & get us on the road back to camp.

Overall, AWD Fest was a great time. Everyone made it back to camp & got home safe. Not bad for a first event – it can only get bigger from here. 

If you like this story, you’ll love our ongoing lifted Civic build! Check it out here.

Text & Photos by Ben Battles