Conversations with Big Rich

Tom Wayes takes us around the world on skis, mountain bikes, and race cars.

October 27, 2022 Guest Tom Wayes Season 3 Episode 134
Conversations with Big Rich
Tom Wayes takes us around the world on skis, mountain bikes, and race cars.
Show Notes Transcript

Ready for an adrenaline rush? Tom Wayes is living a storied life, it was great to hear some of that tale. Want to hear how he fought off a bear, we’ve all heard part of the story, Tom tells all right here.

5:41 – the first person to introduce me to skiing, and I was completely obsessed with it

8:48 – I wasn’t planning on staying

12:28 – as long as I had my ice tools, my crampons, and a rope, I dropped into anything 

18:57 – we chartered a Russian heli…and just pointed at stuff and landed on it and skied whatever we felt like

21:21 – Putin’s coming, Putin’s coming…

29:28 – I kind of enjoy just keeping people guessing on where I’m going to qualify

35:08 – never grab your gummy snacks with your race gloves…

38:31 – I gather up some lawn chairs, I gather up a golf cart, and then…

42:16 – always use the best equipment

54:25 – the bear encounter

We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine. 

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[00:00:06.310] - 

Welcome to conversations with Big Rich. This is an interview style podcast. Those interviews are all involved in the offroad industry. Being involved, like all of my guests are, is a lifestyle not just to job. I talk to competitive teams, racers, rock crawlers, business owners, employees, media and private park owners, men and women who have found their way into this exciting and addictive lifestyle. We discuss their personal history, struggles, successes and reboots. We dive into what drives them to stay active and offroad. We all hope to shed some light on how to find a path into this world we live and love and call off road.


[00:00:53.740] - 

Whether you're crawling the red rocks of Moab or hauling your toys to the trail, Maxxis has the tires you can trust for performance and durability. Four wheels or two, Maxxis tires are the choice of champions because they know that whether for work or play, for fun or competition, Maxxis tires deliver. Choose Maxxis Tread victoriously.


[00:01:20.240] - 

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[00:01:47.240] - Big Rich Klein

On today's episode of Conversations with Big Rich, we have Tom Wayes. Most of you have probably heard of Tom, but let's talk about Tom. Tom not only races KOH, he is a rock crawler, an extreme skiing professional, woodcutter/tree faller, snow machine rider, but also fights bears in his spare time. Tom, great to have you on board with us and talking about your life.


[00:02:15.960] - Tom Wayes

Thank you. Big Rich. It's great to be here. I appreciate you taking the time to talk about my world, I guess.


[00:02:23.140] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah, you're a busy man. It's hard to fit this in, but we got it going, so let's jump right in. And where were you born and raised?


[00:02:32.690] - Tom Wayes

I was born in Pennsylvania, was born and raised in Huffs church, Pennsylvania, which is in Burkes County. My parents were both educators. My mom was an English teacher and my dad was an elementary school principal. And we also had a 100-acre farm that was not a full time farm, but we had horses and cows and pigs and chickens and mostly hay for the horses. But we bailed three, four cuttings a year, three cuttings a year. And we had probably 15 acres, alfalfa and 100 acre farm with a beautiful trout creek running through it. And grew up running around on my three wheeler and mini bike before that and definitely gave me the ability to know that work is not done, so the work is done and some work ethic. And I got the intensity of my mom and ADD of my dad and I got a little bit of both.


[00:03:33.740] - Big Rich Klein

So that sounds pretty rural if it was farm ranch life.


[00:03:39.890] - Tom Wayes

Yeah, definitely Rich, right? Kind of on the edge of Lancaster County. It's basically like South Allentown, a little bit southeast of, like, Trekstertown, kind of in the Pennsylvania Dutch borderline, kind of the Amish area of Pennsylvania.


[00:03:59.990] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah. When you said that Lancaster County, I know that I've driven through that area number of times and come across the Amish carriages going down the road.


[00:04:09.740] - Tom Wayes

Yeah. Our first tractor was John Deere monta flywheel, start tricycle cultivator under it. And definitely when we moved into this farm in 1979, I was eight years old, and it's definitely a lot of work. My parents were definitely brave and moving into 1800 stone farmhouse that had a slate roof that needs to be replaced in a barn that was the roof was half caved in and had 2ft of pigeon shit on the second floor. And it was definitely my parents full time job was remodeling and making that house into what it became.


[00:04:54.310] - Big Rich Klein

And what did they do before moving out onto the farm?


[00:05:00.960] - Tom Wayes

We were in Bucks County before that for a little bit, and then we were in Quakertown briefly, and then from there we moved to the farm and then that was pretty much my main upbringing was there.


[00:05:15.830] - Big Rich Klein

Okay. And then doing the school and all that kind of stuff. Like others that I've talked to that have grown up on the farms or ranches, you probably spent more time on the ranch and the farm than you did in school.


[00:05:35.990] - Tom Wayes

My parents were big on education but also encouraged me to play sports.


[00:05:40.370] - Big Rich Klein

Okay, good.


[00:05:41.240] - Tom Wayes

I was definitely trying to find what was right for me, for sure. And I did a little bit of track and field pole vaulted and threw javelin and played a little bit of baseball. Didn't really like it. Played football, played defensive safety and really enjoyed that. And then skiing was really my true passion. My cousin Phil, who lived up in the Poconos was the first person to introduce me to skiing, and I just immediately fell in love with it and was completely obsessed with it, and that just became my sole focus. And at that time that was really important to me and started racing mountain bike. There wasn't really a designated downhill mountain biking at that time, but I pretty much wanted to ski race. That was my main goal. And I met this one local guy in Pennsylvania that had some gates and gave me some videos that I could study and I wanted to start ski racing as soon as possible and it wasn't available as a high school sport. At my public school I went to, I started training as much as I could and pretty much the Keystone state games was the first ski race ever went to and did well at it and then went to try out for green Mountain College's ski team in Poland, Vermont, and made the team and got a scholarship to ski race for them.


[00:07:14.410] - Tom Wayes

And next thing you know I was training and commuting up to Kellington and Pico ski resort and ski race there for four years and ended up going to nationals three out of four years.


[00:07:28.160] - Big Rich Klein

Nice. And what was your favorite discipline?


[00:07:32.160] - Tom Wayes

I always wanted to race downhill in Super G, but we didn't have that possibility. I didn't like slalom, even though I was good at it. I was definitely better at GS, but my slalom results were always pretty good too. Just it was a little frustrating slum, but I always wanted to do more speed events. But I moved out to Squaw Valley. No. It was called Palisade. I moved out to Olympic Valley in 1994 and at that time I was racing downhill mountain bikes. I was racing on the Grenade World Cup Tour and on the Northern National Tour, racing pro downhill and came out to race the Mammoth Kamikaze and the Rebot Eliminator and the North America's Championships, which was at Squaw Valley and also was doing the Daddle Mania Tour, which is based on a big bear and came out and wasn't planning on staying. I just came out to do some races and I had like two or three friends that I had gone to school with that had moved out here. One of them was Tom Brand, who was on the Promo Tour at the time.


[00:08:47.810] - Big Rich Klein



[00:08:48.340] - Tom Wayes

And he gave me his car to borrow his Mazda and I drove down to Mammoth and race Mammoth and came back. And right before I left I had broken my frame on my bike and I got introduced to Greg four sites from Psychopath Bike Shop. Which was on the west Shore right in Sunnyside. And he said. Hey. You're more than welcome to build your bike here. And basically had the frame delivered there and showed up with a backpack full of parts and put the bike together and he walked over and he grabbed it and pulled it off the bike stand and hopped up and down on it and went out and took a first spin around the block and came back. He was like, you want a job? I was like, I wasn't planning on staying. And he's like, well, you got a job if you want it. So he was my first boss ever in Tahoe and I got a place to live and a job the same day. And I was like, you know what? I'm going to stay. So I moved in with a friend of mine in Olympic Valley and it was a pretty unique house at the time.


[00:09:52.060] - Tom Wayes

We called it the gravity house. It's kind of an interesting story because Red Bull started their test market in Tall City and then Olympic Valley and Frank Omali, who is one of the originators of base jumping and all these guys that were big into the bungee jumping scene at the time which turned into base jumping, which turned into rope swing, and everything that went along with it. And the Red Bull Air Force came out of that house and everybody else that went along with it. And it's pretty neat to see how big of an influence that the Red Bull program became in the whole global community that started right there.


[00:10:34.750] - Big Rich Klein

Did you know what was his name? Paul Crandall.


[00:10:38.760] - Tom Wayes

I knew Paul for sure.


[00:10:40.030] - Big Rich Klein



[00:10:40.340] - Tom Wayes

Definitely paul. Paul. Yeah.


[00:10:42.520] - Big Rich Klein

I was introduced to him by Dustin Webster.


[00:10:47.240] - Tom Wayes

Yeah, basically Paul. Paul was a huge part of that program. And then I think he went on to bite of water and a few other things maybe GoPro as well. Basically kind of right about that same time, so early ninety s, the presence in Squaw Valley was huge. Anybody that wanted to be pro is there, and everybody wanted to be on the cover of Ski magazine and being a ski movie. And right about that time, Lord of the Boards was a mixed discipline series that was starting out. That was basically the beginning of skiercross, skier Cross, skier X, which it turned into X Games, became a huge deal. Eventually became even Olympic sport now. And I started competing in Skier Cross because at that time, being good in traffic and enjoying down biking, mixing in my ski racing background, it was really fun to blend that together. And a friend of mine, Greg Nebula, and I competed together. It was a team event where it was a snowboarder skier combo in the first Red Bull event, which was the Red Bull Ultra Cross that happened at Mount Rose, and that was the first event. I think we got second in it.


[00:12:12.730] - Tom Wayes

And I can't remember how much money we won, but it was, like, really exciting at the time. And I was like, okay, I got cash. I'm immediately leaving. I'm going to Valdez, Alaska, because I want to go heli-ski.


[00:12:25.710] - Big Rich Klein

And that was your first trip to heli-ski?


[00:12:28.850] - Tom Wayes

That was my first trip to go heli- skiing. And at that point, I had just come back from Shelmany, France, just spent like a month over there, ski mountaineering all around Mount Blanc and off Big Whitama Dee. And at that point, like, my rope skills were starting to develop, and I was really getting super interested in ice climbing. Rock climbing was fun, but ice was just next level to me because it just opened up the possibilities of being able to ski and descend and climb anything. As long as I had my ice tools, my crampons and a rope, I dropped into anything. And that was just kind of the start of me wanting to skew the volcanoes in the Ring of Fire and going after a bunch of different volcanoes. And then things started escalating pretty quickly after that.


[00:13:17.870] - Big Rich Klein

So anything you could do to supercharge the adrenaline rush, well, it was just.


[00:13:24.890] - Tom Wayes

Neat to be able to go I mean, to go compete next games and skier. Cross was fun, but it's nothing comparatively to like going to Alaska and seeing what the mountains have there and just the size and the scale and then.


[00:13:46.640] - Big Rich Klein

Terrain has been uncut.


[00:13:48.810] - Tom Wayes

Yeah. And just pioneering stuff. And at that point, there had been a little bit of stuff done, but it wasn't a lot of it. And then there was a lot of opportunities at that time to do different things. I wanted to push the fast forward button as much as possible, and I went and got my EMT, and I wanted to start guiding Heli skiing as soon as possible. It was super important to me. I started skiing for Nordica, which was owned by Benato at the time, and they had a really huge program. Scott Mellon, who was the head guy for Marker out here in California at the time, all of a sudden was starting this whole new program and basically was like, hey, I wanted to talk to you about the future here and see what you think. And I was like, I'm all about it. Let's do it. So literally started designing clothes and designing skis and was able all of a sudden to go wherever I wanted in the world and go to France and go to Switzerland and start exploring Europe and figure out the different areas and the different snow packs and different mountain ranges versus coastal snow packs and what sticks to mountains and what doesn't.


[00:15:07.280] - Tom Wayes

And then following that, I joined up with our Terrace when they were still privately owned Canadian company out of Burnaby, which is just above Vancouver. And those guys were great. And right about that same time. I really was still cutting trees and making money in the summer doing that and trying to do whatever I could to get my Lakers are out here and buy house and build a garage and get my Lakers out here and do a spring over and put air b's in it and get on Forte Trail and see Rubicon and go to Little Sluice and see what it's all about and go to CalRoc and see what you have going on.


[00:15:50.860] - Big Rich Klein

That's how we met.


[00:15:52.710] - Tom Wayes

And just the opportunities with our tariffs were just huge because those guys had a totally different approach. They were a true hardcore company that just wanted to let me push the limits as much as I felt like I could do and just, hey, go do a good job. If you don't, will fire you. Okay, great. There's a whole budget for the year doing a good job. I'm like, I can work with that. And basically started filming ski movies with Rage films at that time. And I think I did seven or eight movies with those guys right before that. I was helping Kevin Quinn from Points North, which was in Cordova, Alaska, and helped him open the first year and pioneer the area in court over there a few people had come from Valdez and Doug Kumbs and Tom Day and a few guys with some snowboarders back in the day had come all the way down to the Copper River. But at that point it was still very unknown and I spent a season there and basically my sponsors at the time were like, this is great, Noble, we really want you to keep traveling.


[00:17:09.560] - Tom Wayes

I was like, okay, so went back to doing some more ski movies, wanted to do some more exploring, went to Europe a little bit more and then was in South America and met some Russians and basically those guys invited me to come over and be their guests and to come to Kamchotka, really. So I basically pitched a story to Powder magazine at the time, and back then it was kind of a big deal to get an editorial assignment and it was basically a photo essay, so it wasn't like they're going to send a writer, but they wanted us to just take pictures and then just write like paragraph Blips that you could attach with the picture. And basically the Kamchaca Peninsula. Forgive me, it's been a few years, but off the top of my head I want to say it was a 450 miles long peninsula that has about 75 volcanoes on it. Wow. Some are active, some aren't, but basically eight to 10,000 foot vertical ski runs, and a lot of them had never been ski before. And we flew. It was a brutal flight getting over there because at that time you couldn't fly from the West Coast straight over there.


[00:18:30.100] - Tom Wayes

So we had to fly all the way to JFK, and then from JFK all the way over Greenland to Moscow, and then from Moscow get on an Araflot, which was Ash, an airline, and go from Moscow to Petropavloskamchatsky, which was their main nuclear sub base in World War II.


[00:18:56.300] - Big Rich Klein



[00:18:57.510] - Tom Wayes

And it was my friend Jim and I and the photographer Greg Van Dorstein from Jackson Hole. Jim, he's a great steer. Him and I had teamed up on a bunch of stuff kind of starting at that point in time and had like minded interests and abilities. And we basically flew over there and chartered a Russian Helie and Mi Eight, including fuel, and just flew south on the peninsula for like a week and a half and just pointed at stuff and landed on it and skied whatever we felt like. And it's pretty amazing the whole time we were there. My friend Arthur Zubkov, who was the Russian guy that put this together for us, he has a magazine based out of Moscow called Vertmer and Artem. Super interesting individual, had done a lot of skiing in the Tian Shannon mountain range, basically the foothills of the Himalaya all through China and the Ruble face and a bunch of really unique things early on. He was in Bodes before, like a lot of people even heard about it. And the whole time we're there, he keeps telling us. He's like, hey, we need to go to Krasnaya, palania.


[00:20:15.740] - Tom Wayes

And I'm like, Where? And he goes, Cruznaya. And I was like, okay, well, can we at least finish this trip first before we have to go somewhere else? And he goes, yeah, that's fine. He's like, no, you need to come. You need to come. They're going to put the fifth chair to the Alpine. We need to be there first. We need to be there. We need to be there. I'm like, okay, okay. I'm like, where is it? And he goes, you fly into Sochi. I was like, okay, so we come back the next year. We try to get you another story to powder. And they're like, you guys were just there. You can't go back. Like, why would you go back to the same area? I'm like, do you realize the country is really big? And they were like, yeah, okay, fine, whatever. So we're going. Anyway. So it took a different photographer, Christian Pondella, who's a Red Bull photographer from Mammoth, Jim and I, and we flew over there again. And this was easy because you just flew to Moscow and then flew south, like, a couple of hours, which was easy. And we get there, and it was double chairs running on diesel generator power.


[00:21:21.810] - Tom Wayes

And they're like, hey, this is an old retired KGB recreation facility. I'm like, really? Okay. And then we get up there, and it's just these beautiful glades of trees, and it was super cool and kind of like British Columbia, kind of like little spines, mini Alaska, kind of up high in the Alpine, and then Fun Chair line, like beautiful trees, kind of chipanish, and we skied there for a month. And then there was a Russian outfit that had helicopters. There was a French outfit that had helicopters. And then Putin had a house right on the hill, too. And they're like, hey, when Putin comes, you guys can't ski on the hill. And when he comes and wants to get in the Heli, you can't win the Heli. And we're like, yeah, whatever. Sure. You see when it happens, right? So literally we're there and then they're like, Putin’s coming, Putin's coming. We're like, yeah, sure he is. And then two days later, they're like, we're closing off half the ski area. He's going to ski over here. We're like, oh, they're for real. And then we were like, okay, well, Helly's day then. So we're like, we go helly skiing.


[00:22:30.820] - Tom Wayes

And back then, like, Jim and I love to jump off huge cliffs and jumped off, like, 90 footer that day. It was huge and stomped it, and they were shooting video of it and get back to the bar that night because you'd finish the day every day in the bar. And it was just such an amazing, welcoming culture, and the people were so nice, and it was pretty remarkable. They told us that we were the first Americans ever there. And then we came back the next year because we were like, this place is too cool. And then skied again for a month. And then basically after that, they completed this tunnel because the road getting into this place was on a cliff above, like, a class five river. And then they're like, we're going to have the Olympics. And we're like, yeah, sure you will. And then they basically had the Olympics. So it was pretty neat to be there before anybody and to see an area and watch it develop.


[00:23:30.640] - Big Rich Klein

Right, right. So one of the things that I've noticed in listening to you is that you remember names and places, and I have no idea if you're pronouncing the names right, but I'm assuming you are. I heard that you have an extremely great memory.


[00:23:52.790] - Tom Wayes

Yeah, that's true.


[00:23:55.110] - Big Rich Klein

You guys could fly up on a mountain, and as you go up, you'd pick your line that you wanted to ski, and you could find that exact line coming back down. Is that just something that's innate, or is it something that you worked on?


[00:24:14.390] - Tom Wayes

I think it definitely evolved. I mean, with skiing, it definitely was something that definitely was able to, I think, the right way to put it. I figured out different ways to be able to trigger my memory, and that's been helpful. So, like, I figured out that I do have a photographic memory.


[00:24:35.180] - Big Rich Klein

That's awesome.


[00:24:35.780] - Tom Wayes

And I'm a little bit learning disabled on other things, though, so, like, some things are super difficult. Like, if you gave me a list and you just read it to me right now, I couldn't repeat it. But, like, if I can think about a place and remember a memory, I can tell you every single rock. Like, if you're like, hey, if you're going by let's see here. So say you're going to Big Sluice and you're like going by the Pivot rock halfway up. I could tell you every single rock that's there. And I know other people can do that too. But like, for me, like, if I can remember a moment where I was going by a spot or like, going by Miller Lake or being in the mountains, to be able to figure out how to be able to visualize and remember it and then be able to recognize your landmarks. And then for skiing, the biggest part is if you look at something from the bottom, you have to figure out the scale of it and then turn it around the other way in your head when you get to the top and still recognize where your landmarks are and not make mistakes and learn from mistakes.


[00:25:48.610] - Tom Wayes

Right. So an easy one, as an example is never use a shadow line as a reference because it changes. Right. And you're like, looking down. You're like, I was going to go down the shadow line, and then I'm going to go down there and I'm going to go, right? Well, the shadow line moves by the time you're like, okay, I'm ready to.


[00:26:07.370] - Big Rich Klein

Go, and there's nothing but rock below you.


[00:26:11.010] - Tom Wayes

Well, the hardest part about steep terrain is it's just it's like looking off the end of the world. It's just like looking off a giant beach ball, like for whitewater rafting, the same kind of thing where you're dropping down something and all you see is the horizon line. So the steeper the train gets, the more so that's the case. And the bigger the scale of something, the more you have to tune into that because you get to Alaska and you're like, hey, I'm going to go down there and I'm going to jump off that air right there. Well, is that air a ten footer or is it like a 200 footer? And figuring that out for you is, like, what's important and being okay with where you can put yourself and knowing your ability and knowing, like, your limits. And I felt like I had a pretty good ability to, like, know where that limit is and know when I'm pushing too hard and know when I'm not pushing that hard and knowing where that line is. Yeah.


[00:27:11.350] - Big Rich Klein

Because when you're out skiing like that, especially Helen skiing, you're not like a quick ride to the emergency room.


[00:27:22.790] - Tom Wayes

No. Are you going to self rescue? That's the reality. You are going to self rescue, and you are the first responders, and you're taking care of each other and in a professional format where you're taking people out and taking them skiing, you're delivering experience, where you're taking people out and matching the train to their abilities and reading where they're at throughout the day and throughout the week and throughout their trip. And then trying to do your best to meet their expectations on what is reasonable for them and then giving them that experience and then bringing them home safe and hopefully giving them some of the best runs of their lives.


[00:28:03.890] - Big Rich Klein



[00:28:04.820] - Tom Wayes

That's created, like, lifetime friends that we continue to ski together.


[00:28:10.110] - Big Rich Klein



[00:28:11.840] - Tom Wayes

And then it kind of translates into off road racing because we can train at speed is like, what it's all about, right. Closing train and memorizing the Hammers. And now there's a lot of people that have all been down there for a while now, and there's guys from the East Coast that have a lot of experience and Millers and Blylers, and there's guys that have traveled and been doing it for a long time now. And I think all of us now have got a lot of experience at that place. So the pre running is maybe not as important as it used to be in the past, or is it more important to show up with the right car that's not wore out or just broken enough or not broken too much, and you know just how you can manage yourself throughout the week so you're ready on game day. That's what it all comes down to these days, right? Are you going to qualify and be in the front? Doesn't matter. Or are you going to start in the back and have directed time all day? Marcos has proved that he can come from 98th or whatever and take a shower in the morning, or I've qualified on poll and seen what it's like to be there, and I purposely qualified about 21st or 23rd last year.


[00:29:28.960] - Tom Wayes

And I'll be honest, I kind of enjoy just keeping people guessing on where I'm going to qualify at, because you can be in the front, you can be in the back, you can be in the middle. And, I mean, shoot, that one year when I rolled in qualifying, I passed 80 guys in the first lap. I started, like, 90 something. I got 80 guys on the first lap and 16 on lap two. I moved to physical fourth, and the GoPro footage all corrupted, and we didn't get to watch any of it. So mad.


[00:30:10.260] - Big Rich Klein

I've never raced myself, okay. I've designed race courses, whether it was Vora or dirt riot, of course, the rock crawling events, that kind of stuff, but I've never physically raced myself.


[00:30:24.590] - Tom Wayes

But didn't you race jeep speed, rich?


[00:30:28.120] - Big Rich Klein

Nope. No, I went down and crewed, I drove my jeep like it was a jeep speed out on the board horses and my Suburban as well. Sometimes a little too much, but.


[00:30:45.740] - Tom Wayes



[00:30:46.010] - Big Rich Klein

Know everybody goes, oh, yeah, you got to be out there in the clear air. You want that first spot. And I'd rather I think I'd be better to hunt people down than to worry about being hunted down. I don't know.


[00:31:01.280] - Tom Wayes

I think it's pretty humbling for a lot of people when they get caught and they have a hard time recovering from that.


[00:31:06.710] - Big Rich Klein



[00:31:08.390] - Tom Wayes

And the thing about starting in the way back is the course is so burned in that you really don't have to navigate. It's obvious right in front of you. And I think that gives you a little more relaxation when you might be more stressed out if you're the guy in the front. Just trying to make sure that you don't make a mistake.


[00:31:38.540] - Big Rich Klein

Yeah, because I can see where those transitions between at Koh, you know, between those rock trails, you have all those transition areas, and it's desert racing, but maybe not for very long, not like the first lap typically is. You might pass two or three canyons that are the wrong ones.


[00:32:03.360] - Tom Wayes



[00:32:04.710] - Big Rich Klein

And we've seen that in the past, where guys turn up the wrong canyon.


[00:32:08.760] - Tom Wayes

No, I did it in 2014, I think it was, or 1314. You know, I qualified. Nick and I started door to door, and he's fastest hack down the back of that Baldwin jump area there, going down into Melville, and I think he's doing 110 for those who upset there. And I just laid in and just. Like, okay, I'm just going to do my thing. And I caught him. I think it was in Son bonnet before sun bonnet. I can't remember. But I remember I came up and remember Dave in the driver's meeting saying he was going to pull all the Every Man Challenge signs down before the main, and I went pre run, and only thing burned in from the prerunning was the 4400 course. And then after the Every Man Challenge race, that was burned in, and the turn went right and left, and I was like, all of a sudden, I'm in the front, nick's behind me, and I missed that turn. And then I came out through all that and went over Fissure Mountain, and I was like, wow, I'm in the middle of nowhere. I don't see anybody. And then I came all the way around back to the bottom of Jackhammer, and I remember Jean Mooneyham stopping me, yelling at me and telling me this and the other, and then I caught up to you at the bottom of Chocolate Thunder.


[00:33:35.080] - Tom Wayes

You were like, hey, you came running over, and you're like, hey, dude, you got a problem? And I was like, well, the radio is exploding in my ear, and I'm just going to revert back to what I always say, what would Shannon do? We're going to deal with this at the finish line, right? I got to go.


[00:33:50.500] - Big Rich Klein

I remember you looking at me like, what do you want? All you wanted to do is keep laying it down.


[00:33:59.160] - Tom Wayes

I think by time I got to Lil Sleeves, I was like, an hour and 20 minutes ahead of everybody. And at that point, I knew I was going to get a penalty. I didn't think I was going to get disqualified. I was going to get a time penalty. And I was like, you know what? I'm going to push this tempo so hard that hopefully I can make everybody else false or break or whatever. And I remember getting a little sleeuss or not a little sleeves to the back door, and that's funny. I call it a little sleeves. But I remember getting to there. And I didn't even see that guy on the second shelf and hopped up there. And I definitely wouldn't. In retrospect. Do the same thing I did and jeopardize hurting those guys. But I thought I would stick up on that hillside right there. And torque rolled left. And I had to run it out and kind of bunny hopped over the guy's winch line. Unfortunately. And left out of there and kept driving all the way around and basically was heading back towards the Galloway. And I was blowing bubbles. I learned a lot of lessons.


[00:35:08.540] - Tom Wayes

My GPS was mounted too low. I was at the starting line before taking off, and John Marking from Fox comes over. He's like, your GPS is mounted too low. And I was like, Great, thanks. And then I learned quickly that the GPS was too close to my hand and with my big hands, when I went into reverse, I'd hit all the buttons on the GPS making the screen change, and it was a different GPS than I had in my car. My old car so quickly became an issue where the GPS is on the wrong screen. I learned a valuable lesson about my food that I had with me. I used grilled tape to hold it into the interior, which was too strong. So as I was trying to pull it out, I also learned that you never want to grab your gummy snacks with your race gloves because then you have gummy sauce on your gloves. And then when you drop your towel, and then you rub your visor, and then you have gummy sauce with dust sticking to it, and then you're trying to eat your gummies. And then all of a sudden, the gorilla tape rips it all apart and there's gummies flying everywhere, and you're like, My precious.


[00:36:09.310] - Tom Wayes

And then you're absolutely bonking and trying to figure out what you're going to do. And then I got a flat on the way to Galloway, and I was like, this isn't good. And I remember calling over on the radio, and I was like, this isn't good. Front left had no spare tire, then didn't lay much tools, and I was just running on wing of Prayer, and I was like, well, I'm 30 miles from the finish right now, and that tire blew up on Galloway. Yeah, nothing came apart.


[00:36:46.870] - Big Rich Klein

You drove it on three, didn't you?


[00:36:48.460] - Tom Wayes

For most drove it on three. For it was 27 miles and went up that sand dune alternate through the boulders with the car in limp mode and got to the top of that hill. And I wish I had known. I figured it out later that season that if you just turn the car off regardless of temperature, the stock ECM would take it at limp mode regardless of temperature. I didn't know that, but I drove from sand dune alternate all the way back to the finish line in limp mode. I don't think I could go over, like, 5 miles an hour. I was in my first year from the sand dune alternate all the way to the finish line. I remember getting to King Hill and trying to limp the car over that hill, and it was just like, please, come on, just get to the finish line. And then we get to the finish line and Dave came out and he was just like, you're going to have some penalties. Did you do this? Yes. Did you do that? Okay. I think I ended up getting like an hour and eight or hour and ten minutes in penalties.


[00:37:53.090] - Big Rich Klein

And that pushed you to where I.


[00:37:55.300] - Tom Wayes

Think maybe like 8th or something.


[00:37:56.810] - Big Rich Klein



[00:37:59.460] - Tom Wayes

Yeah. The physical first across the finish line didn't count, but it was what it was.


[00:38:05.210] - Big Rich Klein

Right. So I'd heard a story one time about I think it was racing in hawthorne after I was no longer with.


[00:38:17.010] - Tom Wayes

It'S a good one with vora.


[00:38:18.950] - Big Rich Klein

Is it when you want to talk about.


[00:38:23.460] - Tom Wayes

No, it's not the greatest moment ever in my life. Okay.


[00:38:26.380] - Big Rich Klein

Okay, I set it up. You can talk about it if you want.


[00:38:31.270] - Tom Wayes

Okay, so basically, rock crawler, not very good. Coilovers, high roll center, didn't have a set up very well. It was my first desert race ever. Kevin yoda invited me to come out there and basically was so excited, a little wound up and hit the first road crossing, like, right out of the start and got a huge buck into a bicycle and just was riding the bike. And I don't think they kind of anticipated people wanting to go that hard, like, right out of the start, and it wasn't like a speed zone or anything. And I was in the nose wheelie, and I'm like, oh, my god, there's an RV. Oh, my god, there's a yukon XL. So ian plane, if you remember, ian used to be complaining on the pirate board back in the day, early KWICH competitor, he was riding with me, and I'm in the nose wheelie, and I'm like, oh, there's lawn chairs. And I gather up some lawn chairs, I gather up a golf cart, and then I'm in a nose wheelie on the brakes and stop at a nose wheelie and then set the thing down, scuffed the side of this yukon XL, shoved the golf cart into the guy's RV door, got his lawn chairs.


[00:39:55.560] - Tom Wayes

Ian looks at me and he's like, I don't think we got a flat. You're good. Hit it. And I was like, seriously? So I backed up.


[00:40:06.810] - Big Rich Klein

What would shannon do? I'll deal with it at the end.


[00:40:10.340] - Tom Wayes

And I was like, well, this isn't good, but we might as well run the race, right? So we ran the race, and that was an interesting one, for sure. I ended up paying the guys deductible and giving them some money and made it right, but it was definitely embarrassing and definitely learned my lesson that my car needed a little more duty cycle and a little more love to be able to go fast in the desert. But that was definitely set in the hook in me to love racing border. I loved urington, I loved hawthorne 250.


[00:40:47.910] - Big Rich Klein

Well, you know, it's all part of racing is the learning curve.


[00:40:52.710] - Tom Wayes

Well, I just was dumbfounded that someone was parked that close to the center line of racetrack on a turn. So it's like, what are the people parked right here for?


[00:41:01.780] - Big Rich Klein

It was vora. Okay, we're not talking at that time the highest caliber of racers or spectators.


[00:41:11.540] - Tom Wayes

Yes, I was convinced. I was in san felipe just trying to be robbie gordon.


[00:41:17.760] - Big Rich Klein

And they were like, they were in san felipe trying to be like the natives if we don't touch the cars. So let's talk I mean, your skiing is just fascinating. I love that. And maybe we'll find something to get back to that. But in racing koh but people know that are going to listen to this. Most of us know your track record out there and who you've raced for and stuff like that and what cars you've had. But let's talk about your wood cutting.


[00:41:57.100] - Tom Wayes



[00:41:58.060] - Big Rich Klein

And your love affair with saws.


[00:42:02.330] - Tom Wayes

Oh, yeah.


[00:42:03.230] - Big Rich Klein

I understand that you have some really killer saws and that's why you can put down the amount of wood that you can put down besides being in great shape.


[00:42:16.790] - Tom Wayes

Honestly, Rich, I've always tried to like anything, just really always be using the best equipment and if something needs to be modified or if it can be better to do it and to experiment with different things. And my climbing saws have always been super important to me. And the still 200 TS are just like legendary climbing saws. And I have one that's my dad's and I have another one that's one of my originals from the early two thousand s. And they just don't go bad as long as you take care of them, don't drop them. They're amazing tools. And I'm a huge husk of barna fan for falling saws. Right. I ran a 372 XP forever until a few years back. I finally listened to some mentors that had ran the 390 XP, which is a 90 CC powerhead, but at that time still, like, I never really run anything that was really, really hot rotted yet, and only had ran like Muffler mods and things like that. Well, fast forward to last year, started working for Mountain Enterprises and Rich, the guy that runs the machine shop and the big shop there, he ported one of my 390 XPS that was a company saw and did an amazing job at it.


[00:43:51.910] - Tom Wayes

And then Tom Dines out in Sierraville. Or used to be in Sierra City. Now he's in Sierraville. He's a ski do snowball shop out there. He's an old time logger and a great friend. He did two of my other three ninety S and went all in. I mean, just decked ahead, intake, exhaust port polish and then throughboard the carburetors. I always run a different size sprocket, so I'm reading I do a steel chainsaw light bar conversion. So I run a still light bar on a husk of Arna because I think that's the best chainsaw bar and then basically have a Simmington chain grinder. So I run a square grind as well. And it makes a huge difference. Like when you're in big trees and I always equate it to gallons of saw gas you burn a day. If I'm able to not have to be on the hillside hiking a bunch of hills and able to get on a bunch of trees, I can burn like three gallons of saw gas in a week. In a day. I can tell you exactly how long it takes for me to burn through a tank of gas.


[00:45:14.110] - Tom Wayes

I mean, I can burn through a tank of gas in about 25 minutes, 28 minutes, and you get into some 60 DBH or 70 DBH big trees. It's really a shame right now, the health of the forest right now, just from the amount of fire suppression and the bark beetles that we have right now, it's kind of almost getting to the pandemic kind of phase right now where there's a lot of big, beautiful trees that are dying really quickly right now. The red fur up on the summit, the white furs at lake level, and they're definitely hazards and preventatively. Taking them down before they get too dead is really only safe way to mitigate the hazard of getting them on the ground before they deteriorate too far. Then you lose options on how to be able to take them down safely.


[00:46:04.880] - Big Rich Klein

Right. And then the use, once they're on.


[00:46:07.670] - Tom Wayes

The ground, certain places they're getting utilized and sent to the mail if the access is correct. If they're in some places, there really is no access. So they're definitely like lopped and scattered and put as low to the ground as possible and then left in place.


[00:46:30.740] - Big Rich Klein

Right. So working the fires, I've seen some big trees on logging trucks coming down out of these burns. I haven't seen what's coming out of Grizzly from the Grizzly fire, but the one that ran last year up from Grizzly Flats to Tahoe, the trees that they've been taking down along 50 and Mormon immigrant trail have just been I mean, when you get three logs is all you get on a logging truck. That's big timber for that is big timber. And it's sad to see that stuff all burnt.


[00:47:12.020] - Tom Wayes

It is definitely and honestly rich. Almost 30 years of cutting trees, mostly all in Tahoe. And I never really had experience cutting the Feather River Canyon or anywhere out there. And I worked out on the Dixie fire last year and I got into some really big stuff that was in really obscure places. So it had never been logged because most everything in Tahoe is second growth or third growth now.


[00:47:43.030] - Big Rich Klein



[00:47:43.460] - Tom Wayes

You're not really seeing the whole growth. Like, for example, like at Rubicon Springs when you're coming in from Cadillac and you're coming in on the left hand side right there, that grove of 200, 220 footers is just what you don't see at the lake anymore because those trees never were logged because there was no way to get them out of there, right? So they never got logged. So 810 foot white fur is just massive. But when you're on the Dixie, you're a little bit different elevation and then you get into the Douglas furs, which are just absolutely massive trees. And it's just a shame when the fire goes through and often times on the uphill side, you'll get what's called a goose pan or cat face where it lights off and burns the side of the tree, creating a hollow spot, and oftentimes on the big ponderosis as well. It's just a shame seeing big trees that are just beautiful, beautiful specimens that can't say because they're into hazard. A forester comes through, marks them all, and then, hey, this one's above a PG and E hydro plant, or above a road that a PG and E employee moves in and out of to check on a hydro project, and it could hit them, so that thing has to come down.


[00:49:08.390] - Tom Wayes

So getting put on a bunch of different projects on that kind of stuff last year and then felt really fortunate to be able to come back to Tahoe this year and to be able to work on the west shore and basically start shore in the spring and then work through Emerald Bay. Through Deal Bliss State Park and work all the way to Tau City. And then basically from Tau City and working on the transmission line between Tau City and Truckee.


[00:49:41.460] - Big Rich Klein



[00:49:42.400] - Tom Wayes

Which where I was at today.


[00:49:44.060] - Big Rich Klein

Right. And that's home ground. So it's nice to work there.


[00:49:49.270] - Tom Wayes

Yeah, I love working home turf. I love going all throughout all that area and just the other guys on the cruise with me. It's cool to be able to say, hey, guys, this house right here, or that stump right there, that tree right there, and give people a little history and tell them about when I was doing residential and when I was taking a tree down at this house or at that place, and there's so many houses and trees after 25 plus years of cutting trees up here.


[00:50:25.110] - Big Rich Klein

Right, so then you're cutting trees. You're working now for Mountain Enterprises, which is the Gomez brothers, who you get to race against the Koh. Did they ever tell you to try to go easy on them?


[00:50:45.140] - Tom Wayes

No. I think those guys love as much competition as possible, and, yes, I love everybody's fire, and I love everybody's passion to beat each other. And I know those guys feel like if anybody's going to win, hopefully it's one of the NorCal guys. So I appreciate that. And, you know, last year it was kind of funny. Marco started, like, about 30th, I think, and we did some pre running together on the week before, and we always have a good time together. I think he started about 30th, and he caught up to me and forget what trail we were in. I pulled over, and I was like, go, you know, and then he pulled up and just, like, had his hands and waving his hands around like a crazy person. Then he pulled him back behind me, and I was like, all right, whatever. So I started going again, and afterwards he told me, he was like, well, I lost my navigation, and all that went to shit, so I just figured I'd let you navigate for me. So we were basically playing cat and mouse for a while. And so he was like, it's time to go.


[00:52:00.980] - Tom Wayes

And then he started hammering, but I moved up pretty far, and then I cut a tire going through chocolate thunder. And then we got going again, things were going good. I passed a bunch of people and then coming around the backside of aftershock again, things were going good. And then on last lap, I cut a tire going through held pay, and that trail was so raw and just absolutely violent. I feel like I went through a notch. And then the only line was to, like, land on like a five foot boulder, just take it down the middle of the car and you're just like, really? And then I got a tire and I was like, well, it didn't seem like it was that bad. I guess that's fair. And then I was like, we changed it. And then I was like, oh, wow, we're out of position now to pit till after King's graveyard, which is like, the end of the race, right? So I was like, wow, I need to settle down. I can't get another flat or we're screwed. And after the previous two years, I was like, I need to have a good solid finish and get a nice top ten or better.


[00:53:21.530] - Tom Wayes

I think I was up to fourth or something. I felt like we were up in the mix pretty good. And that was even without corrected time yet. And I just kind of settled it down and we went down sledgehammer and we were just being careful. James Schofield did the first lap and he told his wife that he would get out and not stay in for the rocks. And then my friend Jake Capriotti jumped in, which was our plan. We did a scheduled co driver change and I was amazed that James wanted to ride again. And I was super pleased and really felt fortunate that he would. And that's our plan. Going into this year, he's going to race again with me and we're going to go get after it again.


[00:54:07.790] - Big Rich Klein

That's awesome. So let's talk about the bear encounter. I mean, sure, everybody's always heard about fighting the bears with the tomahawk, so let's hear the story.


[00:54:25.710] - Tom Wayes

So basically, my ex wife and I, we just had gotten doing a kitchen remodel, which definitely teetered on pushing us over the top, and she left out of town. And we just got done the kitchen remodel where we spent some money and did a nice job, got all new appliances, got some beautiful custom cabinets. We had some beautiful sickest bruce floors that we moved island and finished off the floors. It was just beautiful. And it was right in the middle of summer in Tahoe, front door is wide open, and I was out in the garage working on my car, trying to get ready to go down and race gwen, Helen and I was trying to lower the car. And my friend Joe Magliano joe the tow from Reno, he was going to come up and give me a hand, and then he was going to go to a barbecue afterwards. And then and his now wife Carrie came over and we're in the garage and he helped me change springs. I was trying to lower the car down a little bit. And he basically was like, all right, I'm good. I'm going to wash my hands.


[00:55:39.320] - Tom Wayes

Where's your hand soap? And I was like, oh, let's walk inside and show where it is. So all three of us go walking up the front stairs. And La was out of town, and I was in bachelor mode, and I had two bags of Kettle Chips on the coffee table. And I come walking up the stairs and I look at the coffee table and I just see the two bags of Kettle Chips just shredded open, laying on the center of the hardwood floor with just like this huge diarrhea shit and this huge pun of piss. And I was like, holy shit. And then I just like at the corner of my left eye, I just see this blur. And then I hear Joe, holy shit, that's not a dog. And I was like, oh, there's a bear in the house. So I go running into my office and I just had come home from Alaska from being up there for the spring, and I had two pistols I took up there. They were all empty and barrel locked from flying home. TSA. And I basically looked at them and I was like, oh, wow, my two pistols are empty and locked.


[00:56:49.880] - Tom Wayes

So I'm going to go down in history right now as the guy that gets Mauled looking for his pistol keys and trying to load his tricky hang on, I get Mauled. And I was like, this is unacceptable. I think it was a year before that I kind of started collecting Tomahawks because they're amazing tools and I carry one of my guide pack all the time. So if we were flying down into the trees, down into the river beds, a lot of times you couldn't fit the A star into an area and make the helicopter fit for a road clearance and tell road clearance. So I would chop down willows and garbage cottonwoods and bushes and whatever and just make it so the aircraft could fit. So I had my Sod fusion, which was like the cheap Sod fusion at the time. And that thing was sitting against my filing cabinet. And I was like, well, there's a bear in my house and my guns are unloaded, and I'm going to ask. Also, I grabbed my Tom Hawk and I come out of my office and in the meantime, Joe would run out the front door and slam the door shut with me in there.


[00:57:57.890] - Tom Wayes

And then I hear him, you want me to open the door? And I was like, yeah, I was livid pissed because I think I spent like 18,000 on these custom cabinets and with the soft clothes, like everything, and they were just amazing looking right in the fridge. The freezers tore open. I mean, the new cabinet all it's just curious. So I come out of my office and the Bear, in the meantime, had run into the bedroom. Now the front door is open, but he goes into the bedroom, comes running out of the bedroom, jumps off the corner of the couch, off the coffee table and charges me. And I was like, oh, snap. Okay, so game on. So I'm blocking the doorway to the guest bedroom, the bathroom, guest bathroom in my office, right? Come to learn later. The Bear had decided not to go in the wide open front door of the house, but walk around the back of the house, tear the screen window off the guest bedroom and crawl through that window.


[00:59:06.950] - Big Rich Klein

So he was that way.


[00:59:08.510] - Tom Wayes

He was trying to lead the way he came in, which I didn't realize because why would you, like, rip a freaking window open when you could just walk in a wide open front door? But little did I know that anyway, I was in fear of my life. I was mad. I wanted a piece of him. And he's charging me. So the sock fusion is only like twelve or 14 inches long. And he charges me. And I waited, waited, waited until he was almost on me. And then I hit him with a blade strike right across the side of the temple, like right across the side of the head, as hard as I could. And Joe's describes it as just like the sound of steel on bone and the sound of that. He was like it was just undeniable. And then I go chasing him, like a crazy person running after him, chasing him out the front door. And his head is down and he's just running. And I bounce. I throw it out and bounce it off of them. And I remember just Joe just looking at me and he's like, I'm taking off to that barbecue.


[01:00:07.040] - Tom Wayes

And he just looked at me like, that just happened, pal. Or boom, I forgot what he said. But I was definitely like, okay. So then I called Plaster County and I was nervous because the Bear League up here is very liberal political, and they want to put everybody on public blast that does any kind of bear encounter. I didn't want to shoot the bear and then have to deal with the public outlash. So luckily he didn't come back. And I spent the next two nights on the roof with a compound bow and didn't get a shot at him. And I was definitely mad, to say the least. But I was thankful that I wasn't hurt. He went away, and there was a bunch of teeth marks on all my new cabinets.


[01:00:59.760] - Big Rich Klein

So is that an extra policy in your insurance?


[01:01:05.390] - Tom Wayes

I don't.


[01:01:09.360] - Big Rich Klein

Know. That's like one of those writers do you live in a floodplain? You can't get flood insurance. You live in a bear.


[01:01:17.840] - Tom Wayes

It should be up here now. Honestly, they're terrible. I mean, I remember everybody doesn't really realize how bad it is in certain neighborhoods up here. Like, there's people that don't have a screen window on the first floor on the four story of their house up here because the bears just open sliders open cars, terrorize rip out the interior, break into houses. I mean, they're multigenerational trash bears now that are really like giant raccoons with no fear, right.


[01:01:50.390] - Big Rich Klein

And then you get all the lovely liberal greenies, oh, save the poor bear.


[01:01:57.440] - Tom Wayes

You're in their habitat. You're in their world.


[01:02:00.890] - Big Rich Klein

There's lots of forest for them to go play in. Yes, but there's no picnic baskets over there.


[01:02:07.860] - Tom Wayes

I know what I mean. There's stories now of a bear that goes into 711 right at the bottom of olympic valley there, and he'll walk right in and help himself to the ho ho HOS in the cupcakes and grabs a few and heads right back out.


[01:02:22.040] - Big Rich Klein

So almost like the bum rush thievery or whatever that's happening in the big cities, right? God, it's bears.


[01:02:36.210] - Tom Wayes



[01:02:38.540] - Big Rich Klein

So what's on the agenda for tom coming up in the future?


[01:02:45.440] - Tom Wayes

Racing. Koh hoping to have a nice solid year, working with icon and BF. Goodrich and f. K. Rod ends and pretty much all the same characters. James is a huge part of my program. He does a tremendous amount on my motor program and the ring opinion program. And my friend colt, he's an amazing help. All my guys that come every year, they're just a huge part of my program. It's nice because there's not a lot of change in the program and everyone is involved and kind of knows their task, and I'm looking forward to it. I always look forward to KH. I really enjoy it. Jason Sheer. Great friend. I love the death burger. All the key players, everybody's got a different motivation why they like to race hammers, but I think all of us love to be competitive and race each other and see who can bring their best a game on race day. And, you know, going to definitely keep cutting trees as late as I can into the winter here and then get ready for the lake bed and then basically march and April. Hoping to be up in alaska with my good friends and be able to get some great runs.


[01:04:11.020] - Tom Wayes

Last spring was amazing. I was super thankful to be able to be up there. And we had four weeks of just great conditions. The wind picked up at the very end, but it was just super special. We got to ski some stuff that I haven't skied that hasn't been skiing since, like, 2011, which was neat. It was really neat. So looking forward to. Getting back at it.


[01:04:33.310] - Big Rich Klein



[01:04:33.670] - Tom Wayes

Picking up cutting trees in the spring.


[01:04:35.950] - Big Rich Klein

And one last thing, you're a Raptor owner? Gen one or gen two?


[01:04:43.640] - Tom Wayes

I'm a gen. One guy for sure. I've got a 2011 that was Icons R Amp D truck, basically one of the owners, and Dylan Evans truck and he did all the testing for all the different kits and the leaf springs and everything. That thing has got a lot of stories and a lot of people have driven it. And I got it with 92,000 miles on it and it's pretty much got the bill. It upper Control arm Kit 37 km three S Pro M B locks. We did some training, cooler upgrades. How power steering kit on it. It's got the billet crossmember hydraulic bum stop kit in the back, icon leafs in the back, the 342 bypass in the rear with reservoirs and 30 IBP with clickers in the front. And I've driven the truck 173,000 miles now and had it in Baja multiple times. Doing XO runs with the Raptor runs I've driven to Alaska and back to Go guide and I just love average speed. And to be able to tell you my miles per gallon from Reno to Haines, Alaska, there's 3075 miles and I think I averaged over 75 miles an hour the whole way in the middle of winter, in the snow.


[01:06:12.960] - Tom Wayes

They're great trucks, I'm absolutely a huge fan of them. They just roll out with 488, 37 at 9100 miles an hour. Just lays right out. And I just got another one. 2013, two weeks ago, terrain tan factory truck. It's got high miles on it. But James Schofield has built me a forged motor that I had an order, so I'm going to have some options to be able to throw a motor in either of the trucks, really, to be honest, and basically have a Sunday truck and then have the 2011. I mean, James was blown away. He flew out last year. He drove it down while I towed the race trailer with the race car in it and the Duly. And we put new tires on it before the Hammers and drive down the Hammers, put everybody in it, go pre, run the desert, drive around the pits all week long, drive over to BFG, pick up bead locks you're getting mounted, bring them back to the pits and then run it all week long, two weeks worth, and then drive it all the way back home again. And then load it up with chainsaws and take it to work.


[01:07:29.980] - Big Rich Klein

Nice. Yeah, I'm a big raptor fan. I've got a twelve and it's pretty much still stock, but that's hopefully going to change now that I'm retiring from the competition, end of offroad events, not having to put on the boots on the ground at the Rock Crawls. I'm going to start doing some social runs, taking people on places that they will never see on their own. So all over Nevada and some places in California. Do some raptor runs myself. So I'd like to talk to you about picking your brain on some of the stuff on those kind of things.


[01:08:12.700] - Tom Wayes

I got a bunch of tracks in Gaia that I'd more than happy to share with you, Rich.


[01:08:18.140] - Big Rich Klein



[01:08:20.760] - Tom Wayes

I've got my favorites. The Immigrant Trail is definitely one of my favorites. And running from Susan Bill from Honey Lake back to Gurlakh to Smoke Pass and everything like that to me is like that special in there. And then continuing it from the Dry lake bed and running it all the way to Love Lock through Porter Spring and Seven Trout. It's really a beautiful section as well. And then running from the High Rock, Black Rock kind of divergence right there and really seeing how big the Black Rock Desert really is. And then running that all the way up past almost to the Sheldon, and then I went all the way up to the Alfred to Jesse Spot and check that out as well.


[01:09:14.240] - Big Rich Klein

Cool. Yeah. I'd love to get that guy from you. It's kind of what I want to do is we've been working the Rebel rally for the last seven years and just got back. And I've got a lot of track in Nevada on Guya now that I can lace together and take people places, like I said, that they will never see if they stay on the pavement.


[01:09:40.640] - Tom Wayes

Well, I'm glad you got to help out Emily with that. You got to experience Chris Woo.


[01:09:46.930] - Big Rich Klein



[01:09:47.320] - Tom Wayes

And Woo is one of my huge parts of my program. Wu is my ninja, and he's a huge part of it as well.


[01:09:56.680] - Big Rich Klein

And so now you know where I got my information or things to ask.


[01:10:04.790] - Tom Wayes



[01:10:05.840] - Big Rich Klein

Awesome. So, yeah, let's talk again. It's been way too long, and thank you so much for coming on board and discussing your life and your passions and your interests. I think all your interests are actually passions, which is even better. Tom, thank you for the kind of known you now what? At least it's a good 20 years close to that, it seems. I really appreciated knowing you and hope to get to know you even better.


[01:10:41.480] - Tom Wayes

I appreciate everything you do for the off road community, Rich. And thanks for having me on.


[01:10:45.710] - Big Rich Klein

All right, you take care.


[01:10:47.290] - Tom Wayes

All right, cheers.


[01:10:48.170] - Big Rich Klein

Bye. Well, that's another episode of Conversations with Big Rich. I'd like to thank you all for listening. If you could do us a favor and leave us a review on any podcast service that you happened to be listening on or send us an email or text message or Facebook message and let me know any ideas that you have or if there's anybody that you have that you think would be a great guest. Please forward the contact information to me so that we can try to get them on. And always remember, live life to the fullest. Enjoying life is a must. Follow your dreams and live life with all the gusto you can. Thank you.