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First Time COTRer

Hi! My name is Steve! I’ve been in the cruiser world since 2018 but have been in the vehicle-supported camping scene for well over a decade. I’ve built my ‘06 LX470 up from a completely stock SUV. I run 33” tires, front and rear bumpers, and rock sliders but no skids, no lockers, and I’m still running the factory AHC suspension. I’ve always defined my wheeling style as conservative, in the sense that I’m not always going to take the hard line because I’m in this hobby for the camping and epic views, not necessarily the wheeling. I’ve done some cool stuff such as winning an off-road rally in Kentucky, running Broken Arrow in Sedona, and getting lost in the maze of trails in Moab, UT just to name a few.

I say all that to say I’m not some hardcore guy. I like challenging myself, but I like to get me and my truck back home in one piece, and I’m not willing to risk it for the biscuit.

I have a really unique perspective on COTR. I’ve been friends with Lee for years now, and I remember chatting with him about an East Coast IFS Land Cruiser specific event and watching him build COTR up from nothing more than “wouldn't this be cool” to what it is today. Year after year, I’d hear from the community about how epic, how well-coordinated it was, and how much fun everyone had. Even in the years where the weather didn’t cooperate, people left the event with new found love and admiration for these trucks. Year after year, the event sold out of spots, so the third year was my turn to jump in and see what all the buzz was about, and the timing of the event couldn't be more perfect. In late October here in Oliver Springs Tennessee is when the leaves are at their peak, and the colors are breathtakingly vibrant.

Lee and his team have really done a great job running and learning these tracks throughout the year, and the way Lee has it organized takes the anxiety out of running trails that you've never seen before. Windrock can be intimidating if you’ve never been before, so being able to pre-select the tracks you want to run by reading the descriptions and seeing the difficulty levels takes a lot of the uncertainty and anxiety out of going to Windrock solo or doing a group ride.

What’s so great about these events is no matter what your off-road experience or vehicle build-out is, you are able to spend a weekend wheeling and having fun with people that are at your level. And I think that's what's so unique about what Lee has done; he’s created an event that lets you watch the exact same vehicles take lines or do things you didn’t think your vehicle could do, but you're able to watch it happen in real-time and learn. This event is unique because Lee has limited it to IFS Land Cruisers, which means you’re not following '80s on 38+ inch tires that creep and crawl over boulders the size of our doors. You’re following a vehicle that's no different from the one you're driving, so there’s less of a chance of getting stuck in something that's over the capabilities of these trucks.

COTR is set up to allow the participants to choose their adventure. No matter if you’ve got a stock Land Cruiser on highway tires like Patch’s mom, or want to run stuff that would challenge Lee’s 200 on 37’s, there’s a track that has been hand-selected for you to run. Lee understands these vehicles and has been a certified cruiser head for well over a decade now. He’s wheeled everything from an 80, 100, and 200 and really understands the limits and how far you can push them. Having a curated event that lets every build from mild to wild come and have fun at Windrock makes the whole experience so enjoyable.

My first time at COTR made a lasting impression on me. I met so many incredible people, made new friends, and was able to congregate with the niche group of Land Cruiser enthusiasts to nerd out about every aspect of our trucks.

Everything from picking the trails, to the location, the meals, and raffles has been refined year after year, so no matter what you’re into, you’re going to have fun here. There are workshops that provide excellent information and deep knowledge and understanding of the topic from top experts in that field, awesome morning breakfast and coffee, and of course a reading and activity sessions for all the kiddos who tag along for the weekend.

Evening events include things like the corn hole tournament where you have the opportunity to win THOUSANDS of dollars of kit from companies like Dissent Offroad and even a raffle, where the grand prize for this last year was a drawer set from AirDownGearUp, which totaled up to over $2500.

All in all, my first experience of Cruisers On The Rocks has been nothing short of phenomenal, and I think everyone should try to make it. Between the curated tracks for all flavors of builds and skill levels to the energy and camaraderie at camp, it can't be described in words other than when you’re there at COTR, you’re with your people. So this year make sure you're ready when tickets drop and we'll see you in October out on Panther Rock.

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