With Summer coming to an end, another week at the shop in the books, and another round of upgrades on our 2018 Budget Build, it was high-time for another Stage 3 adventure. This time around, we headed north from our home base in Phoenix to Williams, Arizona. With plenty of highway, city, and dirt roads to romp around, our 2017 F150 and 2018 F150 project trucks were in for a serious fitness test.

As we jumped on the road and headed north, we crossed through the Coconino National Forest and then through the beautiful plains of Prescott Valley. Once we arrived in Williams and turned onto the famous Route 66 highway, we pulled into town and grabbed lunch at Cruiser’s Route 66 Cafe. The classic 50s-style diner sits in the center of town square and has live music on the patio. After refueling, we headed to the edge of town to check into our hotel and take a quick break before heading out to film.

Before we busted out the cameras, we wanted to wash off the dirt and bugs from our F150s' Lighting Blue and Lithium Gray paint. If you’ve never been , Williams, AZ is worth the stop off from Route 66, which stretches all the way from Chicago to Los Angeles. Williams is a charming, small town illuminated with neon signs and marked by the world's largest Route 66 sign. For fun, you can ride a zip-line or take a train to the Grand Canyon for a hike or just to enjoy the views.

As the sun began to creep down behind the mountains in Williams, the city became alive with neon lights and the bustle of tourists from all over the world returning from the south rim of the Grand Canyon. After a couple laps through town, shooting content for on-road reviews, it was time for that “World Famous” Rod’s Steakhouse. As for the food, you’ll just have to visit to find out for yourself.

After our 5 AM wake-up call, we made some coffee and took off toward Dogtown Lake just outside town. We were just early enough to beat the crowd, with just the right amount of time to shoot our 2017 F150's Baja Designs Onx6 light bar and the Morimoto fog lights in action. As the sun began to creep up from the mountains, we made our way down to the water to get some shots of the first light. With forest roads and tall pines for miles to see, the lake and surrounding area set the perfect backdrop for our adventure-ready 2017 and 2018 F150s.

After a leisurely photoshoot by the lake, we were itching to get out and really push our suspensions off road. Heading deeper into the woods, we found roads winding around hills, over rocks, and through mud, ideal for testing the limits of our F150 builds at high and low speeds. While the 2018 Budget Build and 2017 Street Queen aren't desert runners, we were surprised and impressed by how comfortably both builds performed off the pavement. The 2018's Rancho QuickLIFT Load Leveling Kit and Rancho RS9000XL Rear Shocks in particular made for a really smooth ride in terrain where the stock suspension would've had a lot of trouble.

At last, we packed it in and got ready to head back down to Phoenix. But before we did, we wanted one last chance to enjoy the cooler weather and headed back into Williams, AZ on Route 66 for lunch. Refueled and ready for the road, we were prepared to brave the Phoenix heat and get back to the office. With over 600 miles driven in the 2018 Ford F150 5.0 and our 2017 Ford F150 3.5 EcoBoost, we got to really know these trucks and how they perform both on and off the streets. Head to our YouTube Channel and check out our product reviews, installs, giveaways and more!