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Home on the Highway - San Francisco to Ushuaia, Argetina in an 87 4Runner

Old 11-08-2011, 11:31 AM
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Wow! I am stoked for ya, man! You and your gal are a VERY nice couple! Looks like you've had quite the adventure, already!

I'll be watching... one of my dream trips, when I FINALLY take some time off! lol. Great looking rig/set up/expedition packing! lol.

Traveling mercies!

Mark
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Old 11-08-2011, 01:37 PM
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Not sure if you can put it off until you reach Texas, but I just cleared out the shop so we can drop your diff here. I'm stocking up the beer fridge now...
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:01 PM
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ya shes doing fine, its not leaking diff oil or anything so I am not really too worried about it, just mashed 200 miles of dirt roads out to the grand canyon north rim, was amazing, no one around for miles except for us and the canyon. in zion national park now, got here at night so i am sure to wake up to some epic surroundings.

sounds good bud, ill see you soon!
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:02 PM
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oh and the dual-stage t-stat fixed my overheating right up, temp is solid as rock now!
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:48 PM
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Totally subscribed
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Old 11-10-2011, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Ruined Adventures View Post
Not sure if you can put it off until you reach Texas, but I just cleared out the shop so we can drop your diff here. I'm stocking up the beer fridge now...
That was going to be my suggestion. Try to hit up one of the members here on YT, for help with your diff seal.
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Old 11-10-2011, 08:41 AM
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You are living my dream! It's awesome that your girl is so gung-ho for this also - cute to boot!

When you are down in Florida, give me a shout - I live in Orlando and it would be my pleasure to meet up with you guys for drinks somewhere. We have a couch and a loveseat that you could crash on, but it sounds like you've got that covered with the family and all.

I'll PM you my cell phone number.

Cheers!

Fink

Last edited by Fink; 11-10-2011 at 08:48 AM.
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:02 AM
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subscribed!! are yall comin through TN?
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Old 11-11-2011, 05:41 AM
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subscribed!!
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:00 AM
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Bummer...JUST missed you guys. Did the tuweep trail yesterday, absolutely amazing views at the end. Sorry wasnt able to run into you guys. Sitting on my parents patio that overlooks the toyota dealership in St. George, I'm sure you were right below me.

Great to see you guys are keeping your spirits up despite the bad weather.

Last edited by stockwell45; 11-11-2011 at 07:42 AM.
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:25 AM
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crap need to edit pics

Last edited by defrag4; 11-14-2011 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 11-14-2011, 04:39 PM
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Glad to see those boys at Karnage Fabrication took care of yall. You should be good for the next 30,000 miles
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:11 PM
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this is awesome, good luck guys and stay safe!
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:02 PM
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It's rare to find such a down female companion. I am envious. I could get mine to do a week tops...

If your in Wyoming and need to fix some stuff up, I have a large heated garage with all the tools...and a very good parts guy.

Good luck on the trip!
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:38 PM
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Wow! We had a great response to our first post. I am glad you guys are enjoying our adventure. I know in our last post we said that the Sierras and Death Valley is some of the majestic scenery in all of the U.S. I think I need to keep my mouth shut because the past 7 days of traveling the “4 Corners” area of the U.S. has been AMAZING.



The Colorado Plateau is a geographic region of the U.S which covers over 130,000 sq miles of land shared between Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado. This area has the greatest concentration of National Parks in the U.S and it is easy to see why. Developed over billions of years and uplifted and modified by faults and receding oceans this area is chock full of geological, ecological, and historical splendor. We had a blast.

Leaving Las Vegas!


Our night in Vegas was spent mostly holed up in our room enjoying the HEAT! and updating the blog. We did make it down for a few drinks and some midway games at Circus Circus

Lauren won a Rhino, He got some free drinks


Headed up to St. George, Utah and camped off some forest road.

Our first taste of red dirt


Snow Canyon State Park, St. George Utah


Since leaving the Bay, we have been having overheating issues, the thermostat on the truck has been malfunctioning. I had read about this issue in the past happening with your standard Autozone thermostats and knew it was fixed by getting the expensive Toyota OEM dual-stage thermostat.

$45 later and 1/2 gallon of coolant onto the NAPA parking lot and we were fixed up, issue solved, no more overheating.

Off to the Grand Canyon! We read about a 90-mile backroad from St. George to a remote area of the Grand Canyon National Park called the “Toroweap Overlook”. Talked to a few people in town who said that it would be snowed and we would not be able to make it up and over the Mount Trumball pass. We’re used to naysayers and of course headed off anyway, the 4runner could make it.

Sunset on the Toroweap Rd.






Nightfall hit by the time we made up to the mountain pass, It was covered in snow and mud, I had a blast mashing through it all in 2 wheel drive, slipping and sliding all over the place and making a big ol’ mess of the truck.





Eventually made it to the campground, setup shop and went to sleep. Awoke in the morning completely alone and surrounded by the majesty of the red rocks and Grand Canyon.








Headed out on a hike to the Toroweap Overlook, no one around for miles but us and the canyon. No guardrails, no tourists, just the way we like it.












Played around in the Canyon for a while, then headed off again back to Utah. Headed to Zion National Park.

Spotted some Coyotes




We arrived in Zion in the middle of the night, awoke surrounded by huge canyon walls and beautiful CLEAR weather! Something we have been lacking most of the trip.














Spent most of the day hiking around Zion, then headed off to explore more of Southern Utah.

Headed to Bryce Canyon. Amazing Scenery of course.






Bryce Canyon was pretty well snowed out when we got there, Still checked it out.




Spent most of the time running out the overlook then back to the car, was about 30F outside at the time! Too cold for this Florida boy.




From Bryce we headed down another backroad towards Capitol Reef National Park, sun went down and we setup another freezing camp. Awoke in the morning to frost covering the truck once again and dreary cloud cover.




The beautiful dirt road through Capitol Reef made up for the weather. This is a great drive and there was no one out here but us. We enjoyed taking our time cruising through this beautiful place.
















Eventually the dirt road led us to Glen Canyon National Recreation area, which is home to most of Lake Powell. Similar to Hetch Hetchy in the Sierras, a environmental tragedy took place here where we dammed up the Colorado River and flooded the majestic Glen Canyon to increase water supply to the surrounding area. The created reservoir was named Lake Powell after one of my heroes.








We hit the highway once again and headed towards the 4x4’er mecca. AKA MOAB, UTAH!


Got to Moab in the middle of the night, shacked up in a cheap motel. I thought I had heard some strange noises coming from our trash bag we had been carrying since Grand Canyon. Messed around for a bit with it and didn’t see anything, figured I was just crazy. Next morning Lauren is doing Yoga and hears the same noises coming from the bag. We snatched it up and dumped it into the bathtub to investigate.

HITCHHIKER!


Screaming like little girls and dancing around the room in our underwear trying to catch him but he ended up escaping somewhere in the motel room. Sorry Motel6!

Now that our adrenaline was pumping it was time to go beat on the truck some. We headed to the “Poison Spider 4x4 Trail” to try our luck and see how far we could make it. Lauren has never been 4wheeling before and was pretty much peeing her pants the entire time as we drove all over this place. The 4Runner with little 31 inch tires and open differentials is still a pretty capable machine.









http://youtu.be/yzfzb9Tzjcs



http://youtu.be/f_T6A-4aWdQ





http://youtu.be/sJFLebowm0s





http://youtu.be/nPaj3VB_0rg

After mashing around in Moab for most of the day we were headed up to Grand Junction, CO. An awesome guy from MarlinCrawler forums had offered to help us fix up a few issues with the truck that we did not have the tools or knowledge to tackle ourselves.











Drove around Colorado National Monument looking for a campspot, eventually found some dirt road that we took, kept getting higher and higher into the mountain. Eventually we were driving through deep snow in the middle of no where, figured we should turn around. Well the rear wheels dropped into a icy rut and we were stuck. 30 minutes of winching later we were turned around and headed back down the road. The Smittybuilt winch is no longer a virgin and it worked like a champ!

Next morning headed over to Phillip’s shop in Grand Junction. The shops name is Karnage Fabrication, Phillip knows Toyota’s like the back of his hand. He has owned over 50 of them and had ours torn apart and fixed back up in no time. This guy was a lifesaver, The Toyota community is an great group and I feel honored to have met such an awesome guy and his beautiful family. We replaced the oil pan cork gasket with the proper sealant, fixed up a leaky inner shat oil seal, and replaced the failing AUTO hubs with some beefy AISIN manual hubs. Thanks again Phil, you are our hero! And Thanks to Sean and Ace for grabbing some much needed parts. It was great to meet all of you!







Lauren and Phil’s daughter became bestest of friends.


4x4 Fabrication/Arts and Crafts. Karnage Fabrication has it all!


Headed off today for Vail to meet up with one of my dad’s old friends. Speaking of which… I should probably get on the horn and let him know were coming!

Last edited by Fink; 11-16-2011 at 06:19 AM.
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:38 PM
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Wow! great pics... sounds like you are going to have an amazing adventure...

I would consider investing in some ARB locking diffs or at least a rear limited slip before you head south of the border... the open ones might leave you stuck and seriously on your own... I'd also get an HF/CB radio set for comms... again especially handy in the back country south of the border... a Sat phone might be useful if it's in the budget and can be used to update your posts here lol... separate personal EPIRBs for both of you and carry them both when you are out of the truck... handy if you get hurt hiking or lost or possibly abducted... that last is not something to dwell on but it does happen and not just in Mex.

here's a link to the turtle expedition people http://turtleexpedition.com/
they have been doing 4wd travel for years down where you are headed... they fitted out their truck with additional high security door locks to keep it secure whenever they where away from it. They also packed a denver boot to make sure the truck would be where they left it... don't know if you need to go that far...

if you don't have already get a car safe and bolt it in to keep your important papers safe... but you're smart peeps you prob. already got one of them...

this time of yr. make sure someone knows what roads you are going down and generally where you are going to be, there are'nt that many folks 4wheeling the back country and you might wait a long time for help if you get stuck...

looking forward to hearing more about this epic journey...

drive safe...
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:45 PM
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ya i wanted to put an elocker in the rear, just wasnt in the cards or the budget. just have to avoid sticky tree-less situations
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Old 11-15-2011, 10:41 PM
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Wow that sounds amazing. Good luck with the trip.

Last edited by JBurt; 11-16-2011 at 06:44 AM.
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:18 AM
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Another epic update! Awesome.

Fink
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:33 AM
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Read this entire thread on T4R forum the other day.. Amazing to say the least. I know most of us toyota 4X4 guys would love to take the time off to do something like this. Stay safe and look forward to your journey updates.
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