What a great summer!
We've been busy covering amazing Toyota Truck, Cruiser, and SUV adventure...
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Summer 2017 Issue:
Overland Expo West 2017 set up at a new venue just south of downtownFlagstaff - the Fort Tuthill County Park. We found ourselves balancing nostalgia for the rustic Mormon Lake site against the reality that Overland Expo outgrew its former home. Expo has become so much more than enthusiasts gathering to swap stories, tips, and skills.
The informal Texas Overland Facebook group was launched by several Toyota off-roaders from the Austin, TX area back in 2015. Since then, the group has grown as a rather popular movement with over 2,000 members. The Devereaux brothers, Andrew and Chris, along with friend Laud Maroney, organized the 2nd annual Texas Overland Spring Round Up event, which took place in April 2017. It was held on the scenic Palo Pinto County, Texas ranch owned by Martin Spencer, who also owns CB Adventure Supply. Registrants received an email containing the GPS coordinates to the campsite on the ranch.
On a map, the southeastern portion of New Mexico seems almost featureless. With large National Forest lands spanning the western and northern portions of the Land of Enchantment, why bother with what appears to be wasteland in the southeast? In early March, we set out to blaze a trail across this possible scenic area on as many unpaved roads as possible. Our Tuesday through Friday route took us through smaller National Forests, BLM land, and ended in the Guadalupe Mountains. We were blessed with great weather on our 520 mile journey.
When you walk into the machine shop you immediately notice large state-of-the-art CNC milling machines with plexiglass doors and humming away behind them the whirring of cutting bits and splashing lubricant turning someone’s idea into reality. The neat rows of shiny chunks of aluminum parts on rolling carts nearby. The plethora of milling and cutting bits organized on racks throughout the space. That unmistaken smell of amachine shop, the raw metal it transforms and its workers shuffling about from station to station, concept to completion. Even the shop dogs have their place sleeping to the sounds of ideas being born. Here is where Factor55 machines all its parts in Nampa, Idaho.
I wanted to upgrade the electrical on my 2006 4Runner since I was going to be adding some electronic upgrades that I knew would really tax the factory electrical system. I started with the heart of the system: the alternator. I ran some quick calculations to see what kind of power I would need to supply and size my wire accordingly. After doing some research and contacting a few companies, I decided on Mike Singer of Singer Alternators. His website is rather barren and he prefers it that way. He runs a smaller shop and he prefers customers contact him via the form on his website so he can address their individual needs properly.
What? I thought to myself. Wait, what? I eyed my phone’s screen for the second time in a matter of seconds. I carefully read the news flash: President Obama has created the Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah. Talk and rumors became reality. President Obama created the second largest monument in the lower 48 at over 1.3 million acres. The largest national monument, Grand Staircase Escalante Monument, is also located in Utah and a very close neighbor. Utah’s public lands grew considerably with the President’s signature. Utahans felt overjoyed, right? Not exactly.
There’s the age old question of should or shouldn’t I get a snorkel. On a popular FJ Cruiser forum it’s ten pages deep of back and forth banter espousing the pros and cons of having one. There’s everything from power gains, waterproofing to clean air. But in the end, it’s your rig and even if it’s as simple as liking the look, then go for it. The only thing to remember is, it’s permanent. Unless of course you shell out for a new painted fender.
How about a little Monday morning inspiration? Recently Hema Maps posted a nice short trailer covering the Colorado section of their epic Continental Divide Route Expedition from 2016.