Month: June 2019

June 27, 2019


Since the Tacoma/Flippac are down, I need to drive the Land Cruiser, but it needs brakes. The rotors are scored, so I order pads and rotors… but look at that rotor, it is not a remove caliper and slide on a new rotor like every other Toyota I have ever worked on, NO! It’s a remove hub assembly, use a soft blow hammer to get some stupid cone washers off… screw that throw in new pads and call it a day. Why have the last 18 hours sucked!

June 26, 2019


A solo trip to DuPont to mountain bike, hike and swim. Day 1 of biking was awesome, I have a time lapse to add, but 3 hours of joy!


After 6pm, I started looking for a place to primitive camp in Pisgah National Forest, after driving for way too long, I found this spot and made dinner, then right before I started to make camp, I noticed the sign… 15 feet up a tree…. WTF. As I started to turn around I realized I forgot where a couple of tree stumps were but noticed a two tire track heading back towards the forest service road, I will just do that.


I didn’t get out to look down the hill, I just drove into it…. see that big rock? It used to be in the middle of the trail. As my nose started down, I hit it with my bumper and became stuck at a very steep angle (in fact so steep, I was worried about oil pick up/pressure) but also was afraid to turn off the truck in case it would not restart. I switch to 4 wheel drive low and turned on my locker and managed to back up a bit, but crabbed and high centered my slider


Now I am really stuck, alone off a minor FS road – I didn’t take any more pictures because I was trying to self rescue… in the end Maxtrax saved the day and I was get off the slider, drive back down the hill (could not go backwards) and just push the big ass rock out of my way with my front bumper! It took 20-30 minutes of work!

So now I still needed a place to camp, I drove further into the woods, passed the trail head for my planned morning hike and finally found another camp spot, I go to flip the camper and POP


at first I thought the torsion bar snapped, but the hinge was what broke! That was the final straw, I am heading home…. great day, but this night has been a shit show!

June 23, 2019


This morning was a slow start, see last night’s fire side festivities, I did get up and got a long run in on some hiking trails – no idea what it was or where I was…. after bathing in the river, I figured out no one was exploring today and Sam wasn’t up to back tracking to the elk, so time to head to Asheville for lunch and a beer.


We stopped at a second hand outdoor gear place called – Second Gear – I found a pair of pants I really liked, till I saw the $61 price… nothing for me, but Sam got this cute dress.

June 22, 2019


I was up early but couldn’t run since the trail into the camp spot was under water from last night’s storm, good thing there is a waterfall to photograph. This is teh top of Wolf Creek Falls.


Just trying different angles


Sadly I chose to only bring my mirrorless Panasonic and couldn’t get the wide angle I wanted


That did force me to climb to a place I have never photographed the falls from.


Sam is ready to go…..


But even to leave, we had to use a chain saw.


Whenever we are here, we hike up Max Patch


Sam took off and hiked up alone, when I found her, this is what she was doing, I love she is happy in the moment and not because she hiked to the top.


Rain or sun?


Back to driving dirt roads.


a railroad bridge over the French Broad River in the Cherokee National Forest




of course we all crossed the bridge like in “Stand By Me.”


Camp site #2, on the banks of the French Broad.


Mini-moonshine, beer and shots of whiskey around a fire = a great night!


June 21, 2019


A weekend trip to the mountains with the Olde North State Land Cruiser club, the un-offical slogan is a drinking club with a Toyota problem. As always we stopped at Sierra Nevada for lunch and “provisions.”


The highlight of teh first day is running Hurricane Creek, a very rough forest service road.


Not many pictures, we were racing darkness and the trail, errr road was rougher than last year. I tested my skid plate, sliders and rear bumper more than once…. no damage to the truck!


First night camp spot was the top of Wolf Creek Falls in Tennessee. A crazy thunderstorm chased us all to bed early!