Our TCT Explorer Tundra just rolled 40,000 miles. It’s been a fun two years =). Our move to the Tundra platform was inspired in large part by the Toytec Lifts 2014 Tundra, so I thought it was the time we give that truck a little more attention.
As a contributor of this fair publication I get to see, and even sometimes drive, some very special off-roading creations...so it's not that often that I get stopped in my tracks by a Land Cruiser. It was only an hour after my first coffee so admittedly my mental faculties are not at their most trustworthy at this time of day, but several of my senses worked together to convince me that what I was seeing was real. Land Rover have their 127 and 130 crew cab pickups but Toyota doesn't have an equivalent, at least, I didn't think so... but here on the streets of a little village in Brazil, was what looked like a double-cab 40 series driving towards me. Full of people in the back they were obviously going on some kind of off-road safari! The driver mistook my bewilderment in his car for interest in a tour and handed me a leaflet. A phone call later and we arranged to go on a trip in the surrounding jungle the next day. Easy.
I have been very fortunate in the number of truly amazing natural wonders I have visited: Mauna Kea, Maze Overlook, The Doll House, Copper Canyon, The White Pockets, and Bisti. There are many other scenic destinations I have yet to see, and in some cases, maybe I’ve waited too late.
A year ago, I flew to Merida, Yucatan in Mexico to visit Progresso. For this 7-day trip, I rented a car and visited Progresso and Merida. As I was driving around and seeing the different areas, I determined the area to be an awesome destination just to explore and see Mayan ruins, cenotes (fresh water caverns), and everything this place offers. After my week in the Yucatan, I started considering the different options I had from shipping my vehicle to driving it to the Yucatan. I came across a blog where a family from San Antonio did the same trip. I carefully read their story and made the decision to pursue this adventure.
The promise of sleepy beach towns, pristine and secluded beaches, geothermal features, and misty rainforests drew us to visit The Coromandel Peninsula (The Coro, for short) toward the end of our latest visit to New Zealand. The Coro is located on the North Island, an hour and a half drive or a ferry ride east across the Firth of Thames of Auckland, yet it is a world away from the hustle and bustle of the country’s largest city. With no agenda and a limited list of places we had to see, we kept our two days planned for the area open to exploring anything that caught our fancy.
Examining the night sky on a clear evening while camping far from light-polluted skies will captivate your inner sense of wonder. It is an incredible experience to sit in awe of the vastness of space. Capturing the endless array of stars has become an easier feat due to camera technology evolving rapidly. Between sensor design improvements and smarter built-in noise reduction software, cameras are performing at ISO settings of over 10K and producing usable results.
Continued from 6 Days on Hema Map Patrol, Part 1.
Our inability to cross the Continental Divide via Union Pass outside of Pinedale, WY had us a little disappointed. However, after three hard days on the trail, we were happy for a nice night in a soft bed.
I am of the opinion that aftermarket roof racks, like those sold by Yakima, are an under-rated system that really should get a lot of respect from the offroad community. Sure I often dream of installing a full-length platform on our 4Runner, but truth be told, a set of aftermarket cross bars can be a great, low-cost, way for many entry-level offroaders and travelers to equip their pickups and SUVs for outdoor adventure.
"Is that a Lexus?"
"Are you lost?"
"You should turn back!"
These are the standard greetings I receive when I use my 2003 GX470 for trail duty. It’s okay, I am used to it after almost 8 years. I have learned to retort with witty humor to diffuse the clear shock of these folks; My GPS told me the outlet mall was at the end of this road.It’s all in good fun.
Celebrating 10 years of epic Toyota Adventure Coverage!
This issue is PACKED FULL of adventure from around the globe...
Download this issue now to read all about:
Toroweap Overlook, Grand Canyon
GX-470 | Best Kept Overland Secret?
Yakima Core-Bar Review
6 Days on Hema Map Patrol, Part 2
2018 Tundra & Sequoia TRD Sport
New Zealand Coromandel Peninsula
Mexico 4Runner Overland Adventure
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Winter 2017 Issue: