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New England or Bust

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New England or Bust

In May of 2016, at 18 years old and still a senior in high school, my brother and I set out on our first major overland trip – a trip I had coined as the “New England Loop.” A trip that would, as Steinbeck put it, absolutely take me. In 4 days I covered over 700 miles of New England, starting in Massachusetts, heading north into Vermont, right up to the border of our friendly northern neighbors in Canada, east into the White Mountains of New Hampshire, into southern Maine, and finally back to Massachusetts.

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FJ Summit X

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FJ Summit X

So I wanted to provide an AAR (After Action Report on FJ Summit) because I know a lot of people would have loved to go, and between this and TaCo Rock Therapy I think the best Toyota events happen within 3 hours of each other in Moab and Ouray.

I’ll preface this by saying I was incredibly on the fence about going. I tried to register originally for the event, but got on the wait list within 30 seconds. Registration is brutal and I didn’t find out about being on the wait list until mid-april. I signed up thinking worst case I could sell my ticket.

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What doesnt kill you

We are all well aware of how awe inspiring and majestic our back yard that is the North American continent can be. The more time we spend exploring it, the more likely the probability of something fantastically terrifying happening to us becomes. After being raised in a small town in rural Alaska I went on to become a combat search and rescue operator in the U.S. Air Force. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel a lot of the world and experience some amazing things. Many of these things were pretty freaking scary, but what follows is the single most terrifying experience of my life. This happened when I was just 13 years old.

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Cowboy Country

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Cowboy Country

We woke on day 7 to yet another cold rainy morning in Grant Village. It had been in the low twenties overnight, so donning the clothes that sat haphazardly in the corner of the roof top tent over night was exciting, but not on quite the same level as say; a winning lotto ticket. I quickly went to work on getting the stove and percolator ready... Not because it was cold, but because above all else, coffee comes first. While Nicole prepared breakfast, I began folding up the RTT. It was sopping wet, and can be a challenge even in dry conditions to get under the cover with a double wide 0 degree bag inside. My fingers were frozen, and when the zipper got stuck while I precariously balanced on top of a wet tire and rock slider, my sense of humor faded into a steady stream of audible profanity.

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BACK FROM THE FLAMES

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BACK FROM THE FLAMES

A brief history… On June 8th of 2002, the Hayman Fire (the largest wild fire in Colorado’s history) was started by a US Forestry Technician who claimed she was burning a letter from her estranged husband. Other evidence came to light as the investigation continued to her inevitable prosecution, but the damage was done and it was extensive.

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EDC PART 3: THE GOLD STANDARD OF AMERICAN BADASSERY

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EDC PART 3: THE GOLD STANDARD OF AMERICAN BADASSERY

Simplicity is always a good standard to stay behind. the simpler things are, the easier they are to fix and stay onto of, because everything requires maintenance of some sort. so if its easy to fix, and stay on top of it should in turn be reliable as well, right?

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EDC PART TWO: IT PUT THE LOTION ON THE SKIN

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EDC PART TWO: IT PUT THE LOTION ON THE SKIN

Leather is unique. It’s kind of hard to describe how cool it is, especially when its well made. Look at Steve McQueen, he wore a leather jacket all the time and he was just a badass. Hell, you could have a total piece of shit in your possession and it would still be cool, because its leather. That said though, the coolest pieces of leather are hand made, whether it be with overgrown sewing machines or through the physical labors of our digits: someone still made it, someone cared. 

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