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.
How we evaded the weather still eludes us, but I guess it was well deserved after our Utah trip a few years back. We hit pavement days before the bottom dropped out of the sky and our home was an island amidst all the flooding. Matter of fact, we were snoozing in Mojave when the first drops began to fall at home, and they never quite caught up with us.
Its 4:00 am the day before Christmas Eve. This might sound early, but for a snow plow driver it's more like sleeping in for 3 hours. As I quickly donned some snow boots and my Carhartt coat to head out into the cold, I could tell my wife was more bummed than usual about the alarm clock having gone off because this time she actually had to get up. Two months of planning had led up to this moment, and it was time to book our adventure on the White Rim Road.
Those of you who may have read, “House of the Gods” my Tepui roof top tent review will remember the issues I pointed out with the optional Kukenam annex. To name a few, the door was behind the ladder making the entrance a pretty good squeeze to get in. In order to remove the annex or install it, you had to unbolt the ladder and it had no floor, but was otherwise a useful place to get dressed and such in privacy and out of the weather.
The word Tepui [te’pwi] means “house of the gods” to the indigenous people who inhabit the Gran Sabana. Table top mountains or mesas found in South America especially in Venezuela and western Guyana, these mountains can tower up to 1000 meters above the forest floor below. Because of the significant difference in altitude from the surrounding area, they are known as “ecological islands” having a very different climate from the ground forest… Among these, is Mount Kukenam…
It is hard to say how many times I have seen the movie, “Dante’s Peak” in the 18 years since it’s release. While a bit on the ‘cheesy’ side, the one thing that keeps me coming back is the modified Suburban with what I have come to refer to as, the “Lava Snorkel”. Watching Pierce Brosnan fumble around to get the rig into 4 wheel drive while already floating down the river, is hilarious… But, he finally engages it, and the big red Sub emerges from the river unscathed and running like a champ because, “it’s okay… this rigs got a snorkel”.
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.
This is a three part article, because there is simply too much going on here to put into one coherent article, but I’ll start with what makes this string of articles possible, the owner of Moab Offroad – Max Dollinger