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Posts Tagged ‘land cruiser’

There’s nothing that chaps my hide more than visiting off-road areas which you would expect to be pristine, be instead literally covered in piss jugs, litter, tires, trash, etc.  Unfortunately a small minority of off-road idiots do everything wrong from not keeping to actual designated trails and destroying habitats to leaving their trash where they camped.  It’s really disgusting that these kinds of people are even associated with the average off-roader or off-roading group.  I simply do not understand why they don’t  TREAD LIGHTLY or PACK IT IN/PACK IT OUT!!! Their actions affect ALL off-roaders and give us all a bad reputation.  Unfortunately years ago due to inconsiderate and destructive off-roaders, several off-road trails on an Indian Reservation here in San Diego were closed.  Well the Toyota Land Cruiser Association San Diego Chapter called Beach N Toys is trying to change the bad reputation of off-roaders from years past.

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Beach N Toys has been actively trying to repair the damage done by these unruly rogue off-roaders.  This past Sunday the Reservation granted our club rare access to previously closed trails to clean up trash and do some much needed trail maintenance.  The Reservation was greatly appreciative that a group of responsible off-roads was willing to do the dirty work created by others who have a careless attitude towards the environment and the sovereignty of the Indian Nation to which the land belongs.

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Sunday morning the club met at a cafe near Lake Henshaw then headed towards the Reservation to meet with the tribe’s sheriff.  After obtaining keys to various locked gates throughout the trails we headed to the first camping area.  Thankfully the first campsite is clean and there’s virtually zero trash that needs to be picked up.  After regrouping, we headed out on the off-road trails to the backside campsite and unfortunately came across a brand new gate with a lock that wasn’t included in our set of gate keys.  Unfortunately the keys to this gate were on a different set which were not included in the keys we were given.  So we all turned around and headed to a trail called Rough Road which goes to an old fire observation tower.  Once we got to the tower we could see the signs of litter.  Most of the litter however is broken pieces of wood from the deteriorating fire tower.  But there are shards of broken beer bottles and Plexiglas everywhere!  So, out comes the beach N toys trash bags and we all start gathering as much of the broken glass and rubbish as we can.

We started headed back down Rough Road but diverted at the Y to a road that connects further down on Rough Road.  We can tell it hasn’t been travelled in a while as the shrubs are crowding the trail and brushing up against the trucks.  More than once we came across trees that had fallen on the trail.  One tree was large enough that we needed to winch it off the trail then chainsaw it into pieces.

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Overall it was a great day.
Great that our group cares enough to help repair the damage done by others.
Great that we’re rebuilding a relationship with the tribe and attempting to prove that there are responsible off-road still out in the world.
And great that everyone completed the trip without any problems or breakdowns.

Granted we have a long way to go, but our club is one of the few groups who are actively trying to help and that makes me very proud to be an off-roader.

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After months of hunting, we happily welcomed a new addition to our off-road stable on Monday.  For the last six months we have been searching Craigslist, IH8MUD, and various other off-road forums to locate the elusive 1994-1996 Toyota Land Cruiser preferably with Lockers.  When we finally located something good, we found that the truck had already been sold in the past hour or sometimes just minutes ago.  We had traveled hundreds of miles to view vehicles that were listed as “Good Condition” only to show up and find the entire undercarriage of the truck is covered in rust or oil and the gas tank is being held up by a piece of rope.  To say we were disappointed with the availability of quality trucks within our price range was an understatement.

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Thankfully about two weeks ago a friend of ours heard through the Cruiser grapevine that a quality FJ80 might go on the market soon.  It was a Gray Toyota 1996 FJ80, with Lockers and only 167,700 miles.  It already had front and rear bumpers, a winch, a 3” lift and even came with an awesome radio and a CB.  Although it was slightly out of our initial budget, it was everything we wanted.  As soon as that rumor was out, we were trying to get in contact with the seller.  Unfortunately one of our other cruiser friends was also in the hunt for a new-used cruiser as well.  We didn’t want to undercut our friend, but thankfully our friend found out that we were hot to trot on the truck, he backed out and put in a good word for us with the seller.  To our excitement the seller agreed to sell the truck and we exchanged money for the title on Monday!  I had a smile ear to ear as we drove it home.

 

BUT with the smiles comes the tears.  Since the addition of the FJ80, we’ll now need to say goodbye to our old 1983 CJ7 Jeep, lovingly named El Blanco.  We’ve done multiple overnight off-road trips with El Blanco and lately he’s completed every off-road challenge flawlessly.  It’s funny, when you put so many man-hours into restoring and fixing a vehicle it starts to develop a personality and earns small place in your heart.  I can still remember selling my very first truck that I bought at 16 with my own hard earned money.  Years later, I cried the day it drove way with its new owner.  I will miss El Blanco when we finally sell it.  Even though he’s old, he’s a fun and quirky little Jeep.  Like a breeder selling a puppy, I won’t let El Blanco go to anyone “unworthy”.

 

So, soon we’ll be making new memories, taking new adventures, and undoubtedly working well into the night tinkering with our new treasure for many years to come.  The only thing now is to come up with an appropriate name for the new ride.

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