Today I joined my offroading friends for a day of wheeling in our “back yard” trails. It was a big day for me and my rig, as it marked the first time I was meeting up driving a Toyota. This group of friends had grown and bonded over our common JKs – build parties installing coil overs, and offroad/camping trips in Moab, the Rubicon, and elsewhere.
So it was a moment of truth for me – was selling my JK and buying a 25 year old Land Cruiser a good choice?
After the initial ribbing and airing down was over, we hit Archer’s Firebreak. This was an awesome trail choice – Archer’s was my favorite trail in the JK, and one I led every year for the Jeep Jamboree. So I had a lot of history with it and knew it well. However, I had never wheeled it in anything other than the JK. Now I was in a Toyota. And an automatic.
The biggest difference for me this time, was that I would bypass the burly stuff. I was without rock rails, skids, and confidence in the new rig.
After scaling the first obstacle – locally known as the V-notch – I was able to not only gain a feel for how my fat pig would perform, but so would my JK friends. While he was “off the record,” my buddy Chad actually admitted how impressed he was with my open-axle, 7000 pound, quarter century old rig.
The other rigs tackled more advanced options as far as obstacles were concerned.
The day continued with just about everyone getting surprisingly hung up on Waterfall’s filter.
We ended the day with some target shooting, airing up, and the traditional stop at Veggie Grill.
It was perhaps one of my best offroading days on record. I was able to see and wheel my favorite local trail in a whole new light. I was challenged with a new transmission and a new rig entirely. Things I cruised right over on 37s and coilovers, were now a formidable obstacle. And, the best part – it was another day with good friends in the Oregon forest.