This was more of a vacation than an expedition report, so I thought I'd post it here. I'll give my thoughts on the 80 at the end.
Earlier this year, I bought Kevin Speicher's 80. My wife and I were planning on taking a long overdue vacation exploring the southwest and decided that his 80 would be the perfect vehicle for what we wanted to do. There aren't many 15 year old vehicles that I would put so much trust in, but the combination of the Land Cruiser reputation for reliability and Kevin's attention to detail really made the decision easier. Kevin had receipts for everything, and basically the only thing left undone was the engine. The 80 had 138,000 miles on it, and though there were absolutely no signs of failure, I went ahead and had the head gasket and PHH replaced as a preventive measure. I wanted peace of mind on this trip, so on Kevin's recommendation SD Trux replaced both.
Our trip was to coincide with a move from San Diego to San Antonio, so after moving everything to SA and finding a house to buy, we pointed the 80 north and headed out.
Mason, TX - Day 1 Great lunch! In our own version of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives we wanted to stop at as many local places as possible. This one fit the bill, the BBQ sandwiches were awesome.
Des Moines, NM - Day 2 We were kind of making a bee line to Colorado/Utah, but still wanted to stay off the interstate as much as possible. There were some beautiful small towns along the way, and being able to stop and enjoy the scenery was a nice change from going from Point A to Point B as fast as possible.
Cucharas Pass, CO - Day 2 It was late May. We would have loved to have done some of the spectacular passes that Colorado has to offer, but they weren't even close to being open. We decided to get to Utah as soon as possible, but still stop and see the sights.
Wolf Creek Pass, CO - Day 3 Twenty years ago I used to climb 1300 foot radio-navigation towers, but I'm still afraid of heights and wouldn't go near the edge. We also stopped in Durango. Last time I was there in the early 90's I remember it as a nice town. For me it seems to have lost it's charm. We had lunch at nice place just outside of town (Christina's-Great fried clams and they let us bring our dog onto the patio).
Arches NP, UT - Day 3 We arrived at Arches on the afternoon of Day 3. We were a little tired and after going through the park we decided to escape the bustle of Moab and headed up to Green River for the night.
The next day the reason we bought the 80 becomes clear