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Thread: Wests (Desertboater) Tacoma Build

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    202
    I'm in love with your truck and your living/travel situation...

    Keep it coming, brother. Don't hold out on us for another year!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Dan
    1996 Lexus LX450

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    815
    Quote Originally Posted by DesertBoater View Post
    Here's a photo of my electrical board from yesterday:
    Cool idea. Those little plastic boxes are not good for much.. Good use for it..

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Prescott, AZ/The back of my truck
    Posts
    259
    Time for another update!

    Since I last posted quite a bit has changed in my life, the biggest being that my girlfriend now has her bachelors degree and we're both now out of school!! Whew...and, umm...now what?!?! Currently I'm living in Flagstaff working for a Grand Canyon river outfitter, trying to work my way into a guide position. As for the truck and camper, they're both still around, and being well used. I've added a set of Ride-Rite airbags to the rear suspension to remedy the sag that was going on, as well as a Fantastic Fan! I always read everyone's rave reviews about how amazing those fans are but never really bought into the hype. Now having one however, I don't know what I was thinking! Definitely a worthwhile investment, and as a bonus, not terribly difficult to install.

    The drawers that I mentioned in my last post (removed fridge) are now in, and fairly permanent, although the top one is in need of a bit of finish. I apologize for the super-fisheye effect...all shots came from a GoPro.
    GOPR0454.jpg

    If you notice in the back of the drawers there are two pieces of Reflectix insulation covering the old fridge vent holes. I would love to replace those hatches with solid panels instead of the flimsy vented ones. I'm thinking about using a piece of Starboard as it's not wood, won't need paint, and hopefully will match the general overall white of the other hatches outside of the camper. I've looked fairly extensively for an existing hatch, and can't seem to find anything...so it goes.
    GOPR0457.jpg

    Over the past couple of days I've had a chance to do some more interior remodeling of the camper. Namely do away with the awkward and mostly useless (for me) bench seat, and replace it with a dinette style arrangement
    GOPR0449.jpg

    This configuration still allows me to seat two, store/charge the battery, and gives waaaay more useable living space.
    GOPR0450.jpg

    I'm still somewhat undecided on the table, however having seen both the original FWC setup adapted to mount on the step-up in between the seats, and the Lagun style table, I think I'm leaning toward the latter...it might be a while until I can cough up the pocket change for that though. Does anyone here have any experience with 8020 aluminum extrusions? It would seem fairly easy to create a sweet Lagun-style table using their extrusions and fittings. I spent some time this morning looking at it, but a few of the fittings, namely the pivot and a few of the quick-adjustment clamps might be hard to come by.
    GOPR0452.jpg

    Still on the list as well are some new cushions, but I'll get there eventually



    Lastly, and on a completely different note, my brother is headed out this way this coming weekend, so maybe I'll get to put up a bit of a trip report next.


    My teaser itinerary starts with picking him up at PHX then heading straight for Salome Canyon for a bit of canyoneering.
    IMG_5899.jpg

    Spend the night somewhere near West Clear Creek, perhaps hit up another slot that feeds into West Clear or Tonto Creek the next day.
    IMG_5759.jpg

    Head toward Prescott, maybe via Crown King and Senator Highway and spend a day or two climbing there.
    IMG_2415.jpg

    Up to Jerome and Sedona the next day camping at a FS campground in Oak Creek Canyon.

    Do a hike or two up one of the tributaries to Oak Creek then spend the night in Flagstaff.

    From Flag, we'll head up toward Lee's Ferry, either camping there or heading out to a spot right on the north rim of Marble Canyon.

    Explore some of the Vermillion Cliffs and Coyote Buttes the next day, finishing up on the Kaibab Plateau near the North Rim with a day or two wandering a few of the roads leading out to the various places on the North Rim.

    That should be more than enough for 10 days-ish.

    Cheers,
    West

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Prescott, AZ/The back of my truck
    Posts
    259

    Default TourAZ!!

    As I mentioned in my last post, my brother spent almost two weeks out here with me, and we went all over. We visited a couple places that I've been before, a few that I've been near, but not exactly to, and a few that were new to me as well! In keeping with most good trips, the itinerary was out the window by Day 1, and, as usual, it all worked out in the end...

    Day 1: I had intended to get a good early start and drive from Flagstaff down to a small little slot canyon on Salome Creek, however due to my brother's late arrival (2 am), he opted for a few more hours of sleep, and a slightly more relaxed first day. Instead, we headed down toward the West Clear Creek drainage outside of Camp Verde. A short but steep hike from the trailhead at the rim led us down to the creek itself just as an afternoon monsoon crested the opposite rim.

    GOPR0458.jpg

    Very much aware of what our summer monsoon storms can bring, we cautiously made our way upstream keeping ears and noses turned upwind for the tell-tale locomotive wet-earth-smell

    After a short hike, we arrived at the bottom end of what's locally known as Sundance Canyon

    GOPR0463.jpg

    Sundance is one of two side canyons that flow into the main stem of West Clear Creek in the area where we were hiking. I've hiked and rappelled Bear Creek (the 2nd of the 2) however Sundance is still on my list. It was nice to see the final rappel having heard so much about it!

    After hiking back out of West Clear Creek, we ended up deciding that a campsite near water would be a good thing. It turns out, that shortly above where Highway 260 crosses West Clear Creek, there is a small FS road that goes up to an area called the Bull Pen. We camped here for our first night and enjoyed Dark and Stormy's and Gin and Tonics while hanging out in the cool creek water!

    Day 2: Salome Creek!

    After a breakfast of chiléquilés (scrambled eggs with sautéed onions, crisped corn tortillas, and chorizo all wrapped up in a flour tortilla) we packed up camp and headed toward our previous days goal of Salome Creek down in the Tonto Basin. Salome flows into Roosevelt Reservoir which is formed by the confluence of the Salt River and Tonto Creek. A constant flow of clear water through this small creek provides usually cooler water, as well as a perfectly polished pink granite gorge. The hike from the trailhead isn't horribly strenuous; 2 miles out and then drop down into the canyon, then two miles back, but in the desert heat a pre-soaked shirt can be a life-saver.

    IMG_4660.jpg

    Once down in the canyon, it's a mix of scrambling and swimming with only one rappel toward the end.

    DSC02206.jpg

    The water was markedly lower than any of the other times I've been out there, which made for a bit of a surprise where the last pool has always been. The white line is the usual waterline.

    IMG_4663.jpg

    Once finished with the canyon, we returned to the truck and headed back up north to find a slightly cooler campsite. Seeing as it was the middle of the week, we decided on making the horrendous gravel road drive out to Fossil Creek, and were rewarded by being one of the only parties out there. Camp was made, dinner prepared, and as it got dark we began to notice flashes of lightning coming from the next drainage east.

    IMG_4675.jpg

    We crawled into bed and were awoken by the rain that finally hit us around 2:30 in the morning. The rain came hard and steady for close to two hours, as the sound of the creek steadily built. By the time first light came around, the creek was a deep red brown and the consistency of thick chocolate milk. Not wanting to swim in the muddy brown water, we packed up and headed back out toward Prescott dodging thunderstorms as we drove.

    Enough for tonight, more tomorrow.

    Cheers,
    West

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    The Great State of Denial (SC if you really want to know)
    Posts
    1,164
    Cool report.
    05 Tacoma TRD, SR5, V6, etc


    You know, Hobbes, some days even my lucky rocketship underpants don't help. -Calvin

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Post Falls, ID
    Posts
    222
    West, great to see the camper in action and fitting our need! happy trails. keep the pictures coming.
    Nissan Frontier ¦ 07' 6sp Nismo, Titan Swap front with PRG uppers and remote res Sway aways, Deaver custom pack in the rear with 1.5" longer HD shackles, Goodyear Wrangler MTR 285/75R16, Volant intake w/AirFlow Snork, Gibson Cat Back Exhaust, SuperChip, Otpima Red Top/Xpower dual battery set up, XM and GPS, KMA front bumper, Custom Sliders, Custom skid plates, custom rear bumper with tire carrier, Warn xd9000i hitch winch (front or back hook up), softtopper.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    34
    How often do you get the kayak out on the water?
    "I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth" Steve McQueen

    '04 Tundra TRD Reg Cab Long Bed 4x4

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Prescott, AZ/The back of my truck
    Posts
    259
    Quote Originally Posted by Spahle View Post
    How often do you get the kayak out on the water?
    Well, it depends on the boat...with a couple of sea kayaks and a couple of whitewater boats, they tend to take their turns depending on where I'm going. I'm currently working for a Grand Canyon outfitter, and as such haven't had much time to paddle on my own (nevermind that we haven't had much boatable water...). I got to do a Westwater trip a couple weeks ago with a friend from Moab, and am currently tossing around the idea of heading down to Mexico for some late fall paddling at the end of October/November. How often do you get out?

    Cheers,
    West

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    34
    This is my first year paddling (last year I was in pools, lower salt, etc...) but I got on the Upper Salt, The Black (Salt Tributary), Forks of the Kern, Brush Creek, Upper Kern, Pine Creek, Numbers, Browns Canyon, and Bailey Creek. Now trying to find boatable water within driving distance for a long weekend.
    "I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth" Steve McQueen

    '04 Tundra TRD Reg Cab Long Bed 4x4

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Prescott, AZ/The back of my truck
    Posts
    259
    Yeah, good luck with that this time of year in this region...Last I heard, Gore Canyon was running up in CO due to dam(n) releases, most things on the Colorado are still probably somewhat mostly runnable, just really low. Hopefully, with this winter being an El Nino year, we should get some good water. I'm holding out for a gig in Silverton, CO for the winter, but the Salt River vortex might suck me back in come the end of March depending on the ski season. Let me know if you're up near Flagstaff if we have water, I'd love to get out and go paddle.

    Cheers,
    West

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