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Thread: Plan B

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    2,016

    Default Plan B

    This is a trip report for last summer's vacation. I had to not post much about it because I wrote a story of TLCA's Toyota Trails, and it ran this month... May/June 2010. So this is what I turned in to them....

    Plan B

    It’s always good to have a Plan B.

    After a couple of years off-roading in my 1974 FJ40, the family was tired of the 10 hours of round trip driving in it to get anywhere I wanted to be so it was time to go to Plan B.

    Upgrading my daily driver, a 2002 Tacoma double cab. After one trip to the Coal Miner Cruiser Classic in it with only sliders and a skid plate, I knew I enjoyed the “plush” ride and reliability of the Taco over the sore back and prayers required to take the Land Cruiser.

    As I researched the Taco’s upgrades, the sites that most interested me were expedition type travels, taking an off the track road that leads somewhere other than back to the start. So I now had a goal. After dragging along a friend 800 miles away, we started building and planning a three-week trip along the Continental Divide. He searched out and bought a 2002 extended cab Tacoma after his wife said they couldn’t scratch up her FJ Cruiser.

    The start in Watkins Glen, NY
    Jay

    www.jaycapers.com
    02 DC Tacoma with a Flippac and other stuff
    93 FZJ80 - stock but dual lockers and less than 200k miles

    74 FJ40, 91 Hilux, 98 4Runner, 98 Rav4, 02 Conqueror Compact Trailer - All Sold

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Default Page 2

    Remember Plan B?
    Yep, no way he could get all three weeks off in a row so we switched to Plan B, an East Coast “expedition” the trucks were mainly the vehicles to get us there, cook and sleep in and take us home… in comfort.

    My wife and I had done several week long trips, off-the beaten path living out of the truck, but this was my friends’, Clay and Kay, first trip, so discussions of porta-privys, hot water showers and such took a lot of time. Then this spring a deal popped up on a Safari Trailer Conqueror Compact off-road trailer and my CFO (wife) said “sure!” so a long week-end trip to Atlanta, Georgia was made to pick it up.

    After sleeping in the back of the 5-foot Taco bed when you are 6 feet tall for two years, this was now my Taj-Ma-Hall! Not to mention the joy of always being packed to go.

    eagle Cliff Falls, NY
    Jay

    www.jaycapers.com
    02 DC Tacoma with a Flippac and other stuff
    93 FZJ80 - stock but dual lockers and less than 200k miles

    74 FJ40, 91 Hilux, 98 4Runner, 98 Rav4, 02 Conqueror Compact Trailer - All Sold

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,016

    Default Page 3

    The start. We met on July 4th in Rochester, New York to celebrate with fireworks at a small private campground with way too many people before leaving for Watkins Glen in the morning. Two days of hiking, biking, and swimming in and around the Finger Lakes meant it was time to head to West Virginia.

    A lot of chatter was on the CB as we hit dirt for the first time along the forest service roads in Monongahela National Forest. We explored a couple of roads, but I knew the spot I wanted to camp at, a secluded spot that offered a great overlook. Pulling into camp a little late, we dropped the sides of the trailer and cooked up a great dinner of Skyline Chili. Remember this was an expedition and by definition, an expedition is a learning experience. I was teaching the differences in 3, 4, or 5-way Cincinnati Chili to good friends. With hot food on our plates we headed down a short trail to eat dinner on the overlook.
    Jay

    www.jaycapers.com
    02 DC Tacoma with a Flippac and other stuff
    93 FZJ80 - stock but dual lockers and less than 200k miles

    74 FJ40, 91 Hilux, 98 4Runner, 98 Rav4, 02 Conqueror Compact Trailer - All Sold

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
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    Default Page 4

    The bear. As we headed back to our camp, I spotted a small bear in our kitchen area, “Bear!” is all I could say. I had always heard when you see a small bear, the momma bear sees you, so I wasn’t worried about the small one in front, it was the one I couldn’t spot that worried me. As we made noise and gathered together the bear SLOWLY wandered off, not too concerned with us at all. That could not be a good thing! The funny part was, I had warned the group before dinner that there were bears in the area and we needed to clean up each night and not burn food in the fire, etc. As I am working on hanging my bear bag and picking up the small amount of trash the bear dug through… when I get to the empty can of chili. The bear had licked it clean. Bears like Cincinnati Chili too. We headed to bed after trading off hand held radios, just in case. That night was a little nervous after each noise we could hear in the woods.

    I slept really well 5 feet in the air in my trailer’s roof top tent and a hatchet under my pillow till just before 6am, when I heard the crackle of the radio, “Jay, there is a bear in the kitchen,” after listening for a few minutes, I grabbed my camera, climbed down to see the bear. As I crept around Clay’s truck, I saw a larger bear, just walking around. We had cleaned up everything and hung the bear bag, so it could only sniff and look. No harm, no foul.
    Jay

    www.jaycapers.com
    02 DC Tacoma with a Flippac and other stuff
    93 FZJ80 - stock but dual lockers and less than 200k miles

    74 FJ40, 91 Hilux, 98 4Runner, 98 Rav4, 02 Conqueror Compact Trailer - All Sold

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
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    Default Page 5

    We spent the next 2 days visiting some of my favorite spots around The Mog, Bowden Cave (closed because of white nose syndrome, a fungus killing bats), Seneca Rocks, and Dolly Sods.

    Watching the Tour de France with satellite dishes and 12 volt converters (Glamping?)

    Dolly Sods
    Jay

    www.jaycapers.com
    02 DC Tacoma with a Flippac and other stuff
    93 FZJ80 - stock but dual lockers and less than 200k miles

    74 FJ40, 91 Hilux, 98 4Runner, 98 Rav4, 02 Conqueror Compact Trailer - All Sold

  6. #6
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    Feb 2007
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    Day 7 of the trip was a travel day and we left West Virginia for a friends house near Fredericksburg, VA to prepare for an over night float down the Rappahannock River. We camped the night in James and Elizabeth’s driveway after a great dinner of catfish cakes. After meeting up with several friends from Expedition Portal we were joining for this trip, and with a borrowed canoe, we started down the 26 or so miles of rocks, err… water. I had sold this part of the trip to my wife as a float. There was more paddling than any of us expected. We spent the night on the riverbank, watching Bald Eagles fly from tree to tree while fishing. The next day I wasn’t sore, and canoeing was more of the same, lots of dragging the boat over rocks. The highlight had to be eating lunch on a small island when a cold thunderstorm rolled onto us. We all scrambled into the river to warm up despite the lightning, with Clay and Kay stubbornly sipping their hot, water logged soup.

    The family.

    My daughter in a rainstorm on an island in the river...
    Jay

    www.jaycapers.com
    02 DC Tacoma with a Flippac and other stuff
    93 FZJ80 - stock but dual lockers and less than 200k miles

    74 FJ40, 91 Hilux, 98 4Runner, 98 Rav4, 02 Conqueror Compact Trailer - All Sold

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
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    Default Page 7

    The next morning we talked about what to do next…. I really wanted to head to the George Washington National Forest, but my wife and our southern friends couldn’t bear the thought of more “cold,” 50 degree nights in the mountains, so we headed for the beach. The Outer Banks was now the next Plan B.

    After a couple of hours driving I decided a stop would be needed so we could do laundry (first of the trip), ride some sweet single track, and give my seven year old daughter something more than trees to play with, so we pulled into a KOA in Williamsburg. Everyone agreed, being alone in the mountains with a bear was better than this, but it wasn’t crowded, I had clean clothes and Samantha swam in a pool and tie-died shirts.
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_ZePwIoXsrf.../s400/tt12.jpg
    Jay

    www.jaycapers.com
    02 DC Tacoma with a Flippac and other stuff
    93 FZJ80 - stock but dual lockers and less than 200k miles

    74 FJ40, 91 Hilux, 98 4Runner, 98 Rav4, 02 Conqueror Compact Trailer - All Sold

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,016

    Default Page 8

    We left the next morning after a ride in the woods at Jones Lake State Park and spent the next four days soaking up sun, fishing from the beach, bridges, and piers. I love being at the beach and some of my favorite camping as a child was with my parents on the sand of Apalachicola Beach in Florida. Our last night at Oregon Inlet National Park Service campground, a MAJOR storm rolled in and soaked everything, blew over tents around us and provided a wonderful lightning show. I love camping on the beach.


    Jay

    www.jaycapers.com
    02 DC Tacoma with a Flippac and other stuff
    93 FZJ80 - stock but dual lockers and less than 200k miles

    74 FJ40, 91 Hilux, 98 4Runner, 98 Rav4, 02 Conqueror Compact Trailer - All Sold

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,016

    Default page 9

    The final two days of my vacation were to be spent driving home, we dried out in the morning, said our goodbyes, and started north. One last dinner at a Waffle House (try asking for directions to a Waffle House with New York plates) we found a small private campground in Maryland. At first glance, it was the scariest place I had ever thought of sleeping, but the owner gave us a secluded spot way down the road, right on a creek. A very peaceful night was enjoyed by all. The next day we hiked a bit on the Chimney Rock Trail and then were back on the road to home.

    Plan B: Unlike my friends out west, the east coast doesn’t offer tons of open space to wander and primitive camp, but we still search for it and use our Toyotas to get there and home.

    We drove 2,225 miles
    Camped for 15 nights and slept in 9 different places, in 5 states.
    Pulled two ticks from me and was almost eaten alive by mosquitoes.
    Canoed, hiked, biked, fished, and ate well almost every day.
    A great vacation!

    Next year Nova Scotia…. Or plan B.
    Jay

    www.jaycapers.com
    02 DC Tacoma with a Flippac and other stuff
    93 FZJ80 - stock but dual lockers and less than 200k miles

    74 FJ40, 91 Hilux, 98 4Runner, 98 Rav4, 02 Conqueror Compact Trailer - All Sold

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    LI, NY
    Posts
    95
    nice trip! reminds me of when i went down to the OBX a couple years ago.
    95 Disco I

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