Harsher Punishment for Parole Violators, Stan… and World Peace

We all want to make the world a better place, although few us find the time to live those convictions out as fully as we would like. At Last Great Road Trip we try to fight hate, promote tolerance and encourage the celebration of diversity. We attempt this through donations, blog entries and interviews with others. But a couple of local guys are going the extra mile.

If you listen to morning radio you probably tune in for pithy, sharp tonged caller abuse, biting humor and political sarcasm. And HEY, I’m right there with you on my daily commute. However if you have been paying attention lately you’ve notice some compassion sneaking into the air waves. Local radio guys Bob and Arik, from the Bob Rivers show on KZOK 102.5 FM are currently in Senegal working with World Vision. These guys are contributing their talents to connect listeners with the kids of Senegal who need our help. One way to get involved in Bob and Arik’s excellent adventure is by sponsoring a child through Wold Vision. While Bob and crew are working to make the world a better place in a very public way, each of us can make a private and just as big a difference to a child by contacting World Vision .

Adventures come in all shapes and sizes. What is important, is that you follow your own trail and do what you can to make a positive contribution to the world along the way.

Keeping the Vision Clear

Everyone asks… How do you like the rig… How did it perform on your arctic circle adventure?

Our answer… IT IS Great. The only thing we would fix… The windshield! The windshield picked up a number of star cracks which in the cold weather this winter turned to crack across the length of the windshield. And we finally decided to fix it.

Read the posts on the FJ Cruiser forums about windshields, lower right side, I’ll wait.

What you find is that you should buy stock in glass, your going to replace a few. This is our frst windshield replacement so we took it down to the local glass guys at The Autoglass Clinic to see what it takes.

Turns out, the easy part is putting the windshield in. The hard part is getting all the little bits of molding and covers pulled without leaving a mark. Once the bits are off, pulling the old glass and replacing it with the new windshield is quick and easy.

When it was all said and done the guys made it look easy and did a great job. They even offer a slice of pizza for being the first FJ these guys changed out. Another bonus that came for hanging around with these guys was understanding what comes apart and how. This new found knowledge will be come in handy as we take on installing the Soltek 8″ LaPaz HID lights that just arrived from Baja Designs. But that is another story.

Danger is My Middle Name

Off-road adventures are filled with dangers. Mechanical breakdowns, lost in the cold and wet, broken bones, hypothermia and heat exposure are all real dangers.  We prepare for these risk with spare parts, extra water and clothing, first aid kits, communication equipment, maps and a host of recovery equipment.

We don’t usually prepare for drug gangs, kidnapping or violent criminal activities. However, this is exactly the situation in north Mexico. Unfortunately the LA Times story Border drug violence sparks travel alert for Mexico reported “The U.S. State Department in Mexico issued a travel alert yesterday, prompted by drug violence in the north of Mexico.”

This drug war presents a danger beyond the usual off-road adventure risks and has us watching the Department of State Travel site for the latest information. So we sit and we worry if this will escalate into a situation that keeps us from traveling the Baja. It’s not like we’re going to Mexico for spring break!

Baja Designs Joins in Supporting The Adventure

We are very pleased to have Baja Designs as the newest sponsor of our off-road adventures.

When we went looking for auxiliary off-road lights for the rig, we spent a great deal of time researching the various technologies, available products and the companies behind those products. What we found from painstakingly analyzing our off-road lighting needs and asking for input from a number of experts is that Baja Designs has been developing top quality high-end aftermarket lighting systems for the off-road race industry for 14 years. Baja Designs also offers a 3 year warranty on their Soltek Fuego 4″ and LaPaz 8″ lights. These guys stand behind their products. Legendary quality lights, warranty protection, crystal clear optics, one-of-a-kind tool free aiming system and guys that know the Baja like the back of their hand, oh yeah these lights are for us.

When we contacted Chris Chapman at Baja Designs, asking for assistance and sponsorship support we were ecstatic to hear that they would help us out. These are the same guys who are the official sponsors for the American Honda’s off-road team; we are in good company.

Over the coming weeks look for how to install off-road lights as we discuss the lighting basics and mount our two Fuego 4″ HID Lights on our Rig’s bull bar and four 8″ Soltek HID Lights on the roof.

How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall…

Everyone knows the old joke… A tourist pulls up to a man on the corner and asks: “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” The man on the corner says “Practice… practice… practice”

That is good advise and especially important when you are stuck on the trail. This is not the time to unwrap your shinny equipment for the first time and try to figure out how to use it. More than likely when you get stuck it will be dark, rainy and muddy or sandy, glaringly hot and windy (isn’t that what you went out to find). Stuck in these conditions is exactly what recovery equipment was designed for and when used correctly, will make easy work of a tough situation.

One of the most versatile and low cost pieces of off-road adventure recovery equipment is the hi-lift jack by the Bloomfield Manufacturing Company. The hi-lift jack can be used to lift or pull a rig out of the mud. It can be used to break a tire bead or push a panel into place. The hi-lift jack can even be used to change a tire. However, it can also put the rig into an unstable and unsafe position if the directions and safety instructions are not followed.

If you understand and practice how to use the hi-lift jack properly it can be one of the best pieces of recovery equipment you have with you on the trail.

For Immediate Release April 10, 2008

Headline:
Experts at uShip Team Up with Last Great Road Trip

Summary:
uShip, the online shipping marketplace, signs up as the newest expert guests to contribute to Last Great Road Trip’s road side chat.

Body:
uShip, the online shipping marketplace, signs up as the newest expert guest writers on Last Great Road Trip website. uShip will contribute their shipping, logistics and travel expertise to the adventure road trip website through articles on such topics as earning funds for cross country adventures, hooking up with hitchhikers who pay their way or how to ship your rig to the Timbuktu starting point of your overland adventure.

Paul Thompson the team’s driver and project manager said, “uShip signed up because they believed in our off-road adventure to celebrate diversity and knew they could help our readers in creating their own off-road adventures. We are please to have uShip on board and look forward to reading their contributions.”

You can read uShip’s first contribution, written by Adam Greenspan and other experts on the off-road adventure website.

Making this all possible, the Last Great Road Trip is supported by friends, family and sponsors along the way including:
Baja Designs
Metal Tech 4×4 – Protection… Evolved
Metagyre, Inc – Project Management Experts
Taylor Made Graphics
Hula Betty Productions
Working Web Solutions Portland Web Design & Portland SEO Search Engine Optimization


About Last Great Road Trip:

A series of off-road adventures shared with others over the Internet. The website, a social experiment in web 2.0 and a celebration of diversity, describes the off-road adventures, friendships, rants and raves on the road of life. Explore hidden trails, back roads and diverse cultures that enrich this shared experience while adding your own comments to the adventure.

See PR Log for press release and read about shipping your vehicle on our website.

Landing at Your Launching Point

So you’ve got your great adventure driving through Chile all planned out. You’ve tuned up your rig, dug up all your gear, and mapped out your route. Now you’ve just got one minor problem: that big red dot marked “START” on your map is at the foot of the Andes, while your rig is getting the neighbor kid’s basketball bounced off of it in your driveway in Hoboken. Getting your vehicle to your launch point can be a challenging task, but given the proper time, preparation, and precaution, this process doesn’t have to be such an adventure.

Before you even start to look at how you are going to get your rig to that big red dot, you should make sure that doing so is actually feasible. Every country is going to have its own vehicle standards and import regulations. A good starting point when researching these issues is the State Department’s list of Web Sites of Foreign Embassies in the U.S. These usually have links to the relevant regulatory entities in each country. Make sure that your vehicle will be street legal and that you will have the resources and parts to make repairs.

By Land
So now you’ve done a little homework, and it is time to figure our how you are actually going to get your trusty rig to the origin. Your adventurous instinct might tempt you to just pick up and drive all the way to Chile, but chances are that time, money, and your spouse may push you to look for other options. Travel can get expensive, and every border you cross could present you with any number of surprises. If you get delayed, you might not make it in time to complete your Chilean quest.

If you aren’t going to move your vehicle from behind the wheel, you are probably going to be looking at paying someone to do it for you with some combination of land and sea transport. This is where advance planning is going to be critical. The more flexible you can be with your time-frame, the more affordable shipping should be. If you are lucky enough to live on the coast, you should be able to save some time and money by getting your rig to the docks yourself. Otherwise, you are looking at some domestic shipping, which in itself could require about a month of advance planning. Some international shippers will be able to cover this domestic leg of the trip as well, and this consolidation of services can simplify the process considerably.

By Sea
Your vehicle will likely spend the maritime portion of its voyage in an enormous box shipping container with other vehicles. If you are extremely protective of your rig, you may want to shell out some extra cash for a private container. One other high-end option is a cruise ferry. This is essentially a combination of a roll-on/roll-off (RORO) freight ship and a luxury cruise liner. In addition to a steep price, this option also may leave you with little flexibility regarding timing and destinations. As an advantage, however, this option also moves something else you will need on your trip: you! If you can swing the cash, you’ll be able to ride in style.

There are any number of companies that provide international auto transport. When choosing a shipping carrier, make sure to do some research to ensure that they are a reputable company with the necessary registrations and licenses. Find out what parts of the customs process they can handle for you. Shipping brokerages and auction sites can be useful in finding the right shipper for your needs.

You can save yourself a lot of hassle by starting your trek from your incoming foreign port. If your origin is landlocked, however, you may need to secure shipping within a foreign country. The difficulty of this task depends a lot upon the level of development in that country and your comfort with the foreign language. In more developed areas, you may be able to arrange something online, but in a developing nation, you might have to make some arrangements in person.

By Any Means Necessary
If all this sounds a bit too daunting, don’t be afraid to get creative. Does it make more financial or logistical sense to purchase a new or used vehicle at the origin? Maybe you can find a fellow adventurer that already has a vehicle on location. Perhaps you could trek together or use the vehicle when they are done and split the cost of shipping. Find some adventure forums and see what other travelers have done.

Don’t let getting there be the whole battle. Plan ahead and work within your means. You’ll be chugging along towards that “FINISH” dot before you know it.

Written by Adam Greenspan of uShip, an auction-style marketplace for Auto Transport.

Off-Road Experts in the News

Headline:
Experts Contribute to the Roadside Conversation

Summary:
Industry experts are contributing to Last Great Road Trip website in order to help others create their own off-road adventure and celebrate the cultural diversity of the open road.

Body:
The Last Great Road Trip finds new ways to thank readers and bring content that can help their readers be more successful on their next overland adventure road trip. As a result the adventure road trip website is pleased to introduce a new set of articles written by industry experts.

By teaming up with subject matter experts Last Great Road Trip hopes to publish information on everything from earning gas money for your trip to better understanding the suspension components for your rig as well as discovering overland adventures that are as close as next door.

When asked why the off-road adventure website is expanding, Paul Thompson, team driver and project manager, said “Our goal is to post articles that will help everyone plan their own great adventure, so we hope to hear from our reads with their thoughts about guest writers and topics they would like to read about. If there are budding writers with a field of expertise out there don’t be shy. Let us know how you would like to contribute and help celebrate diversity in the world one blog at a time.”

You will find these posts on www.LastGreatRoadTrip.com with credit to author and a link back in order for readers to follow up and find out more information. The first guest writer will discuss some of the points to consider when shipping your rig around the globe in order to start or end your off-road adventure in a far off location.

Making this all possible, the Last Great Road Trip is supported by friends, family and sponsors along the way including:
Metal Tech – Protection… Evolved
Metagyre, Inc – Project Management Experts
Taylor Made Graphics
Hula Betty Productions
Working Web Solutions Portland Web Design & Portland SEO Search Engine Optimization

About Last Great Road Trip:
A series of off-road adventures taken by a small team shared with others over the Internet. The website, a social experiment in web 2.0 and a celebration of diversity, describes the off-road adventures, friendships, rants and raves on the road of life. Explore hidden trails, back roads and diverse cultures that enrich this shared off-road experience while adding your own comments to the adventure.

Read the press release on PRLog

Experts Contribute to the Roadside Conversation

At Last Great Road Trip we are always looking for ways to thank our readers and bring content that can help our readers be more successful on their next off-road adventure road trip. As a result we are pleased to introduce a new category of articles written by industry experts.

By teaming up with subject matter experts we hope to publish information on everything from earning gas money for your trip by carrying packages along the way to better understanding suspension components for your rig and style of wheeling adventure.

You will find these posts with credit to author and a link back in order for you to follow up with them for more information. Our first guest will discuss some of the points to consider when shipping your rig around the globe in order to start or end your off road adventure in a remote location.

Our goal is to post articles that will help everyone plan their own great adventure, so please let us hear from you with thoughts about guest writers and topics you would like to read about. If you are a budding writer with a field of expertise don’t be shy. Let us know how you would like to contribute and help celebrate diversity in the world.