Category Archives: everything else

If it doesn’t belong anywhere else than let’s dump it here and hope for the best. But don’t let that convince you it isn’t worth reading… this holds some of our best stuff.

last off-road adventure Map

The Last Word on The Word LAST

If I hear one more time… so that was not the LAST great road trip I’ll…

last [last, lahst]
adjective a superl. of late with later as compar.

  1. occurring or coming after all others, as in time, order, or place: the last line on a page.
  2. most recent; next before the present; latest: last week; last Friday.
  3. being the only one remaining: my last dollar; the last outpost; a last chance. final: in his last hours.
  4. ultimate or conclusive; definitive: the last word in the argument. That which is ultimate (literally, most remote) is the last that can be reached, as in progression or regression, experience, or a course of investigation: ultimate truths.

The idea of going on great off-road adventures came to me while sitting in the ferry line one dark and stormy northwest night as Jimmy buffet played in my head

Just a semi-normal person
Thought he had the future planned…
…Now he’s somewhere over China
Lookin’ down on all the trails
On the mountains lookin’ back at him
It’s a real live fairy tale
Put a little distance
Between causes and effects
Like a day old fortune cookie
Askin’ who or what comes next

For the next several weeks I could not shake the idea of driving on the ultimate (definition #4) off road adventure. Of course if you are going to measure an off-road adventure’s worthiness you need to have a yard stick to compare it against. A few historical adventurers immediately came to mind including:

  • Marco Polo’s spice run set the standard for great road trips
  • Sacagawea lead Lewis & Clark on a pretty good trip
  • The Oregon trail was another good off-road oriented adventure
  • Apollo 11 lead by Commander Neil Alden Armstrong was far out

That mental exercise set the bar pretty high and what came out was to drive to the ends of the earth. Deadhorse Alaska on the North End and the “Land of Fire”, Tierra del Fuego on the other.

Not having unlimited resources, super powers or any pull with small militant guerrilla groups the off-road adventure had to be planned in manageable chucks. The first chunk let us concur the northern portion driving up to the Arctic Ocean. In 2011 we completed our Baja off-road adventure following the most famous desert race course in the world the Baja 1000. In between a few off-road adventure trips though the Rubicon Trail and we even found time to explore the Utah backcountry discovery route.

I know we are not the first to make these treks. But we are making this our own by going out of our way to explore and celebrate the diverse cultures along the way. Each leg of our journey offers us a chance to make new friends, involve more readers, and learn how the differences between people can pull us together as we share tales of our lives. Of course we’ll write stories and post pictures the entire way, sharing the last great road trip with everyone and encouraging each to start their own adventure.

“What the hell did Marco Polo think
When he ran into the wall
Or the crazy Flying Tigers
Doin’ spins and loops and stalls
Just a taste for somethin’ different
Perking up a borin’ day
Now our man from Poulsbo
Feels exactly the same way…
…We’re all somewhere over China
Headin’ east or headin’ west
Takin’ time to live a little
Flyin’ so far from the nest
Just to put a little distance
Between causes and effects
Like an ancient fortune teller<
Knowin’ who and what comes next “

sled dog siberian husky resting on trail

Survivor Arctic

fj cruiser sled dogsWe drove to the Arctic Ocean… twice… and experience the solitude of the tundra, amazing wild life and giant expanses… but no snow. Now we’re making up for that and making a few snow runs in preparation for the next off road adventure.

The rig can go just about anywhere… but occasionally you want to go where the rig is not allowed, a bit north of the last trail marker. The boys and I put in a quick training run. And what are we training for? No, you need about 20 dogs for the Iditarod and I have 3 dogs because my wife said I could 3 dogs not 20!

We are training for Survivor Arctic Circle… Ok so Jeff Probst and CBS are not on board with this idea yet… and it is really hard to show half naked hotties in -30 degrees where anything sticking out is likely to fall off. But the Igloo cam has potential and of course there is the Ice Hotel if you looking to chill out in the ABSOLUT ICEBAR…

Stay tuned for more Survivor Arctic… the dog sled story

girls in last great road trip t-shirt

Win A T-Shirt In A Game of Hide and Seek

Everyone has been telling us they want a Last Great Road Trip t-shirt. Here is an easy way to win a free t-shirt.
Rules of the game:

  • Begins August 23, 2007
  • Ends September 14, 2007
  • One Entry per picture or video posting
  • Enter as many times as you want

To enter:

  • Capture the Last Great Road Trip rig on video or digital image
  • Post the picture or video anywhere you like with the caption “Celebrating Diversity: Last Great Road Trip”
  • Leave a comment on our BLOG with a link to your video or picture of our rig
  • Include the date and location you spotted the rig along with the link to your picture or video
  • Post with your correct email address since that is how we will contact winners.


  • Ten winners will be randomly drawn from all the qualified entries.

If you don’t win you can always you can always go to our Last Great Road Trip Facebook page and get a free decal.

Thank you to Working Web Solutions (WWS) for setting up the shopping cart. Without WWS’ help we’d be hawking our shirts out of the back of a truck. Thanks also to Custom T-shirts, Screen Printed T-Shirts for providing all the custom shirt work.

Update: Did you miss out on our give away?  You can still get a free gift by following Last Great Road Trip on Facebook

alaska husky sled dogs

Top Gear’s Race to the Pole

You’ve got to watch this… It is long but well worth the time… what else where you planning to do with an hour of your life. It’s an Internet hour not like a real hour.. You spend more time than that at work surfing Amazon and ebay. Top Gear races a Toyota against a Dog Team to the North Pole.

It is a little further north and a lot more winter than we are going to face but we can only hope to have as great a time. But with less pain and agony.

Let us know what you think!

Maybe next time I’ll let get Chinook, Glacier and Tundra to lead the way… BTW: the dogs are blowing coat and the garage is filled with so much fur there is no room for the rig.

girls in last great road trip t-shirt

Been There, Done That… Got The T-Shirt

Thanks to Taylor Made T-Shirts we have the commemorative Last Great Road Trip t-shirts. This makes it official we are over the top… Custom car graphics, T-shirts, world wide press coverage and our own blog.

Mike at Taylor Made was great. He had his guys over there at Taylor Made take a version of our banner and create a silk screen. Than they ran a few shirts and look how cool the Hula Bettys are in her Last Great Road Trip T-shirt. The shirts are sure to become a collectors item… ok maybe not a collector’s item but tell us what you would do for one.

We are planning to give the shirts out to folks we meet along the way.

hula dash board doll in the sun

T Minus 10 Days and Counting Down

In ten days the adventure begins. To celebrate the start of the count down we’ve added a new crew member to the adventure’s team. Hula Betty will be joining the road trip.

Sure to some she is an iconic dashboard bobble doll but to us she is more than that.  She reminds us that this is suppose to be fun and what ever happens this is still going to be a once in a life time opportunity to spend exploring Alaska and Canada together as we cover 5,000 miles over 14 days.

Since we can’t take ourselves too serious, look for Hula Betty hiding somewhere in the pictures of the trip. See if you can find her in future posts.

2007 toyota fj cruiser arb bumper

Daddy Needs a New Pair of Shoes

Jon and Jo Ann asked for a quick picture of the Rig to show its new off-road adventure tires. These are testosterone spitting, mud throwing, big beefy tires on the top side of 33 inches tall. Six Toyo’s Open Country M/Ts.  Did I mention I had to buy Six… Haul Road is famous for chewing up tires and spitting them out but it waits until you are 300 miles from the closest service center. Les Schwab came through with a little tire love to help the adventure.

If the off-road trail looks familiar ask Jo Ann and Jon how to get there… and bring your work gloves they have a few rocks that need moving.

adventure haiku

Haiku: Road Trip Adventure

Haiku is a mode of Japanese poetry. The traditional haiku consisted of a pattern of approximately 5, 7, 5 sounds. The distillation of thought into the haiku forces the writer to reach the essence of the thought. After meditating on our upcoming Arctic Circle off-road adventure, I came up with these:

Road trip adventure.
arctic circle northern lights,
road and sky unite.

Three things are certain:
Death, taxes and road trip.
Which will occur next.

You step in the stream,
But the water has moved on.
The spirit the road.

Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and drive north.
Order shall return.

Stay the patient course.
Of little worth is your ire.
The easy road is closed.

Claudia Radmore
, contributed this version to our haiku set:
road trip
northern lights
road and sky unite

What haiku do you have that captures diversity or the road. Leave us your best haiku.

2007 fj cruiser in field

Road Trip Adventures Require A Road And A Rig

Friends and family have asked what are we going to drive to the Arctic Circle. When I started to plan this adventure there was no question, we would drive the new 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser. Everyone has said:

  • you’re nuts
  • the FJ Cruiser will be ruined
  • you’ll shoot your eye out… Ok wrong story

I’ve taken on the simple philosophy my father taught me: “it is only a thing”. If it is lost, stolen or ruined it can be replaced. What is important are the relationships we have with family and friends. These relationships must be watched over and cared for since they are what is truly valuable in the world.

With that in mind and since I’m locking my dad and I in a truck for 14 days it might as well be the best truck I have access to at this time. Of course I’ll heavily insure it, adding on AAA, towing, road side assistance, and any other road hazard help I can take on. All in the name of it’s only a thing, and its the only thing that will get us back from Deadhorse once we start down Haul Road.

Currently the rig is stock. However with the help of some sponsors it looks like we’ll be getting a few mods soon. Everyone interested in the before rig you can look at the 2007 FJ Cruiser product reference guide just be warned it is a big file and not for faint of bandwidth.

Bumper Stickers covered VW bus

You Know You’re Ready For A Road Trip When…

If you have ever gone a few years without a real vacation you know that with the passage of time the madness of work starts to all make sense and the insanity becomes your sense of normal. And I’m not talking about a vacation where you take the time off to put in a new yard or bathroom remodel, I’m talking wind in your hair, sand in your toes, Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville tequila sipping vacation that crosses the line of demarcation where what happens on vacation is forsaken by god with no hope of redemption.

Having a type “A”, workaholic personality myself, it is usually my wife who points out my stupidity when I can’t see what is right there in front of me pointing to the need for time off. So to help recognize when enough is enough and a break is called for I’ve put together another little memory jogger.

You know you’re ready for a road trip when…

  • Labor Day means exactly that
  • Your boss gets a promotion and you get a coffee mug
  • You have more plaques on your cubicle wall than dollars in your bank account
  • Doing the wrong thing is better than not doing anything
  • Your spouse asks who you are when you come to the front door
  • You see a stranger in the hall and find out he has been your manager for the last six months
  • Your best friend in another company buys a new HDTV with overtime pay, while you are given tickets to a play you don’t even want to see
  • You reach for the phone in the middle of the night instead of your spouse
  • Pay for performance means someone else gets paid for your performance
  • You begin to enjoy reading technical manuals for Dummies more than a good novel
  • You know that quickly shifting the blame is the most important business skill to have on the project
  • Company benefits refers to the health newsletter you got last week telling you that your cholesterol is too high
  • The only answers you get to questions about salary administration are solemn looks and vague catch-all phrases

…And the way you know that you are absolutely, positively ready for a road trip is when you recognize you are indeed the company’s best asset— to be signed away at will, moved as needed and purchased as cheaply as possible!