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 “

arctic circle sign fj cruiser

For Immediate Release March 2, 2008

fj cruiser alaska pipelineHeadline:
Traditional media adds new life and richness to Web 2.0 technologies

Last Great Road Trip crosses over from its social networking technologies into traditional media. A condensed version of entries originally posted on-line throughout their off-road adventure are now in the pages of traditional media.

Last Great Road Trip has crossed over from its social networking technologies into traditional media. The stories posted by a father/son team of off-road adventurers that found an audience on the Internet is now in print media. 4WD Toyota Owner has published a story of the team’s adventure to the Arctic Ocean. The story and images appear in the magazine’s March / April issue.

4wd toyota owner MarchApril 08 coverThroughout the off-road adventure, the team faithfully posted entries daily. When the expedition was over, many who followed on-line expressed their desire to experience it all over again in print.

Paul Thompson the teams driver and project manager said “The social media tools available today made it unbelievably easy to share tales, video and images with the world as they occurred. But it took traditional media with its high resolution capabilities to show off the grandeur of the adventure. It is definitely a different experience in print.”

The Internet will continue to change how people share and experience life. Traditional media will continue to bring stories and images to people in ways not yet available on the Internet. And as demonstrated, the quality of the experience is about the quality of the content. Ultimately, it will be the marriage of both mediums that allows stories to be told to the world in a way that will allow audiences to experience the off-road adventure how they want in as many forms as they want.

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

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
Working Web Solutions Portland Web Design & Portland SEO Search Engine Optimization
overland expedition, off-road adventure, road trip adventure, road trip blog, father son adventure, overland adventure blog

fj cruiser muddy road

1,200 words or less

4wd toyota owner MarchApril 08 coverIf you are new here, you can read more on our Arctic Circle Adventure to the Arctic Ocean. When you’re done come on back and follow us to Ouray CO. for the FJ Summit and the Baja. Who knows what else we may do next.

For everyone who followed the Arctic Circle adventure and still wants more. Here is your opportunity. As you know throughout the expedition we kept the website going, (not wind nor rain, nor sunshine, epic views or great company could keep us from our appointed rounds) with descriptions of our adventures, tales of people we met and pictures of what we saw.

Those who read everyone of the 19 days’ entries, and you know who you are, we salute you! The rest of you who have been waiting for the cliff note version of the adventure, here is your opportunity.

4WD Toyota Owner magazine is publishing in their March/April issue our story along with some of the pictures that we brought back. It is great that we have one more opportunity to share our adventure.

FJ Cruiser dimensions drawing

The Rig That Gets Under The Skin

Today was a good day! Planning for an off road adventure takes a lot of work… no matter what my wife, Hula Betty, says about my playing around on the Internet. One of the areas to plan for is rig maintenance, modifications and inevitable breakage. A big part of this effort is having the original manufactures specifications for electrical and mechanical components. And out of shear dumb luck I came across these great resources:

With these manuals, we should be able to better plan for some of our upcoming mods including auxiliary lights and a low gear transfer case.

Than there is the just plain cool stuff. How do you sell a new car model? You put out a retro coffee table book, FJ Magazine, and send it to dealers along with a FJ Cruiser new car features that provides a technical explanation of the construction and operation of new mechanism and technologies used in the new FJ Cruiser. And finally include a 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser specification sheet  and FJ Cruiser product reference guide which shows off the best features of the vehicle against the competition. And Wala! You have product launch.

I’ve never had a rig that got under my skin like this one. Maybe it is the history, the vehicle quality or the rugged go anywhere ability… but this rig is still cool and one of the reason we started our off road adventures.