My 17 year old son, Alec, was excited to join me for our FIRST TIME OFF-ROAD in our new rig, Toyota 4 Runner TRD PRO. I purchased the vehicle so as to have better access to my Hiking and Backpacking Adventures. My Audi, although I really loved my Fine Touring European Luxury Automobile, did not fit my lifestyle and I felt awful the time or two that I took it on rough dirt roads to get to a trailhead. Also there were areas such as Saddle Back, parts of Death Valley, and Anza Borrego that were on my To Do List, but were off limits due to the need for a 4×4. But no more will my journey be detoured by potholes.
My new friend Brad Barber, an Off-Road aficionado, and my Toyota of Huntington Beach Sales Professional, (Geez perhaps I should get some sort of kickback for this advertisement?), took us out to show us the ropes. Brad and his girl friend Ashlie were rock’n in a cool Ford Raptor.
We arrived at our destination of rolling desert hills with the blue waters of Lake Mathews in the background. The area is in the Cajalco Valley with the Temescal Mountains in the background.
Now when Brad said that he was going to take us on an “Easy” indoctrination into the world of 4 Wheeling I pictured a fairly flat dirt road with potholes, maybe a couple or rocks. Well, this was nothing like that. Right off the bat we tackled a hill that was creased with ruts such that Brad needed to get out and guide us to ensure that we did not fall into a crevice or hit a rock. Brad had walkie talkies and when it was really bad he got out and sighted the obstacle and talked us through it by the driver side window.
In the video you will see Ashlie working her way up a tricky spot in the Raptor with his expert guidance. Then later you will see Brad powering up a very steep hill. Pictures and video never make either sailing or in this case 4 Wheeling up hills look as gnarly as it actually is. We watched him kicking dust up as he made it to the top. He then called over the handheld that it was my turn with a laugh, my reply was, “No Way! I am not going up that!” So he came back down and we diverted to another hill nearby. Of course being a novice Off-Roader I am sure that our eyes were wide open and my knuckles white from not knowing what to expect. All I know is I was seeing nothing but sky going up and could never quite tell if I was still on the road when going around a curve. Checkout the look on my face in one of the shots in the video and you can tell that I was seeing way more of the road heading down then I was expecting.
We were having a ball and enjoying this new adventure. We stopped on the top and got out and chatted about the experience for about a half and hour before heading back down. Brad hopped in and we headed over this rise and down the hill. Soon we were hysterically laughing as we came to the realized that Brad pulled a fast one on us. This was that really steep hill that we did not want to be on up or down.
Thanks go out to Brad and his girlfriend Ashlie for showing us such a great time and making our first time a great experience. My son, Alec, had such fun that ever since that outing he has been researching Off-Roading and Overlanding. There is a very good chance that our rig will be more than just a trailhead delivery vehicle.
The 4 Runner went from showroom detailed to covered inside and out with dust, silt, and dirt. When I showed up at the Yacht Club for racing in Marina Del Rey that afternoon the guard at the gate said that he had never seen a vehicle so dirty. He went on to say it looks like you just came from the desert.
My Mom looked at the pictures and said that it looked like I aged my SUV ten years in one day, and why in the world would I do that?! Well… it is sorta the whole idea?
Thanks for joining Alec, Brad, Ashlie and I as we were ‘Pursing Balance Through Adventure’ at Lake Mathews for our First Time Off-Road. Stay tuned for more adventures. It is all about trying to get that balance in life. One side of the teeter totter is sitting in LA traffic in a Sig Alert the other side is Off-Roading up a steep hill with dust and dirt flying everywhere with a huge smile from ear to ear. Please LIKE, FOLLOW, COMMENT, SHARE and FOLLOW. Checkout the menu above for other adventures and the many locales that PBTA travels to. Each is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. Go to SHOP APPAREL for all your adventure wear needs.
Take the road less traveled
Pursuing Balance Through Adventure