I have driven a 4 wheel drive vehicle for as long as I can remember. People often ask me what kind of gas mileage I get with my truck and to be honest, I have no idea. I do not keep track because if I was concerned with what kind of gas mileage I was getting, I would not be driving a 4 wheel drive truck. Being able to get off road and go where ever my quest takes me has always been important. Photos of my first Toyota Tacoma.
I had a book on 4 Wheel Drive Roads in Colorado and headed out to drive a few and try my hand at being a nature photographer. I do not remember where in the Rockies this was taken but I was up high and on a very thin dirt road. It was beautiful. I am now on my fourth Tacoma (along with a 4 Runner mixed in) and I cannot think of buying anything else. I love my truck and it always seems to get me to where I need to be.
The Jeep CJ-7 is my all time favorite vehicle. I bought it without a top and installed this one from Sears. I installed the roof rack, replaced every gasket on the engine and transmission and built a lock box for the back seat. It did not have air conditioning and I did not care. We made many trips together. This was taken on South Padre Island. We drove thirty miles down the beach in second gear to get to this spot. If we had gone another thirty we would have gotten to the end of the island and supposedly a nude beach but it was just to far. Our longest trip was to Boise, Idaho and back. But not directly. I first drove to Snowmass, Colorado for a two week photography workshop with Jay Maisel at Anderson Ranch Workshops. We had the weekend off and I drove over the pass from Aspen to Leadville.
Like with my Tacoma, I searched out the 4 wheel drive roads of Colorado once again. After the workshop I drove to Boise to see family and then headed back to Arkansas. I planned a two week drive home with stops along the way to shoot stock and to camp. The highlight was two nights on a remote part of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. 14 miles down a dirt road listed on a map as “4 Wheel Drive only”. I was there for three days and two nights and saw four people, as long as you do not count the numerous helicopters and airplanes that went by all day. My camping stops included Arches National Park and Monument Valley. Two other places that everyone should visit at sometime. A 4 wheel drive trip though Monument Valley is also a treat. My last trip with this Jeep was to The Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado. There is a 4 wheel drive road around the Park and through the surrounding mountains that is beautiful. The road can be so bad that there are warning signs to deflate your tires to make them softer in the sand and a pump to air back up your tires when you come off the trail. My dream is take a long sports photographer road trip. Shoot as many different sporting events as possible and get off the beaten path. Get outside.