Nashville Road Trip

Adventure comes in all shapes and sizes. On this adventure, I left the fishing rods and guns at home and the truck never left the asphalt. Interesting enough, that put me a little out of my comfort zone. But isn’t that what adventures is all about, exploring outside your norm and comfort zone? Nashville here I come.


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Paddling the Batsto River at Wharton State Forest NJ

Wharton State Forest float trip down the Batsto River

When I first started to research the New Jersey Pine Barrens and the Wharton State Forest in New Jersey, I was pleasantly intrigued by the blue lines marking creeks and the little launch site symbols on the Wharton State Forest map. My excitement grew even more when I discovered Pinelands Adventures and their shuttle service.

Batsto River

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Categories: Camping, Canoeing and kayaking, Exploring and Wandering, Road Trips, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Jersey Pine Barrens


The Pine Barrens – A wilderness in New Jersey

As the Tacoma’s build finishes up, this is to be a summer of road trips. There is a post-a-note on my desk with a list of places to visit this summer. The first on the list was the Pine Barrens in New Jersey.

The Pine Barrens is a short drive from the Baltimore / Washington DC area and is perfect weekend getaway. While not all of the Pine Barrens fall within the Wharton State Forest, that is where we concentrated our trip.

Pine Barrens

From a top of the Apple Pie Hill Fire Tower, a person can see in a sweeping glance a 360 degree view of hundreds of square miles of wilderness. Not what most of us think of when we think of New Jersey. But yet there it is with miles of sandy two tracks meandering through the pines connecting long lost ghost towns, foundries, mills, and cranberry bogs.

Pine Barrens

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The Tacoma Gets A New Old Man Emu Suspension

Old Man Emu Suspension Installed on the 2013 Toyota Tacoma

Old Man Emu suspension


At the advise of Wheeler’s Off Road I went with the 2887 front coil springs even though the charts from ARB listed the 2886 for my application. Lets just say that ARB was right and we removed the lighter rated springs for the correct ones.

The long awaited day finally arrived. When I showed up to the house late on Friday evening one big box and two leaf springs partly wrapped in packaging sat in the garage. I swear I saw the ARB bumper on my Tacoma turn up in a smile when it saw the new addition for the truck. The Old Man Emu Suspension had arrived. The truck build was one step closer to being done. Well almost, first I had to install the suspension.

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A Story Worth Living – Movie Review

A Story Worth Living

A Story Worth Living

At a very pivotal point in my life I read the book “Wild At Heart” by John Eldredge. Or maybe that time in my life became pivotal because of reading “Wild at Heart.” Either way, when I arrived at the theater last evening to watch the special showing of “A Story Worth Living”, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the same John Eldregde that penned one of the most influential books in my life was also responsible for this movie.

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Tacoma Trailer Plug Relocation


Trailer Plug


There are no immediate plans to replace the stock rear bumper on the Tacoma. The stock one is fine for how we use the truck. However, the location of the trailer plug is just asking to be ripped off and damaged. So, I moved it.  This simple modification cost $0.00 and took about 45 minutes to do. Which is a much better option than waiting until I ripped the trailer plug off when dragging the rear of the truck over a rock.


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Overlanding vs. Car Camping

Overlanding vs. Car Camping

Neither one is right or wrong, but let’s call it what it is.


Several years ago Scott Brady published a great article for Expedition Portal called “What Is Overlanding?”defining the terms and activities of Vehicle-Dependent Expedition”, “Vehicle-Supported Overlanding” and “Back Country Adventures”.  I believe Scott has done an excellent job describing the difference between car camping, overlanding and expeditions.

South Carolina hog Hunt

Why get caught up in a name? As long as you are out having an adventure its’ all good, right? Sure it is. But I guess I feel like the term “overlanding” has reached a popular level where the term is over used when what most of us do is really camping. Again, the important part of the equation is that we are out and about and not sitting home watching TV. But to those adventurous souls who truly partake in an overlanding adventure for months or years experiencing remote locations and other cultures, I feel we belittle their achievements by including a weekend trip to the National Forest in our home state on the same level.

Long before the term overlanding gained popularity here in the US, I was wandering around and camping. There is one trip I remember that reminds me that running around in my vehicle searching for cool stuff to see and do is, and has always been, a part of who I am. Whenever I begin to question why I fight the norms of society and pursue my own path, I reflect on my high school senior week trip of 1984.

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The Old Man and the Boy

The Old Man and the Boy

“…Hunting,” the Old Man said, “is the noblest sport yet devised by the hand of man. There were mighty hunters in the Bible, and all the caves where the cave men lived are full of carvings of assorted game the head of the house drug home. If you hunt to eat, or hunt for sport for something fine, something that will make you proud, and make you remember every single detail of the day you found him and shot him, that is good too. But if there’s one thing I despise is a killer, some blood crazed idiot that just goes around bam-bamming at everything he sees. A man that takes pleasure in death just for death’s sake is rotten somewhere inside, an you’ll find him doing things later on in life that’ll prove it.”

Those words from Robert Ruark’s The Old Man and The Boy recently sank deeply in my soul while resting under a large swamp oak with the Spanish moss hanging from the branches lazily tossed about in the warm March spring breeze. I was taking a break on my South Carolina wild hog hunt.

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The Tacoma Gets BudBuilt Skid Plates

The Next Step in the 2013 Toyota Tacoma Build – BudBuilt Skid Plates

I just don’t feel comfortable going out unprotected.  So to protect myself and my Tacoma, I installed some protection in the form of a set of BudBuilt skid plates.

budbuilt skid plates

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Hydro Flask Review

Product Review – Hydro Flask Water Bottle

Larry Williams

A few years ago a co-worker was telling me about a water bottle he bought. At the time it was made from a small company called Hydro Flask. Soon after hearing about this product, I was browsing around a local outdoor shop and saw these Hydro Flask bottles on display. I picked out my favorite color and it quickly became my favorite water bottle.

Hydro Flask

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