Builds Project Pikachu: 1977 FJ40

cbmontgo

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A quick lunch at Happy Belly Deli in Norwood and we were nearing the turnoff to Highway 90 at Naturita.
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Highway 90 is the beginning of the desert. Although the snow-capped peaks of the La Sals are visible for most of the drive, the rocks begin to turn red and Southeast Utah starts to become evident.
Before long, we were in Utah.
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cbmontgo

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Turning onto UT Highway 191 is always when I know I'm back in my favorite part of the country.
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Camp for Monday night was going to be somewhere off of Hart Point Road, overlooking Lockhart Basin and Beef Basin. We began searching for a spot with a good view. I knew that a short distance to the west was a significant dropoff into the Basins.
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Being the 40 without lockers, Pikachu got stuck in a sandy ravine during the camp site search, but it was all worth it in the end.
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A fantastic camp fire, beers, and brats finished off the night.
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mudpaws

 
 
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Simply amazing. It's 10 to midnight EST at the moment, I just finished your thread and I am itching to go in the garage and work on my 40, would it not be for the fact I need to wake at 4:30 for Wed morning work. Like others have said, your rig's transformation in a relative short time has inspired me! It looks fantastic, and the adventures you'll be undertaking will be even better! Take care, enjoy, and thank you for sharing this wonderful journey!
 

cbmontgo

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Simply amazing. It's 10 to midnight EST at the moment, I just finished your thread and I am itching to go in the garage and work on my 40, would it not be for the fact I need to wake at 4:30 for Wed morning work. Like others have said, your rig's transformation in a relative short time has inspired me! It looks fantastic, and the adventures you'll be undertaking will be even better! Take care, enjoy, and thank you for sharing this wonderful journey!
Thanks. It has been a lot of fun so far.
 

cbmontgo

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Later that night, when the others had gone to sleep, I found myself high on life and not ready to crash just yet. I took my flashlight and hiked down the 2-track road that brought us to this spot. Looking up at those stars was simply incredible. I wish that my camera could've captured it. Shooting starts, satellites, and even a streak of burning space junk flew across the sky. All I have is this lousy pic, but it reminds me of the walk.
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cbmontgo

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The next morning, we ate breakfast and started to plan out the day. We were meeting another buddy from Denver at the Needles Outpost at noon, so we decided to break camp and slowly head that way.

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Once we arrived at the Outpost, we gassed up, made a few introductions, and headed into Lockhart Basin.
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cbmontgo

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We drove about 19 miles until we arrived at a nice little spot close to the Colorado River. I had hoped to hike down to the water, but the brush was so thick this year that we couldn't get down there without crawling on our hands and knees all the way to the sandbar. So, we set up camp in a nearby canyon and settled in.
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For @Swannie and me, it was time for a few gin and tonics. Man, these were perfect after a hot day in the desert.
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cbmontgo

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On Wednesday, I took the guys to a spot where a T-33 jet had crashed in the late 1950s in the area. Because it is so remote, much of the debris is still there. In fact, there are several debris fields if you know where to look.

The aircraft broke apart at altitude, killing one and injuring another. The guy who survived managed to hobble around in this canyon with a broken leg for a couple of days until he was rescued by a local rancher with an airplane.
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cbmontgo

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This shot of CO Highway 90 near Paradox was even more spectacular when driven from west to east as we headed to Telluride for the night.
It was a fun night in town, where we showered up and hit the local eateries and beer joint(s).
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The next morning, the Denver guys departed north and Wes and I hit the Million Dollar Highway again. I nearly plowed over a huge coyote about 5 minutes before we stopped to take this shot.
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We couldn't help but to stop and check out a trail or two as we headed down 550.
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cbmontgo

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Pretty soon, the Super Swampers were slapping their way down Greene Street in downtown Silverton.
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We found a great little joint called Handlebars Saloon and had lunch and a couple of beers. The waitress was a 10, which was a nice sight after several days with a bunch of dudes. In retrospect, now that I'm back in civilization, she might've been an 8. Anyway...
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cbmontgo

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But, all good things must come to an end. We drove the rigs back down to Purgatory, loaded up, and were on the road to Santa Fe for the night. By the next day, we were in the Texas Panhandle in time to catch an enormous grass fire that shot far into the sky.
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None of the rigs missed a beat, and we got home safely to our families and the real world. To be honest, my favorite part of the trip was the hug that my daughter gave me when we rolled into the driveway. But, I can't wait for the next adventure in this old 40.
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wngrog

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But, all good things must come to an end. We drove the rigs back down to Purgatory, loaded up, and were on the road to Santa Fe for the night. By the next day, we were in the Texas Panhandle in time to catch an enormous grass fire that shot far into the sky.
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None of the rigs missed a beat, and we got home safely to our families and the real world. To be honest, my favorite part of the trip was the hug that my daughter gave me when we rolled into the driveway. But, I can't wait for the next adventure in this old 40.
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Thanks for the ride brother
 
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