Xmas Trip 2016 Day 0 and Day 1

Day Zero:

Day zero is really several days leading up to the start of the trip that involved buying new gear (like the DeLorme In Reach Explorer above), doing some repairs, and building some new convenience items. dsc00307


While last years Goodyear Duratracs were still in good shape, we decided to pick up a spare set of wheels, and a fresh set of tires to make sure we had maximum traction anywhere we found ourselves. dsc00305


For $140 and about a 10 min install, I couldn’t say no to regaining proper wiper control.  It’s been quite a while since the intermittent setting worked properly or the wipers returned to the park position on their own.



I spent a little bit of time doing some wood working to help build some more organization into the back of the truck.



Since the last trip we had changed the fridge and needed to upgrade the tie down system.  While I was at it I wanted make a better method to tie down the water and chains as well.  They both use “constant loop” ratchet straps (not pictured) that go through the false floor, and turned out to be a very easy solution. dsc00301While I was at it I couldn’t resit adding a quick little “sandwich shelf”.  Unfortunately the last minute decision to make this meant I didn’t have time to paint it and protect it before we left.

day-0We ended “Day Zero” by getting a start on the drive and heading out to Fresno for the night.  While 150 miles isn’t a huge head start, it was enough to get us out of the Bay Area Traffic and make sure more of the Day One Scenery would be in the light of day.


Speaking of Day One…



4Runner clean and ready to start the trip.


We left Fresno and headed for Death Valley.




Typical road trip scenery.


As we approached lunch time we spotted this quaint little home stead.


Their circle driveway made a great place to stop for a bite and grab some photos.


Unfortunately the inside wasn’t quite tidy enough to do for a proper lunch stop!


The good news, is that the Sandwich Shelf worked as advertised!


We did eventually make it into Death Valley and stopped for a a few photos.


Honestly our time in Death Valley was more of a tease than anything.


We used the area as more of a cut through than a destination, but it was enough to make it on the list of “places to go back to when we have more time”.


Of course now we have new friends in the area to visit as well.


We made a chilly dinner stop under the stars somewhere in Nevada and once again proved the value of the Sandwich shelf.


And our final destination of the day was the Valley Of Fire state park just north of Las Vegas in Nevada.  You’ll have to wait for the Day Two photos for more from the park though.  It was obviously dark when we pulled in and set up “camp”.


A few more images from Day 1:


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