Flashback @ september ’09, Myrtle Beach, S.C., U.S.A.
It’s been a little over a year since we got back. We’d never have thought falling back into the mold would that tough, almost painful. Leaving again is an obsession despite it’s still an uncertainty…
On vacation, sitting on the beach, in the rain, the three members of the Quadtrek team are bored. We dream of our next “real” trip. We’ve had ample time to analyse every aspects of the quad trip, the good the bad and the ugly of it (oh yes, there was some ugly…), and we ask ourselves what form the next trip will take (’cause there will be a next trip, yes…or no?).
Motorcycles were quickly written off the list after a short attemp from France last summer.
“Balance and clutch operation aren’t my strong sides”. (The clutch issue is news but I’ve figured a long time ago she was a bit out of balance up there. Has to, she’s still with me after over 20 years…)
- Quads? Nope. Even on four wheels, France struggled some on some of the more technical stuff so, as far as she’s concerned, driving is niet. It’s a pity, Marc would have loved to…
- “A 4 X 4 then?” Marc suggests. ” OK, as long as you do the driving” is her answer. “I’m done with piloting.”
All right. But now which 4 X 4 to choose? We begin reviewing each one of our criterias.
- a bush machine, it must be a real 4 X 4 with a 2 speed transfer case. (a campsite, to reach interesting status, must require 4LO to reach it
- it will be a relatively short and narrow vehicle, at home on back roads resembling trails.
- diesel (greater fuel economy and operating range)
- manual shift (simple and economical)
- a reliable vehicle
- a vehicle known and used in remote areas of the Americas and abroad ( easier access to spare parts, not that it’ll break but, you know…)
- a simple vehicle (zero electronics, the less gadgets, the lesser the chances of failure)
- it should be containerizable (Excuse me? Container-what??) so less than 8ft tall to be shipped to South-America or…. Africa?
Anyways, those who know me know it, I’m a little biased. So, as far as I’m concerned, if we should travel in a truck, it should be a good old Landcruiser.
Next, comes Frances list:
Any vehicle, (easy criteria to meet, so far…) so as long as… (and it’s here that it gets more serious…):
- We can sleep in it.
- We can cook in it.
- It has lots of windows providing excellent views of the outdoor.
- It has a sink (however tiny it may be).
- It has a toilet (however small it may be)
- It has a fridge.
- It has a stove…
…”Simonac! Would you like an apple pie with that?”
And Minnie also, has her preferences (although hers are much easier to match):
- “Bâââhh, you know me. As long as I’m near my owners, I’m happy. But heuuu, couldn’t we just stay here a while, for a change?”
- “But while we’re at it, it’d be nice to have a place for me to sleep indoors instead of being left out to sleep under the tent like the last time…”
Discouraged by seemingly incompatible requirements (and by the still falling rain), Marc spends his time browsing eBay all the while thinking we’ll never get to leave ever again if we have to wait until we find the unfindable dream car before we go…
But then… “Honey, come look at this!… I think I found it!…” He almost screams!.
“What the heck is THAT?” Says France. “I’ve never seen anything like that! It kind of looks like an old army truck. Did you find that in Iraq?? It’s so ugly, it’s almost cool.. Kinda like a tank with a camper on the back!”
For sale on eBay in Miami. Could we possibly have found it? The most rare vehicle on the planet! The one that meets our demands!
Miami, here we come!
Wait for us, please, please!
Miami, here we are!
A thorough inspection. A whole 15 minutes of thinking about it…
…And a deal is done! We are the proud (??) owners of a new (to us) 1983 Toyota Landcruiser. From Austraila, it’s a 4X4 of course, diesel engine (the larger in line six), manual shift, RHS steering (not part of the original requirements but sure adds to exotic side of it!), a PTO winch, only 142,000 miles on the clock, and a purpose built aluminium camper shell in the back complete with fridge, stove, large see-thru screened windows. The missing sink and porta potty will be easy add ons.
It’s Minnie approved!
Soon after, the paperwork is taken care of and we trust our incredible find to the hands of a most reputable (read: cheapest…) car carrier. Then, a couple of weeks later, we welcome the little new one to it’s new home in Kingsey Falls.
So, I guess, this does mean it’s confirmed. There WILL BE another great Adventure to come! .