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200 Series Destination Club - Ouray, CO, 08.16

200 Series Destination Club - Ouray, CO, 08.16

Earlier this year I traded in my Tundra for a low-mileage 2014 200 Series Land Cruiser, which lead to a complete resorting of my camping equipment. Coinciding with a planned vacation, a group organized on iH8Mud.com was organizing their second annual 200 Series meet in Ouray, CO. The timing was perfect so I joined up with them for three days of trail runs and good company. Mind you, my 200 is definitely the Mall Crawler of the group. I’m currently running street tires at stock height, so compared to some of the built rigs, mine looks more mom-machine than Overlander. That will change, but I went in with the idea that I would try to run everything the guys on 32″s, 33″s and perhaps 34″s would run. That said, the truck did everything with some minor bumping and grinding, that those guys did – at least until it got muddy. Anyways, onto the pics!

It was a wonderful few days of running trails and good company and look forward to the next destination with this group. We had just over 20 200 series and most of the runs broke up into two groups, which made for pretty smooth time on the trails.

We were out for a mild run and ventured off the main path. It was beautiful, lush, perhaps a bit wet from the drizzle 😉 About 3/4 of a mile up this double-track it got REALLY nasty, and the lead vehicle (lifted and with M/T tires) was sliding around on the ascent. I took that as a good sign that I should GTFO and turn around so I backed down the trail (about 1/4 mile) to a wide spot and proceeded to slip and slide through a three-point turn until I was thoroughly stuck and working it would just make it worse.

I seem to be facing the wrong direction! Truck did great on street tires until it got wet, then it was a no-go.

I seem to be facing the wrong direction! Truck did great on street tires until it got wet, then it was a no-go.

Granted I was never in any serious risk but it definitely gets your blood moving to wonder “now how do I get out”. Fortunately the guys I was with had trucks that were more capable than mine, and they went “up and over” the hill to get past me and then yank me out. A couple tugs on a recovery strap, and some gently application of the skinny pedal and I was back on the double-track. There was a big dark cloud cell moving towards us and it was an ideal time to get out of there. I kept momentum on the uphills and we joined up with the main road an then proceeded at a brisk pace back to Ouray for dinner with the group. It was a great trip and company and I was impressed by how capable the truck is on street tires (for now).

Some amazing switchbacks!

Some amazing switchbacks!

Gotta have the gadgets. For navigation I use a bad elf GPS and run Motion-X on an iPad.

Gotta have the gadgets. For navigation I use a bad elf GPS and run Motion-X on an iPad.

Beaded Hatband, 08.16

Beaded Hatband, 08.16

Casein and Gouache, 06.16

Casein and Gouache, 06.16