Categories
Cars Off-roading Outdoors

Pilot Rock Off-Roading

Headed up to the San Bernardino Mountains a couple weeks ago to do some wheeling with guys from the Toyota 4Runners forum (www.t4r.org).  We went up a trail called Pilot Rock (http://www.dirtopia.com/wiki/Pilot_Rock).

Here are some pics!

Categories
Off-roading

New 4Runner and Maddy’s First Wheeling Trip

So I couldn’t stay away from off-roading.  I had an ’03 Tacoma a few years back and it was AWESOME!  I kept it stock but took it on a few off-roading / camping trips.  Always had a good time and it never let me down.

With Maddy turning 3 soon, I knew I needed to get a vehicle where I could take her and Pai out for some wheelin’ fun.  I want her to have an appreciation for the outdoors now, so I picked up a 2000 Toyota 4Runner to help us out.  It took me a week to get it out, but I found some time on 2/21 to hit-up the local deserts–about an hour east of the house.

Called Ocotillo Wells (http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=1217), it’s a well-known off-roading spot in SoCal with tons of desert trails, canyons and valleys to discover.  It’s easy to just drive out there and spend the entire day toiling around the region.  At the end of a long run, you can head back to your camping spot (did I mention you can camp ANYWHERE?) and throw down a few while watching the desert sunset.  Night time comes, and with that, the craziness begins.  A few more beers, fireworks by the neighbors, and if you’re prepared, a huge bonfire party with other campers.

As this was the first trip for both the 4Runner and Maddy, this was just a day trip–more specifically, an afternoon ride.  Maddy and I headed out in the early afternoon and drove through some of the main areas: Shell Reef Expressway, Quarry Road, and back through Tarantula Wash.  I’ll be honest that I got a  bit concerned on the last bit of Tarantula since I have stock tires and the sand started to get thick near the end.  At times, it felt like I was in a gooey soup surfing the sand in the 4Runner.  Good thing for 4WD and speed!

Here are some pics I took while we were out.  Needless to say, Maddy and I had a blast!

Categories
Cars

The price of owning a Merc

Just got her back from the shop: $180 charge.  What was that for, you ask?  To install (yes, INSTALL) a headlamp assembly.  I got the used assembly for a “steal” at $500 shipped to my house.  Brand new, these things are $1460 a piece.  I kid you not.

Is the car still worth it?  Well…the first time I punched it when leaving the mechanic, I had a big grin on my face.

Yes, yes it is.

Categories
Family

More Christmas pictures

From Pai’s parents on Christmas day.  Yes, they’re almost exclusively of Maddy!

Categories
Family

Christmas at the new house

Pai’s parents came over from Taiwan for a couple weeks–just in time for Christmas.  We also had several relatives on Pai’s side come down from LA for Christmas dinner.  Below are some pictures from the 25th.

Categories
Cars

Merc pictures

Got her over a year ago, so I can’t classify her as new. Just as gut-wrenching fast as the day I got her, though. Everyone should own an AMG (along with a Porsche, Subaru, BMW, and Toyota 4×4 truck).

3 down, two to go.