Many expectations in life are inevitable, like grey hair, a larger waist size, and the reoccurring birthday.

But, I have family and friends who would never imagine I would buy a new/used car 4-1/2 years ago. Before the purchase of my 2013 Toyota 4-Runner, I nicked-named “White-Blaze,” I drove a 1992 Ford Explorer I bought in 1995.

The beginning of White-Blaze

Yes, I maintained a twenty-one year old car, my children nicknamed the “Exploder,” as they wished it would stop running, forcing me to buy a newer car.

One old bicycle rack

Uniquely, those now adult children live independently on their own, and genuinely appreciate their current vehicles, each being older than five years in age.
My, oh my, have times changed! 🙂

My contemplation to buy a larger vehicle began about 18-months ago, when I walked from an Amazon locker filled with excitement like a child receiving a special gift, with my new camera backpack strapped to my back. But, when I arrived at the rear of White-Blaze and opened the rear hatch, I discover there was very little room storage available for my latest acquisition.

“Huston we have a problem, no more room”

I felt a little embarrassed staring at the car’s rear with all of its contents neatly stored and stacked inside and above on the roof the cargo carrier already filled sat next to my roof-top tent. I recall saying to myself. “I have all what I need, but I have no room.”

It took time to realize my need for a larger vehicle.

My first step was after a year of roof-top tent living, I sold the tent to a young lady in Harpers-Ferry, West VA, and I bought a second roof-top cargo carrier to secure my extra stuff.

Although I found more interior room, White-Blaze was not 4-wheel drive and the six-cylinder motor was slightly insufficient to pull Maxy, which weighs in at a little over four-thousand pounds.

White-blaze is rated to pull five-thousand pounds, and as I routinely traverse the western mountain ranges I don’t want to be in the way of traffic.

Being, financially conservative, (aka-cheap) I talked myself into a mindset of trading-in a well-maintained vehicle for a larger vehicle, which is hard when White-Blaze being so fuel efficient, and so comfortable, you know, like family.

But, a decision had to be made and it became official several weeks ago.

My 2013 Toyota 4-Runner White-Blaze, my former overland travel companion, that I amassed 152000-plus miles of worry-free travel over the past 4- 1/2 years, was in traded for a 2018 Toyota Sequoia I nick-named the “Dark-Grey-Beast” or DGB for short in Coeur d’Alene Idaho.

Dark Grey Beast, aka-DGB

Managing interior cargo space is no longer an issue, inside, but the V-8 motor has me checking the gas gauge whenever we pass a gas station.

With enough space inside, I’m considering another rooftop tent for overnight off-roading trips into the forests for wildlife and landscape photos.

The beast has proven to be capable of navigating off-road, deep sand, and I have plans to travel off road into the National Forest across the US.


  1. You finally did it! It would have been more fun had you left North Dakota with a big new souvenir, but glad you found a vehicle that works for you. Thanks for taking us along on your adventures!

    Liked by 1 person

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