day six.

The new part of the family is a 1968 Toyota FJ55 LandCruiser converted to diesel that will also run vegetable oil. She is a beauty. Jack is probably as excited about my journey as I and actually wanted to give me the vehicle free of charge. “It is perfect – take it – give it the home it deserves.” I could not take a working truck from a perfect stranger. Leaving more than his asking price of cash on his kitchen table with a note of thanks. He also told me to contact him at any time if there are issues with the truck. He gave me all the ins and outs and a list of everything that can go wrong and probably will. There are some serious issues with using the vegetable oil but it is a great option for this trip. I never thought about using a nightly fish fry as a fuel but now I have that option. Who cares if I smell like a french fry? I will have to  spend a little time with her before I name her. She is a beautiful truck and has a personality all her own.

Jack Wittle is his name and he might be as much a gem as the truck that he has repurposed. His insight on the world just what I need at this point of a new life. He is a sage on his own journey – he just happens to be a great grease monkey slash tinkerer that lives like an old hippie. Just what I need.

The truck itself is in great shape with very little original rust. White and tan with leather seats. Hooked up with most of what I need with extra gas cans on the back and a roof rack almost boat ready.  I’ll be adding a rod tube or three and mounts for the kayak. We took out the back seating because I will not use it and Jack can use it in another build. The engine and undercarriage are both new and were found from a Canadian wreck. The wrecked vehicle was an European Toyota hilux that is not sold in the Americas so this thing was grey market to start. It being grey in the American market also dropped the price to near nothing which is why Jack had originally bought it. This breaks one of my major rules of making it easy to get parts but I reasoned that with the “we now live in an online world”. ADDED – Jack is great and will be a great support person. The hilux is the truck that everyone on the planet use but the Americans and now this American is driving the coolest one of them all. Jack put a conversion kit on this thing for using vegetable oil. This is an option that I would have never thought about but it is perfect for my future. This truck classifies as a “classic” truck so it will get around todays environmental laws of the state but from what I understand – it runs cleaner than most American vehicles and at around 30 mpg. I’ll be going further on my dollar.

I was originally thinking something that I can really work on if needed but this truck has “It” and “It” fits the bill. My other options were turning to the VW Micro Buses that are hard to drive and not the best off-road but they are a breeze to work on.

A little less anxiety today. Insurance issues taken care of and I now have a way to travel. $89 a month for health and insurance for the truck is $36 a month for liability only – Cant beat that.. Pretty cheap for todays standards. I havent left but now I’m excited. Now is the time to get the packing in order. ANd now time to remove all the “stuff”  Dreaming of tomorrow but making it happen today.

What do I need for a journey like this? What sort of checklist would you create?

What do we humans really need on a daily basis?  My guess is the basic answer of food, water, shelter,  communications, means of travel, finances and last but not least fishing equipment for any occasion – hopefully this is the easy one. It will be similar to the backpacking checklist from the days in scouts. Gotta keep it simple, gotta keep it cheap and gotta keep it sustainable. This has been a productive Saturday and the more days away from the office I can get, the better. Leaving is still not close but I do see an end game starting. I am thinking fishing tomorrow. OR, do I work right through?


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