Tuesday, November 6, 2018

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A Slightly Off-Road Trip

M. Satterfield

This week I have been driving the new Toyota Tundra Platinum 4X4. Now unlike the past off-road Toyota TRD-Pro series trucks I have taken on my adventures, this Tundra was built for more than just hardcore trails and 4X4 driving. This Tundra was built to do most of the dirty stuff, while still offering incredible luxury and comfort. So I decided to take it on a road trip to Las Vegas with a little off-road detour.


Instead of just taking the I-15 all the way, we took off down old Route 66, along the I-40 headed east. A few miles before Ludlow we left the highway to explore an area near a valcano known as Pisgah Volcano, a volcanic cinder cone rising above a lava plain in the Mojave Desert, just a few miles off the main road. The black lava field really contasts against the golden desert sand and provides a unique almost alien backdrop to drive around exploring.


While this was not difficult off-road driving the Tundra was excellent in the softer sand and rocky sections of the trail. Despite the weight, it had it had no issues going where the lighter smaller 4X4s were going which were impressive. After exploring the area for about an hour, we headed back to the highway to make our way towards the historic town of Kelso, where today there is little more than a historic train depot.


Surprisingly as we made our way towards Kelso it began to slowly snow, as we pressed on the snow continued until it was blanketing the desert with enough snow to stick. We decided to pull over to capture some photos of the Joshua Trees covered in snow. After being out in the 30-degree weather the heated seats were a welcome feature.


After getting to Kelso we stopped to explore the small train station and read some of the historical markers about the old mining town and the rail station that once served an important role in the development of the west. Pushing on we decided to forgo the second dirt trail we planned on taking since it had several points that crossed dry riverbeds and with the snow/rain in the area, the danger flash floods was real. It had been a long day already and it was time to head straight to Las Vegas and my hotel suite.


Back on the interstate, the Tundra settled right back into a comfortable cruiser. Even with the off-roading and back roads, we averaged 16 MPG which for a full-size 4X4 truck is not bad at all. After a few days in Vegas for a trade show I made my way back to Southern California and with all the highway driving I managed to average over 18 MPG. Overall it was a great trip and if any of my friends were looking for a full-size truck the Tundra would be at the top of my list of contenders.


If you want to check out some of the places I went on this short road trip you will find a map of the route HERE. If you would like more info on the Toyota Tundra CLICK HERE.





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