The Random Thoughts Thread

bob91yj

Adventurist
Founding Member
What's next...do we demolish the Washington monument, change the currency/coins, blow up Mt Rushmore and Stone Mountain? Why can't true history be taught rather than the historical gibberish I was "educated" with. Taking the Pyramids down in Egypt is going to be interesting!
 

Dave

Adventurist
Founder
Senior Staff
Editor
What's next...do we demolish the Washington monument, change the currency/coins, blow up Mt Rushmore and Stone Mountain? Why can't true history be taught rather than the historical gibberish I was "educated" with. Taking the Pyramids down in Egypt is going to be interesting!
I’m sure most sane people can agree that history should not be edited to be acceptable to the standards of the present.

That said, there is a swirl of politicized disorder and mayhem afoot in the world today. This forum is a haven from all that as we remain apolitical.

Let’s continue to keep all of that drama out of here.
 

Haggis

Adventurist
Senior Staff
Founding Member
Drama...I had some drama but not of the political sort.

Last night Michelle and I were in Sproul State Forest, PA and had set up camp for the afternoon. Site was about 300 yards up a two track off the main drag. Awesome site on top of a ridge with a 180* view to the east and the potential for some spectacular star gazing.

B7E30090-9AB5-40EC-8CDE-5F7357904894.jpeg 56ABEE90-0F6F-4643-8DC2-9C42D534FD18.jpeg
As evening set in we walked down to a vista across the main road to snap some sunset pics. Crossing over the blacktop I saw a truck stop to the south of us about 500 yards below on the blacktop. There was a bear walking up the road along the shoulder and it approached right up to the truck.

F74DF4E5-2046-4B2A-A8CB-3AF3900D0DA7.jpeg
I than noticed a radio collar and three cubs. Radio collar meant relocated trouble bear that had been released out here in the PA Wilds and that was bad news. I stopped Michelle and started making our way back to the truck. We were spotted by the bear and it started trotting up the road towards us. A passerby in a lifted Cherokee came by and I flagged it down. A local couple were the occupants and were familiar with that particular bear. We kept retreating with our eyes on that sow but she was coming right for us. We ended up clambering In the backseat of the Cherokee as the bear rushed up to the Jeep. Eventually the bear passed over the shoulder with her cubs on the opposite side of the road from our camp. The couple drove us back up to our truck and than departed. They also informed us there was another bear here with two ear tags, a sign that if had been relocated twice.

A few minutes later that sow was trotting up the two track right towards our camp site. She came right in. Normally a good shout drives a bear off but not this one. I threw Michelle in the truck, pulled the pistola out and fired off a round. She stopped and trotted into the bracken. With Michelle keeping a watch I started tearing down camp. I could hear this bear breaking through the scrub trying to circle me, and I let her know I could hear her. Still she pressed on. Again, this time from the right she cane straight in. I fired another warning shot and she turned back into the woods. Luckily our setup breaks down quick and I almost had everything stored hurriedly when I heard her encircling again. Having enough of this shit, I’m alpha predator here, when she came out I lit into her with all the anger and cussing ability of my lumberjack heritage and she bolted this time. If she came in again or didn’t relent I was going to drop that bitch and eat her. Camp broke, getting near dark we said “frack this” and just headed home.

You guys know I’m pretty woods savvy, use to dealing with bears on a weekly basis, but this was the most aggressive bear I have ever encountered. My thought is that folks use this section of lovely road to view wildlife and it’s possible folks had been feeding her. She might have thought that Michelle and I were sources other than our own tasty protein. Thank goodness fir the kindness of strangers on that road of it could have got ugly for one group or another.

So the moral of the story is to expect the unexpected and always be ready for the worst. After hundreds of bear encounters hiking, hunting and working the woods this was by far the most problematic. Still wasn’t as scary as a moose charging you but that’s another tale;).
 
Last edited:

BlkWgn

Adventurist
Senior Staff
Founding Member
Drama...I had some drama but not of the political sort.

Last night Michelle and I were in Sproul State Forest, PA and had set up camp for the afternoon. Site was about 300 yards up a two track off the main drag. Awesome site on top of a ridge with a 180* view to the east and the potential for some spectacular star gazing.

View attachment 52009 View attachment 52010
As evening set in we walked down to a vista across the main road to snap some sunset pics. Crossing over the blacktop I saw a truck stop to the south of us about 500 yards below on the blacktop. There was a bear walking up the road along the shoulder and it approached right up to the truck.

View attachment 52012
I than noticed a radio collar and three cubs. Radio collar meant relocated trouble bear that had been released out here in the PA Wilds and that was bad news. I stopped Michelle and started making our way back to the truck. We were spotted by the bear and it started trotting up the road towards us. A passerby in a lifted Cherokee came by and I flagged it down. A local couple were the occupants and were familiar with that particular bear. We kept retreating with our eyes on that sow but she was coming right for us. We ended up clambering In the backseat of the Cherokee as the bear rushed up to the Jeep. Eventually the bear passed over the shoulder with her cubs on the opposite side of the road from our camp. The couple drove us back up to our truck and than departed. They also informed us there was another bear here with two ear tags, a sign that if had been relocated twice.

A few minutes later that sow was trotting up the two track right towards our camp site. She came right in. Normally a good shout drives a bear off but not this one. I threw Michelle in the truck, pulled the pistola out and fired off a round. She stopped and trotted into the bracken. With Michelle keeping a watch I started tearing down camp. I could hear this bear breaking through the scrub trying to circle me, and I let her know I could hear her. Still she pressed on. Again, this time from the right she cane straight in. I fired another warning shot and she turned back into the woods. Luckily our setup breaks down quick and I almost had everything stored hurriedly when I heard her encircling again. Having enough of this shit, I’m alpha predator here, when she came out I lit into her with all the anger and cussing ability of my lumberjack heritage and she bolted this time. If she came in again or didn’t relent I was going to drop that bitch and eat her. Camp broke, getting near dark we said “frack this” and just headed home.

You guys know I’m pretty woods savvy, use to dealing with bears on a weekly basis, but this was the most aggressive bear I have ever encountered. My thought is that folks use this section of lovely road to view wildlife and it’s possible folks had been feeding her. She might have thought that Michelle and I were sources other than our own tasty protein. Thank goodness fir the kindness of strangers on that road of it could have got ugly for one group or another.

So the moral of the story is to expect the unexpected and always be ready for the worst. After hundreds of bear encounters hiking, hunting and working the woods this was by far the most problematic. Still wasn’t as scary as a moose charging you but that’s another tale;).

I would say this Bear got off pretty lucky with you not turning it into dinner and rug
 

Haggis

Adventurist
Senior Staff
Founding Member
Bear update...

The local warden who I was in contact with filled me in on has transpired since my report. The bear with the two ear tags was put down by the wardens after it was charging folks at their hunting/vacation camps that are further down the two track from where we camped. Along with my report, they received a couple of reports of people feeding the bears along the blacktop road. In the last couple of days three citations were issued to the offenders.

Mama bear and the cubs were tracked down by the biologists and trapped. They have been moved deeper into the woods well away from any main thoroughfare.
 
Which one did you prefer?
They were all nice, with one exception, which I'll get to. I would compare choosing between the three of them to sitting down with a meal of soup, salad and a steak and then being told you had to choose from only a fork, knife or spoon in order to finish the meal. They're clearly targeted at totally different markets even though they all possess some serious off road chops underneath their vastly different exteriors.

The 4Runner was as "high end" as you can get without finding a unicorn of a TRD Pro. From what I could tell this one was only lacking the upgraded suspension and skid plate of the TRD Pro. It was, however, dramatically cheaper and easier to find. The one I looked at was an off lease soccer-mom-mobile that didn't look like it had ever seen the outside of the garage, much less an off road track. The leather seats were fairly comfortable, the interior layout was very Toyota in it's design and I appreciated the manual shifter from the transfer case. The engine was responsive, but didn't seem to match the weight of the vehicle. I'd imagine throwing more weight at it like many builds do would dramatically decrease on road acceleration (and MPG) and make it feel hugely underpowered. Overall it was a cool vehicle, and if I were a young single guy, maybe what I'd go for. That being said it didn't have the space that I require being a large red blooded American male with a family to haul around. With a proper seating position my head hit the roof and the seats, while comfortable, weren't very supportive. It would be uncomfortable for some of the long distance driving I do. The rentals I've had with the cloth interior were better, at least in my memory.

The Lexus, on the other hand, I could sit in for days and cruise down the road. Very comfortable and well laid out. Plenty of power from the big V8, fantastic sound system and tons of room. It was light and nimble in it's response compared the the Land Cruiser (more on that in a second). I can't, however, get past the sharp angular exterior styling and what I perceive as the juxtaposition of the "old lady" styling of interior wood trim. The amount of electronic nannies and systems were also a bit of turn off if I were going to consider this for a long term vehicle. Electrical gremlins that include software code are no fun to track down. That being said...I don't keep a vehicle long enough to encounter those problems. :D

The vehicle that started this day full of test drives was the Land Cruiser. I'd never driven one, but had been exposed to a few through different events and trail runs. I think, in the minds of many, this vehicle sits on a special off road pedestal. I have to say, after getting some experience with one, it's an over priced Sequoia with 2nd gear start. I get it, supposedly the build quality and materials used are much better. Supposedly it'll drive for 300,000 miles with only minimal maintenance while climbing 90 degree vertical shafts inside a volcano. It just didn't impress me, and was I hugely let down. Maybe I'd just built the Land Cruiser up in my head as I think many others have, but at the end of the day it was the disappointment of the group. I thought the 4Runner had better fit and finish than the Cruiser. It felt large on the road and seemed to wallow around, and that's coming from a guy who's daily driver is a quad cab F250. It just felt improperly proportioned, like parts of the vehicle were being drug down the street by the rest of it. I can't imagine trying to run one down some of the east coast trails I've been on. It might be somebody else's cup of tea, but I walked away disappointed.

Between the three if I had to pick one. I'd take the Lexus and then embrace shipfitter syndrome to make it look different in order to prevent my eye from wandering too quickly to the next 4 wheeled siren.

I finished yesterday realizing two things:

1. I need a 7 car garage with an attached 4 car carport.
2. I hope the Bronco is amazing.
 
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