Looking back on a recent off-road expedition in the Colorado Rockies, there’s one thing that Roger Lovell, a BFGoodrich® Garage Pit Crew member, realized.
A few summers ago, Kelly Lund, his girlfriend, Ally Coucke, and their two dogs, Loki and Bailey, made the trip of a lifetime in their 2013 Toyota Tundra: a round-trip trek from Denver, Colorado to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.
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Rebuilding the Tundra
Lund and Coucke didn’t know how long they’d be living out of the truck, so they made sure to prep it for the long haul.
First, they lifted the truck with a Toytec 3.5" BOSS suspension lift with Camburg Racing upper control arms, mounted a set of 35" BFGoodrich® All-Terrain T/A KO2s and added suspension airbags.
Then the two mounted a Hi-Lift jack and MaxTrax to the top of the rack. They packed a large come-along and mounted an axe and shovel to the side rack—important tools that could be used for pulling objects out of their way, splitting wood and keeping fires going.
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Lund installed off-road Rigid Ignite lights on the truck, too. From lighting up dark trails in the Alaskan wilderness to brightening up their campsite, these powerful lights were a crucial addition.
Alongside the rack, Lund mounted a Hinterland Industries awning that would provide shelter at camp. On top of the truck, Lund installed a spacious, waterproof Freespirit Recreation Adventure series M49 tent that quickly became home. It took just two and half minutes to set up and 10 minutes to pack down.
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In the bed of the truck, they rebuilt the storage system and platform with edge-to-edge plywood. The platform itself also served as a bed for the dogs (after all, it’s important to keep Instagram stars like @loki comfortable).
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The Adventure Begins
Lund and Coucke drove from Colorado through Oregon and Washington, up into British Columbia, through the Yukon and eventually arrived in Alaska by way of Whitehorse. Once in Alaska, they drove south to Valdez and slowly worked their way west to the Kenai Peninsula where they stayed for two weeks.
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Then it was on to Anchorage, Denali and Fairbanks. From there, the two made a last-minute decision to take a slight detour to Prudhoe Bay by way of the infamous Dalton Highway. The desolate road didn’t disappoint. It was dotted with grizzly bears and musk ox. Covered in snow, shrouded by fog, followed by the occasional torrential downpour—what would be nightmarish conditions for the average driver were actually dream conditions for these pro adventurers.
On the way home, they added another detour in Jasper and Banff, Alberta. The two eventually crossed the border in Washington and made their way down south to Oregon for a quick pit stop before the final leg back to Colorado.
Over the course of a couple of months, Lund and Coucke clocked more than 9,000 miles. That’s just shy of what the average driver puts on the odometer in a year. But mile after mile, through tough roads and even tougher conditions, the Tundra never faltered. Trip of a lifetime? Not if they do it again. For now, they’re on to the next.
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