2.5 Months in an RTT & Tundra

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Contributor I

60
Charleston, SC, USA
First Name
Bryce
Last Name
Campbell
Hey!

My names Bryce, and I am a 20yo photographer who is living fulltime in my Tundra. Though for this post, I'm going to chronicle the first 2.5 months (Charleston - Washington - Charleston). In the coming weeks, I am going to leave to Vermont/Maine and capture the colors this fall, but that's for another thread!

My original thread is on the dedicated Tundra forums, and ultimately I'm going to rewrite it on my own website (brycercampbell.com). But for now, I'll post the main highlights here. And there were a lot!

My instagrams are brycecampbellphoto and bryces.tundra. Aforementioned website is brycercampbell.com. Prints are available at brycercampbell.darkroom.tech.

The basics are as follows:
2010 Tundra (important stuff: Wildpeaks 275/70, Bilstein 6112/5160s)
Roofnest Sparrow Eye RTT
Cooler for my fridge
Coleman camp stove for cooking
Water is in 5gal jugs and aquatainers
Toilet....take a guess.

I have a video where I walk through the entire setup that I posted recently.
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Big Sky, Montana

I'm going to basically be writing everything from scratch, so it'll be quite a few posts to cover the entire 2.5mo, but I hope its worth it for yall! The adventure started on April 15, 2021.
 
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Contributor I

60
Charleston, SC, USA
First Name
Bryce
Last Name
Campbell
So, like I said, this will be the main highlights. On the Tundra forums I have documented my trip day-by-day (lots of writing), and at some point I'd like to put that on my website so it's more easily available to everyone.
The goal was mainly Glacier NP and the Tetons in WY. Originally I planned for one month, budgeted for one month, but as you know, it took 2.5.
Here was my final route.
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I spent a LOT of time meandering in the Southwest, I never planned on going to Oregon/Washington, and by the time I got to Montana, I was running low on funds. But I would not have changed anything. Now I know where I want to go again and where I don't (the northwest has flying ants...)
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Contributor I

60
Charleston, SC, USA
First Name
Bryce
Last Name
Campbell
The first week was the toughest, by far. The first few nights, I camped in familiar places. I've explored most of the southeast, so I camped in places I know in GA and KY, but from there, I headed to the Ozarks where things went south.
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I went down one of the main FS roads trying to find a pulloff to camp and got to the end near a river. I was backing up to turn around, hit a tree, and the tent went right through my back window. As you can see in the pics, I have the tent mounted over the bed, under the roof. It hangs off the back of my tailgate by a foot or two.

Ultimately, I bent the bars it mounts to, the bolts, and cracked the fiberglass. Long story short, a few hours at an autozone, a night at a sketchy motel, and some fiberglass putty. Back up in running. I got the glass replaced on the way through OK City.
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Speaking of OK, it was absolutely gorgeous.
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It took me five days to get to New Mexico, where I was rewarded for my struggles.
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My first night at White Sands, the sunset was incredible. I went and saw the Bandelier Cliff Dwellings as well as Valles Caldera. The Caldera was stunning.
 

Contributor I

60
Charleston, SC, USA
First Name
Bryce
Last Name
Campbell
From there, I cruised through NM/Arizona. I met up with a friend at the Grand Canyon and we camped outside Page AZ for a few days.
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I hit Monument Valley as well.
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From there, I drove into Durango to get my glass replaced again - the first gentleman did a terrible job, glass was warped, water and dust got in the cab. Two voicemails and one negative google review later he gave me a full refund and Durango Toyota took care of me. After that, I drove the Million Dollar Highway into Ouray, and hit Telluride as well.

And everything you hear about Colorado is true. Absolutely stunning. I could write about how I spent 4 days in one spot, up a jeep trail, because of the scenery. I could write about $5 gas prices. I could write about the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. I could do all that. But instead, I'll just show you.
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Camp outside Ouray, up the next pics trail, where I spent 3 nights. One of the most insane places I camped.
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And I said that spot was insane, this was the next place I stayed up in the mountains surrounding Telluride. Holy smokes. If the forecast didn't call for snow, I would've stayed.
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From there, I headed to Montrose and Black Canyon. Genuinely more impressive (and way less busy) than the Grand Canyon.
 

Contributor I

60
Charleston, SC, USA
First Name
Bryce
Last Name
Campbell
From Montrose, I headed to Grand Junction and Moab. I hit Colorado Monument in GJ, which was a gorgeous drive.
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After that, Moab. Everything you hear about Moab is probably true as well - though maybe a tiny bit overhyped. Still one of the most incredible places I've ever been.
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Above is Canyonlands
And OF COURSE, I did a little bit of crawling! Though it's quite a challenge in a fullsize truck.
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Above is Delicate Arch
 

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Contributor I

60
Charleston, SC, USA
First Name
Bryce
Last Name
Campbell
Up next, Capital Reef and then Escalante and Boulder.
Most of Capital Reef is actually quite luscious. Streams, grass, apple trees, homesteads, etc. Well worth your time. But to get to the famous parts, you'll have to drive quite a few miles on washboard and rocks and deep sand.
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Frankly, Capital Reef is underestimated as well. Plan a trip there (Not in the middle of summer). Plan on camping outside the park in the desert area pictured above which can be found on google maps/onX/gaia. Take your time, there's a lot to take in.

Up next, Escalante and Boulder. I hit an insane hike, and the next day did a hike into a slot canyon.
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After that, I headed further into Utah - Bryce Canyon, no Zion (too busy), and some more insane places to make camp.
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Yeah, breaktaking. And I had cell service. Up next, I headed north!
 

Contributor I

60
Charleston, SC, USA
First Name
Bryce
Last Name
Campbell
The next step was Idaho! And man, it was insane. Very underrated. I spent a good amount of time in the Sawtooths and around Stanley. I did one hike to an alpine lake, but most of the time it was raining, so I just chilled for a few nights.

But on my first night in southern Idaho, I got snow!
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The Roofnest held up great, as usual. Now leaks or anything of the sort. I stayed toasty in my sleeping bags.
Up next was Shoshone Falls, which was incredible. "The Niagra of The West". Guess I won't know if that's true until I hit the real Niagra this fall. DA98A17C-1A17-4EA7-90D7-59CEBAF73242.jpg
After that, I headed into the Sawtooths for a few days. How incredible. I stayed outside Stanley, ID (Pop. 62) DSC_0951.jpg0EF10C35-1FC2-4D70-8043-4B125C85C53A.jpg

Because it was raining most of the time, I spent nearly all day every day in a different hotspring. There are so many of them around there, literally 20ft from the side of the road. It's unbelievable. EB09142F-5EC9-4A50-8521-8DD54F2AD212.jpg06E928D5-5B8A-4A88-8EA9-457FC515C087.jpgA989AA77-BCCB-4E43-BBE2-9AF947584200.jpg
And on my second to last day, I had clear weather, so I took advantage and went for a hike to an alpine lake. Unbelievable views. Quite a bit of snow hiking, waist deep in some areas. Well worth it. If I did it over again, I'd jump in... 60ABEE9F-6243-43AA-A21A-5909741AB8C8.jpg
After that, I made a last minute decision to head into Oregon/Washington. Originally, I wasn't sure if I'd have enough money to do that and Montana/Wyoming/South Dakota. I still didn't know when I chose. It ended up being the right choice, even if a bit risky! I was driving along the highway, and saw these insane mountains. I found a road up, checked onX to see if it was private or public, and camped. The sunset was incredible. B484E24D-2A98-4A0D-B88B-157E1117AAD4.jpg
Welcome to Oregon!
 

Contributor I

60
Charleston, SC, USA
First Name
Bryce
Last Name
Campbell
After that night, I drove towards Bend and made camp halfway near a trailhead to another alpine lake. I hiked there the next morning - I had it all to myself.
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That day, I made it to Bend and set up camp near a canal. It was probably 90-95. Toasty. 0F9FFF05-5087-4929-B4C9-0FCCDE4E70B4.jpg
Next I did Sahalie Falls/Tamolitch Pool.
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I made camp in the NF near there, and the next morning I hiked to Blue Pool for sunrise. 71D006DE-8399-4D12-A105-AE8EF73DFAB9.jpg
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Yeah, not exactly a disappointing view. I did dive in and swim for a bit.
After that hike, it was still early, maybe 8 or so, so I drove to Mt Rainier to make camp. I got lucky with an insane spot. 9E5A8428-E1EE-4935-A459-4134F6633252.jpg8EC7ABAC-C0C6-4A63-B034-D357196D4B0C.jpg
 

Contributor I

60
Charleston, SC, USA
First Name
Bryce
Last Name
Campbell
The next morning, I drove into the park and found everything under a good 20-30ft of snow. Yeah, no thanks. Not for this South Carolinian.
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So I headed towards the Cascades and set up camp near there. Pulled a tree out of the trail, but a few feet further there was an avalanche, so I camped further downhill.
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The following morning, I was not disappointed... 7B0363CE-0439-48DD-98CD-B31EEC56A3E5.jpg550E48B4-D339-451B-9F2F-2EA4746FB782.jpgB7F57E5C-F79D-4B4D-9400-8FB4ECE614C2.jpg1DD3251F-504B-4DDF-9015-E7844A3B7D1F.jpg18571756-11EB-453C-97B2-41D055146C50.jpg
Of course I went for a swim. It was in the low 40s, around 42. Genuinely took my breath away.

After that, I headed to Winthrop WA for a few days...
 

Contributor I

60
Charleston, SC, USA
First Name
Bryce
Last Name
Campbell
Unfortunately, someone else had a similar plan. I had a mouse in my truck. Piss and droppings everywhere, toilet paper/paper towels gone. Unlike some, I did not try to humanely remove it. They carry diseases and I was not in a position to get sick. 2D01B619-BAE0-494A-9A44-DE2B7DF7CFBD.jpg
Ultimately I got him with some peanut butter two nights later. Buried him with the trap far away from camp. I didn't take any pictures of camp, unfortunately. But I was near a stream, and it was 95f during the days, so I spent most of my time soaking and sun bathing, and then repeat until my truck was cleansed. After that, there was a family emergency and I flew back home for 2 weeks. The next posts will after that. Winthrop is a very nice town, and theres lots of amazing camping around there. Check it out if you're ever passing through
 

Contributor I

60
Charleston, SC, USA
First Name
Bryce
Last Name
Campbell
Sorry guys, for some reason the forum doesn't load for me. Tried to reply on laptop/phone/wifi/cellular. Can't reply to yall directly or like your posts.
@thalooch
The bumper is a DV8 ebay special. Recommended? If you are willing to put in another couple hundred to get it bedlined and a few hours to align it.
The coating it comes with chips insanely easily and is super thin. It is rusting. I go at it every few months with rustoleum bedliner and a wire brush. The included hardware is getting rusted as well. Keep in mind I live in Charleston SC near the beach. Salty air, saltwater from hurricanes and roads flooding, etc. The alignment issues - it takes 2 people. It is a bit of work to get the gaps aligned evenly - though it is absolutely possible. One wranglers it, one bolts it down when the wrangler gets the gap right. But the price is insanely cheap compared to other bumpers, even if you get it bedlined (or DIY). Also, the yellow Baja Designs I have on mine are a custom mount - that is originally the winch plate.
@4x4tripping
Definitely user error - I had both air filters out drying after I rinsed them off. I think he got in through that. Didn't even cross my mind to start - won't make that mistake again!
 

Contributor I

60
Charleston, SC, USA
First Name
Bryce
Last Name
Campbell
Alright, been back at work so I've been super busy but I'm gonna wrap this up for yall!

I stayed around Winthrop for a few days, then when I had to fly back I drove to Spokane. When I flew back to WA, I headed east through ID and spent a few days sorting everything out. Temps reached 104f, but it was worth it. (all of these are available as prints at brycercampbell.com)

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In total, I spent 4 days in Idaho I believe. The next step was Glacer NP!

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My first night in Montana I slept in the Whitefish/Kalispell walmart. It was literally an RV park. People playing lacrosse. People with astroturf playing cards around a table. Unbelievable stuff. I slept across the bench seat in my cab though.
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Contributor I

60
Charleston, SC, USA
First Name
Bryce
Last Name
Campbell
The next morning I drove into the park at 4:30 to dodge the 6am ticketed entry system. I drove up GTTS road to the pass and went for a hike. What an incredible place
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After that hike, I finished the road and headed into St Marys to shower at a campground and then chilled until after 6. I then went back up. shot the sunset, and slept in the parking lot at the top of the pass. 71038E45-77F5-481A-8E3F-D54620CB99DD.jpgIMG_1835.jpgIMG_1851.jpg

The next day I did Avalanche lake for the sunrise and then headed towards Yellowstone. Unfortunately most of the good hikes in NW Montana were under snow. Maybe next time! IMG_1865.jpg
 
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Contributor I

60
Charleston, SC, USA
First Name
Bryce
Last Name
Campbell
So I headed towards Yellowstone next. It was pretty incredible. The landscape wasn't insane, but I've watched quite a few History shows on possible Yellowstone eruptions so it was pretty dope to see it in person. And the geysers, springs, and mudpools were awesome as well.
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Yellowstone was one long day - but I did do it in one day. If you do some hikes yourself, you could make it a two day-er for sure. But by this point I was getting restless and wanted to hit the road.

Except that didn't happen. I made it to the Teton entrance at the south of the park and a friend from back home texted me and asked if I was near Bozeman. I said kinda, he said he was there. So back up to Bozeman instead - where I learned how to fly fish.

But not before a quick restock of the essentials. Darigold is genuinely the best chocolate milk I've ever had.
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We drove into the mountains and hiked a few miles up to an alpine lake at 9,000ft.

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We were after golden trout, and there were a ton rising the entire time we were there. Tried a bunch of different flys, all around the lake, and none of us got anything. But the views made up for that.

I stayed in Bozeman for a few days, and then July 4th in Big Sky, then headed towards Wyoming and South Dakota.
 

Contributor I

60
Charleston, SC, USA
First Name
Bryce
Last Name
Campbell
Like I said, I stayed in Big Sky for the 4th. I had a great spot and didn't get bothered by many people.
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After the 4th, I headed into the Tetons for 2 nights. I saw quite a bit, but there is always more to see.
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I did one hike into the mountains, and it was stunning.
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And I caught quite a few sunsets - but I don't have those pictures off my camera yet, so a phone shot will have to do!
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Up next was a bit of an adventure. I saw a post on Instagram of an underground heated pool somewhere in WY, but the photographer specifically said he would not share the location. Well, that wasn't much to go on.

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Well, I was not going to let that go. I found a post on reddit where someone said it was off one of the main highways out of the tetons to the east, 24 maybe? I forget which. I opened OnX and scoured the satellite images for any hints. The reddit post said it was only accessible by 4x4 (not really true but close enough), and was near private land near the highway - but had to be accessed by the back on public lands. Ok, good info.

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I found what looked like a black hole on OnX matching those descriptions, and off I went. Whether I succeeded or not, the scenery was incredible.

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But I did succeed. Up next was Devils Tower and South Dakota!
 

Contributor I

60
Charleston, SC, USA
First Name
Bryce
Last Name
Campbell
Ok, for real this is getting wrapped up now!

When I went to Devils Tower, I had trouble finding any public land to camp on. So instead I slept in the Roofnest at the scenic overlook right on the highway.
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The next morning I hit Devils Tower. Definitely somewhere you can spend a half day. Well worth checking out.
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From there I drove into SD and cruised around. First stop was the Geographic Center of the country. IMG_2204.jpg
But it really wasn't. An older gentleman working at the visitor center informed me that the true center was a bit of a drive down a gravel road. So off I went.
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That's more like it! In the middle of nowhere. It was pretty surreal to stand there and see literally nothing for miles and miles. I slept at Nomad View that night which was also insane.
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The next morning I hit the Badlands, which was pretty impressive. The weather wasn't great, I'd love to catch a sunrise/sunset there sometime.

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