First North, then South – 1-Year+ Overland Trip to Alaska (from NY) and then to Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego)

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Forjas

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Post 0: First North, then South – 1-Year+ Overland Trip to Alaska (from NY) and then to Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego)

I’m already on the 3rd month of my Americas trip, but the more I go on with the trip, the more I think I need to make a report of it! I confess that I always had the idea on my mind, but I was just lazy on the first few months of the trip – if you call wanting to enjoy every minute of the trip ‘laziness’ that is. Now, after 3 months, after getting used to be living on the truck and the constant movement of the trip – ie. lifting camp, getting on the road, looking for a new camping spot, setting up camp, cooking dinner, sleep, repeat – I’m more in the mood to write trip reports.

Post 1 below is a general overview of the trip, the beginning of it all, my truck and about us. From the 2nd post on I will start with more of the day-to-day and talking about the route.

If you are on our route, PLEASE LET US KNOW (tips on routes, places/trails to hit are also welcome!) I’m really looking forward to meeting some of the Overland Bound folks (well, it’s about connection with people isn’t it?). I already met some of you on the road and it has always been a pleasure. I can guarantee I’m a pleasant company (ops, that’s a tough guarantee, lol).


See you all on the road! Cheers and thanks for reading!! :sunglasses:


Below is a hyperlinked index of all the posts. Just click and voilá!

Post 1: General overview of the trip, the beginning of it all, my truck and about us

***The below are ready, will be posted soon when I choose some pictures***
Post 2: Mid-Atlantic Backcountry Discovery Routes (MABDR) – the first few days of the trip!
Post 3: The Breakdown!

***From here on those are proposed topics/posts - still working in writing those up!***
Post 4: Mammoth Cave and Badlands National Park
Post 5: Blackhills National Forest (Needles Highway) and Mt. Rushmore
Post 6: Glacier National Park
Post 7: It’s always winter in Canada (Banff and Jasper National Parks)
Post 8: Alaska Hwy
Post 9: The Infamous Dempster Hwy (spoiler, no flats!!!)
Post 10: Dawnson City and the Top of the World Hwy
Post 11: The Last Frontier (Alaska)
 
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Forjas

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Post 1: General overview of the trip, the beginning of it all, my truck and about us

The Trip
:
Well, I think everyone here can figure out the idea from the title . The plan is to drive my truck with the wifey from Jersey City – literally across the Hudson River from NYC – to Alaska and, after hitting the northest point in the Americas, head south to hit the southest point (Ushuaia). After hitting those two goals, I will head back home (Brazil) and maybe travel a little bit more throughout Brazil…

How it all began?:
I’m a born and raised Brazilian and moved to the US ~4.5 years ago (in 2014) through an offer from my company to join the team in NYC. Been living and enjoying the American way of life for the past few years, but it was about time for a change. Moving all my stuff back to Brazil was not an option so… we were already going to sell everything in the US so… perfect time to go on that trip that we have been thinking about, no? YES! What a better time to move our lives into a truck?

We had been planning a huge trip (read, gap year) for some time and were saving money for the past 3/4 years. I’m an avid motorcycle rider and my plan was to hit Alaska on a motorcycle (I had a BMW G650GS for whomever is a rider and is reading this ^^) with my wife as a pillion. We did a couple of test trips and you can probably figure out she said “No way we doing this on a motorcycle”. About time to pull out the big guns and get a truck!

The Truck:
With the motorcycle idea out of the way (yes, you will be lost if you haven’t read “How it all Began?” just above), I quickly moved my mind to a 4x4, joined Overland Bound (I’m a fan of these communities/forums, lots of knowledge and especially a more dedicated forum with supportive people like Overland Bound) and got my hands into the truck below:

Pic 1.JPGPic 2.JPG
(This is the truck the day before the start of the trip – I had it detailed so it could be clean for one last time before 1 year of constantly been covered in dust! =P)

Since we were kind of ‘running against time’ and I wasn’t the most experienced guy with vehicles (give me a motorcycle and I will give you a rundown of what you could do it, give me a truck and ‘Arh’), I started looking for some build out trucks and had an idea of the stuff I wanted with it (drawer system, RTT, rear difs, etc) and also was looking into trucks that I would had the appropriate support (and parts!) in South America. The result, I flew to Texas to purchase ‘Howdy’ (it was Texas after all, so had to put a name to honor it).

Year: 2004
Brand/Model: Lexus LX470 (100-Series)
Mileage: ~185k miles (at time of purchase) and 205k+ miles (currently)
Tires: STT Maxx Cooper Tires (34 x 11.50)
Wheels: 18x9 Madness Rhino
Accessories: Magionilla RTT (AutoHome) – on a FrontRunner Slimline II rack; Front and Rear Diffs Locks (ARB); OME Shocks with 2.5” lift; ARB Front Bumper; Slee Offroad Rear Bumper with Dual-Swing Carrier (Spare Tire and Canister Carriers); Side Steps by Slee Offroad; Full on Slee Offroad under armor (skid, belly and back plates); AT Propane Carrier; Eezi Awing 2000 Series 2m Awning; Full on Rear Drawing System by Trekkbox; ARB Fridge; Safari Snorkel; ARB Diff Breathers; and whatever else I have forgotten.

Most of the above came with the truck when I bought it; 4-5 items I purchased / installed with the assistance from the guys of Mainline Overland in PA (great shop if you guys need something done to your truck).

Pic 3.JPGPic 4.JPG
(This is Howdy when we pick it up from Texas. We took 2 weeks off during the year-end festivities (ie. Christmas and New Year’s) and drove it back to NJ camping along the way. This pic is at Smokey Mountains National Park).

Pic 5.jpg
(On our way back from Texas we stopped at Blue Ridge Overland Gear in VA to pick up some new toys (including the awesome LC Attic System they have for the 100-Series - and they took it to Instagram. Awesome guys to talk to if you are in the area)

Pic 6.jpg
(Taking a deeper look into the truck with the help from the folks at Main Line Overland)

About me:
As mentioned above, I’m a born and raised Brazilian. I’m on the verge of my thirty birthday and been working hard non-stop since I’m 16. Got married at 24 and about the same time moved to the US (NYC) and lived there for ~4.5 years. I’m new to the vehicle/truck overlanding scheme of things, but I did traveled a lot onboard my motorcycle on some 14+ days trips up to Canada, down to Tennessee (through the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway all the way to the Dragon and Cherolala), up to Vermont and New Hampshire (to the border of Canada) and also participated in some cool rallies (ie. 500 miles in 3 days in the Pine Barrens in NJ. Sand all day, fun stuff!). Most of my motorcycle trips were offroad or involved a good deal of off-the-beaten-path travel.

Pic 7.jpg
(Good times with the skinny girl!)

And here go some more pics!:

Pic 8.JPG
(Doing a proper tool organization! Accompanied by the fuel of our day-to-day!)

Pic 9.JPG
(Wife testing our drawer system with packing cubes to keep the clothes tidy – she made those dividers out of cardboard and later painted and put some colored tape on them to protect from rain).


Pic 10.JPG
(Giving it a go on the high-lift jack to make sure all was in order. Practice at home so you now what to do in the field)


Pic 11.jpg
(Me and the wifey on the weekend before the trip! Had to do some photo shootings. A friend took this sweet pic!)
 

semi_driver

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I’m in! I love your LX470 it’s fully loaded to the max! I did a trip on a BMW F800GS from Florida to Ushuaia. Finished in Brazil and sent it back to the states. You have Instagram?

Did you do your timing belts and heater T’s for the LX?
 
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Forjas

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I’m in! I love your LX470 it’s fully loaded to the max! I did a trip on a BMW F800GS from Florida to Ushuaia. Finished in Brazil and sent it back to the states. You have Instagram?

Did you do your timing belts and heater T’s for the LX?
Yeah, the truck was from the owner of OverlandCruisers (Superlative Overland Vehicle Restoration in Sonoita, AZ | Overland Cruisers) and he did a lot to it! I just added a few amenities for a year+ on the road ;).

Man... you did what I was planning! On a F800GS! Awesome!! Hope you had a great time.

I did the T's just before the trip. T Belt was done at 150k, so plan is to change before I head into Central America.

Instagram is @pelo.retrovisor (thanks btw, will add that to the top of first post)