'91 Toyota Pick - MA to Alaska and Back

This past summer I was able to get an extended leave from work to go on a big road trip. I live in the Boston area, but actually started the trip in Wisconsin where I had been working for the previous year. I drove the truck from MA to WI in 2022, then left in June of 2023, so I'm going to go ahead and say the trip started from MA :)

Overall, I put 16,000 miles on my 1991 Toyota pickup, leaving WI at the beginning of June and arriving back in MA a little over 3 months later. I was camping in the back every night, with the exception of a couple of hotel/motels and staying with friends in various places. I was going to do a more chronological recap, but instead am going to outline where I went in the first post and then add to the thread as I have time with pictures, etc. Here's the quick version of the route I took:

- Two days/1,000 miles from Milwaukee to Colorado
- Bounced around in Colorado for a while
- Over to Moab, UT then down through the national parks
- Spent a couple nights in Las Vegas
- Into Death Valley, then up the Sierra Nevadas
- Bay area for a few days with some friends
- I got COVID driving up the PCH, camped on the beach, stayed in a motel for a night
- Parked the truck at my friends in Portland, OR and went to Italy for a week (another story lol)
- A couple nights in Oregon
- Explored the Olympic Pennisula
- Spent a week or so on Vancouver Island
- Took route 37 up through BC into Yukon
- Alaska highway to Fairbanks
- Dalton highway to Prudhoe bay
- Back down and then to Denali NP
- Backtracked on the Alaska highway, then down through the rockies
- Jasper/Banff/The Icefields parkway
- Crossed back into the US in Montana
- Glacier NP then down to Yellowstone NP, then shot over to South Dakota to watch that crazy red full moon come up over the Badlands
- Blasted back over to MA

The truck:

It's a 1991 pickup I bought from this guy in Woodstock, NY in 2019. After I bought it, I did the following as maintenance:

  • General tune up: Engine/gear/transmission oil, spark plugs, air filter, etc.
  • Removed the bed, stripped and re-painted the frame.
  • New Bilstein shocks
  • Leaf springs from LCE + new greaseable shackles/bushings
  • Rear drum brakes
  • Big brake kit from LCE
  • All new brake lines
  • Front + rear wheel bearings
  • LCE header + full exhaust
  • Clutch slave + master cylinder
  • Tie rods
  • Rock defense rear bumper
  • New (used) gas tank skid plate
  • Battery
  • Some random body stuff
Some before/after pictures:

Tough to remove shackle bolts:

53411158033_8277c5ece3.jpg


Pre-paint stripping:

53410060597_46ff6af276.jpg


Summer of 2021 had a lot of time in the driveway:

53411424395_70d7c63156_z.jpg


Painted frame with some new bits and bobs:

53410059077_8210aa06c7_z.jpg


Good old New England fried seafood shack, with 31's my coworker had lying around:

53410057592_eaa6a8c72d_b.jpg



While I was in Wisconsin, before I left:
  • Timing chain guide broke: New head gasket, timing chain kit with metal backed guide, head was hot tanked with new valve stem seals, re-lapped valves, water and oil pumps, etc.
  • Rear driveshaft U-joints
  • Rebuilt the alternator with new brushes after it started failing
  • Transmission died and I had a rebuilt W56-C from Marlin Crawler installed with new clutch + flywheel.
  • 33x10.5 BFG A/T
  • Differentials re-geared to 4.88 with Revolution gears
  • ARB air locker in the rear + CKMA12 compressor under the hood
  • Probably a few others that I'm forgetting about
Canvas behind-the-seat pouch I made to add some storage:

53410070852_8bd3a3fb24_z.jpg


Camper shell I picked up for $200. It leaked, and had a plywood rear window that I added a lexan insert into so I could see out the back. This is me mounting maxtrax in my work parking lot. I was living in downtown Milwaukee so only had public surface lots to prep in.

53411323004_93579dfca5_z.jpg


Finally, the sleeping set up. It's a pretty simple wood frame that I built such that the front rests on the spare tire that's lying in the front of the bed. I got a ~$100 camper mattress, with a sleeping back and my comforter. I got some bins that slid underneath for more storage. Cooler in the back, hand-me-down Coleman camping stove. Nothing fancy here.

53411009046_165fa94308_z.jpg


And here's the truck in Rocky Mountain NP, two days into the trip.

53411165673_3888c75d73_b.jpg


More to come!
 

slowlane

Observer
This is excellent! Nice to see someone else knocking around in an old vehicle. Digging the Rand McNally road atlas stuffed behind the seat. Those maps have guided me on most all my cross-county trips over the past 20 years. This has the makings of an amazing thread. Hope to see more.
 

ThundahBeagle

Well-known member
This past summer I was able to get an extended leave from work to go on a big road trip. I live in the Boston area, but actually started the trip in Wisconsin where I had been working for the previous year. I drove the truck from MA to WI in 2022, then left in June of 2023, so I'm going to go ahead and say the trip started from MA :)

Overall, I put 16,000 miles on my 1991 Toyota pickup, leaving WI at the beginning of June and arriving back in MA a little over 3 months later. I was camping in the back every night, with the exception of a couple of hotel/motels and staying with friends in various places. I was going to do a more chronological recap, but instead am going to outline where I went in the first post and then add to the thread as I have time with pictures, etc. Here's the quick version of the route I took:

- Two days/1,000 miles from Milwaukee to Colorado
- Bounced around in Colorado for a while
- Over to Moab, UT then down through the national parks
- Spent a couple nights in Las Vegas
- Into Death Valley, then up the Sierra Nevadas
- Bay area for a few days with some friends
- I got COVID driving up the PCH, camped on the beach, stayed in a motel for a night
- Parked the truck at my friends in Portland, OR and went to Italy for a week (another story lol)
- A couple nights in Oregon
- Explored the Olympic Pennisula
- Spent a week or so on Vancouver Island
- Took route 37 up through BC into Yukon
- Alaska highway to Fairbanks
- Dalton highway to Prudhoe bay
- Back down and then to Denali NP
- Backtracked on the Alaska highway, then down through the rockies
- Jasper/Banff/The Icefields parkway
- Crossed back into the US in Montana
- Glacier NP then down to Yellowstone NP, then shot over to South Dakota to watch that crazy red full moon come up over the Badlands
- Blasted back over to MA

The truck:

It's a 1991 pickup I bought from this guy in Woodstock, NY in 2019. After I bought it, I did the following as maintenance:

  • General tune up: Engine/gear/transmission oil, spark plugs, air filter, etc.
  • Removed the bed, stripped and re-painted the frame.
  • New Bilstein shocks
  • Leaf springs from LCE + new greaseable shackles/bushings
  • Rear drum brakes
  • Big brake kit from LCE
  • All new brake lines
  • Front + rear wheel bearings
  • LCE header + full exhaust
  • Clutch slave + master cylinder
  • Tie rods
  • Rock defense rear bumper
  • New (used) gas tank skid plate
  • Battery
  • Some random body stuff
Some before/after pictures:

Tough to remove shackle bolts:

53411158033_8277c5ece3.jpg


Pre-paint stripping:

53410060597_46ff6af276.jpg


Summer of 2021 had a lot of time in the driveway:

53411424395_70d7c63156_z.jpg


Painted frame with some new bits and bobs:

53410059077_8210aa06c7_z.jpg


Good old New England fried seafood shack, with 31's my coworker had lying around:

53410057592_eaa6a8c72d_b.jpg



While I was in Wisconsin, before I left:
  • Timing chain guide broke: New head gasket, timing chain kit with metal backed guide, head was hot tanked with new valve stem seals, re-lapped valves, water and oil pumps, etc.
  • Rear driveshaft U-joints
  • Rebuilt the alternator with new brushes after it started failing
  • Transmission died and I had a rebuilt W56-C from Marlin Crawler installed with new clutch + flywheel.
  • 33x10.5 BFG A/T
  • Differentials re-geared to 4.88 with Revolution gears
  • ARB air locker in the rear + CKMA12 compressor under the hood
  • Probably a few others that I'm forgetting about
Canvas behind-the-seat pouch I made to add some storage:

53410070852_8bd3a3fb24_z.jpg


Camper shell I picked up for $200. It leaked, and had a plywood rear window that I added a lexan insert into so I could see out the back. This is me mounting maxtrax in my work parking lot. I was living in downtown Milwaukee so only had public surface lots to prep in.

53411323004_93579dfca5_z.jpg


Finally, the sleeping set up. It's a pretty simple wood frame that I built such that the front rests on the spare tire that's lying in the front of the bed. I got a ~$100 camper mattress, with a sleeping back and my comforter. I got some bins that slid underneath for more storage. Cooler in the back, hand-me-down Coleman camping stove. Nothing fancy here.

53411009046_165fa94308_z.jpg


And here's the truck in Rocky Mountain NP, two days into the trip.

53411165673_3888c75d73_b.jpg


More to come!

CLAM BOX!!!!

I used to have to drive 1A from Beverly up through to what used to be Cable Hospital, hook right on 133 through Essex and on to Gloucester.

On my way back, I'd split off 133/ 1A and cut through Rowley. Hit the Agawam Diner. Nice ride.

Good work on the truck. Nice that you keep an old school hard copy map book. You never know when technology will fail.
 
Glad someone recognized it - I actually went up there last weekend but it was closed and I went to Woodmans instead!! New England Clam shacks are my guilty pleasure.

In 2017 I rode my 1977 GS750 around the country on a 10,000 mile trip. My buddy took his 1977 GS550. Neither of us had smartphones yet so used one to get around for the entire trip. Ever since then I always keep it in the car. That rear seat pocket was basically designed around it lol
 
Last edited:
Alright so the first week or two of my trip was spend in Colorado. I spent a couple of days in RMNP hiking, did the scenic drive east > west over the mountain pass, and exited by Grand Lake. The national park is beautiful, I saw a bald eagle, marmots, a whole bunch of moose, etc., but I was also itching to get a little bit away from the crowds.

There were near white out conditions at the ~12,000ft summit of Trail ridge road, which was pretty cool. Also, I had to adjust my expectations for the little 2.4L 22RE at that altitude! The 22RE makes 116 horsepower - My 33" tires are offset by 4.88 gears and an LCE header, but I was stuck in second gear for most of the climb!

A break in the snow and wind near the summit:

53458393983_228d1da6ec_b.jpg


Back to bad visibility:

53458393293_ecd23de75e_b.jpg


Some moose grazing in the park:

53458712005_c526ee1cff_b.jpg


Really cleared up at lower altitudes!!

53411016066_c1f0909059_b.jpg


Once I was out of the park, I found a campspot on public land, and set up a makeshift tent with a log I found to hang out in.

53457353307_60bec6089f_b.jpg


The next day, I headed towards Denver to pop by and see my cousin. On the way down, I went through Fraser/Winter Park and had a bit of fun in the national forest. I found an awesome campsite, that I wish I had stayed in, saw a couple of moose, a black bear running across the trail, and got to test out my locker on a pretty steep/muddy hill climb.

Campsite I'll sleep at one day:

53457341187_bf2d654874_b.jpg


While I was up there taking in the view, I spotted a couple of moose and eventually heard another vehicle coming through the woods. To my delight it was another CANDY RED Toyota - a late 80's 4Runner. I hung out and talked to the owner for a bit, who had bought it in a psuedo trade for ~$1,000. He told me he used to take his Jeep out to Moab, and when he was up in some of the desert trails, would spot these tiny pools of rainwater in the mountains that had fish in them. His buddies said he was crazy but eventually he learned that this is a way that birds of prey store their food - they'll catch them in fresh water and then drop them in pools closer to the nest. Pretty cool hah.

Oh I forgot to mention and I'm guessing someone will ask at some point. Half of my photos are film taken on a Canon AE-1.

53457341192_d7aaf965f9_b.jpg



After that, I headed to my cousins, and ended up spending a couple of days also visiting some friends in Denver.


More to come...
 

RealTruck

Supporting Sponsor / Approved Vendor
This was the journey to be on! Your shots of the scenery are brilliant, thank you for sharing :)
 

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