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Sorting through old adventure photos inspires many emotions, the most powerful of which is damn I want to go back. I felt this as I dug through my archive and found a stunning picture of a beautiful eastern Sierra Nevada dawn on the trail back from a camping trip at the foot of some of California’s most stunning mountain ranges. 

  • Cars: 2008 Toyota Tundra, 2008 GMC Sierra 2500HD, 2010 Jeep Wrangler Sahara
  • Location: Bishop, CA
  • Photog: Chris Rosales (IG + Twit @Chrishasacamera)
  • Camera: iPhone 7

This was after a single-day camping trip with my friends as a high school graduation trip. The trail up to our campsite was reasonably difficult for my 2WD Tundra, while the GMC 2500 and the Wrangler in my convoy were 4×4 and didn’t have many troubles. Truthfully, the Tundra had zero business going up there but momentum, a new set of K02 tires, and a youthful lack of mechanical business got it up the mountain. Also, the Tundra had a pseudo-limited slip differential via ABS.

Having my dirt bikes in the bed didn’t help the traction situation much but I sent it just as hard as I could anyway. The Tundra, with its mighty 5.7-liter 3UR-FE V8 was my high school car, and it was a proper hooligan. Many donuts and burnouts were accomplished, on closed courses of course. It also made for an incredible fire road drift truck. Uphill on a proper 4×4 trail? I was surprised it got to camp.

The way down was much nicer. All I had to do was coast it downhill, and I could enjoy my trip much more. This is one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in my life, and I need to go back. Does someone want to lend me an off-roader?

As big as we could get it:

The Dawn Trail Makes Good Memories

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