My name is Derek Brooks

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2023 was expensive, but fun

2023 was a strange year. It felt gluttonous and hard to catch up, but it was always gonna be tough to follow the year of free boi summer.

We had lots of good stateside travel, a couple annoying financial issues, and I accidentally bought a Bronco.

We hosted fewer events and I made a conscious decision to only hang with folks who also invite us to things. This turned into spending time with new sets of great people but also seeing old buddies less than I'd hoped.


We didn't get to leave the country, but did take lots of road trips and I got to see 20 states.

Last seen in Des Moines, Iowa

Recent comments

Great write up!

Planning on doing this trip in the fall. Would love the gpx file.
Can you send me your gpx file of the 7 hour plane crash route?

Wendy M Davis replied to a blog

Hey Michael, we both had Badlands Sasquatch packages with the 2.7L engines and stock drivetrains/suspensions.

Your non-sas Bronco will be perfectly fine! The only concern I had along the whole route was getting into deep water that would get into the camper... or getting into a situation where I had to reverse the trailer for a long ways. Neither of which happened.

Check water depths with a stick if you're concerned when you come up on puddles. Drive on the tops of the ruts instead of through the center of them where they look deep... and pack a chainsaw / camp saw / ax along with some loppers and a shovel just in case you need to do some trail grooming.

If you hit the trail Thursday morning, you'll have no problem getting to Mass City by noon on Friday. We hit the trailhead around 1pm on our first day and were to Mass City by noon the next day. If you started early, you could get to Mass City, or close in 1 day... depending on how much horsing around you wanna do on the way.

The nice thing about this trail is that its usually not too far from a highway... so you can always jump on pavement to make up time.

Shoot me an email (contact link below) and I'll give you my GPX file with campsites and such labeled.