Olivia and her FJ Cruiser met in the summer of 2007 while she was attending Ohio State. The FJ served mainly as a means to get to and from class, and the ice rink where she played Division I. During the summer months, her hockey commitment was at a minimum and Olivia enjoyed trips camping and fishing near the Columbus area. After graduating, Olivia and her boyfriend, Ben, packed the FJ and headed west to Colorado, to satisfy their love for the Rocky Mountains and the FJ's true potential. So thoughtful!
Deep in the Texas hills where rural communities flaunt rustic décor and pickup trucks are the primary means of transportation, the 12th annual Lone Star Land Cruiser Round Up entertained 163 people during four days of sunny spring weather. A jaunt around the campground reveals a truck variety spanning crawlers, expedition rigs, and low-tech Land Cruisers. Despite taking place at an off-road park, some attendees choose the path of Land Cruiser preservation over a dirt path. As an open event, other Toyota 4WD trucks are in the mix, but Land Cruisers account for the majority.
To some of you, Rokmen Offroad may seem like a new name, however, these guys are anything but new to the off-road industry. Dave and Jeff have nearly 30 years of combined off-road industry experience and bring with them over a decade of high quality fabrication and knowledge to the Toyota market.
Over the years Rokmen has made a name for themselves in the Jeep market by providing high quality, high performance suspension components, armor and many other aftermarket products over a wide variety of Jeep platforms. Looking to spread their attention to detail and pursuit of providing high quality products for competitive pricing, Rokmen has begun to spread their reach into the Toyota, Dodge and Ford markets.
I had a chance recently to meet up with Dave and Jeff who are the master minds behind Rokmen Offroad to dig a bit deeper into what makes Rokmen stand out among the ever increasing crowd of aftermarket manufacturers.
Around the same time Dave’s chocolate Lab was brought into this world, Dave and Jeff gave life to Rokmen Offroad. What started with an engine swap back in 2002, Dave and Jeff have been building their business to become a successful Colorado based fab shop and nation-wide manufacturer of high quality products for a variety of vehicle manufacturers in the off-road market.
When asked why Dave and Jeff decided to make the move from their well-established place in the Jeep industry, they mentioned that the overall goal is to provide high quality products to the “average Joe,” for reasonable prices. They want to make sure that their customer, no matter the make or purpose of their vehicle, has the components necessary to build a functional and reliable rig.
Forged in Colorado, Rokmen uses 7075 aluminum, which has nearly double the tensile strength of the more common 6061 aluminum, and in turn, brings added strength to their ever expanding product line. CNC machined with quality hand polished finishes, Rokmen ensures their products don’t just look good, but also meet their high standards set after set, for every product offered. For their suspension components, Rokmen has teamed up with Currie and are utilizing Johnny Joints in their links for Jeep, FJ Cruiser and 4Runner platforms.
What sets Rokmen apart from the rest of the crowd? “Our passion is in our products.” Dave and Jeff are able to pay close attention to the details that distinguish a good product from a high quality product. “It’s the little things” Dave mentioned, that keeps him continually looking to better their products, picking apart their own products, always looking for ways in which to make them better. Their quality control allows them to offer the same high quality, time and time again, giving the customers a product they can rely on for years to come.
Even though Rokmen has been expanding greatly into the manufacturing side of the industry, they still haven’t left their roots behind. Each time I go back to their shop, they always have a full bay full of customer rigs looking to get the Rokmen touch. Dave is the mastermind behind many of the CNC productions, while Jeff works his magic on the many build projects that come in and out of the shop.
What can we expect next to come out of the Rokmen team? With the help of key partnerships around the industry like Toytec Lifts, they will continue to push themselves to provide high quality products for your next project; helping you build a functional and reliable vehicle for both on and off-road domination. With no need at this time to expand vastly, Rokmen plans to remain a small Colorado fab shop while leaving a large footprint on the market, offering high quality manufacturing for their industry partners. With their eye on creating their own shock component line, A-arms and link joints for a variety of Toyota platforms, keep an eye on these guys as they’ll be bringing some magic to the market that we’ll all want to get our hands on.
Follow Rokmen’s journey on Facebook and check out more on their company and products atwww.rokmen.com. Rokmen’s craftsmanship can also found onwww.toyteclifts.com and Toytec’s ever growing product base for our Toyota Cruisers and Trucks.
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Distance to the Old Fossil Creek Dam via Flume Trail: 8 miles
Elevation change: 1280 feet
Time: Allow 2-3 hours each way time to swim and explore the falls.
Water: No potable water available. Water can be filtered from the creek.
Travel north on 1-17 to Camp Verde. Head east on AZ Highway 260 for about 7 miles to a well-marked sign for Fossil Springs Road (FS road 708). Proceed 16 miles on rough dirt road to the Irving Flume
High clearance vehicle recommended. Road may be impassable during wet weather. Car possible when conditions are dry.
Spring, Summer and Fall
Camping is free. The sites are mostly pullouts along the road. Dispersed camping along the FS road 708
Camping is allowed downstream of Fossil Creek Bridge if your camp is at least 100 feet from the edge of the creek. Camping is also allowed upstream of the Old Fossil Creek Dam
Camping is prohibited within a quarter mile either side of Fossil Creek from the Old Fossil Creek Dam downstream to Fossil Creek Bridge
Map of area and current regulations from USDA.gov:
Why this hike?
Fossil Creek marks the true definition of what an asis is meant to be. This dazzling riparian springfed creek is made possible by a group of springs that pump 72degree crystal clear water to the surface at a rate of 20,000 gallons per minute.
This wide and steep canyon produces paradise at the edge of the Colorado Plateau
near the Mogollon Rim. This is one of the most diverse ecosystems in the state of Arizona. The native desert shrubs and cacti are joined by more than 30 species of trees and serve as a retreat for abundant wildlife.
The area hosts many recreational activities including hiking, backpacking, climbing, kayaking, swimming, canoeing, rafting, horse packing, bird watching, star gazing and of course the ever important solitude.
Themade this oasis one of the most unique and possibly the most abundant spring systems in the state of Arizona.
On The Trail
I arrived my campsite hours before the sun rested for the evening over the shoulders of the mountains in the Coconino National Forest. It left enough time to explore the surrounding creeks under the Fossil Springs Bridge and view the cotton candy skies that make Arizona one of the best places in the world to view a sunset.
A night of rest in the five billion star hotel that hosted some brilliant star gazing opportunities allowed for a leisurely start to the morning before heading out on the Flume trail.
Nine a.m. was a perfect time to begin the trek to the Old Fossil Creek Dam. The flume trail begins with an immediate crossing of the creek to the west side of the water. It continues up a slope along the rocky old flume road. You keep trekking along this arid high desert trail that panoramic views from 600 feet above the canyon. This route faces south and with temperatures in the summer reaching above 90 degrees it is ideal to visit in the spring or fall. The summer months bring massive amounts of people and can cause closures due to the crowds. With the water at 72 degrees it is perfectly slated for a springtime adventure.
There are several opportunities to take refuge in the shade offered by the wise old sycamores and box elders. The sun is warm enough to keep you constantly thinking about the pools this riparian oasis has to offer below. When you have that last mile to trek and you begin to constantly wipe the sweat from your brow you get a glorious glimpse of the gem below waiting for you as a bounty.
Once you drop down onto the shaded shoulders of the creek there are small travertine dams and falls all along the creek babbling and encouraging you to take a dip into the mineral laden water.
chools of chub swimming in the ponds along with the endangered Chiricahua leopard frogs and canyon tree frogs leaping into the water an example of how it should be done.
Once you arrive at the Old Fossil Creek Dam you can spend all afternoon jumping into the many pools marveling at the butterflies, damselflies and birds relaxing in the sun on a slab of rock swimming or enjoying the soothing sounds of the many
falls that all along the creek.
At some point you have to leave this oasis to its permanent inhabitants and thank them for allowing you to visit then tackle the task of the four-mile hike back to the bumpy road that leads to the hot asphalt streets of civilization.
Keep in mind during this dirt filled and reality stricken trek back that there is one last chance to splash around in this terrific sanctuary at the creek crossing where you began this tour.
There are many other incredible sights and trails in this wilderness he maximum camping allowed is 14 days. Take some time and visit the area for a day or a week just be sure you leave no trace when you do.
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Beau is our Editor in Chief and co-publisher of LivingOverland.com.
He's an avid outdoor enthusiast who enjoys exploring our National Parks, fly fishing, camping, rock hounding, and hunting. He lives in Wyoming where he is minutes away from the great outdoors. Beau and Krista love to cook; share meals and a glass of wine with friends and family at home or on the trail. He is passionate about travel, the outdoors, and the outdoor lifestyle.
See everything Beau & Krista are doing at LivingOverland.com
The weather was....not perfect, yet the Toyota Cruisers & Trucks crew managed to capture amazing coverage of Overland Expo West 2015!
Despite rain, snow, wind, and mud...plenty of mud, we met friends new and old, shared stories around propane campfires, socilized during happy hours, attended classes, and had one heck of a time gathering amazing Overland information for our readers.
It's here, so make some time to read this amazing issue of Toyota Cruisers & Trucks Magazine cover to cover!
Our team has gathered some of the best articles you'll see this year for our April 2015 issue, including:
You can also get TCT delivered straight to your iPad or iPhone via the TCT Magazine app. At just $2.99 per issue, or $9.99 for an annual subscription, it's the best way to experience Toyota Cruisers, Trucks, and SUVs. We include videos & slideshows for many articles, and everything is fully interactive!
We're also excited to welcome a new sponsor for this issue: Give a warm welcome to XVenture Trailers!
To get your copy of the
April 2015 issue:
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Ironman 4x4 has been touting their new Foam Cell Pro shocks for some time and Excop Offroad was the first in the US to get our hands on them to put them through their paces to see if they will live up to the hype.
The Ironman 4×4 Foam Cell Pro shocks are designed to meet punishing demands of the outback while delivering a comfortable on-road ride. Extensive research and development by the Ironman 4×4 team went in to making this new line the strongest shocks for the money. Instead of Nitrogen gas charged shocks, Ironman has replaced the Nitrogen with a foam cell product that is designed to provide a more consistent and predictive ride quality.
Dennis very much enjoys modding his FJC, his first real 4x4, and getting it ready for adventures in the great outdoors.
You’ll find him warming up to a camp fire with friends and family whenever possible. He has a keen eye for photography and graphic design.
This issue is about a week late, but no apologies from us! We're very excited to be the first publication to send out full coverage of the all new 2016 Toyota Tacoma! Of course, that's not all there is to the January 2016 issue....our editors and contributors have put together one of the best issues we've ever seen!:
You can also get TCT delivered straight to your iPad via the TCT Magazine app. At just $2.99 per issue, or $9.99 for an annual subscription, it's the best way to experience Toyota Cruisers, Trucks, and SUVs. We include videos & slideshows for many articles, and everything is fully interactive!
We're also excited to welcome a new sponsor for this issue: Give a warm welcome to A.R.E.
To get your copy of the
January 2015 issue:
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