Because he is a man-god, BellyDoc had Lance and I over to his home for him to work on our trucks. Not only does this save a ton of time and money, but his work is better and certainly more thoughtful than what we could get anywhere else.

For Lance, Doc designed and fabricated some nice brackets to mount an awning to the side of his Gobi rack. Once deployed, some fabric walls can be zippered on to create a small room next to the FJ. I believe this space will be the bedroom of Lance’s son Nathan on the Continental Divide Expedition.

Image credit: Nathan Blair

For me, it was a reinforcement of my front bumper. The way the bumper mounted to the frame was via a very thin plate with some bolts. After some recovery efforts using the bumper, the plate was pretty well bent and the bumper very loose and wobbly on the truck. The solution was simple and effective: a tube from the bumper right into the frame.

Lance let me play around with his D40, one of the cameras I have been seriously considering to get for the trip and beyond. Currently I am using a very cheap Fuji that has no physical view finder and an exploded screen. You can imagine this makes composing a picture sort of a random venture. Besides that, it offers no real control over focus, exposure, and the like… Playing around with the D40 was great fun and I was able to do cool stuff like this:

While checking out Doc’s work on my truck, I happen to notice some cracking in the sheet metal of the very inside of the wheel well… oops!