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My wife and I traveled to Utah recently to attend a friend’s wedding.  We had a wonderful time at the wedding and all of the events and festivities that went along with it.  It was fantastic to spend an extended amount of time with friends I haven’t seen in years, especially when they are all incredible, inspiring, motivated people.

The hotel we stayed at happened to be within walking distance of the Land Cruiser Heritage Museum.  I didn’t book our hotel because of this, but was pleasantly surprised when I saw it on Google Maps while doing a little research after-the-fact.  With free time available to us the morning of the wedding we walked in a snow storm to go check the place out.

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I have an appreciation for Toyota 4WD vehicles, having owned some form of Toyota truck or SUV my entire driving life (going on 18 years now), including the modern FJ Cruiser, so it was not a stretch for me to get excited about a museum dedicated to Toyota Land Cruisers.

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The museum itself is a totally unassuming brick building on the outside.  The only evidence of it’s existence is a logo sticker on a solid metal door.  Once you step through the door though you’re greeted with the awe inspiring sight above.  Whether you’re a Land Cruiser fan or not it is jaw dropping to see in person.  Even more impressive is that the majority (98%) of the vehicles in the building are one man’s private collection – Mr. Greg Miller.

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Since we braved the snow, Amanda and I were treated to a private tour of the place with Dan Busey, Land Cruiser expert extraordinaire.  His knowledge of all things Cruiser was as impressive as the collection itself – the man knew his stuff.

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It was amazing to me the effort that was put into the collection – the various models of Cruiser over the years and the foreign models that most Americans will never see in their lifetime – to have them all in one place is pretty special.  You can find the first Cruiser ever sold in the U.S. here as well.

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Also on site is the only vehicle to have ever been driven on every continent (Antarctica included) – it was part of the Expeditions 7 global adventure.  A short web series of that accomplishment is available on the Expeditions 7 site, I’d recommend checking it out, I can’t even wrap my head around the logistics of such a trip, I have a tough enough time planning a Cutt slam trip.

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The museum really was about all things Land Cruiser, they also host an extensive amount of toys, models, and pedal cars based on Land Cruisers.  The pedal cars looked like little death traps for children, I’m not quite sure they’d meet consumer manufacturing standards today.

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If you find yourself in Salt Lake City with a bit of time to kill I can honestly recommend going visit the Land Cruiser Heritage Museum for yourself.  Budget minded travelers will like to hear that admission is free, so go check it out and tell Dan or Kyle I said hello.

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I got a little taste of cutthroat trout fishing in Wyoming on my first trip to the state two years ago.  It was just fishing from the side of the road en route to Jackson, but it was enough to get me motivated to get back out there and try my hand at the state’s Cutt Slam program.

cuttslam_home_picWhat better way to experience the state of Wyoming than to try and catch it’s four native cutthroat species?  It didn’t take a whole lot of convincing to get Blake to come along – I think both of us have been looking for another trip out West since our trip to Rocky Mountain National Park back in 2012.

After a good six months worth of planning it was time to pack our stuff……

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and fly to Salt Lake City.  I had no idea Outdoor Retailer was this week, but several folks asked if that’s where we were headed.  No thanks, I’d rather go fishing.

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After a quick stop at Western Rivers Flyfisher it was on to Evanston.  Once there we made two more important stops – food/camp supplies and beer.

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Then we drove north.  On to the Wyoming Range, where we would hopefully have enough time to land our first cutthroat of the trip – the Bonneville cutthroat trout.

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In the interest of time we stopped off the side of the road, close to the same spot I fished back in 2012 and close to where we would be camping for the night.  We decided to fish some of the beaver complexes that looked pretty fishy from the road.

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We rigged our rods and got suited up lightning fast, the anticipation of catching the first fish of the trip was killing us.  The overcast skies started to drizzle rain, it didn’t take long to notice that fish rising in the ponds.  Blake was first on the board and fooled a decent Bonneville with a dry.

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It took me a little bit of time to knock the rust off, but I got on board as well.

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After that the fishing was on fire.  These Bonneville cutts were crushing a hopper pattern Blake had tied.

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The action was so consistent that it was tough to call it a day and walk back to the car, but we knew we still had to set up camp, which was not something we wanted to do in the dark – especially on night 1.

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It was a solid start to the trip though and felt really good to get the first cutthroat species under our belts. We’d actually be fishing for Bonnevilles again in the morning, but we were hoping the next stop would yield a few bigger fish.  For now it was time for cold beer and campfire and hopefully getting some sleep in a hammock system I’ve yet to sleep in.

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