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Old 08-07-2020, 02:14 AM #1
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Drummond Island Report

Just got back from a few days up in Drummond Island, MI. Spent 5 days up there roaming the trails and hitting some of the northern Great Lakes beaches and scenery.

For those that are unfamiliar, this is a fairly large island located off the eastern tip of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in Lake Huron. It's pretty remote feeling, to say the least. Cell service was non-existent on large swaths of the island, including on 90% of the trails we covered. No internet access at the cabin we rented either. The combination of which resulted in some planning challenges, to say the least. It also made Google Maps essentially useless, and required offline downloads of any maps you want on a cell or tablet. My Pioneer's navigation saved us after Google took up down a dead-end road and then had no connectivity to plot a new course.

This is the second time I've had myself, and the 4Runner, off road. The first was a trip to Silver Lake Dunes last year at this same time, so for all practical purposes this is my first time off road on a trail. I believe that goes for everyone riding with me. There were 4 adults and a 2.5 yr old in the 4Runner for the vast majority of the trip. I also had no effective spotter, so combined with rolling solo this limited our "Send It" mentality quite a bit for the first 3 days.

The trails were super fun, and a bit more challenging/intimidating than I was expecting from watching videos. They are composed of an endless rotation of water and rock. A few big step sets to go up and down that I was totally not expecting and had no idea how to handle initially, sorted it out though. Banged the skids 3-4 times, once pretty hard on some steps coming down, and the sliders actually got used to slide on a rock... imagine that.

4Runner is a 2019 TRD Pro, basically stock outside of sliders/skids/diff breather.

Threw together a compilation video that sums it up better than I can.

By all means, criticism is welcome, this is the first real time putting rubber to rock, everything for me thus far has been pretty much on paper.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yp7NIDNpJtE&feature=youtube
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Last edited by Sp00ner; 08-07-2020 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 08-07-2020, 01:03 PM #2
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Nice job on the video.
I would do those roads in the winter on a sled at probably 50-100mph.
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Old 08-07-2020, 06:57 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichinRidgewood View Post
Nice job on the video.
I would do those roads in the winter on a sled at probably 50-100mph.
Hey thanks! First time trying to throw together a compilation like that.

I can totally see people screaming around those areas in winter. The ATV/UTV/SxSs were flying around there pretty good as is. The threat of running over a group of them is what kept my speed down the most once I had some confidence to open it up a bit more on the gravel road sections.
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Old 08-07-2020, 07:05 PM #4
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Few other observations:

Really got to test out the different off road modes/buttons/settings etc.

Crawl Control was pretty nice in the long slow areas full of big and small rocks, especially a couple long decents and a long uphill on wet rocky terrain.
A-trac makes a huge difference when it's on, if you watch the video that's what I flipped on to get up the steps that my buddy filmed vertically... walked right up em once I turned it on.
Rear Locker took forever to engage and disengage a few times, but I really only 'needed' it like 3 times.

For this area, it sure could use an inch or two more lift and tires, although I could definitely pick better lines. Coming from sports cars I was having a hell of a time trying to judge what I could clear and what was too tall. In the end I took 3 hits (I think). Two on the lowest skid (RCI TRD Integration Skid) and one on my OEM gas tank skid. I actually dropped hard onto my transmission skid a bit coming down the big steps, I think a better line, or possibly just rolling off the steps slower woulda solved that.

Long story long, needs driver & spotter mod, 4Runner wasn't really challenged by anything I ran through.
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Old 08-09-2020, 07:38 AM #5
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Very nice! Itís funny how YouTube videos make it seem much easier until you get there.
I missed Drummond this year, but there are so many ORV and forest roads in the Eastern UP, I at least got a chance to get out a little.

Did you do the off road park on Drummond?


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Old 08-10-2020, 08:29 AM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NW.OH.T4R View Post

Did you do the off road park on Drummond?

Negative, had plenty to do without hitting the park. Did a good bulk of the trails that were not marked '4x4 challenge' on the map.
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Old 08-10-2020, 09:25 AM #7
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Looks like a good time. Where did you stay while up there?
Nice music choice, love CM
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Old 08-10-2020, 10:10 AM #8
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Quote:
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Looks like a good time. Where did you stay while up there?
Nice music choice, love CM
The Froelich Cabin, part of the resort. It was a death trap for our 2.5 yr old, but we rigged it up to be 'safe', very cool cabin though if you dont have a tiny human in tow.

Almost had to burn it to the ground on the 2nd day when a spider the size of a small dinner plate was on the outside of one of the windows...
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Old 08-10-2020, 01:51 PM #9
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Quote:
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Looks like a good time. Where did you stay while up there?
Nice music choice, love CM
Not on Drummond, but on the Eastern part of the UP, I would recommend Spring Lodge in Cedarville. The cottages aren't 5-star, but are nice and the staff is great. They also offer boat rentals.
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Old 08-22-2020, 11:34 AM #10
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Man I've got a stock 16 Limited and have always wanted to get up there. How do you think it would fare?

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Old 08-28-2020, 03:19 PM #11
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This is great! My brother and I just booked a cabin in Oct. He has a FJ cruiser and I am in an 02 4runner. This is exactly what I hoped for. Some good trails and exploring. I have never been. So I am really looking forward to it! I have also wheeled at the dunes.

Video is great! Getting me excited!!!!
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Old 08-31-2020, 09:15 PM #12
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Pictures & videos never give an accurate representation of what it's like in person. Nice job taking on Drummond solo!
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Old 09-01-2020, 12:29 AM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbm112 View Post
Man I've got a stock 16 Limited and have always wanted to get up there. How do you think it would fare?

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What we did was right at the limit of my comfort in this stock (mostly) TRD Pro combined with my inexperience. That being said, I have almost zero offroad experience. Someone else in my ride might have just lol'd their way up and down the whole thing.

All that being said:

Ground clearance was an issue a few times, be that bad lines, or large rocks in bad places. Hit my skids (mostly the lowest one up front) 3-5 times, and dropped onto my transmission skid pretty hard coming down the steps, if you watched the video and turn the volume up on that part you can hear the hit, and had one instance where I had to actually use my rock slider as, ya know, a slider.

Honestly, the worst part was trying to figure out what trail difficulty was for each segment, the ratings were all over the place, and water level makes some area go from trivial to impassible based on time of year and rainfall.
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Old 09-03-2020, 09:01 PM #14
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Looks like fun.

I think you did just fine. Figure that's what you bought the skid plates for.
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