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Jeff Lampe
Jeff Lampe

Jeff Lampe has been outdoor writer at the Journal Star in Peoria for 12 duck seasons. He lives in Elmwood with his wife Monica, sons Henry, Victor and Walter, and Llewellin setter Hawkeye. A native of Buffalo, N.Y., he is an avid fan of the Bills and still has mental scars from four consecutive Super Bowl losses. Outside of hunting and fishing, Lampe's main passion in Illinois was Class A boys basketball (which sadly no longer exists). Former publisher of the Class A Weekly newsletter, Lampe is a co-author of "100 Years of Madness" and "Classical Madness," both books focusing on prep basketball in Illinois.

Illinois Outdoors


A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

Illinois hunting and fishing

May 21: Picture of the Day

May 21, 2010 at 02:39 PM

No, this isn’t a depiction of nature at her finest. But somehow watching the odometer on my red Toyota Tundra roll to 200,000 miles traveled seemed meaningful enough to occupy this space.

That big rollover came this morning, shortly after I turned off Interstate 74 and right in front of the Taft Homes on Adams St. There is some irony in that, since most of my miles have come on the Interstate or—better yet—on dusty backroads. But that’s another tale.

For today, I just want to write a short ode to my trusty truck, a 2001 Toyota Tundra SR5 that’s still humming along after all this time.

I say humming along because the truck does make a lot more noise nowadays than during its prime. And yes, the Check Engine light is a permanent fixture now. I probably need new catalytic converters, but have you seen the price of those things? Wow. I definitely need new tires, a brake job, a cover for my gas cap compartment, a lock on my topper and probably about 50 other little minor repairs. Plus, a few months ago I got something in the mail about some recall by Toyota. I can’t find that sheet and it doesn’t worry me much. If something was going to go seriously wrong with this truck, it would have happened a few miles ago.

Like when the transmission went bad days after I got rear-ended on the Interstate. That accident wound up paying for most of a new transmission at 90,000 miles, which in hindsight looks like a pretty good deal.

Because all in all, the truck and I have got along very well. It rides quietly and has taken me all over the Midwest. One winter I even managed to fit The Farmer and Springer along with all three of our dogs and gear for a hunting trip to Kansas. That trip ended with an epic journey through blizzard conditions. Yet we made it home safe and sound. Experiences like that one make you feel a closeness to a vehicle. And of the three trucks I’ve owned, this one is my definite favorite.

That I was able to purchase a Toyota (even used as this one was) came in somewhat controversial circumstances. My wife was on bedrest with son No. 2 (Victor) and one day while she slept I vanished and bought the truck. Seems to me I remember her not being very thrilled about that, though there’s not much that’s enjoyable about bedrest.

All I can say now is that was a wise purchase. And I promise to check back when the old red truck passes 300,000 miles.




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