Tag Archives: snake river

Teraflex Tailgate Table

094The Teraflex Tailgate Table has been on my wish list since I saw Roger Mercier of Overland Frontier fixing breakfast at the Overland Expo using a drop table like this. This is the perfect accessory for any Jeep enthusiast needing a spot to make a quick sandwich, poor a glass of wine for your “glamping” companions, or even repair an RC car on. I used mine for a cooking surface for my two-burner stove, however I’m not sure I can recommend this due to the proximity of grease, fire, gas cans, and the rest of my rig. For everything else kitchen related, it is perfect!


Carl using a hose clamp to prevent the bit drilling too far

029 041The install took about 45 minutes. For the most part it is simply placing the pattern on the inside of the tailgate and DETAILED drilling. On my 2013 JK I had to ensure that we didn’t hit any of the spot welds and also be conscious of the degrees of metal thickness. The right side of the tailgate has more sheet metal than the left. Also our drill spot on the lower left was half thin and half double metal. This caused the drill bit to walk a bit and tried to “egg” the hole instead of a neat circle. Fortunately I had Carl helping me and being the master of machinery he is, immediately detected the problem. He finished out the last hole using a die-grinder at low-speed.

You should also be aware that if not careful- your drill bit can punch through the inside wall and leave a dent in the exterior wall. Teraflex has a highly informative video out there demonstrating how they did the install and specifically point this out. Recommend you check out their video as well. We didn’t have a tool to prevent the bit from going through- so we used a hose clamp around the bit. Worked like a charm!


We had to pre-crimp some of the Zert nuts to get them to grab traction on the tailgate

One issue we found on the thinner part of the tailgate wall was the Zert nuts getting enough traction to mushroom out. Zert nuts are similar to a rivet, except once installed they will accept a bolt or screw to hold an item in place. We pre-crimped the nuts so they would grab traction on the thinner part of the wall. If you do this—it is a VERY MINOR crimp. Try installing per instructions first.055

Once the nuts were in, it was just a matter of bolting the table onto the four nuts, doing some minor adjustments to the cable, and then off to make a sandwich.

Teraflex does have a cutting board available and I recommend ordering your multi-purpose table with one. I’m watching every dime right now to get ready for our Oregon/Washington/Canada trip and Washington Overland Rally trip and even though they are not expensive, I opted to not to get one and use our cutting board out of the trailer. Wishing I had bought one now and after the rally will put that on my “to-buy” list.068 072

The rack will hold a stove and as mentioned above but for me,  I’m not keen on this idea. My first real meal came Sunday afternoon in the mining country of the Boise Mountains. I was making Tri-tip burritos using my two-burner stove and cast iron. My stove is a bit odd in the way it set up with portable propane bottles, and I wasn’t comfortable with the way it sat on the rack. Not the fault of the rack, I have an odd-set up is all. Tri-tip does have a moderate level of fat on the underside. While testing I had a small grease fire and even though nothing was damaged, looking back, with fire in close proximity to my Trasharoo and Rotopax gas can, I think I will move the stove to a safer location.

096In my second testing along the Snake River on Monday, the table was perfect for dicing tomatoes and cutting lettuce for my special back-country finger sandwiches and wedge salad. It also made a great platform in the evening as I was conducting a wine tasting complete with assortments of cheese. No I have not lost the rugged edge; I was simply providing my wife and sister-in-law with a weekend of back-country luxury.

The well entertained ladies in the back country– Good lunch, warm fire, and me performing survival tricks!


The Tailgate Table allowed me to prep all kinds of snacks and meals for these ladies in the back country…including a wine tasting! Now I just need a rack and awning for some shade!

This is a well thought-out product and a must have for any Jeeper. Contact Teraflex.com or Quadratec.com to order yours!




Snake River Canyon Scenic Byway

I woke early Saturday morning with unknown plans for the day. The threat of weather forecasters about the doom and gloom of snow coming in canceled the plans that my buddy Travis and I had made to explore the Oregon Trail Main route going from Glen’s Ferry to Boise- a back country trail. So when I awoke to partly cloudy skies and Travis sleeping in- I headed out the door to my back-up plan. With both dogs in the Jeep, electronics and survival kits tucked in their spots, a guide from department of transportation, and a cup of coffee we headed out the door for the Snake River Canyon Scenic Byway.

The Snake River Canyon Scenic Byway technically spans more than fifty miles in Southwest Idaho. I did just over 150 miles for the day. I enjoy this area because it reminds me much of what  early pioneers would have seen when they arrived to create a new life for themselves in the sage brush covered valley. Today’s rich agricultural lands and the small towns found along the byway are the legacy passed down to us by those early Idaho pioneers. I love the legacy for all of us to discover and enjoy as we drive a travel.

I did several side trips and strayed from the actual path recommended by the Idaho Department of Transportation. The first of these stops was to the Sawtooth Winery. I enjoy wine history. I think this is because when living in Europe, I had the opportunity to tour local monasteries that produced local unknown and unlabeled wines. I am by no means a wine guy, but I do love interesting stories surrounding wineries. It was closed.

Not to be dissuaded I continued south on Idaho 45 and just before the crossing at Walter’s Ferry I ventured over to the Idaho Western Heritage Byway and then to some back country trails that skirt the Snake River. I figured this would be a good place to let the dogs go play for a bit.

The trails were passable and we had the place to ourselves. We were also rewarded with the first of several Bald Eagle sightings for the day.

After the pups had a chance to run around a bit, it was time to go connect with the byway. Since I was also ready for lunch and wanted to keep the Jeep fueled, I headed to Dan’s Ferry, an old Phillipp’s 66 station where they serve some of the greasiest, yet best tasting chili in all of Idaho.

Next we traveled North and hit Map Rock Road for the beginning of the byway. We made several stops to explore along the way. Map Rock and Trapper’s flat are some of my favorite areas to stomp around in. These are better known for fishing and camping spots, but I like to hit them for rabbit hunting.

One of the attractions of the Snake River Scenic Byway is the number of orchards, vineyards, and wineries in the area. There was a particular one I wanted to visit since it was new. Located on Chicken Dinner Road is Huston Vineyards. I pulled in to have a look around. I enjoy the atmosphere of wineries, specifically when they are doing tastings. There is something about the social experience that is inviting.  Since I am driving my participation is at the observer’s level. But I do have light conversation with one of the owners, very friendly people, buy a bottle of wine for a co-worker’s birthday (a wine expert) , sample a great tasting Thai salad, and head on my way. Highly recommend visiting Huston Vineyards when you out that way.

Back on the road I observe more reflections of the past including the old Huston School building, which I couldn’t find any history or records of. Dotted throughout Southwest Idaho are buildings like that are abandoned.

The amount of wildlife can vary on this route. In fact I would be cautious if driving this early morning or late evening due to deer on the roadways. I was blessed with several hawk observations and highly recommend taking a good set of binoculars and birding book with you. Photographers take your better lenses for distance and a tripod along. I saw my second bald eagle on the route after leaving Huston perched right above an old barn. Beautiful.

After making my way down to Homedale, I took another side trip to a BLM area we call “Spanish Charlie” this is a set of trails I have done on ATV but had never ventured out on with any of my Jeeps. I love these trails because there are times in the year you can find yourself completely alone. They also take you over into Oregon, and for some reason I still find crossing the boarder in the middle of nowhere very cool. Must go back to my military roots.

The byway starts off at Walter’s Ferry and ends in Nyssa, Oregon. Since I spent the majority of the day on side trips and tours, it took me longer than the recommended time of 2 hours to complete. In fact I would make this an all day affair. I never made it to Nyssa, and instead opted out in Caldwell since it was late and I needed to get back. The guide that I ordered for free is a good starting point, but recommend a detailed map as well. For a quick look at the location of the area, check out the Idaho Byways site.

The Snake River Canyon Scenic Byway is a well woven tapestry of the things that make Idaho great including places, people, and scenic lands that encompasses the spirit of the west. Rich agricultural lands dating back nearly 4 million years ago are still found today along the byway. These were created by the fire of volcanoes that once dominated the area. In addition, there is evidence of mass flooding 15,000 years ago demonstrating the power of water as it reshaped the land from Idaho to Oregon via the Snake and Columbia River. Truly a great day trip, and when coupled with all the exploration that can be done here by linking several byways and back country trips could be an interesting 3-5 day self-supported adventure.

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Video of this trip