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Digital Subscriptions > Tread > Tread Jan/Feb 2020 > THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

Jonathine Salas’s Daily Driven, Spick-and-Span Fifth-Gen 4Runner
IMAGES BY JAMES SANNY

When most people think of Kansas, they don’t quite think of beautiful terrain and challenging trails; usually it is more of a Wizard of Oz-type of joke or tornado reference. However, those who have spent time in Jonathine Salas’s home state of Kansas know what it really has to offer—vast, open terrain with a variety of scenic options complementing a beautiful sunset basically every single night. While there may not be any mountains, oceans or large forests nearby, Salas could drive you a few hours in any direction from his home in Wichita, Kansas, and lead you to believe you have changed states. Don’t believe us? Come through town and hit him up. You will be in for a treat.

With a strong passion for all things automotive, Salas’s interests do not only reside in the off-road world. From heavily modified imports to classic cars, he has had experience in just place unlike any other in the Midwest. With limestone, chalk and shale formations that were actually under the Cretaceous Sea over 60 million years ago, it is quite the place to set up camp under the stars for the evening. Clear skies are quite an understatement when in Kansas; we’re talking stars that light up the entire sky as far as your eyes can see. Setting up his RTT and Expedition Essentials propane grill for a relaxing evening is no challenge in the Badlands with Salas’s Rigid ditch lights and Ignite roof rack lights though. Giving all the visual assistance one could need, pulling some steaks or burgers out of his Roofnest refrigerator is a cake walk. Did we mention his off-road trailer also houses not one, but two yellow top Optima batteries? Leaving no chance to accidentally drain down his rig’s battery, Salas can listen to music, light his campsite and even charge electronics without relying on his Toyota’s power source at all. In addition to that, if the urge emerges to push out farther than he wants to explore on foot, he can disconnect the trailer, leaving camp fully set up and functional while driving the about every area of vehicle you can name. On top of that, outside of his career in the aircraft industry, he runs a very successful detailing shop out of his garage doing everything from simple buffing to ceramic coating. That is an important fact for people to know considering his 4Runner almost always spotless. It’s not from a life of pavement pushing; after hitting the trails, he meticulously and religiously cleans and polishes his truck more frequently than anyone in his area. No wonder that custom For Tuxedo Black paintjob really shines— all the time. But really, if you ever become his friend, you will notice the monotonous pattern of traveling 12 hours to hit the trails, only to return to his driveway where he washes away buckets of sand and dirt from his Toyota. The man is a glutton for punishment, it seems.

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Tread Jan/Feb 2020