7.0+ Gigs of Toyota 4x4 and Historical Exploration Photos, Videos and Articles
This section gives a brief description of this website, it's mission and a little bit about us.
Who are you?

My name is Brian McCamish and I'm a Toyota 4x4 enthusiast, amateur industrial archaeologist, explorer,
writer, and amateur photographer, videographer and owner of
In Search of History Expeditions.

This is a personal hobby of my wife and I and we try to explore and research as much as we can in our
personal time.   We reside in the state of Oregon, so much of explorations concentrate inside Oregon and the
Pacific Northwest, but occasionally include ventures outside that area.

In addition to exploring historical sites, we take photographs and write articles about our trips as well as.  Our
explorations sometimes involve long trips into the remote back country of the Pacific Northwest and therefore
our Toyota 4x4 is modified primarily for vehicle dependent expedition travel.  A number of articles and photos
are up on the site regarding our expedition 4x4.


What is "In Search of History Expeditions"?

In Search of History Expeditions was organized with the intention to encompass all of our explorations,
articles, videos and especially this website, under one private organization and title.    We currently are not a
business and do not offer products or services for sale, but that may change in the future as we look for ways
to help fund our explorations, research and this website.  The website and its content will always remain free to
the public, but we're considering offering products with our logo, including hats, t-shirts, and stickers as well as
DVDs, especially railroad related full feature DVDs, so stay tuned.

What
In Search of History Expeditions does currently do is explore remote historical sites around the Pacific
Northwest and record those explorations on this website and well as explore, photo and video active and
abandoned railroad history and offer technical articles regarding expedition Toyota 4x4s including our own
primary expedition vehicle, a highly modified 1989 Toyota 4x4 pick-up.  All of which is recorded on this
website.


When did this website begin?

This website was born out of my interest in Toyota 4x4s and off roading in May, 2001.  It substantially grew
over the years to encompass my other hobbies, including exploring remote historical and abandoned sites
and railroad history.

Today, the site is divided up into several sections, generally covering the topics related to Toyota 4x4s and off
roading, expedition off roading, our exploration and research on abandoned and active railroads and our
exploration of other historical sites, including ghost towns, abandoned mines, mills, fire lookouts, homesteads
and more.

This website has more than 7 gigs of content, including many thousands of photos, hours of video and
hundreds of technical and historical articles of the above mentioned topics.    More is added all the time and I
have numerous updates planned, including hundreds more photos, a number of new articles and several more
hours of video.


Why is the website domain called "Brian894x4"?

If there was one thing I wish I could change it would be the domain name of the website.   Brian894x4 was a
very uncreative moniker that I quickly came up with after I joined several Toyota 4x4 related message boards
back in 2000.   Brian is, of course, my first name.   89, refers to the year of my original Toyota truck.  And 4x4
is self explanatory.   The truck has been retired and is now replaced with a 1995 Toyota Land Cruiser, so
ironically, the name doesn't even apply anymore.

When I started the website in early 2001, it was exclusively about my Toyota truck, so I just named it after the
moniker that everyone on the message boards knew me by.  I had no idea just how extensively the site would
grow and branch out to different subjects.    I would love to change the site name to something more
appropriate, like the name of our organization,
In Search of History Expeditions, but I don't because the entire
website is a subdomain of brian894x4 and would take too much time to move and rename.  In addition, the
extensive hits under the current domain name over the last few years have helped to put the site very high up
on the search engine lists, making it easier to find by people interested in the subjects covered here.   So, for
now, the site will continue to have the domain name www.brian894x4.com, but the title of our website is
officially
In Search of History Expeditions.


Tell me more about your Active & Abandoned Railroads section of the website

Our active & abandoned railroad portion of the site is the newest addition, first launching in 2003, but is also
one of the most popular and extensive sections, covering the hobby that I spend the most time with...railroad
history.   This site was launched initially covering exclusively abandoned railroad history in the northwest and
like my other abandoned site articles, included trip reports and photos about individual abandoned railroads
in the northwest.  It later was expanded to include articles on active railroads, especially shortlines and tourist
lines in the northwest.  Additional features include a video page, with many hours of free downloadable
railroad related videos.   This is a special section for me, as I spend many, many hours exploring abandoned
and active railroads, researching their history and writing about them for this website.  The goal is to cover
Pacific Northwest Railroad history as extensively as possible, especially in regards to the abandoned remains
and local active shortline and tourist railroads.


Tell me more about your Abandoned & Historical Sites sections

I've always been fascinated with abandoned historical sites, but interest was really awoken in the 1990s, when
I began to explore old ghost towns and abandoned mines of Eastern Oregon.   My interest only grew as I
learned over time how to find these sites and explore them.    Initially, I rarely took photos or had any intention
of writing about these sites.  I visited them out of curiosity.   But after initially building this site to showcase my
Toyota 4x4 truck, it became a forum for our explorations that only grew over time.  Soon, I was taking photos
and video of our trips and writing my first trip reports for this website.   With the website, our trips have taken
on an entirely new context.  Now instead of just a passing curiosity, I've set about to learn more about the sites
that we've explored so that their history can be accurately recorded on the site along with photos and other
information.

The type of sites that fascinate me the most, besides railroads, include abandoned mines and mill, ghost
towns, abandoned homesteads and other similar sites in relatively remote areas.   The greatest thrill of
exploring is discovery, so I tend to gravitate away from tourist sites and look for remote abandoned sites that
are rarely, if ever, visited.   We also explore other historical sites, such as fire lookouts, light houses and
similar sites, some of which are still currently in use.


Tell me more about your Toyota 4x4 and Expedition 4x4 sections

My original Toyota 4x4 pick up is actually what started the website.   I purchased that truck in early 2000 to
replace my car, which was just not cutting it for exploring the rough back country roads in Eastern Oregon and
elsewhere.  Having owned many Toyota cars, I knew of the brand reliability so there was no question which
4x4 I would get.  I almost immediately set about modifying it for our trips and within a year, by 2001 launched a
small website about the truck and all of my initial articles and photos focused on my truck, its modifications
and off roading in general.   In Feburary, 2007, the truck was retired and put up for sale after we purchased our
second expedition 4x4, a 1995 Toyota Land Cruiser FZJ80.

While the site would extensively branch out into different subjects, my enthusiasm for Toyota 4x4s remained
and I launched additional photos and articles about my own truck, as well as general Toyota 4x4 tech, and two
very popular sections on
Foreign Toyota 4x4s and Military Toyota 4x4s.   My motivation for launching those
two pages was that Toyota offered a number of highly capable and interesting models both to civilians and the
military that were not available in the USA, but information on these models was extremely lacking, so I
created these two sections to compile as much information as possible in one place.   Unfortunately other
sections of the website have taken my time and I haven't been able update those sections in the last year or
two, but I will add additional info and photos, when time allows.

I do continue to maintain the pages regarding my new expedition Land Cruiser, and since its modifications
are on going and will be extensive, updates will be fairly regular.


Do you tread lightly or take souvenirs from historical sites?

When exploring, we take great care to tread lightly, not disturb or destroy artifacts and we absolutely, positively
do not remove artifacts for souvenirs.   We take great pains to implore that others do the same, so that our
historical sites can be preserved and remain for future generations to explore.   On occasion, some artifacts
are recovered with permission, but only in the interest of study and research and for public display and
preservation in a museum.   We have witnessed so much destruction and theft of historical sites, that I often
feel as though our explorations are more a race against time, theft, and carelessness than anything else.


Where do the pictures on the website come from?

The vast majority of the photos and all of the video on this website were taken by myself or my wife.   However,
there are a number of photos that were graciously donated to the site by others and these photos are labeled
as such.  Additional photos from readers, for all of the sections this site covers, especially the railroad and
historical sections are more than appreciated and additional photos and information are more than welcome.
Simply
email me of if you think you have something that should be added to the site.

Unfortunately, some photos have been emailed to me and displayed on the website that didn't belong to the
emailer and I had no right to post.   Corrections have been made where found, but if you see photos on here
that belong to you that I don't have permission to post, please
email me and I will remove them immediately or
given proper credit...whichever you wish.


Can people email you and do you respond to questions by email?

The short answer is yes.  My email address is brianmccamish@msn.com

However, because this website has been blessed to be relatively popular and cover several different subjects,
I do get a lot of regular email and the result is that I'm not able to respond to each and every email.   I tend to
respond to emails that are quick and easy to answer, and put off emails that require a more complicated
response.   Unfortunately, there are occasions where I regrettably forget to respond back or lose track of the
email.   My regular job, which has a lot of overtime and my family time, leave a limited amount of free time
these days to work on the website and answer emails.   If you do not get a response in a timely matter, it is
always best to send me a second email and remind me that you've already emailed before and I will do my
best to respond and answer questions.

Every correspondence is sincerely appreciated and I will make an effort to try to get back to you.


Do you frequent any message boards or other websites?

Yes, I do frequent a few select message boards on a regular basis.   I began frequenting message boards
before I built this site and message boards allow me to interact with others that share the same interest.  I do
belong to other message boards, but the following are the primary message boards and groups I that interact
with regularly.  I post under the name
brian894x4 on all of these boards.

4x4wire
4x4wire is a board that I frequent and post to, several times daily and I spend a great deal of time here on the Toyota
related sections.   The people on this board are extra friendly and that's why I've been on the board for more than 5
years and continue to spend a great deal of time here.

Expedition Portal
This is a newer board to me, however, its right up my alley in that it deals with EXACTLY the type of travel and exploring
we do.  In additional, the board members are EXTREMELY courteous and friendly and I frequent this board daily and
post when appropriate.

IH8MUD
I just started regularly attending the Land Cruiser 80 section of this forum due to the purchase of our new Land Cruiser.
 It has a wealth of information that has immensely helped me with my research and new expedition 4x4 project.

Railroad Forums
This is 2nd largest railfan forum, so I understand and covers a lot of the subjects that my railroad website covers, so I
visit and post to the board on a regular basis.  I don't regularly visit Trainorders.com, because that is a pay site,
although I may decide to join that site on a later date.

Pirate 4x4
I'm a member of this very popular board in the Toyota section, although I've cut back how often I visit and post.  Still you
can occasionally find me here.

I'm also a member of the following Yahoo! Message Groups.  I'm a member of other message groups, but
these are the most active and regularly frequented.

4L
A group dedicated to logging and logging railroad history

northwestrails
A very active group dedicate to rail fanning the northwest

PNWR
A very active group dedicated to the Portland & Western Railroad

CORPfan
A group dedicated to the Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad


Do you have your own Message Board?

I did start a message board of my own, related to this website.   However, the board took up way to much time
to maintain, especially with spammers and hackers and although people did join and post, I was forced to
inactivate the board.   For the time being the board is inactive and will soon be shut down.  However, if time
allows in the future, I may reactivate the board.   This is the
brian894x4 message board website.


Does it cost money to maintain the website and do you accept donations?

Yes, the website does cost money to maintain as do our trips.   Of course, everyone knows that trucks,
cameras and equipment cost money, but websites and space also cost money in monthly fees, especially a
site that occupies more than 7 gigs of web space.   I've been offered cheaper or free web space, but the
reason I've chosen to stay with Yahoo! webhosting is that the service has proven to be extremely reliable,
relatively hacker free, has good customer support, large data transfer (which is critical when I have large
downloadable movies) and a large amount of additional webspace that I intend to use in the future.

I do accept donations and if you wish to donate any amount to help keep the website online, please visit my
donation page.  All donations are truely appreciated.   Future plans to fund the site and our explorations will
likely involve selling a few items on this website with our logo to those interested as well as current and future
railroad videos, which are very popular, sold on full feature full resolution DVDs.  As one can imagine, this is a
very expensive hobby, but we find our hobby very rewarding and it is our hope that we perform some sort of
public good by exploring and reporting these historical sites and railroads and will continue to do so by
sharing as much information as possible about these and future historical sites.


Final Notes

This website and our explorations is a huge hobby for us and I expect to continue to expand it and our site for
many, many more years to come.   I try to update the website all the time, so please check back on a regular
basis if this site and the subjects we cover interest you.   I can assure you, I have MANY updates planned and
could spend months updating the site with new articles, photos and video, if I didn't visit a single other
historical site.  So there will be a lot more to see in the coming months.

Thank you very much for visiting and I sincerely hope that you enjoy the website.

Brian McCamish
Gresham, Oregon USA
Email
Below are Frequently Asked Questions about us and our website.
Copyright © 2001-2007 Brian McCamish,  All Rights Reserved
Last update: February 17, 2007