Can you spot the Differences?

This is our current rig set. How does it compare to the previous, familiar rig?


Yes, we know they are facing in different directions. We know one is in fertile Florida green land and the other in Arizona Desert. But what else?

Yes, Snowflake is dead – Long live LANDR!

The Demise of Snowflake.

Last March in Tucson we had been to shoot the very “out of place” Northern Jacana (Jacana spinosa) and were heading on I-10 to another birding spot and just before we exited “BANG” and I fought to keep control of Snowflake and pulled off onto the shoulder. We had been “rear-ended”. Needless to say Snowflake was a write-off.

Some pictures of the damage:

And as they say in films “You Should See The Other Guy”

A teenager driving his mother’s car at what must have been 90mph (we were doing 60) – his first words were “I didn’t see you”. Fortunately another car pulled up, said that he was weaving in and out of lanes at a very fast speed and gave us their phone number.

Then we discovered that we had a problem. We needed a new 4×4, HCV to replace Snowflake. We had 3 months before going to Britain for August and September and found out that we could not rent a car with a tow hitch receiver but we still needed to move the trailer separate from Tigger!

We visited the local Land Rover Dealer (previously used to service Snowflake). After agonizing over our situation, we test drove a new Discovery and were very impressed with its “off-road” capability. However there was nothing in the East coast or West Coast docks that came near to our requirements (Arizona Dealers do not tend to include Cold Weather packages) and we would be paying thousands for features we did not want. So we moved on to a Defender. Royal Land Rover said that they would have a Defender order spot in two weeks – so we spec’d our new car due for manufacture in August and delivery in September. In the mean time they suggested we purchase one of their traded in vehicles (a Toyota RAV4) and they guaranteed a buy back price at the end of July.

To keep the excitement going Royal sent a link to the ship transporting our Defender so that we could check progress. At first as it approached the Bahamas we thought an East Coast dock, but then we got to see it queue up for and pass through the Panama Canal. It was very cool!


So this is LANDR as specified and ordered by us.

LANDR and El Capitan
LANDR in Yosemite Valley
LANDR in Yosemite Valley
LANDR at Half Dome

We picked it up in Tucson on the 6th October – and just love it. The ride is phenomenal. Smooth, quiet, great acceleration and excellent cornering. So comfortable! So quiet!

We have booked ourselves the full day Land Rover driving experience in Carmel, CA in January and should be fully primed to use LANDR off-road.

So when we bump into you next (figuratively speaking) we can show you LANDR. We do plan a month or so in Death Valley NP in the New Year. Last time we were there with Snowflake, just before we left, we discovered a book in the visitors’ centre 40 Off Road and High Clearance Vehicle tours. We managed to squeeze in two tours. So we have a lot more to do.

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9 Responses to Can you spot the Differences?

  1. Gay Kelly says:

    The adventure continues! Exploring will be even more fun in your toad. Excuse me….your toad has become a Prince!

  2. Fred Schwering says:

    Glad that neither of you were injured. Enjoy your off road adventures and keep the stories and pictures coming.

  3. Jo and Frank says:

    Love your new ride. So thankful you two weren’t hurt.

  4. Bruce KAY says:

    As always you write so well. The demise of Snowflake and the birth of Landr is an interesting story. I noticed your bicycles sustained some nasty damage too.
    Once when I was working in Edinburgh we had an off-site get-together at Dunkeld. Part of the long weekend was 4-wheel-drive training in the nearby wilderness areas, using Land Rover Defenders. It was a real buzz. So I’m definitely envious of your new purchase. Enjoy.

  5. Karla Hayes says:

    Uggh! Not fun. Sorry to hear you were hit. Your new Defender looks great. May you have many great adventures with it.

  6. Judy Kelley says:

    Hi Louise and Richard,
    This has been quite an adventure. Enjoy many ‘Happy Trails’ in your new Land Rover.

  7. Nancy Mossip says:

    Wow that’s a big vehicle story! Glad it all worked out. Heading out this morning to drive to Ottawa to visit my Nunavut friend for a few days. We’re seeing Feist tonight. Talk soon. Nancy

  8. Robyn says:

    First of all, I’m glad you are ok and the only thing injured was snowflake . Then, I gotta say, boy, are you lucky to get ANY new car! Especially one for your specifics!!! Snd it’s beautiful. Many happy miles ahead!!!❤️

  9. Mike Kelly says:

    So Happy for You!

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