Overland Expo is always a bit of a homecoming for me. From the first one where it seemed more like a large group of friends to the latest where it's a mish mash of old friends and those yet to be friends. Over the years the amount of people I call friends or acquaintances has grown because of this event.
Sometimes the prospect of spending a weekend around 5 to 10 thousand people in khaki outfits seems daunting and unpleasant. Especially since this whole "sport" or activity we're into is about getting away from it all, including large crowds and paved roads. All that being said, I've never regretted going and working at the EXPO. It's always somehow inexplicably a great time.
I've also never left without calling 5 to 10 new people friends. Some of these friends I see once a year at EXPO and it's our time to catch up and chat, but others it's just one more of many adventures for us.
So, enough chat, onto the adventure.
So, full disclosure, I picked up a new (old) truck the day I left for EXPO. It turned out to be a great driving truck and it made the round trip to Mormon Lake. It also proved to be a good teaching aid in my winching class. Haha.
The first day I was there the Camel Trophy boys had largely finished a pontoon bridge. Last year we floated a pontoon raft with a vehicle on it and those 55 gallon drums were being reused this year for the bridge. It was time to find out what adjustments we needed to make!
Yah, just gonna need a few adjustments...
On to the trucks and bikes that were around Thursday.
I always find myself staring the Land Rover van. It's just so darn interesting.
Last year they got married at the EXPO and left on their traveling honeymoon. I asked how it was this year and their answer was "Well, it's still going of course." Now that's a good honeymoon.
Not a lot of people knew that you could take out the Land Rovers or a late 90's Camry. Choices, choices.
We followed all OSHA requirements. Well, I didn't read any of their requirements, but I feel like we followed them.
It was starting to fill in with vendors and display trucks.
So many great defenders at EXPO each year. I always get to drive Graham's around a bit and it does nothing except reinforce that one day I may just need to own one.
There were several Deuce's this year again. Such a great rig that can basically be used stock if you are willing to keep them running tip top.
It's funny. In the early EXPO years there were a lot of the soft type Roof Top tents. It seems that most have migrated to FWC, Flippac, Maggiolina type setups.
Time to start checking people in!
Time for another test truck.
Home camp spot.
Even big trucks look small next to mog!
Mmmm, 130 double cab.
So far so good.
The tires barely touched the water.
Quite an honor that they brought out one of these banners for the show. If you saw one of these during the Camel Trophy it means you'd just finished a helluva task and you now imortalized in 4x4 history.
Mogs are always good at looking strange. Old or new. You can't stop staring at a Mog!
Some trucks look like they have some stories to tell. This is one.
A couple of nice Campteq pop tops on display.
Local Motors Rally Fighter. Always good to see the local AZ car company at the event.
Anyone can take out their own truck or one of the new high zute Land Rovers.
Since my last truck was green I'm a sucker for green trucks. Looks great.
Lance has such a cool Suburban!
Race mog anyone? Wow. Insane.
The Adventure Trailer's pop top for the JK's are just a fantastic setup.
So much room.
Can't walk past a desert tan Landcruiser. Or heck, a desert tan ANY truck.
Ahhh, great green on this 80. I think it's a Lexus green.
One of the best looking trucks at the entire show.
The 5th gen trail edition 4runners are great trucks. In a few years when the prices come down a bit I can see them being quite coveted.
Students working on a bridge.
Students driving over said bridge. Not a lot of better ways to validate you work than to trust your vehicle on it.
That's a lot of wheel and tire. Earthroamer upsize 42" tire option.
There were a lot of great dogs at the show!
A VW Amarok. Not a truck we get to see very often in the states.
Great looking old mog.
The original mass made overlander.
Phoenix Pop Up's made this great shell for Chris's new Mog.
I did work too. Not just picture taking all day.
Pulling winch cable.
Time for a photo shoot for the Camel Trophy guys.
I bet I was the only person who stopped to take a pic of this truck. Just like my old 4runner. One of the things I always loved about it was that it was so unassuming!
Always fun to see each person's look on their face as the Land Rover folks took them around the course.
Time for the big trucks!
They all look so darn tippy!
Great flex on this Fuso!
The Overland Experts recovery class.
Time for the final crossing.
We were all worried that the old drums had been taking on water all week.
He's making it!
Yep, he made it. Thank goodness JK 2 doors are light!
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