May 28, 2013

Overland Expo 2013

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.  photo IMG_2031.jpg  photo IMG_2038.jpg I always find myself staring the Land Rover van. It's just so darn interesting.  photo IMG_2058.jpg 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.  photo IMG_2034.jpg Not a lot of people knew that you could take out the Land Rovers or a late 90's Camry. Choices, choices.  photo IMG_2035.jpg We followed all OSHA requirements. Well, I didn't read any of their requirements, but I feel like we followed them.  photo IMG_2044.jpg It was starting to fill in with vendors and display trucks.  photo IMG_2046.jpg 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.  photo IMG_2047.jpg  photo IMG_2049.jpg 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.  photo IMG_2050.jpg 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.  photo IMG_2062.jpg  photo IMG_2051.jpg Time to start checking people in!  photo IMG_2054.jpg So pretty!  photo IMG_2057.jpg Working away.  photo IMG_2059.jpg Time for another test truck.  photo IMG_2060.jpg Home camp spot.  photo IMG_2063.jpg Even big trucks look small next to mog!  photo IMG_2064.jpg Mmmm, 130 double cab.  photo IMG_2067.jpg So far so good.  photo IMG_2069.jpg  photo IMG_2071.jpg The tires barely touched the water.  photo IMG_2073.jpg 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.  photo IMG_2076.jpg Filling in!  photo IMG_2078.jpg Mogs are always good at looking strange. Old or new. You can't stop staring at a Mog!  photo IMG_2079.jpg Good stuff.  photo IMG_2080.jpg  photo IMG_2081.jpg Some trucks look like they have some stories to tell. This is one.  photo IMG_2082.jpg  photo IMG_2083.jpg A couple of nice Campteq pop tops on display.  photo IMG_2084.jpg Local Motors Rally Fighter. Always good to see the local AZ car company at the event.  photo IMG_2085.jpg Anyone can take out their own truck or one of the new high zute Land Rovers.  photo IMG_2087.jpg Since my last truck was green I'm a sucker for green trucks. Looks great.  photo IMG_2089.jpg Lance has such a cool Suburban!  photo IMG_2092.jpg  photo IMG_2094.jpg Race mog anyone? Wow. Insane.  photo IMG_2095.jpg The Adventure Trailer's pop top for the JK's are just a fantastic setup.  photo IMG_2097.jpg  photo IMG_2098.jpg So much room.  photo IMG_2099.jpg Can't walk past a desert tan Landcruiser. Or heck, a desert tan ANY truck.  photo IMG_2101.jpg Ahhh, great green on this 80. I think it's a Lexus green.  photo IMG_2104.jpg One of the best looking trucks at the entire show.  photo IMG_2109.jpg  photo IMG_2108.jpg  photo IMG_2107.jpg 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.  photo IMG_2110.jpg Students working on a bridge.  photo IMG_2111.jpg Students driving over said bridge. Not a lot of better ways to validate you work than to trust your vehicle on it.  photo IMG_2113.jpg That's a lot of wheel and tire. Earthroamer upsize 42" tire option.  photo IMG_2115.jpg There were a lot of great dogs at the show!  photo IMG_2116.jpg  photo IMG_2131.jpg  photo IMG_2119.jpg A VW Amarok. Not a truck we get to see very often in the states.  photo IMG_2120.jpg  photo IMG_2121.jpg  photo IMG_2133.jpg Great looking old mog.  photo IMG_2125.jpg  photo IMG_2126.jpg The original mass made overlander.  photo IMG_2128.jpg Go Westy!  photo IMG_2129.jpg Phoenix Pop Up's made this great shell for Chris's new Mog.  photo IMG_2130.jpg  photo IMG_2132.jpg I did work too. Not just picture taking all day. Pulling winch cable.  photo IMG_2139.jpg Making progress.  photo IMG_2142.jpg Time for a photo shoot for the Camel Trophy guys.  photo IMG_2144.jpg  photo IMG_2147.jpg  photo IMG_2149.jpg 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!  photo IMG_2150.jpg Always fun to see each person's look on their face as the Land Rover folks took them around the course.  photo IMG_2151.jpg Going tripod.  photo IMG_2156.jpg Time for the big trucks!  photo IMG_2159.jpg They all look so darn tippy!  photo IMG_2161.jpg  photo IMG_2162.jpg Great flex on this Fuso!  photo IMG_2165.jpg  photo IMG_2166.jpg  photo IMG_2169.jpg Going UP!  photo IMG_2171.jpg The Overland Experts recovery class.  photo IMG_2172.jpg Time for the final crossing.  photo IMG_2177.jpg We were all worried that the old drums had been taking on water all week.  photo IMG_2179.jpg He's making it!  photo IMG_2181.jpg Yep, he made it. Thank goodness JK 2 doors are light!

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