So after years of reading about Overland Expo on the internet, it finally made it closer to my neck of the woods (sorta speak). The Overland Expo East was held at Taylor Ranch in Fletcher, N.C. and I had my mind made I was going to go from the moment I first read about it. As it turned out I was selected to present/teach (Wilderness First Aid) at the expo. This trip quickly was becoming a work-vacation and one I was looking forward to it for quite some time.
Since I was driving up to the event, I broke the drive into two days and stop at Crooked River State Park in St. Mary's, G.A.. There I took a day of quiet time and rest before going to the expo. I was maybe one of 4 or 5 five campers in the entire park, and it was a beautiful place to recharge and rest.
Yeap, that's a submarine right on the side of the road!
No I didn't drive with the trailer loaded like that, fire wood is the one thing I wait until I get to the park to get.
Something about that first fire you make at camp..
October 2nd, 2014 time to head up to N.C. to make the instructor's meeting at 4 p.m. and I had a 6 hour drive ahead. Once at the expo it was like a being at a giant outdoor toy store, all these amazing vehicles, equipment, but furthermore the atmosphere of excitement.
Byron and Sarah from Exploring Elements where there, and I finally met them.
After the instructor's meeting it was finally time to set camp (and meet new friends)
Gorgeous sunrise on Friday morning!
Friday morning was all business, presenting an Intro to Wilderness First Aid with Gear Shade onboard with one of their tops being used as a makeshift stretcher.
After presenting I took advantage of a few round table discussions, and classes, like the one my friend William Echols was giving on fire starting/making.
LT Wright Knives was on hand to (along with William) to sell their products, and giving demonstrations.
This being the first day of the expo I had to go and like everyone else look at all the different kind of vehicles, tent set ups, and vendors.
The campgrounds over the hill proved to be as worth walking thru as the vendors in the main area, if not more at times.
This little guy could barely stay awake long enough for a pic. this place wasn't only a good venue for people, but also for their four legged companions.
This picture was taken for my friend Derek, who could not make the expo but is an avid tent camper.
Jeeps, RTT's, and Trailers galore!!
Rovers, and other overland vehicles
Saturday morning we woke up to a brisk 32 degree weather and everything covered in frost. At first being a south Floridian, I was freezing to the bone, but as soon as I realized there was frost, it was a like a kid at a candy store, and the photo op began!
This event although at first glance may seem all about the vehicles and "toys" it really is about making new friendships, the camaraderie, love and enjoyment of the outdoors, travel and adventure while exchanging stories over a campfire. The friendships made here are the kind of friendships that will last a lifetime, regardless of time spent together, distance, or if you even cross paths again.
Breakfast at Justin's, courtesy of Dano who bought us egg mcmuffins.
Anvil Adventures club co-founder Dano deflating before a trail run.
Unfortunately while at camp with my new friends I didn't take any pictures of the memories being made over a campfire with a cold beer, unbeknownst to me one of the newly formed Anvil Adventures club member would not be on this physical world too much longer after this trip, but his new friendship, like all the other ones made would be with me for the rest of my life. This post is dedicated to all those new friends, to the Anvil Adventures club and to Alistair (Al) Farland, who was a very inspiring young man, and brought joy to all who met him.
Picture borrowed from www.gearpatrol.com
Death is temporary.
Regret is forever.