Eleven Guys and Me – Part One…

Hmmmmm – I can hear a few mental wheels turning…..

most of the group - at the start and still clean...

most of the guys – at the start and still clean…

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….. and Me

But before you go down that particular road let me tell you – a different set of wheels were turning.  Actually – there were 28 wheels.  On 7 rigs. With 11 guys – 10 tall and over 21 plus one – very short, adorable and under 10.   And me. The self professed princess agreed to spend a week  on an overland adventure in Washington state with a group from the NW Overland Society of which my Beloved is a member and passionate overland enthusiast.  As in all my previous travel posts – what follows are my random experiences and observations – in no particular order or level of importance. It was all absolutely amazing.  Really….!

We traveled from Carson to Packwood then onto  Ellensburg ending the overland portion of the trip in Wenatchee.  (For those interested in route specifics – Here’s the Washington Backcountry Discovery Route link: www.backcountrydiscoveryroutes.com/WABDR)

The 7 Rigs - courtesy of Chris Miller

The 7 Rigs – courtesy of Chris Miller

Overland Journal defines “What is Overlanding?” as “Overlanding describes self-reliant adventure travel to remote destinations where the journey is the primary goal. Typically, but not exclusively, accommodated by mechanized off-highway capable transport (from bicycles to trucks) where the principal form of lodging is camping; often lasting for extended lengths of time (months to years) and often spanning international boundaries. While expedition is defined as a journey with a purpose, overlanding sees the journey as the purpose.”  http://www.overlandjournal.com/

I love road cruises – highway miles zipping by as I sip my latte, blast the tunes with off key accompaniment, munch on junk  – all in the comfort of my very cushy car with leather heated seats.  This was Not a road cruise. 

courtesy of Chris Miller

courtesy of Chris Miller

First – sipping anything is an art form when the rig is bouncing, jouncing, swinging from side to side, stopping and starting abruptly while negotiating rocks, ruts, trenches and all manner of obstructions.

 Gives new meaning to the term “uneven surface”.  Will and mud 3

courtesy of Chris Miller

courtesy of Chris Miller

As a passenger – I got the added entertainment on occasion of seeming to be suspended over a cliff  – white knuckled and trying to keep my comments to myself while keeping my brain busy calculating length of fall proportional to injuries sustained.  Eating just seemed like a contact sport…. 

Music was replaced with “the Comms”.  For the uninitiated – all vehicles in the convoy need to be connected via radio for safety, trail direction, hazard warnings, troubleshooting, “is every one still here?”, “tail has made the turn”. etc. 

courtesy of Chris Miller
courtesy of Chris Miller

The fun part was listening to a bunch of guys being – well – guys.  Locker room humor, potty mouths, really bad jokes and yes – picking on the blonde. Dan the Fireman just had to go there… But, this blonde held her own on the mike and gave as good as she got!  It was all in good fun…

Side note – Dan was the only one who got a flat on this trip.  Hmmmm – Who has the last laugh?? BTW- he changed that huge muddy flat in about 17 mins!changing the flat

The views and vistas were incredible.  It was really amazing to me where we were able to go in these vehicles. Never tell an off-roader “you can’t make that…”  I got “the look”…

courtesy of Chris Miller
courtesy of Chris Miller

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courtesy of Chris Miller

courtesy of Chris Miller

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courtesy of Chris Miller

courtesy of Chris Miller

Courtesy of Chris Miller

Courtesy of Chris Miller

vista Will

What boy – young, old or “of a certain age” can’t resist a mud puddle? Alas, since we were the “tail” rig – by the time we got to gun it through –  it went from water to thick mud. Momentary blindness as the windshield and passenger window was covered. Why do I need to see?  I’m not driving….  Oh, but he can’t see either!  I wish I’d have taken a shot of that but I was too busy just hanging on!!!

courtesy of Chris Miller

courtesy of Chris Miller

courtesy of Chris Miller

DSCN2641As any conscientious overlander will do – if there are obstructions on the trail – They’ll be a good person and remove it or minimize the impact to the next traveler.  Besides – it’s a great opportunity to use tools and test ingenuity.        I took the opportunity of finally not moving to read while I could.  And eat….

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Part Two – Camping rough, weather, ice caves,  potty stops, the Metro Boys and more …..  Stay Tuned!

For those interested in Pacific NW Overlanding – here is the link: http://nwoverland.org/

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