Last weekend I attended the Overland Expo at Mormon Lake, southeast of Flagstaff, AZ. It was a lot of fun. It was also very very windy. At least it didn't rain or snow.
As it was my first time, I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. Turns out it's just like all other major conference/exhibits I've attended that were in large convention centers, except this is outdoors. I was constantly overwhelmed by the number of attendees and the variety of class topics and the gear being exhibited. It was clear that I am a mere n00b in this arena. Even watching the other cars arrive and park, I was reallly impressed with the gear that they all have on their trucks. Gear I imagine that I surely need.
I was also impressed with how very well behaved all the dogs were. Many attendees brought their dogs and I only saw 2 that were misbehaving. It was nice. I was annoyed that some of the people didn't watch out for the dogs. I watched one man step on a nice Bernese Mountain dog.
I had long chats with the reps at a few booths, including Wilco Offroad, Overland Journal, Moby1, Safejack, Mastadon, ARB, and Magellan.
I didn't drive the Land Rover course. It looked very tame compared to what I drive routinely. I wasn't going to learn anything there.
I met Andrew St. Pierre White. I've exchanged emails with him previously and it was nice to meet the man. He was very polite and accommodating of all the people wanting to talk with him. He was also very surprised to have received many gifts of Coca-Cola. Last year he recorded a video while attending the Overland Expo (when it snowed and rained) and he expressed genuine joy that a stranger walked up to him and handed him a cold bottle of coke. You see, he's mentioned in some of his videos, while overlanding in Africa, that he likes that soft drink. So several people decided to demonstrate the generosity of Americans during his visit this year.
Here are some photos, in no particular order.
Here's Scott Brady's G-Wagen build.
This truck drew a crowd of visitors. It even has a toilet and shower inside!
Here's the Overland Theater just before the start of the talk about overlanding in Baja. That one was popular. I discovered that my camera automatically switches to nightime mode and the photo turned out fine.
This is the line for one particular food stall - the BBQ. It was, by far, the most popular.
The next day I arrived early and got the low-carb plate. Basically all meat. It was very tasty, even more so thanks to the hot and spicy BBQ sauce.
If you wanted free food, then Mojoe Griddle was once again cooking up sliders for anyone who stood in line.
Now that you've seen my crappy photos, you can check out the much nicer ones on the Expedition Portal web site:
- Overland Expo West: Day 1
- Overland Expo West: Day 2
- Overland Expo West: Day 3
- Overland Expo West: Mobile Abodes