Mystery Mondays: Overland Expo 2010

This is officially on my wish list! A tent, cargo trailer, and small enough for my Nissan to tow.

Now that tax season is over (yeah!) ESP Boss and I spent Friday south of Tucson, AZ, checking out the Overland Expo 2010. Last April was the first Expo, held in our own backyard here in Prescott.  Here’s my blog post about it.

Official Logo

We had such a great time in 2009 that for Expo Overland 2010 we got up at 4:30 am on April 16th and drove the 4+ hours to Amado to check out what was new in the world of overlanding.

I spent a VERY long day in the hot sun (WOW! Southern Arizona gets HOT when you’ve been away since college) pounding the dust to visit 100+ vendors.

Now, if you were like me last year, you’re probably wondering: “Just what IS overlanding?”

In a nutshell think about everything needed to take a backpacking (hiking) trip and the put it on wheels! At first I thought that it would be extreme 4-wheel drive vehicles but overlanding encompasses everything from motorcycles to 4-wheel drive trucks to vehicles that cost more than my house!

Overland Motorcycle with sidecar and full gear.

Close-up of critter riding on the sidecar!

Overlanding is car-camping to the extreme. It’s far more demanding (and adventuresome) that what the EatStayPlay.com “Royal” family has ever done. But it sounds like such FUN.

Take Lois Pryce, for example. I first met Lois at the Expo in 2009 when she was giving a PowerPoint presentation to her adventure (and book) Lois on the Loose. It’s fantastic! Get it on Amazon here.

Front cover of Lois Pryce's book "Lois on the Loose"

Basically, Lois describes herself as a fed up office worker in Britain who learns how to ride a motorcycle. So, she quits her job, ships the bike to Alaska and proceeds to ride, solo, from Alaska to the southernmost city of South America, Ushuaia, Argentina. All by herself!

Lois is funny, candid, and honest both in person and in print. And did I mention brave?

Another tent on top of a cargo trailer.

Another tent atop a cargo trailer.

At this year’s Expo, I visited each and every exhibitor looking for products, stories, and ideas that I could bring back to the EatStayPlay.com family. While we might not have the extreme adventures that some of the overlanders do, there was a lot I learned!

In the coming weeks, look for some guest articles from some of the new friends I made. There will be an article from Joe Bacal, cancer survivor and professional off-road racer; Mark & Brooke Stephens who blog about camping with small children; Phil Golden and Chris Nash who will be driving the Continental Divide to raise awareness for ALD (Adrenoleukodystrophy); my buddy Lance Blair from Disabled Explorers and more.

Disabled explorers was raising money to buy one of these nifty all-terrain “wheel chairs”. Check out the tank-like tread on this bad boy!

Designed to go over uneven ground.

And no, the Expo wasn’t all walking, sweat, and work! I also tried some of the equipment,

The Outdoor Princess driving the cool chair.

visited with my good friends Scott & Stephanie Brady from Overland Journal, and had lunch at the fantastic Amado Territory Steakhouse.

Lunch!

Scott & Stephanie have helped me a lot in the past year through suggesting different ways that all the “tribe” (as Scott calls it) of EatStayPlay.com have a forum where we can interact and get together. And Stephanie has always been quick to remind me to keep the “whimsy” in what we do. Stephanie, my “The Outdoor Princess” dangly orange earrings are for you!

Check out those earrings!

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