Overland Expo to TBEX: Redux

It’s been nearly two weeks since Camp Granola arrived back at HQ after the Overland Expo to TBEX Expedition. The re-entry process has found me falling down rabbit holes as I juggle trying to get functional in the new HQ as well as sifting through hundreds of images and six weeks of memories to share with you.

So having spent a tremendous of time on HQ since our return… you know, with all sorts of domestic fun like unpacking boxes, it’s time to pounce back into the blogging fun. I think a recap is in order to get this party started though, mostly so I can get mentally organized about how to go about getting six weeks worth of travel transformed into blog content. So here goes.

The expedition in numbers…

In keeping with my updates on the trip, here’s a final look at the trip from a statistics point-of-view:

This is the kind of abuse our poor Blubaru takes…

  • Miles: 9,746.9
  • U.S. States: 31
  • Canadian Provinces: 5
  • Time Zone Changes: 9
  • Days: 42
  • Oil Changes: 2
  • Border Crossings: 8
  • Geocaches: 59

Big numbers…

Those are some pretty big numbers in truth. My hopes of slowing down were dashed by the constant need for damage control on this journey. I’ve truly never had such a series of issues to contend with on one expedition, however, none of them were fatal to the trip. They simply made things complicated and frustrating, and the most key factor… they ate up a lot of time. Just to refresh your memory, we dealt with the likes of:

So many great moments. Walking the shores of Walden Pond with Fred and George was worth the bumps to get us there.

  • A failed tent (kind of crucial to a camping trip)
  • A drowned iPhone (kind of crucial for a blogger)
  • A cracked windshield (thanks for that one Mr. Semi)
  • Dead rear ball joints (poor Blubaru takes such abuse)
  • Getting rear-ended (which could have been so much worse than it turned out)
  • A severely busted lip (Mom’s mad first aid skills saved the day)
  • Food poisoning (ever added puking to your camping pleasure?)
  • Tropical Storm Andrea (so. much. rain.)

Big picture thoughts…

With two weeks worth of post-trip perspective, I can say it was a very good trip… but it wasn’t a great trip. I went in knowing it would be a completely different beast than last year’s totally groovy Geowoodstock to TBEX expedition. And sure enough, it was a completely different beast.

For all of the great moments, it was too many of these that seemed to set the tone of this journey.

Turns out mixing urban and outdoor travel was more frustrating than I anticipated. And trust me, I anticipated a lot of frustration. In fact I kind of dreaded it even in the planning stages but I owed George this trip, having cancelled it a couple of years ago. And doing a hybrid trip was necessary from a budget standpoint as well as a Mom’s-gonna-go-postal-if-she-doesn’t-get-a-nature-fix standpoint.

At least I’ve now officially confirmed I’m really not good at big-city travel. Not that I don’t love what big cities have to offer, especially in terms of museums and other educational opportunities, but with anything more than a small dose I lose my cool-calm-composed-zen-traveler attitude. You just have to know your strengths right?

In a nutshell…

So even a seasoned road-tripper can get spread too thin. It was a severely ambitious trip from the start but I’m a sucker for a travel challenge. I figured I should put on my big girl panties and plow into it. We still had a great time and saw fantastic things of course but it was absolutely an off-kilter trip. What would I change? How would I do things differently in hindsight? Those details will surface as this Overland Expo to TBEX series of posts progresses. It’s safe to say this trip added a lot to my travel lessons learned!

And now for your moment of green…

Franconia Notch State Park in NH was nothing short of remarkable… and many hours from an Apple store should you end up in this creek with your iPhone and need to have it replaced.


  1. Sounds like a hectic and trying journey! That’s part of the adventure and beauty of though right?

    I feel you on the zen traveler attitude. When I’m out of the city I feel like I have more room to breathe, think and compose myself. I enjoy my time in big cities, but too much of it will have me feeling claustrophobic!

    1. Yeah Pablo, this trip definitely tested me and that’s good in a way. I discovered my limit in big-city travel and now I have a much better feel for the balance I need in urban and outdoor travel. 😛

Comments are closed.