So now that I’ve finally finished chronicling the Overland Expo to TBEX trip… it’s time to set out on another journey.
On Tuesday, May 13th, I’ll be heading out to Overland Expo once again. It will be the kick-off destination of another 10,000-mile(ish) road trip. As we well know, a trip of this scope lends itself to major changes along the way but here’s the skeleton of what I’m hoping to do.
It would be far too simple to actually explore just the Pacific Northwest, right? So again I find myself with a 2-stage journey…
This will be my solo stage of about two weeks when I get to do the things that are harder to do (or damn-near impossible) with Fred and George in tow. Think lots of uninterrupted photography and hiking.
- Overland Expo at Mormon Lake, Arizona: a few days expanding my travel knowledge with people far more experienced than I am… and maybe some fun with fellow travel enthusiasts.
- Sunset Crater, Arizona: When I last visited over 4 years ago, I was only just beginning to discover the joys of photography. I’ll be returning with infrared camera in-hand to get my photo-nerd on for a couple of days.
- Great Sand Dunes, Colorado: I’ll be revisiting one of my favorite places in the world. This place fills my soul and I’ll be there solo for the first time ever. I’m giving myself a week to soak up the magnitude and beauty.
This portion will run the last 4(ish)-weeks of the expedition with the following, very tentative, route:
- Denver: Fred and George will be flying into Denver on May 29th and from there we’ll cover some major ground.
- Utah: We’re hoping to take a spin through Arches and by the Great Salt Lake.
- Idaho: A visit to southern Utah, hopefully including Craters of the Moon National Monument.
- Oregon: We’ll head west through southern Oregon before turning northward along the coast(ish).
- Washington: Continuing north, we’ll move towards Seattle and fulfill George’s dream of visiting Geocaching.com HQ among other things.
- British Columbia: Vancouver, Glacier National Park, and whatever else we manage to work in.
- Alberta: We’re hoping to cross the Rockies towards Calgary and discover what we can along the way.
- Manitoba and Saskatchewan: In the final days of the trip, we’ll explore the southern reaches of these Canadian provinces as we geocache towards home.
In the Overland Expo to TBEX Post-Mortem, I talked about the things that went wrong and the changes that need to be made. I can’t control the weather and unexpected hiccups that gave us so much trouble last go-round but I hope I have enough presence of mind to handle them with more travel savvy. Here are a few things that are different this time around:
- We aren’t tied in to a schedule: Last year I had specific dates to be at Overland Expo and TBEX (over 2,000 miles from each other…). I have a big push to get to Overland Expo this year but after that, everything is flexible and I’m not locked into a time-table.
- Limiting Fred’s travel: Part of the design of this trip was to keep Fred’s travel to four weeks. He’s a good sport but being on the road for that long is not his idea of a good time.
- Return to base-camping: One of the successes of the Geowoodstock to TBEX trip was our ability to camp out in one spot for many nights and take day trips from there. Overland Expo to TBEX was supposed to be the same but the weather and other difficulties decided otherwise.
- Backroads: Aside from the push to get to OX at the beginning of the trip, I’ll return to the slow travel of backroads. Getting off the interstate not only sets the mellow tone for the journey, it also makes geocaching stops easier as well as finding cool, off-the-beaten path travel gems.
- Pinterest: For the first time, I’m using Pinterest as a planning tool to keep track of potential stops. It allows each of the Camp Granola crew to contribute ideas and keep track of them easily.
- Better starting conditions: You may not recall but I went into the OX to TBEX trip thoroughly exhausted. In the two weeks leading up to the start of that trip, I closed on and moved into the Camp Granola HQ, left the next day for Tremont to complete my naturalist certification, came back, celebrated Fred’s 13th birthday, packed like a maniac, then drove over 1800 miles in two days to make it to Overland Expo on time. To be completely honest, I think it was a huge factor in never truly finding a good groove on that trip.
Keep in touch…
There will be lots of Instagramming, blog posts, tweets (#PNWtour), and all that so follow along as I set out May 13th…