Photos Credit: Barry J. Holmes
Day 1 – Final Preparations
Where do you go to meet other overlanders from all walks of life driving every make and model off rig while actually learning, on the trail, how to navigate a wide variety of terrain? The Overland Bound Off the Grid Rally held each year the last weekend in September! This year was a great turnout! We limited the event to about 70 rigs and 120 people so we were still able to connect and share stories and ideas with most people.
On Friday, after I drove Chris Solis’ Camel Trophy Defender 110 to the event (grins), we reconnected with our core group of volunteers who were there a day early for final prep, visits, and planning. These individuals supported the event with their time and Off the Grid could not have happened without them. From assembling “Swag” bags, hanging signage, leading groups on the trail, offering 101 intro classes, and making sure attendees were properly registered and had all the information they needed, they worked tirelessly behind the scenes make sure the event went off without a hitch (or a winch).
The next morning, Friday, was “Day 01” of the event. People would begin arriving at noon, so the trail group leads took off early in the morning to prerun the trail. Each year the trail is prerun to see the current state compared to the year before, to see if there are any new obstacles the group leads would need to be aware off. It’s also a hell of a lot of fun! The trail was in great condition and we enjoyed every minute.
At the top of bald mountain, we took some time to take in the view, visit and have some much needed lunch. The prerun happens at a fast pace, and when your overlanding includes technical trail navigation at altitude, you use more fuel, need more food, and more water than you would expect. After refueling ourselves, we headed back down the mountain to help with registration.
Upon arrival we were greeted by a line of overland rigs. It was a site to behold with cars from every make and manufacture. The team went to work, locating each vehicle in their location, and providing an bag of goodies including the annual Off the Grid Rally t-shirt, instructions, an event agenda, and all the information required for the weekend.
After folks were settled there was an awesome gear scavenger hunt (using only your kit), a couple of 101 Driving courses for beginners, and the first annual “Skottlegeddon” cook off using the Tembo Tusk Skottle only! The stakes were high with the grand prize being a Skottle, and the food was absolutely fantastic.
We finished the first day of Off the Grid Rally Event by gathering around the campfire, visiting, and discussing the events about to unfold in the following days. It was a great start to an awesome event.
Stay tuned for Part II of the Off the Overland Bound Grid Rally!