Field Dispatch: Winter 2014

With winter’s chill slowly working its way towards Overland Journal’s headquarters, we wrap up yet another amazing year of travel. From the far corners of the globe to our own backyard, we have found adventures big and small, all of them reminding us why we do what we do.

In this issue of Overland Journal, we catch up with Expeditions 7 once again, this time amidst the shifting sands and exotic wildlife of Africa. Known for his skills with a camera, Bruce Dorn can also spin a good yarn and his accounting of the African leg of the expedition is a captivating and humorous read. For those with an appetite for two-wheeled adventures, Bill Dragoo’s story from the rugged tracks of Utah’s high desert will keep you on the edge of your seat. We also take readers to the speckled light of the Costa Rican jungle for a unique look at fly-and-drive vacations designed to remove much of the logistical challenges from overland travel. In our latest gear review, we test the best water containers on the market, and take a closer look at gear for extreme weather.

Our Winter 2014 issue promises to be another great read, a fitting end to a great year on the road. We hope your year has been one filled with new experiences and rewarding travels.

From all of us at Overland Journal, we wish you safe travels.

 

Expeditions 7: Africa

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A pack of African wild dogs trotted directly towards us. Absolutely alert, they moved with that easy, ground-eating pace that typifies a pack of totally focused predators on the hunt. Our safari driver swiftly braked in hopes of creating a steadier camera platform for us. The dogs flowed around the vehicle as easily as a mountain stream around a boulder: the first dog split to our left, the second to our right, the third to our left. And so it went until all 22 had passed us in utter silence. Once the canine hunting party was safely clear, our driver whipped us through a quick, three-point turnaround and we began to shadow the dogs from a discrete distance. – Bruce Dorn

 

The Kokopelli Trail by Motorcycle

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We are on the Kokopelli Trail between Grand Junction, Colorado, and Moab, Utah. It is day two of a multi-day ride and we’re just a few miles into the trail. The first 20 miles of this route, which begins near Fruita, Colorado, are single-track and reserved for bicycles, but the remaining 120 miles, plus or minus, are open to motorcycles, quads, and four-wheel drives. I am fairly certain that machines this big weren’t factored in when God created this terrain. – Bill Dragoo

 

Coasta Rica

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We had picked Costa Rica because it offered a nice combination of nature, wildlife, and security. Because we were traveling with our four-year-old daughter, Elin, safety was a key concern. Costa Rica was our second attempt at overlanding with our child. Though everyone says having children will change your life, the effect is tenfold if you are an active, outdoorsy person. When our daughter was only one year old, my husband Cyril and I set out on a mission to prove that family vacations didn´t have to entail resorts brimming with screaming kids and swimming pools with dubious water quality. We packed everyone and everything (including our German Shepherd) into the Defender and did a road trip from our home in Guatemala to the Western United States. On that first trip we invented and regularly used the acronym HOE, short for “Hell on Earth.” The fact that it took three years to plan the next trip pretty much sums up how it went.  - Åsa Björklund

 

Expedition Portal Continues to Grow

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Milestones are meant to be celebrated and this month marked a significant turning point for Expedition Portal. The digital arm of Overland International, Expedition Portal’s highly regarded forum community just recently pushed past 100,000 members. A decade after its inception, Expedition Portal continues to evolve as the definitive online resource for all things overlanding. Whether researching route information, sharing in recent travels, or just tapping into the latest overland news, the 100,000 members of Expedition Portal are the secret behind its success and we can’t wait to see where the next decade will take us.

www.expeditionportal.com

Adventure Photographer: Jacob Blick

It is all too easy to get consumed by the notion that adventure photography is best pursued in far away lands, the subjects exotic and unique. Photographer and overlander Jacob Blick proves that the most moving of images can be found on any outing, even those close to home in familiar surroundings. Able to extract the saturated nuance of something as simple as a darkened campsite or birds on the wing, Jacob has a gift for capturing the beauty of almost any scene. His images inspire a sense of adventure, and that is if anything––high praise.

www.finwoodphoto.com

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