Stephen was born and educated in Boston and has lived in Magdalena, New Mexico, for over twenty years. He has traveled extensively in Europe, Africa, and especially Asia. He has been an editor at publications as diverse as English Literary Renaissance and Gray’s Sporting Journal, where he wrote a book review column for twelve years. His articles, essays, and stories have appeared in publications as diverse as The Atlantic Monthly, Smithsonian, the LA Times Magazine, Northern Lights, Double Gun Journal, and Simple Cooking, as well as in literary quarterlies. His most recent book, Eagle Dreams, is about the Kazakh horsemen of Mongolia. An excerpt, published in The Atlantic, is included in the anthology The Best American Travel Writing 2002. He travels as often as he can afford—which is not as often as he wishes—in Central Asia and the former Soviet Union.
Tom is a consultant for Land Rover and a professional off-highway driver and trainer with experience driving and navigating on the world’s most challenging tracks. Tom was the team director for the US Camel Trophy Team and a participant in the 1987 Camel Trophy, Madagascar. Tom will be providing exciting stories of the Camel Trophy and his other expeditions throughout the globe.
Jennifer Coogan and Isaac Taylor
Besides their featured drive through Uttarakhand, Jennifer and Isaac’s recent 4WD journeys include Hawaii’s Big Island, Oman’s Musandam peninsula, and the west fjords of Iceland. They married in 2007, then moved from New York City to northern California via Hyderabad, India. Jennifer drives a turbocharged Subaru Forester. She’s a freelance journalist who’s worked for Reuters and Bloomberg. Her reporting has appeared in the International Herald Tribune, Boston Globe, USA Today, Forbes.com, and Travel + Leisure Magazine. Isaac drove from Massachusetts to Yellowstone before receiving a driver’s license. He’s since explored 47 U.S. states. Isaac works on mapping projects at Google, and drives an old Plymouth while trying to talk his wife into an EarthRoamer.
Riding on four wheels or two, the soles of his boots, or the saddle of a horse, Brian DeArmon has spent most of his life exploring the wonders of nature. This obsession has taken him from the Rocky Mountains, to the Gold Coast of Australia, the beaches of the Seychelles Islands, the frozen landscapes of Alaska, and a few places in between. Settled now in the Sonoran Desert, Brian is enjoying a lull in the fast pace of life before the next adventure begins.
Bruce Dorn, DGA, began his photographic career as a still photographer for Condé Nast Publishing and Time/Life in the early seventies. After a segue from fashion and photojournalism into advertising work, Bruce added commercial filmmaking to his resume in the early eighties. Bruce's television commercial campaigns have earned him multiple Clios, Mobius, Addy, and Art Directors Club Awards along with a Bronze Lion from Cannes. Bruce is a Canon Explorer of Light, a Western Digital Creative Master, a Tiffen ImageMaker, and a Corel Painter Master. In 1984, Bruce was inducted into the Directors Guild of America.
Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Jack Dykinga is one of the America’s most respected landscape photographers. His skill in creating images that are at once majestic and factual has made him a favorite of a wide variety of prestigious publications, such as Audubon, Harpers, National Geographic, Natural History, Sierra, Sunset, Time, Wilderness, and Wildlife Conservation. His work has also been featured with portfolio spreads in Nature’s Best, Outdoor Photographer, Photo Media, Popular Photography, and View Camera magazines, as well as being featured on NBC’s Today Show, CNN’s Earth Matters, and KAET’s Images of Arizona (PBS, Phoenix).
Ben is an international adventurer and photographer, specializing in overland and adventure travel product features and editorial. Ben has traveled to South America, Mexico, Asia and Europe for his clients that include Mountain Khaki, Patagonia and others. Ben has a love for the outdoors and enjoys fly fishing, wing shooting and trekking. Ben often travels with his wife Beverly and their Border Collie, Jackson, touring the United States by Land Cruiser FZJ80.
Born in Connecticut to a Swedish mother and a journalist and documentary filmmaker father, Bruce has been driving 4WDs since the age of seven. At age 10 he was driving the woods of Maine; at age 13 a Range Rover with 70mm roof-mounted gun through Beirut and the Bekah Valley of Lebanon; at age 20 through the backdoor to Libya. In 1999 he established Overland Experts driving school and expedition logistics company. When not training, consulting, producing IMAX films, or running trips to Mongolia or Iceland or elsewhere, Bruce resides in East Haddam, Connecticut with his wife, Kacey, and two daughters, Oaklea, 10 (above photo), and Petra, 12 (both of whom can drive a 200 Tdi Defender 130 on a 40-degree side slope), growing grapes or fixing old wooden boats. Currently Bruce is expanding OEX to include two new locations, Virginia and Costa Rica.
Alice Gugelev was born in Russia and has spent her life wandering the planet—while her parents hoped she would “settle down.” After living and working in Thailand, Singapore, Japan, China, India, the U.S., and Canada, Alice decided that she would never “settle,” and feels most comfortable living with her family (Jay, Kurt, and Maya) in a rather large, environmentally friendly truck called the EcoRoamer. Along the way, Alice worked on Wall Street, in strategy consulting, at the World Bank, and for various non-profits. She started The Muskoka Foundation to inspire and equip travelers to “Use what you know to do good as you go.”
Sophie Ibbotson read Oriental Languages at Cambridge University before disappearing into the Indian Subcontinent for a protracted period drinking tea in the hill stations, pretending she was part of the Raj, and falling in love with Indian tuk-tuks. The call of the wild then beckoned her to northern Pakistan and Central Asia, where she now divides her time writing about regional politics and economics, promoting tourism in the Kyrgyz Republic, and driving ridiculous vehicles to little-known destinations. Sophie is fascinated by the journeys of historical figures in Asia, and aims to repeat the travels of Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, and the Mughal Emperor Babur.
Graham Jackson was born in Lesotho in southern Africa. He grew up racing motorcycles in the dirt as well as helping his father design, build, and race all-terrain buggies. Graham completed his first safari across the Kalahari at age 10 in a Range Rover with his family. This trip planted the seed for Graham’s lifelong overlanding obsession. In 2004 he completed a 30,000 mile overland adventure from London to Cape Town. He has guided expeditions in Africa and the American West and has been an active supporter of the global overland community. He is currently the director of Overland Training.
Adam Jeske is a genuine farm boy from Wisconsin. He grew up on an XR80, then a KZ750, and a CB360 that never ran, since it was older than he. Freshly married, he and Chrissy moved to a remote mountaintop in Nicaragua for a year. Then he commuted in the U.S. on a Kawasaki Concours, in temperatures often below freezing. After two years in China, he volunteered for a few years with a non-profit in South Africa. With Phoebe (4) and Zeke (2) on the scene, he’s thinking about getting a sidecar rig as the family car. He rides, thinks, writes, does good, and tries to have amazing days. His words and images have appeared in Farmer’s Weekly, The Gardener, Relevant, and a slug of bike rags. See jeskelife.org and amazingdays.net for more.
Christine Jeske and her husband Adam have spent the last nine years living in Nicaragua, China, and most recently South Africa. She came to South Africa for a position in a microfinance organization, where she enjoyed frequent motorcycle rides over deeply rutted roads to visit loan clients. Christine and her husband now teach development and intercultural communication at a South African college. She also enjoys writing piano music, cooking desserts, and making Lego and toilet paper roll creations with her two children, ages four and two. She has written for magazines including Relevant, Adventure Motorcycle, Country, and MomSense. Read more at jeskelife.org.
With a love of wheels since his first day of preschool, where he immediately discovered the tricycle, James Langan pursues his passions with motorcycles, trucks, and on foot. He makes his home on the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada, a fantastic starting point for adventure. After ten years as a journalist and photographer with the Power Stroke Registry magazine, and a brief sabbatical from journalism, James is back in front of his keyboard and behind his cameras. With a keen eye for detail, he is a photographer, a writer, a precision driver, and an expert motorcyclist.
Mike is a native of the small northern Wisconsin village of Niagara. He received his first set of wheels at five, and has never stopped peeking over the next hill. After 70-plus countries, 30 years in the military, and the Wisconsin State Fair, he is still seeking new adventures in his Sportsmobile or rust-enhanced Land Rover with his wife, Carol, and their faithful Irish setter, Finn. His latest trip was into the Chaco region of Paraguay and Bolivia. When not on the road, you can find him bouncing off the bumps and trees of the local ski areas or scaring trout with a fly rod.
Sue Mead's career as an auto journalist began as a freelance evaluator for Four Wheeler magazine in 1988, on the first team that included women. Today, she travels the globe test-driving cars and trucks, and writing for dozens of publications including Automobile, Truck Trend and CNN/fn. Sue has also authored four books on 4WD sports. Her career has taking her through 69 countries; she was the first American female Driver of Record in the Dakar Rally (2011, where she took 1st Place in the Open Production Class) and is an inductee to the Off Road Motorsports Hall of Fame.
David is a professional Cartographer and GIS technician. He has a BA in Geography from Sonoma State University and over a decade of experience making maps. Born and raised on Kauai, David spent as much time in the mountains as the ocean and attributes growing up with the island’s unique blend of environments for his broad appreciation of the natural world. Now living and working in Northern California, when not busy compiling maps he’s planning his family’s next trip into the backcountry and finds Overland Journal to be great inspiration for the type and quality of travel they most enjoy.
Not content to simply sit behind a desk as a corporate lawyer, Andrew Moore is a 15-year member of the Coconino County Sheriff’s Search & Rescue team. Certified in wilderness search and technical high-angle rope rescue, Andrew is a wilderness emergency medical technician who uses his talents personally during trips through the southwestern U.S. and Mexico on his trusty BMW 1150GS Adventure or Land Cruiser. He lives in Flagstaff with his beautiful daughter.
Christophe Noel has been an avid backcountry traveler since he was too young to tie his own stitch-down hiking boots. As his feet have grown, so has his appetite for adventure. While bicycles are his passion, Christophe is an accomplished sea kayaker, backpacker, mountaineer and general vagabond. Having spent much of his life wandering the globe from Alaska to the Atlas Mountains and beyond, Christophe can now be found most days riding his mountain bike on the twisted singletrack near his home in Prescott, Arizona.
Christian Pelletier and Persephone Crittenden
Christian left home at age 16, never to return… With an Engineering degree in hand, he spent his twenties and thirties working and traveling all over the world – he even raced a mountain bike across Costa Rica. Such worldly experience made Christian the perfect candidate to be Expedition Portal's President and CTO.
Persephone, a citizen of the world, grew up with an Air Force father and visited five countries before entering kindergarten! This led to adventurous careers in acting, surfing, mountain climbing, and clinical psychology. She has written and edited numerous articles and books, and is an editor for Expedition Portal.
Weary of the daily grind in jargon-infested London media-land, Lois Pryce jacked in her job at the BBC to ride from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego astride her Yamaha XT225. Upon her return she wrote the book of this trip, Lois on the Loose, which was published in the U.S. and the U.K., as well as being translated into German and Dutch. Itchy wheels struck again and it wasn’t long before she was poring over maps of Africa, plotting another adventure. In October 2006 she set off on a Yamaha TTR250 to ride from London to Cape Town, crossing the Sahara through Algeria and Niger and continuing down the west coast through the Congo and Angola to South Africa. The tale of this trip is captured in her book Red Tape and White Knuckles. Lois lives on a Dutch barge in London with her husband, fellow motorcycle adventurer Austin Vince.
Pablo was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He moved to Spain in 1992, where he enjoyed an extraordinary life… but just on weekends. In 1999, during a trip thru Africa, he committed never to buy a return ticket again. Shorty after, he moved into a 1991 Mitsubishi L300 4WD with Anna Callau, his adventure partner. The goal: overland during four years thru Africa, America and Asia while making as many turns as possible. After 50 countries and 11 years, they are still on the road – it seems they have succeeded. Pablo is an “ex” creative ad writer, “ex” illegal immigrant, and a master of getting into trouble in faraway places. His web page, viajeros4x4x4.com has become a source for Hispanic travelers and overlanders. His latest book, Around the World in 10 Years: The Independence Book, will be soon available in English.
Erica Ryberg has been an itinerant slouch for most of her life, a condition brought on by a feral upbringing at the hands of her exploration geologist father. After learning to drive in a ‘76 Chevy on a Nevada mining claim at age 12, she was immediately put to work as a surveyor’s assistant. Six years ago, after earning a degree in biology, she announced to the world that she would henceforth be known as a professional writer. She’s been carrying her “Will write for food” sign everywhere since then. Her focus is narrative features and storytelling, and she’s on the web at ericawriter.com.
Over the last 25 years Chris has undertaken nearly thirty expeditions through the Sahara by motorcycle, 4WD, saloon car or bush taxi. This has given him an unparalleled knowledge of the practicalities of desert travel across the entire Sahara, both as a tourist, a driver/rider, and as a tour leader. In 2000 and 2001 he led the first UK escorted tours to return to Algeria and Libya, and in 2006 he lead an exclusive tour to view the Saharan Eclipse in Niger; he continues to offer tours to little-known parts of the Sahara.
Matthew is a dedicated photographer, vintage car enthusiast, and regular contributor to Overland Journal. Growing up in Chicago in a family that valued “all things automotive” as much as exploring the region's back roads, provided a solid platform for a career as an auto-journalist. He departed the Motor City in lieu Prescott, Arizona, and the great open spaces and adventure opportunities of America's Southwest. Matthew is currently the Digital Editor for Expedition Portal.
Tom has an exploration career spanning 40 years, and totaling over 110,000 overland miles since 1960, including significant exploration in northern Africa and the first-ever lateral crossing of the Sahara from the Atlantic to the Red Sea. Tom is a freelance writer/photographer and consultant, and author of the Vehicle-Dependent Expedition Guide (Desert Winds) and the new Four-by-Four Driving. Tom has received the Ness Award from the Royal Geographical Society, and the distinction ARPS (Associate of the Royal Photographic Society). Tom currently explores the Sahara with a Mercedes G-Wagon.
Dr. Jon Solberg
Jon S. Solberg, MD, is a board certified, U.S. Army-trained emergency medicine physician and wilderness medicine consultant. His medical career has taken him from Cameroon to Afghanistan, and currently to the booming oil fields of northwestern North Dakota. Dr. Solberg is the Chief Medical Officer of Sun Mountain Medical Consulting, LLC, and publishes free first aid tips and tricks for outdoorsmen under the Facebook name Dakdoc. He's an accomplished scuba diver, downhill skier, pilot, and a candidate for Fellow in the Wilderness Medical Society. He and his wife Agnieszka enjoy exploring the backcountry in their four-door Jeep.
Mark Stephens has made a fistful of journeys into Mexico and a litany of others throughout the backcountry of the American Southwest because, as he says, “The cultures I’ve encountered while traveling dirt roads and empty spaces were fascinating and friendly. Like home. But elsewhere.” He brings his trademark narrative voice to this issue in a true tale of trying events while traveling with his wife and 11-month-old daughter. A writer living in the Sonoran Desert, he holds a degree in English from Arizona State University, and, in defiance of the typical staff choice of a white Toyota, insists on driving a black Nissan Frontier. markdstephens.com
Jorge Valdes is the founder and president of TerraUltima Expeditions, and has more than 30 years of experience as a professional photographer. He has produced photography and imaging for the scientific research, commercial product, advertising, and editorial segments. His varied experience includes more than 17 years of shooting Formula One, five years of specialized geographic research aerial photography, microphotography of rare fossils, and coverage of the civil wars in Central America. His work has appeared in Explore, SportCar, Racer, Formula, Corsa, and Overland Journal, and a variety of other North American, European and South American general interest and specialty technical publications. He holds degrees in graphic design from the University of Chile. He has visited more than 70 and lived in more than 20 countries and currently resides in his native Chile. Aside from photography his passions include cooking and wine.
Harry Wagner was bombarded with outdoor opportunities from a young age. When not participating in Boy Scout activities, he was exploring the coast of northern California and the Sierra Nevada from the back of the family's FJ40 Land Cruiser. He earned a degree in geophysics in Colorado and was assigned to work in Venezuela shortly after graduation, where he developed an interest in travel journalism. The trend continues today, and Harry dovetails his career cleaning up old bombing ranges throughout the country (yes, really), with opportunities to explore, photograph, and document new locales.
Gary and Monika Wescott
Gary and Monika Wescott have spent the last thirty-seven years globetrotting around the world, from the arid deserts of Afghanistan and Chile, to the deepest jungles of the Brazilian Amazon, and across the frozen steppes of Siberia in the dead of winter. In 1972 Gary created The Turtle Expedition, Unltd. His travel/adventure stories have been published in fifteen countries and ten languages.
Gary and Monika's in-depth knowledge of the problems and joys of overland travel in remote areas is incomparable. Their experience and photography encompasses what Overland Journal is all about. Their meticulously prepared travel/research trucks, from the original Land Rover to the current Ford F-550, the Tortuga Expedition Vehicle, have been an inspiration for many. The Suppliers List on turtleexpedition.com is an invaluable source of information.
From the beginning, The Turtle Expedition's motto has been, “Don't take the trip. Let the trip take you!” The essence of an adventure is not knowing how it's going to come out.
Sinuhe Xavier started his photography career in front of the lens as a sponsored skier for The North Face in Bozeman, MT, working with National Geographic photographer Gordon Wiltse. While studying architecture and photography at Montana State University, his evolution to working behind the camera was a natural outcome. He has worked for advertising clients such as Burton Snowboards, ING Direct, Volvo, Pontiac, Dell, Nike, ESPN, and Warner Brothers Records to name a few. His editorial work has been featured in National Geographic Adventure, Print, Transworld Snowboarding, Snowboarder, and Lemonade, although he now concentrates on his commercial work with the exception of Overland Journal.