22 & 23 March Kms travelled - 0
Not a particularly interesting day in terms of travel, but I have been pondering when I should officially start to record the journey, and have settled on the time I left our Barcelona home. But I shall only record mileage relating to the time Idris and I spend on the road.
I was seen off by some horrendous thunder and torrential rain which, while much needed following a particularly dry winter, only left me wondering whether this was some kind of omen. I think not, but it did reflect my mood a little as I headed out the door. A somewhat frightful taxi journey to the airport followed a sad and extended goodbye with Mrs Pat, as we both stocked up on 4 months' worth of hugs and kisses.
Now, many people will know this, and many more won't (and nor will they care), but Twitter uses a thing called a Hashtag. This is when someone puts a # before a word or phrase to help people track down trends or read about certain topics. For example the biggest hashtag in 2011 was #egypt, which successfully spurred a revolution in the country and an excellent example of social media changing the World. Number two, however, was #tigerblood, referring to Charlie Sheen's public breakdown and reaffirms my expectations of the human race.
Usually, when a vehicle has a one-hundred foot tall hickory tree fall on it, you don't expect the vehicle to move—ever again. Needless to say, the Toyota 4Runner that you're looking at hasn't had the easiest time recently. The owners took the vehicle out for a bit of camping and trail driving, and in the process of taking shelter from a rough storm, the giant hickory fell on it. But that wasn't the last word fro the 4Runner, after calling some buddies with large, chainsaws, they were actually able to drive the vehicle back from the forest. However, it looks like the wheels, tires, and ARB bumper made it out just fine. I won't say the same for the roof rack...
There were a lot of trailers on display at the Overland Expo just outside Flagstaff this year.
Most of them were instantly recognizable as "Overlanding" trailers by the amount of farkle on, in and around them. Fridges, stoves, shovels, awnings, tents, drawers, sinks, lights... they had it all.
But one little trailer stood out from the herd. It stood quietly in front of the AT Overland booth like a new-born colt, naked save for a battery box on the front, and a mid-size dual-sport motorbike perched on its back.
What do you get when you combined a well-seasoned custom vehicle builder, rally lights, four wheel drive, and a winch? You get a beastly, sexy, amazing Porsche that I challenge someone to purchase and drive around the world, very, very fast. If you haven't noticed lately I've been attempting to show you some more, well, obscure overlanding vehicles. Frankly, this might be the coolest one yet. If you're a frequent eBay enthusiast, you'll know this vehicle sold a little over a year ago for over $80,000—so it's a bargain at its $70,000 pricetag now. Be sure to check out the video.
Are you trying to have the coolest fire engine on the block?
Tired of your neighbor being the cool kid on the block with his vintage American fire truck that everyone is tired of? How about building an extreme-Mercedes-overlanding fire truck and shutting him up forever? If you've been considering an obscure overlanding build, perhaps for the Maya Rally, and you're not quite happy with what you can find in the United States, perhaps you could import this German fire engine, and do something unique! With it's locking rear cab, and the ability to seat nine, there's no doubt you could turn this into something cool. The downside? It isn't 4x4, the upside? With 2 days left, it's only at $20.
On a still, cold February morning last year, we were camped at Trout Creek campsite, in the thick mountain forests near Superior. With eighteen inches of snow on the ground, it was the only campsite still open south of the I90 eastbound, and we'd been directed here by a Ranger who had found us huddled in our truck cab a few days previously in a rest area, trying to stay warm. We were eight months into our expedition to circumnavigate the world overland, and novices at being cold. Our route had brought us across Europe, through Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and the Russian Far East and to Seattle on the west coast of the USA. Even our month in Alaska, including a November visit to the Arctic Circle, had not been this cold.
Unfortunately, outside of your television, human beings completely lack the capability to create fire without being dependent upon something else. Usually, people are dependent upon the traditional butane-powered lighter; but that's not very imaginative now is it? A flint is a bit more creative, but it's not quite there. How about starting fire with air? That, my friend, is very creative, and completely badass, and now completely do-able thanks to the creative team at Basecamp X with their Prometheus Fire Piston ($125 CDN.) It all starts with a hand turned and oiled receiver made of Tennessee hickory, into which a brass plunger is placed. It's the brass plunger that holds your bit of tinder that is ignited by the friction of the air, creating your fire. To see exactly how it works, check out the video below.