In this episode the XO crew travels south of Moab on the Lockhart Basin trail then into Valley of the Gods in southern Utah. The jokes are subtle, Jordan rocks out on a rock stage, and the laughs are as big as the country they travel through. Also, Jeff Downer tells the guys about his past tragedies including his mothers death from breast cancer, being brutally hit on his bike by a drunk driver, and his sisters diagnosis of breast cancer. Then he roles it all up into "life is short and you must pursue your passions!" You will laugh and you just might cry.
5 April Kms travelled – 1310
Up with the dawn, or at least some squawking wildlife! Packed and off at 8:30 – which was pretty good considering I´m still getting into my rhythm. I had no phone signal at the campsite, so as soon as I heard the bleep of incoming texts, I sent a message off to my online tracking system to let family know I´m OK (and where I am).
Around 100kms down to Bahia Blanca only resolved to confirm Javier´s advice that it is best avoided. A sprawling industrial town with little to commend it – but it had fuel – of which Idris partook – and we were off again. Well, not quite. I know it is a bit of a crappy place, because I got lost and spend around half an hour ´exploring´ before I finally turned the GPS on and got out of Dodge!
Not quite ready for the modern coil-sprung Land Rover Defender? Can't quite keep your mind off the old-school leaf spring suspension and erector set design? Can't deal with a 2.25L engine? How about a Land Rover Stage One—a bit of a hybrid between the Defender and the Series Landies. They feature the significantly more powerful 3.5L V-8 engine, as well as a few driveline upgrades as standard, such as the Dana 60 derived Salisbury axle. This particular truck comes with a myriad of new parts, and includes shipping from the Netherlands, oh, and it has under 70,000 original miles!
Modifying vehicles, it's a curse really. Even when something is totally sufficient and capable in stock form, there's an urge and a need to make it even more capable, and exceed your expectations. After a few months of driving our Prado with no modifications, it was clear that it needed some additional flavor. The question however, was what that flavor would end up being. Would it be massive tires and a huge suspension lift accompanied with lockers? Negative, it would need to be subtle to compliment not only the intended purpose of the vehicle, but the 97 hp 2L-TE turbo-diesel engine.
3 April - KM's travelled – 35
Thirteen may be unlucky for some, but not this fine fellow. Today was the day that I was reunited with Idris. An 8:00 start with a Taxi to the airport to do the necessary under the expert eye of Sandra from Dakar Motos. It may be due to me being completely zonked when I arrived from the airport, but the long mad dash back this day has, at times, my heart in my mouth. And I am used to Spanish driving! Clearly I´d need to take great care on my return trip.
It's been a big year for BMW Motorrad, and it appears, they're beginning to embrace the dual-sport culture even more. Starting with the launch of Dakar-esque Sertao earlier this year, they've began to re-affirm the common thought that BMW is the go-to company for a round-the-world capable motorcycle. As of today, riders have an even broader choice within the already impressive line-up, with the launch of the re-designed F 800 GS, and F 700 GS. Keeping with BMW Motorrad's "Safety 360" initiative, both models will come standard with 2-channel "BMW Motorrad ABS," and offer other safety features such as ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment) as well as ASC (Automatic Stability Control)
If you haven't noticed (maybe because you're too busy reading Expedition Portal) it's getting ridiculously hot outside. This makes me unhappy for several reasons: 1.) It's so hot that I can't wear my usual MK OMP's. 2.) I don't like heat. 3.) Because I'm a fan of wearing long pants, my legs are very, very white (but getting better.) Luckily, Mountain Khaki's has a solution that pleases me, the Granite Creek Convertible Pant ($89.95) features the same bomber construction the rest of the MK line has, in addition to being able to convert the pants into shorts when its so hot outside, that nothing else will do. Instead of using the usual heavy-duty canvas, they've constructed the Granite Creek Convertible Pant from brushed nylon that has been treated with Scotchgard for additional stain and water repellency. In addition to providing SPF 50+ sun protection, they have plenty of pockets for gear, and a super secret security pocket.
As planned it was back into the city centre for me for a day of wandering and sightseeing in another blazing 26 degrees. Strolling down Florida street in the heart of the pedestrian zone, the city seemed so very familiar. Funny how the place grows on you so quickly. I'm not sure whether it was my body language, or perhaps the fact that I was simply feeling so comfortable in the surroundings, but none of the vendors on the street bothered to tout Tango shows and various other tourist trips to me at all.
Then again, perhaps it was because I was in need of a laundry day!
via West County Explorers Club: There’s a new fridge on the market from Basecamp. It can chill its contents from between 0˚ and 45˚ and is available in two versions, a 42-quart ($790) and a 63-quart size ($860). It features a wireless, digital readout showing the fridge’s internal temperature and the vehicle’s battery voltage. After the vehicle has been parked for while, the fridge will cut out in order to save the vehicle’s battery. Just when it does so is adjustable via three selectable settings. There’s also an internal LED light and an open lid alarm.
There’s no word on how it stacks up to the industry standard bearers like National Luna and ARB — its priced below both of them — but here’s a link to the Overland Journal fridge review from a couple of years ago so you can compare notes.