EVENT: NW Overland Rally 2017

The NW Overland Rally is always a good time, and highlight of my travel year. This year I played a bigger role at the event, acting as the field manager, making sure everything ran smoothly for everyone all weekend long. Below is a visual journey through the Rally weekend, which should give you a glimpse into the festivities, and hopefully entices you to put it on your calendar for next year. I hope to see you there!

To see the huge cross section of overland adventuremobile at the Rally this year be sure to check out THIS post I wrote for Expedition Portal.

The EEXP acted as my camp host command center, although I was probably at the truck less than 5hrs a day, including sleep. Registration was busy all weekend, with about 1,100 people at this year’s rally. The technical driving course is always a center of activity, with a wide variety of classes and demonstrations happening through out the weekend. There are a ton of quality workshops and seminars on offer. Here Mario, from AT Overland Equipment, explains off road trailer maintenance. With over 80 vendors in attendance this year there was action in the vendor area all day every day. Here Adam, from STEP 22 Gear, shows off the cooking possibilities of the Tembo Tusk Skottle cook system.
Bob Wohlers, from the Off-Road Safety Academy, put on in-depth quality instruction on a wide range of off road relevant topics all weekend. His classes drew some of the largest crowds.
Vendors had some great displays and impressive vehicles, like this setup from Safe Jack. The Tailgator Tire Table is a very cool little contraption. The NW Overland Rally is a family event, and as such there are specific workshops and activities for the kids all weekend long. This kids survival class finished off with roasting marshmallows over the fire they had built. Many rigs in attendance were truly impressive, like this Sprinter build out by my friends the Dangerz, who operate under Zen Box Design. So many built GX470 in attendance this year! Cool new flatbed truck tray design by SherpTek. Wiring auxiliary roof rack accessories requires a few quality cocktails and some good friends. The Crankshaft Culture local wine tasting class is always one of the highlights of the weekend. So many people at the wine tasting! Mule Expedition Outfitters showed up with this impressive LMTV event vehicle that transformed into a stage and drew quite the crowd. Ninkasi Brewing always brings the party, this year in the Hellwig booth. Richard & Ashley, from Desk To Glory, are some of my favorite people and the featured presenters Friday night. The free raffles each night at the NW Overland Rally are legendary. So many prizes and so many people. “BURN IT!” (You have to experience it first hand to truly understand :)) Lots of Skottles around the campsites. Mmmmmm, bacon! The Old Mill Cafe, located across the street from the Rally, also put up a booth at the event this year. Their cinnamon rolls are always my favorite! Overland Adventure Truck‘s 6×6 LMTV was a crowd favorite, and drew quite the crowd when it rolled through the technical off road course. The Rebelle Rally Women’s off road driving class was well attended. It was awesome to see so many ladies getting after it off road in a wide range of vehicles.
The first annual Metal Tech NWOR Overland Chef competition was a massive success. Seven teams created a main and a desert in 1.5hrs with a secret ingredient. I’m a crazy picky eater, and EVERY single dish was really good! I was lucky enough to help a few of the judges sample the goods. This “American made coaster” was a hit with the judges 🙂 Hand whittled chop sticks and a dish served on a banana leaf. The teams went all out! Celebrity judge Jim West, of Camel Trophy fame. Happy hours are always a hit, and Metal Tech went big this year with Manhattans served in custom glasses. Saturday night’s featured presenter was Jim West, talking about his experience at the Camel Trophy and winning the Trophy’s Team Spirit Award for America. BIG crowd for the BIG raffle on Saturday night! I helped out with the raffle, and got swarmed more than once by the kids when I tried to throw out some prizes into the crowd. It got rowdy!!!Sunday morning always ends the Rally weekend with the Trophy Challenge. It always consists of two separate fun off road driving challenges, and all are welcome to compete. The first challenge this year was a timed backup challenge through the articulation course. This Comanche with trailer wasn’t very fast, but completed it with no penalties. An impressive feat! This Range had a TON of wheel travel and it’s driver didn’t mind using it! It won with a time under 10 seconds!!! The Embarrassing Wetness Challenge is always a crowd favorite, and entails taping a cup full of water on the hood of your vehicle and completing an off road course the fastest possible with the least water spilled.The course was hard enough that two vehicles needed assistance off one of the obstacles, where getting high centered was a good possibility.

Hopefully that little visual journey gave you a glimpse into the action packed fun weekend in Plain, WA this year, for the NW Overland Rally. I’ll be there again next year, will you?

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