Author: Gayla & Robert

#011 – What We Did at Overland Expo East

#011 – What We Did at Overland Expo East

It’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve returned from Overland Expo East and we realized that the trip was entirely too short. Sure the event was only a weekend, but we certainly like to take our time making our way to the event and coming home should be just as slow. 

We had a wonderful time in Asheville, NC. The weather couldn’t have been better for the event. In this episode, we talk about our weekend at Overland Expo.



Episode Highlights:

We got a few cool things from the vendors.

Just a few pics of our weekend 

Recording Episode 9!


Driving course!


Great Classes!


Loved all the vendors!


Dinner and Drinks


Biltmore Estate

One of the many, many flower photos taken in the garden.


Had to get a shot of the Jeep in front of the house before we left.



Open up the hood and conversations are inevitable.


Dean Shirley with Eastcoast Overland Adventures


Can’t leave those boys alone for two minutes!


The BEST meal of the weekend!


The morning we were leaving. A beautiful and foggy morning.


Hike up Mt Rogers, Virginia

Hike up Mt Rogers, Virginia

Our hike up to the summit of Mt. Rogers, the highest point of Virginia, was one of our high points of our trip (no pun intended, well maybe a pun was intended).

We tracked our trail on the way up using Gaia GPS for the first time. Loving the app! 

We didn’t have any Internet connection in the campground, so we decided to take the day off work. We planned the whole day for the 9-mile round trip hike. We took our time up the mountain enjoying the scenery.

Part of our hike was on the Appalachian Trail. Some parts were a bit gnarly with getting over some big boulders. We were told by the young man who was working the park’s gift shop that when we were close to the summit, it would smell like Christmas. He wasn’t kidding. It was like walking into a different world.

The day was amazing!


#010 – Stuck and 50 Miles from the Nearest Town

#010 – Stuck and 50 Miles from the Nearest Town

We are doing something different for this episode. When we were at Overland Expo East a couple of weeks ago, we met James Henry. We were campground neighbors and fellow volunteers for the event. He and his wife, Amanda, went on the Transamerica Trail last year. We thought we’d share some of our conversations we had with James.



Episode Highlights:

  • James Henry computer animator and Army Veteran from New Jersey
  • Website:
  • Was in the Army for 7 years
  • Became interested in overlanding because was basically doing it as an Army scout
  • Began planning trip three months before getting out of the Army
  • Bought 2002 Land Rover Discovery and modified it for trip
  • Purchased the maps from Sam Correro at
  • Took two months to complete
  • Favorite parts were passes in Colorado and Moab
  • Impressed with Gaia GPS app for IOS and Android
  • Thought they were in real trouble
    • Power steering pump blew with fluid fiasco and the trip hadn’t even really began 
    • Death Canyon, UT – stuck in salt flats, storm a brewing, no cell service, 50 miles from the nearest town
    • An unexpected float trip in Idaho

Thanks James for a great interview. We really enjoyed getting to know you a bit. May our paths cross again.


#009 – We Made It! | Getting to Overland Expo East

#009 – We Made It! | Getting to Overland Expo East

It’s not an adventure unless something goes wrong, right? Well, we wouldn’t say things went too wrong, but the fear of a tire flying off did put a spark of excitement into our trip.

Have a listen to our little adventure we had getting from Missouri to North Carolina to attend Overland Expo East. We were so excited to be volunteering at this year’s event. Glad the Jeep got us there. 


Episode Highlights:

  • Only seven-tenths of a mile on Interstate, just because we couldn’t avoid it
  • Discovered lug nut was missing from front passenger wheel
  • A tiny bit of panic during a parking lot repair
  • Got our exercise walking to get parts
  • Jeep’s vapor locking issue seemed to be getting worse
  • Had to stop several times to give the Jeep a break from vapor locking
  • Stopped at several auto parts stores along the way
  • Camping was fantastic at Meriwether Lewis National Monument & Henry Horton State Park
  • A little later than we planned, but we made it to Overland Expo East
#008 – Reminiscing Overland Expo West 2016

#008 – Reminiscing Overland Expo West 2016

As this episode publishes, we are on our way to Asheville, NC to volunteer at Overland Expo East. We recorded this episode when we were preparing for our trip and reflect on our first Overland Expo experience in May 2016.


Episode Highlights:

  • First experience with Overland Expo at Morman Lake, AZ (Check out the link because we’re in their recap slideshow, at least our vehicle is. See if you can pick us out.)
  • Overland Expo is an event gathering of like-minded individuals who live and travel out of their vehicle, usually 4-wheel drive or motorcycle
  • Not an RV event
  • Learn more about the event by going to
  • Huge event, 8-10,000 people!
  • Camped in a field with many other vehicles with roof-top tents
    • Neighbors
    • Got a lot of ideas from those around us on their set-up
  • WINDY event — never experienced that much wind at an event and camping
    • Bloverland became the event’s nickname
    • Anex room saved the tent
    • Only damage was small hole in mesh door of annex room
  • Event had huge vendor section
  • Classes available for all kinds of interests
    • Tactical Driving courses
    • Check out our recap blog post
    • Classes we sat in on:
      • Adventure Capital: Creating a lifetime travel fund with investment real estate & retirement planning, Johnathan Ehly & Carla King
      • 10 Easy Ways to Get More Out of Your Social Media, Aliza Sherman
      • Taking and Managing Your Photographs, Mike Endres
      • Knots and Hitches for Securing Gear to Roof-Racks & Trailers, Rusty Rice
      • Basics of Visual Storytelling, Dean Shirley
      • Wayfinding With Map and Compass, Charly Aurelia
      • On-Trail Communications: Getting beyond the CB radio, Bob McNamara
      • Less is More: What do you really “need” to bring on an adventure? Walt Wagner
      • Sponsorship: The ins and outs of finding funds for your adventure, Sam Manicom
      • Weather and Climate Knowledge for Expeditions, Michael Douglas
      • HAM Radio Equipment and Use Workshop, Scott Martin, Coconino Amateur Radio Club
  • Met some great people who we follow on YouTube
  • Toured Overland Expedition Vehicles
We had a fantastic time out West and will be going back for sure. Now…we are headed East for our overland adventure!
#007 – Preparing for Travels East

#007 – Preparing for Travels East

The time seems to have snuck up on us. We have been planning to go to Overland Expo East for months and the time to leave is upon us and it seems like we are behind in our preparation. 

In this episode, we share what modifications and prep work on the Jeep we’ve done so far and the big project left to do before we hit the road.


Episode Highlights:

  • Why we rotated the tent on the Jeep.
  • Jeep seems to have a vapor lock issue.
  • Installed extra storage.
  • A couple of important pumps replaced.
  • Find out what shocking project Robert must spring into action for.



You are always welcome to email questions or comments to


#006 – A Hamvangelist Weekend

#006 – A Hamvangelist Weekend

We took the opportunity this past weekend to set up camp and test out some things before we leave for our trip to North Carolina trip in a couple of weeks. Actually, Robert had been looking forward to the September ARRL VHF contest and he wanted to participate as a portable station. It certainly brought out the Hamvangelist in him!

Episode Highlights:

      • Robert had prepared for the last couple of weeks to get his antennas ready for the event.
      • Height is everything.
      • We stayed on family property, in a field, high on a hill to try to get the best signal.
      • Things didn’t go exactly as planned.
      • Successful testing of our Baofeng handy talkies on family radio setting at over a mile away. (Robert was very pleased! He wanted to make sure to use them on our NC trip.)
      • Recently moved the roof-top tent forward and rotated on the Jeep so it would fold out on the passenger’s side instead of the back. All systems worked and new crossbars good and secure.
      • Robert talked cursive about the VHF contest, but if you are a fellow Hamvangelist, you’d understand. Actually, he wasn’t too hard to understand until he threw in some 5 dollar words. 

Life is an experiment, that’s for sure. This weekend got us out of the RV and outside. The experience helped us to not only think about and plan our North Carolina trip, but also Robert was able to trouble shoot and plan for the next VHF contest scheduled for January.


Travel Log | Solar Eclipse Trip | August 2017

Travel Log | Solar Eclipse Trip | August 2017

Traveled a total of 523 miles with average 17.73 MPG.

Vehicle: 1998 Jeep Wrangler

Time Odometer Notes Photos


10:48 am 192919 Left Caplinger Mills, MO home base. Travelled on Hwy N to Hwy 39 to Hwy 54  
11:48 am 192969 Crossed into Kansas  
12:30 pm   Turned north onto Hwy 59  
12:55 pm   Turned onto N169/59 in Garnett. Stayed on Hwy 59  
1:28 pm 193051 Stopped in Ottawa for gas and a snack. 20.7 mpg – fuel treatment added  
1:44 pm   Left gas station  
2:16 pm   Took a left onto Hwy 10 West in Lawrence. (Douglas County Road 1029)  
2:38 pm   Turned right onto Hwy 24 East  
2:43 pm   Left onto Hwy 59 North  
3:11 pm   Right on Hwy 59 toward Atchison. Then left onto 206 Road at Atchison County line. Then right onto Hwy 159  
3:24 pm   Right on 262 Road (dirt road). Left on KS-59 for 1.5 miles, then right on Hwy 9. Three miles then left on Hwy 73  
3:32 pm   Left onto Hwy 73 North for 5 miles, then right onto Prairie Road (dirt road)  
3:54 pm   Six miles on Prairie Road, then turn right on 170th (dirt road). After a mile turn left onto Racoon (dirt road). After 3.7 miles turn left onto Temple. Saw a “Welcome to Robinson” sign. Traveled 1.4 miles and took a right onto 220th Street. In ¾ mile took a left onto Sage Brush Road. In one mile, made a right onto 230th Street.  
4:15 pm 193160 Arrived at Brown State Fishing Lake
The campground was a busier than expected. Thankfully it wasn’t full yet and we found a nice camp spot next to the lake. Brown State Fishing Lake has free dispersed camping. The grounds have two vaulted bathrooms. Our Sprint service was terrible, but our Verizon hotspot worked well. Robert was able to make a call with Sprint service, but couldn’t use the internet on our phone.

Our trip photo album [click on image to enlarge]:


Solar Eclipse Day

In the morning, the rain was coming so we packed up and drove around. We decided to stop at Highland Mission State Historic Site (name on our map, but seems to be renamed Iowa and Sac & Fox Mission State Historic Site) for our eclipse view. 

There were only about six or seven of us at the historic site parking lot. The clouds parted for the best part of the eclipse. The parking lot light automatically came on and with the partial cloud cover and the total darkness at 1ish in the afternoon, the feeling was certainly eerie. 

Our eclipse slideshow [click on image to enlarge]:

1:23 pm 193181 Left Highland Mission State Historic Site after watching the eclipse. Traveled to Sparks then connected with Hwy 7 South  
1:42 pm   Right on Hwy 20 to get away from traffic going into Atchison.  
2:11 pm   Turned onto Hwy 73 toward Horton  
2:20 pm 193218 Stopped in Horton for gas and eat. 15.7 mpg  
3:30 pm   Left Horton after getting snacks and drinks at Dollar General. Got onto Hwy 159 South.
3:43 pm   Right on Bourbon Road  
3:51 pm   Left onto State Hwy 116 East  
3:59 pm   Right onto Edwards Road  
4:24 pm   Left onto Ferguson Road for 19 miles  
4:56 pm   Right onto LaCompton Road  
5:06 pm 193281 Had to stop. Jeep acting up. Not overheating, but the fuel was vapor locking.  
5:18 pm   Back on the road
5:37 pm 193296 Stopped again because fuel vapor locking  
5:42 pm   Back on the road
6:05 pm 193310 Walmart stop in Ottawa for fuel treatment  
6:41 pm   Left Walmart  
7:46 pm   East onto Hwy 54  
8:21 pm 193387 Quick stop in Fort Scott to stretch our legs and take a few evening photos of the fort.
8:31 pm   Back on Hwy 54  
8:40 pm 193392 Crossed into Missouri  
9:42 pm 193442 Arrived home at Caplinger Mills  

Our little stowaway who rode with us all the way from Brown State Fishing Lake to home. Over 250 miles!


#005 – Our Solar Eclipse Journey

#005 – Our Solar Eclipse Journey

There was certainly solar eclipse frenzy on Monday, August 21st. Like many, we used the Eclipse as an excuse to get away from our home base and take the day off work. We headed for northeast Kansas and landed near Hiawatha at Brown State Fishing Lake for our total eclipse view. We recount our little journey in this episode. 



Episode Highlights:

  • More people than expected at Brown State Fishing Lake. 
  • Found a great camping spot next to the lake.
  • Dinner we cooked was fantastic. Could have been we were STARVING!
  • Used new cookware we found in Warrensburg.
  • Love our tiny stove!
  • Beautiful sunset.
  • Rain came the next morning. 
  • Packed up before we got wet.
  • Decided to leave camping area for another location.
  • Witnessed eclipse at Highland Mission State Historical Site. 
  • Clouds and rain held off during the most important part.
  • We discovered a little stowaway who traveled with us from our camping spot in KS all the way home. Some 260 miles!
  • Had a great time!