El Tovar and the Valley of Fire

The Adventure Begins! Don Pedro de Tovar was a Spanish explorer, military man, and colonial ruler. In his service to Vasquez Coronado, he searched for the Seven Cities of Cibola seeking gold and riches. El Tovar never found the cities of gold. He became aware of the great Colorado River and Grand Canyon but never … Continue reading El Tovar and the Valley of Fire

Scorpions in the Darkness

The temperature was already closing in on the mid-day high by the time I reached the BLM’s Black Rock field station. Gazing out over the alkali pan of the playa, a stiff wind whipped the loose surface into a column of dust several hundred feet high before sending it sailing east into Selenite mountains.  A … Continue reading Scorpions in the Darkness

Eastern Recce

For Wildwood Expedition, like many others, summer 2021 is an attempt to gain a semblance of normalcy and return to travel. On our first excursion into new territory this year we headed out to the eastern mountains of Nevada. Our goal was, in part, to take advantage of the legendary fishing we’d heard about. Also … Continue reading Eastern Recce

Pinions and Peaks

For years, Wildwood Expedition has (informally) kicked-off our annual travel in May. Starting with Overland Expo West (OEW) in Flagstaff has become our mainstay within an ever evolving, multi-week route through the desert southwest. Overland Expo is an annual, multi-city exposition owned and operated by Lodestone Events. By early April 2020, our hope diminished with … Continue reading Pinions and Peaks

Ripping Lips in the Land of the Lost

Imagine, you have an invitation to join a (semi)exclusive fishing trip, to a truly remote location, within a six-hour drive from your home. The destination has limited access because of its geography and has propensity to become completely inaccessible during any foul weather. It is not widely known but local lore speaks of spectacular catches. … Continue reading Ripping Lips in the Land of the Lost

Impressions: Four-Wheeler Adventure Expo

High and dry. That’s the Sierra Nevada this winter. The snow tap turned off around January 15th and it's been unsettlingly warm and dry through the beginning of March. Much of the early season snowfall has vanished. All of this allowed for reconsideration of calendar constraints as early-season travel opportunities take the place of local … Continue reading Impressions: Four-Wheeler Adventure Expo

Overlander Carry 101: A Practical Guide for Overlanding with a Defensive Firearm

For every bit as beautiful overlanding the United States can be, it can also be surprisingly treacherous. A knowledgeable overlander should already be well-versed in communication, mechanical repair, and basic survival skills. However, those skills typically account for addressing common environmental threats to mortality. Spend just a day in the rugged outback deserts and you … Continue reading Overlander Carry 101: A Practical Guide for Overlanding with a Defensive Firearm

Five approaches to happy overlanding with your kids

You travel with your family for the enjoyment of the journey, the exploration, the shared adventure. Happiness, camaraderie, and cooperation is the glue that makes all the planning and prep worth the effort. In that, keeping the young’ins attention tuned to any non-confrontational aspect emerges as a skill set of experience. We travel with our … Continue reading Five approaches to happy overlanding with your kids

In Northern California, the Henness Pass Route should be on your shortlist

Labor Day has come and gone. The air is warm in the day, crisp at night. Daylight shrinks. Kids seem to have soccer almost every day. But, you haven’t given up on travel and exploration for the season. In the Northern Sierra exists the remnants of the California Trail, the Henness Pass Road that spans … Continue reading In Northern California, the Henness Pass Route should be on your shortlist

Fresh Roadkill: The Mountain House 30-Year Guarantee

Mountain House has been making backpacking food for over 45 years. On their website, the company says that their food will still taste good in 30 years from its manufacture date. We are going to see if that is true. In 2018 my grandparents moved to Reno, NV from their home in Connecticut where they … Continue reading Fresh Roadkill: The Mountain House 30-Year Guarantee

Impressions: Adventure Van Expo II

It will seem geeky, but I’ve been excited about the return of A.V.E. to Tahoe all summer. A.V.E. has grown into an expo series. In 2019 there had been three previous expos in Dillon, CO, Big Bear, and Mount Hood. It has caught the attention of some very well-respected publications in the overland community. Now … Continue reading Impressions: Adventure Van Expo II

Desert Temple of the Sea Dragon

It could be the greatest adventure of his life… so far. Finn has an affinity for exploration. He has ascended peaks, prospected minerals, and searched for the elusive Sierra Yeti. All of this before he reached 5 years of age. Our entire excursion into the central Nevadan desert had been planned around creating an inspirational … Continue reading Desert Temple of the Sea Dragon

Quest of the Sandstone Buddha

Radio crackles – "you're smoking, your brakes are on fire!" Downshift – engine screams “We’re still going 50 I think” quick mental conversion, the speedo reads in km/h. Angus’ body sways on the steep descent. I make the smallest possible corrective movements to keep us steady. “How far do we have to the bottom?” Tour … Continue reading Quest of the Sandstone Buddha

Impressions: The Overland Expo West 2019

This year’s Overland Expo West appears to have surprised a few folks. This was our third year in attendance.  We arrived in Flagstaff with mixed expectations. There are several reviews published so far praising the event. Here are our thoughts. A year ago, Danny and I rolled out of the OEW-18 with an assorted bag … Continue reading Impressions: The Overland Expo West 2019

Identity: Angus

“Is your visit business or personal?” – Canadian Border Services Agency. “Personal” – JR. “How long will you be here?” – CBSA (the agent may have been all of 26 years old). “1 day” – JR. “Where are you coming from?” – CBSA (Her name was Audrey). “California” – JR. “You will conduct all of … Continue reading Identity: Angus

Impressions: The Adventure Van Expo

First off – this is awesome.  Everything about this event and this day was Tahoe Love.  I will acquiesce that I am incredibly biased with having this happen in my own backyard.  SO, the first ever Adventure Van Expo, at Tahoe, on the west shore, at Homewood, made me proud.  For those of you who … Continue reading Impressions: The Adventure Van Expo

In Search of the Elders

The earth was re-awakening 11,500 years ago. The 10th millennium BC marked the end of the Pleistocene epoch and the beginning of the Holocene. The world’s population of humans was less than ten million people, most of which were hunter-gatherers. Some pockets of Egypt, Jordan, Kurdistan, and Persia demonstrated evidence of harvest but widespread cultivation … Continue reading In Search of the Elders

TLCA’s 30th Rubithon

Recently I was presented with the opportunity to ride along with the Toyota Land Cruiser Association’s 30th running of the Rubithon.  The annual event provides members with the opportunity to participate in one or more of several runs to Rubicon Springs on one of the most esteemed and difficult trails in the Western Hemisphere.  As … Continue reading TLCA’s 30th Rubithon

Devils and Ghosts

Nevada gets a bad rap. Mostly originating from non-Nevadans. The gaggles of gawking gapers who arrive in waves to lay siege on Lake Tahoe or the hordes of zombies, hung over and burned out from too many days on the strip, pitifully attempting to board a Southwest flight back to Hartford (if you’ve ever had … Continue reading Devils and Ghosts

The Crystal Quest

During World War II, large volumes of crystals were needed for use in two-way radios. The Crystal Mine, at Crystal Peak west of Reno in the Humboldt-Toiyable National Forest, gets its name from the quartz crystals that were extracted here. The military used dynamite to blast the hillside to reveal the seams of quartz crystals. … Continue reading The Crystal Quest

Fresh Roadkill: Cooking on the Roll

Everyone who has taken to the road, regardless of destination or duration, has confronted the challenge of a meal and the best balance of feeding themselves.  There are endless approaches, wisdom, and best practices.  Everyone does what’s best for themselves.  It’s a wonderful exercise in continuous improvement.  Here’s how we’ve evolved.  I’ve never organized our … Continue reading Fresh Roadkill: Cooking on the Roll

The Sandstone Chronicles

A bright, brisk Sunday morning.  The loose plan for the next week: explore the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, check out the Grand Staircase or Zion if time allowed, meander west across Nevada, and meet up with the rest of the team somewhere in the Sierras. Step 1: resupply and refresh all of our … Continue reading The Sandstone Chronicles

Impressions: The Overland Expo West 2018

Expectations ran pretty high for this year’s OEW.  There was our own stoke from last year, fueled by regular emails of photos, updates, videos by the overland expo organization.  Jumping into the mix were the folks from Seaholm Watches with a scavenger hunt for the week before the expo.  The classes looked interesting.  The program … Continue reading Impressions: The Overland Expo West 2018

The long road to Flag

It wasn’t long after my buddy Dan and I flew into Phoenix in May 2017 to attend our first Overland Expo West (OEW) that we started to plan our return trip for 2018.   In that first experience, we rolled into the camp area in a rented Audi A6, needless to say, that we caught a … Continue reading The long road to Flag