Saturday, November 30, 2019

Another Vendor Tour

If you look closely you can see the cows
DAY 6 Adams Xtreme Off Road Adventure

I woke up to the sounds of mooing this morning. It was sure better than the sounds of bears. We had spent the night in a cow pasture. And it was also in the path of a local bear.

I packed up camp and headed into town to Blue Ridge Overland Gear. 

The shop is located in Bedford a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. They provide several jobs in this community to help support small town USA. 

I found this company years ago and have been using their products in my Jeep. I have several molle bags as well as their seat back panel. Check it out here in this blog post.   

Blue Ridge Overland Gear specializes in Molle and canvas bags which are all hand sewn right in the shop by local townsfolk. 

I got a tour of the small town "factory"  Blue Ridge Overland Gear Tour  After the tour and great conversation with Matt, the owner of the company, we headed to James River Park for the Roof Top Tent Rally.

I found a spot way off in the corner and began setting up our campsite. 
Then got to work on dinner. 

Using the fork to flip the chicken just wasn't working so we started using our new L.T. Wright Knife. During my adventure I learning a knife can have so many uses while you are overlanding. 

As the chicken was getting juicy on the grill, I made quick work of the peppers and onions with our new camp kitchen knifes from L.T. Wright Handcrafted Knives. Then started frying them up. 
It was nice to have the time to spend making a yummy dinner. 

I made Chicken Quesadilla's for dinner that night. I used the left over chicken to have chicken salad sandwiches the next day for lunch. I was looking forward to a relaxing night by the campfire. Then checking out the Roof Top Tent Rally the next morning.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Meeting My Inspiration

Day 5 Adams Xtreme Off Road Adventure

This was the day I finally understood the meaning of let the adventure lead you, and it sure doesn't lead you wrong...when you let go. I woke up and gave the guys at Blue Ridge Overland Gear a call. They are located in Bedford, Virginia a few hours from my home in Maryland, so I made a full circle.

During our tour of the knife shop, L.T. Wright put us in touch with the guys from Blue Ridge. They were practically down the street, and on our path to the Trans America Trail. 

We set up a tour of their small town shop for the next day. The best part was yet to come. Matt ,the owner of the company, invited us to a dinner with some overlanders that evening. To my surprise Dan Grec, The Road Chose Me, was attending. I was thrilled to finally meet Dan. 

The dinner was amazing, I'm afraid I hogged all the time with Dan. I had interviewed him while I was a host on the Jeep Talk Show and followed his journey across Africa. He inspired me to do my own adventure and to be able to hear about his adventure first hand was amazing.
His stories are inspiring. You can catch his first adventure in North America in his book The Road Chose Me.  

During dinner that night, we were invited to attend the Roof Top Tent Rally happening at St. James State Park in Virginia that weekend. Another great surprise! 

With winds howling and temperatures dropping Matt with Blue Ridge Overland found us a really awesome campsite in the Blue Ridge Mountains away from civilization. The only thing we needed to worry about was the local bear and several cows. 

I quickly set up camp in the whistling wind and went to sleep with smiles on our faces. Not only did we have a one on one conversation with Dan, he was going to be at the Roof Top Tent Rally as well! 

Monday, November 25, 2019

Let the Adventure Lead You

Day 4 Adams Xtreme Off Road Adventure

Once again we woke up in chilly temperatures, but were able to lounge for a bit since it wasn't a rush day. We decided we wanted to tour Salt Fork State Park since we were there. They had some interesting points of interest we wanted to see. 

The first stop was the Kennedy Stone House which was built in the 1800's by Benjamin Kennedy. What a perfect location for a home!   

Then it was off too Hosack's Cave Falls a 60 foot high sandstone cliff with a rocky overhang and a roomy rock shelter. I wasn't too impressed as the whole park reminded me of state parks in Maryland. 

I was very eager and impatient to get out west! I wanted to see the red rocks, cactus, mountains and all those cool scenes I hadn't seen for 35 years. 

We reached L.T. Wright Knives just before lunch. I was very surprised at how big the knife shop was. I was honestly expecting a small shed in the back of someone's house. 

However, this shop was way more than I ever imagined. L.T. Wright also had several craftsmen working for him. Take a peak at our live interview with L.T. Wright and the tour video of the knife shop. They make excellent handcrafted state of the art knives. 

While on the tour L.T. share with us about the company who designed the bag for the camp knives and hooked us up for a tour of their facility in Virginia the next day. 

This is were I really began to understand what it means to let the adventure lead you. Not only were we getting the opportunity to tour Blue Ridge Overland Gear (video coming soon), we were going to have dinner with my overland inspiration Dan Grec. 

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Camping in the Cold

Day 3 Adams Extreme Off Road Adventure

I woke up to chilly morning temperatures in the tent at an out of the way campground in Illinois. I was in my happy place, camping in a tent just like when I was a kid. I have so many great memories camping with my family as a little girl in Minnesota. Sharing the experience with someone else who likes the outdoors and roughing it was the cherry on top.

The night before (day 3), we arrived just as the sun went down, and set up camp. Most people would find setting up the tent in chilly temperatures as the sun was setting a chore, but I was excited to get the tent set up and to start cooking over an open fire. 

I was surprised at the teamwork we developed that first night. It was like we were reading each others minds. We worked together like a well oiled machine getting the job done. Oh... don't get me wrong we still took jabs at one another.  Once the tent was set up we broke out one of our machete's from L.T. Wright Handcrafted Knives. The machete worked like a charm getting that tinder and kindling for the campfire.  

I cooked up some fresh green beans on our camp stove, rice in the Jet Boil, and grilled up some Polska Kielbasa. It was so yummy for my first night of camping. 

I was disappointed to have missed Overland Expo East. The Expo was our meeting point for the adventure to get to know each other and get organized for the trip. Also, we were going to meet up with Nexen Tire one of our sponsors as well as meet Dan Grec from The Road Chose Me. Dan is my inspiration for this adventure. I would soon learn everything happens for a reason. After that it didn't take me long to let the adventure lead me.  

We made our way to Salt Fork State Park for the night. It was dark before we hit camp so we just set up the tent and tucked ourselves in for the night. Temps were getting on the cold side, but Jersey kept us both warm. Plus, I was camping in a tent, what could be better. 

We were soon to be on our way to the L.T. Wright Knife shop which we were both excited to get a first hand look at knife crafting. However, I was cherishing every moment and taking in the experience every second. 

Friday, November 22, 2019

Down to One Jeep

The adventure must go on! 

Even though we were down to one Jeep, we had to forge on! We both had way too much stuff for just my Jeep, so it was time to consolidate. Okay, so I admit I had way to much stuff. 

However, in my defense I was bringing extra things for my travel partner's "home". We unloaded everything and picked the basics. It looked like we were having a yard sale on the side of the road.

After we were all loaded up, we made a spur of the moment decision to go see the Arch in downtown St. Louis. We felt since we would be heading out West it would be good to see the Gateway to the West. We both took a lot of pictures. 

60 Before 60

I recently shared about revisiting my bucket list on this new season of my life.  Bucket List Revised - 2023 As I approach another milestone...