MLO New England 2022 Trail Ride Series

What a weekend! When Main Line Overland shop told me about the upcoming MLO New England 2022 Trail Ride Series (in partnership wtih Ridge Back Guide Service LLC), I signed up right away. I have so much to learn about overlanding.

I’ve done a number of cross country solo trips to Moab, UT, to the Colorado Rockies, Texas, Sturgis, Sedona, AZ, and more. They were all awesome experiences, but it was all about the destination. When it comes to overlanding, it’s all about the journey.

Overlanding is self-reliant overland travel to remote destinations where the journey is the principal goal.” – Wikipedia

When I was in the US Army (79-85), I drove my M151 (aka Mutt) through anything our commanders sent us through. I got pretty good with the 4-speed, even with the horrible suspension (pucker moments), with or without the 1/4 ton trailer. So I think I got an early start off road.

On Friday I had to re-mount my front bumper skid plate the night before. I removed it when I relocated my steering stabilizer. I snapped two bolts when I tried to remove them using an impact wrench. I was able to get the broken pieces removed (images). I attached the skid plate using the six bolts around the front edge. I figured it’s safe to go on this weekend trip without the rearmost bolts. I was right, it held together fine.

I packed the Jeep that night. I figured with my iKamper out of commission (needs repair – don’t ask), I packed my ground tent stuff and enough supplies to last three days. Well as it turned out I forgot to bring my 2.5 gallon water container, my stove lighter, my coffee mug, and all my utencils. I really should have followed the list I use for all my other trips.

When I got to the camp, I pitched my tent by the water. It was getting dark, so I set up the kitchen. I realized I forgot to bring water and the stove lighter. So I packed things up and went to the local store. Came back and set up the kitchen again.

Then I realized I didn’t bring utencils or a coffee mug. You guessed it. I packed things up again, back to the local store I went. I was lucky, they were closing in 20 minutes. Came back and finally started cooking dinner.

The folks on the trip started their campfire, while I was starting to get low on blood sugar. I remember being asked if I planned to join them. I responded “I have to eat”, but it came out a little louder than I wanted. I sounded a little like Chris Farley at the end of this infamous SNL sketch. #hypoglicemia

Saturday’s blue trail was downright awesome. Beautiful scenery. Challenging terrain. Ok, for the Toyotas. Not so much for the Jeeps. Sunday’s green trail was even more beautiful, with easier terrain. I can’t remember seeing so much beauty in only a couple days. Overlanding is indeed about the journey.

I had a blast. I learned a lot. I understand why overlanding is a thing. I can’t wait to do it again!

My GMRS antenna snapped. It was a 5/8 wave that worked great. Luckily I carry spares, so I replaced it with a 1/2 wave. Works well on a trip with a dozen or so vehicles, but isn’t great for long(er) distances. I posted to the Expedition Portal to see what folks there think.

Stopped at a no touch pressure wash on the way back. That Virginia mud came off on the first try!