“Have fun, learn stuff, and meet new friends!” – Motto of the NW Overland Rally.
There was a buzz in the air. Hoards of adventurers young and old, two and four legged, were making their way to the corner of the vendor field. Camp chairs were being dragged along with blankets strung over shoulders and forearms. The sun was arcing down toward the hills and the temperature was easing off. A pile of boxes, packages and shiny things was forming in behind the camp fire… It was going to be another great evening at the Northwest Overland Rally!
Once again Expedition BC made the trip down to Plain, WA, for our favourite event of the year. This would be our third time attending the NWOR and we plan to continue going annually. There are several reasons the NWOR is a highlight, however the main one has to be the atmosphere of the event – there is a tone of excitement on the rally grounds. It brings people together from different walks of life.
It’s a place where you walk by the retired couple in a fully equipped Sportsmobile, camped next to the 20 year old in his rusty 80’s Toyota, and they are sharing a campfire and a good story. It’s a place where you can stop and have a conversation with the people behind your favourite product, and learn where they like to explore, and share mutual stories of adventure. It’s a place where it takes you 20 minutes to walk over to the taco truck, which is only fifty feet away, because you got caught up chatting with that familiar face from youtube, or a camping neighbour with a really cool rig.
We rolled in on Thursday afternoon and it was already packed. There must have been more attendees this year as much of the camping area was already filling up. Our camp was a little different this year, having towed down our softroader trailer (a modified Jayco travel trailer), after lending the Kakadu Bushranger trailer to family who also made the trek down.
Our Bushranger trailer was one of only a few which could be seen in the camping areas this year.
We spent our time wandering vendor row and taking in a few classes. Soon we are hoping to head into Alberta to do some exploring, so naturally we sat in on Cappy’s chat on Overlanding in Alberta. Cappy is from 410 Expedition and has a cool Youtube channel from his travels in that province.
We also sat in on Justin’s presentation on his extended trip living out of his Sportsmobile van. Justin was one of our neighbours at the 2017 NW Overland Rally (see our trip report HERE), and having done a similar trip in 2013 to Alaska and Yukon, we were interested in seeing how he enjoyed it.
As always, visiting the vendors and speaking with the people behind the products is always interesting.
The rally is definitely doggy friendly, and everyone seems to pick up their droppings keeping the field clean.
There were a few quirky things observed as well.
We didn’t get in on any trail runs, since we had a week-long off road trip planned after the rally. Skipping the trail runs allowed us more time to soak in the other asects of the rally.
The obstacle and technical course is one of the more popular events. The Landrover guides are not just driving instructors, they are comedians and all around great guys. Even being just a spectator, you can see how much fun all the drivers are having.
With a variety of different activities and things to see, there’s not a lot of spare time over the weekend. During the few down times, I tend to wander the camping areas to see the different setups.
A big thanks is due to Ray and his family, as well as all the volunteers that make this event happen.
With the rally over, we loaded up for another week of travelling the back roads of northern WA state, but we’ll save that for another trip report. The 2019 Rally is already being planned, keep checking the NWOR website for details. Thanks for reading!