September 17 - October 1, 2017
As @mrs.turbodb and I returned from the OBDR, we were already wondering what our next adventure would be. And, at least I assumed that it would be next year.
Boy, was I wrong.
You see, 10 days before we'd left for Oregon, an unassuming post had been made on TacomaWorld. The Tour was going to be a two-week long trip through Montana and Wyoming, with a group of guys who seemed to have a similar approach to exploring and taking in the sights as we do.
But we weren't even considering it - we'd just taken a week of work, and there was lots going on. So, we'd have to wait until next year to join and adventure such as that. In fact, I even said as much to Ben at one point:
I hope one day we can cross paths on some dirt roads. Love the pictures and the story telling. :cheers:m3bassman
I too hope we'll cross paths (we must, given our relatively close proximity). I'd have made the entirety of The Tour this year if @Blackdawg had scheduled it a month later (just 'cuz of how work worked out). I'm in next year for sure, regardless of time, if you guys will have me/us.turbodb
But then in early September, the work situation "worked itself out," so to speak and I hoped there was still a chance I could get in on the trip.
So, I have 31's. Could I make it with a bit of extra spotting? If so, and if you guys will have me, I'm in for the full two weeks.turbodb
The welcome couldn't have been warmer, and I knew that it was going to be a blast. There was a bit to do to get ready - I needed a CB radio for instance, and I had my concerns (mostly well-founded ground clearance concerns) - but it was clear to me that we'd have a blast.
Little did I know that this was going to be a trip like no other. Monte (@Blackdawg) had done an amazing job planning it - perhaps "the most well-planned trip ever," he later said, with two full weeks of amazing trails, views, and points of interest. Pre-run GPS tracks for the whole thing.
But the thing I appreciated the most were the "rules."
- We are all in it together. As in, we are all doing this for generally the same reasons. To get away from busy life and enjoy some fun driving, camping, and sights with great company. This also means if someone gets hurt, or damages their rig. We all help how we can. Your tools/parts/gear should be considered OUR tools/parts/gear. I know that often goes without saying but just wanna put it out there.
- Respect everyone. We do this to get away from drama, not to create it (despite my constant explosions). So chill. Breath the fresh air and enjoy the moment 🙂
Those are basically the rules we should all live life by, so I was jazzed. And that jazz was only slightly tempered by the "important notes":
BE PREPARED FOR SNOW AND COLD!
Bring cold gear like coats, gloves and boots as well as shovels and sleeping gear for cold nights. We will be at 9000' or higher several times for this trip.
On top of that, if we are in an area like Goose Lake all cozy around the campfire and a big snow storm starts. We are leaving. I don't care what time it is. We are not staying to risk getting snowed in miles from any help.Blackdawg
"OK, I get it," I thought, I'll bring some pants.
Luckily, I brought more than just pants…because snow and cold was exactly what we got. And rain. And mud. And oh yeah, lightning and thunder. But now we're getting ahead of ourselves.
But only just barely.