I’m tied to my keyboard having made a mental commitment to share a weekend experience that most Land Rover owners yearn for – an adventure overland.
As more people look for a permanent escape from the modern rat race – or at the very least seek temporary refuge from the constant bombardment of electronic beeps and clicks – the allure of “overlanding” has proven irresistible to countless vagabond souls in recent years. Definitions of overlanding vary, but it’s essentially a back-to-basics form of vehicle-dependent travel, more often than not to places off the beaten track. It’s not about simply getting from “A” to “B.” but rather taking the time to enjoy the adventure along the way. The thrum of a V8 or the chatter of a diesel can do wonders as a form of therapy
One of a growing number of organized overlanding events around the country, The Mid-Atlantic Overland Festival has been growing for several years. The 2016 event was hosted on a 220-acre farm in Huntingdon, PA, just south of State College. Organized by veteran overlanders Ray and Marianne Hyland, (no doubt familiar to readers of Overland Journal) who also coordinate other Overland Festivals around the country, this four-day event held from August 11-14 had something for everyone.
The event welcomed travelers with all types of vehicles, from 4x4s to campers and even motorcycles. Starting with morning yoga to calm the mind and body, participants could choose from a variety of lecture sessions throughout the day, ranging from trip planning to emergency medical issues.
The timing of the rally coincided with an oppressive East Coast heat wave, accented by thunderstorms channeling through the valley. Nevertheless, the turnout was strong with several hundred braving the sun, the humidity, and the occasional deluge from the heavens. After all, inclement weather is just another element of adventure, right
Having picked up an ample supply of motivation and advice from the festival, I believe it may just be time to hit the road again! Maybe do a little over-the-road diesel therapy and see if I can’t hit the mental reset button in the process.