We loaded up the trucks around noon and hit the road by one on a Wednesday. It was about a nine hour drive to our first stop in South Carolina before moving on to the hills of North Carolina for Overland Expo. With a hurricane off the east coast we knew we were in for some wet weather, but we were in this rain or shine. This trip was serving a dual purpose—four days of our pop-up shop at Overland Expo and then a week at a cabin with the extended family.
We arrived in Fletcher, NC in a light rain. Since we hail from Florida we tend to get excited about any change in elevation or anything that could pass for being in the mountains, so a little rain didn’t bother us at all. It was October 1st, the air was a bit cool, and we were in the mountains. A good start to Fall and nothing to complain about.
We went about setting up our tent and building our shop, then cooking a delicious camp dinner in the open air. After dinner the rain came. It came and it didn’t stop for three nights and two days. This caused the expo to turn in to quite a muddy event. Fortunately this is the type of crowd that was prepared for it. The right gear can make all the difference, whether it’s your truck, what you wear on your feet, on your back, or on your head. So the rain didn’t slow us down at all. It just made it more of an adventure. And adventure is what we’re after.
The skies started to clear on Sunday afternoon. Happy to not have to pack up in the rain, we loaded up the trucks in the late afternoon, met up with some of the family, and made the short drive west to the cabin to meet up with the rest of our clan.
The cabin trip is something we’ve been doing for the last number of years. Time to spend in the woods, on the lake, knee-deep in a trout stream, or huddled in the kitchen cooking the best meals we can think up while the bourbon warms our throats and the company warms our souls. And somewhere along the way, at no particular moment, we realize that this is why we do what we do—the long drives, the adventures, the planning and dreaming. It’s just to feel those goosebumps at the end of it all and realize maybe, just maybe, it was all worth it.
- Mark Nielsen