While perusing my common sources of overlandesque info, I noticed the crew over at Dirt Road Trip mention they would be at a particular set of gps coordinates July 18 and 19 if anyone else was in the area.  My interest piqued, and the research began.  It didn’t take long to locate the site at GWNF, a leisurely 3 hour drive from home.  Wanting to give the Land Cruiser a longer distance test run than I had previously, and having just completed some electrical upgrades on the trailer, this seem like a great chance to see how they would both work in the field.  Plans were made, discussions had, and the trip was a go.

Now generally, I take days to coordinate what I am bringing, and the overall logistics around any trip, because a family trip requires it.  This time it was just me and it was only an overnighter fairly close to home, so planning was minimal, and supplies light.  The night before I rounded up the essentials, threw them in the rig, and got a good nights sleep before the trip.

The trip out started at a leisurely 8a with several of us meeting along the way to caravan in.  The meetup went as planned with no issues with any of the rigs, and off we headed as a group of four to the GWNF site.  I had loaded up my GPS nav system with road directions, as well as info to cut over to trail directions when we got close.  It was an easy trip and after about 3 hours we made it to the final trail/road that would lead us to the campsite.

As expected, the final 8 miles took about 30 minutes to traverse, mainly because 2 of us were towing trailers and we didn’t want to beat the heck out of them needlessly.  Typical windy rutted dirt road offering a great view of the forest and valley below.  As we reached the top, and the campsite, mud became a little more of a factor, but nothing challenging for what we had.

After arriving and saying our hello’s, it was time to set up camp.  It was hot.  +90F hot.  But everyone made do.  With few exceptions, this group had some fancy setups.  Everything from trailer tents to RTT to offroad pop-ups to normal ground tents were present.  The day was spent conversing, drinking some frosty beverages, while a few did some exploring in the area.  The highlight was a scientific study on the effectiveness of the various bottle/can koozy everyone had brought, with one notable variation.  I won’t let the cat out of the bag on all this as I expect a proper write-up and results to come from the DRT crew soon enough.

As always, the day ended with a gathering around a healthy fire and some great conversation.  I decided to turn in early as I never seem to get enough at home, and you just can’t beat sleeping outdoors.  As hot as the day was, the night was quite pleasant, dropping to around 70F with a little less humidity.  It definitely made for a good nights sleep.

The next morning was pretty casual with each little group cooking up some breakfast and getting ready to head out into whatever they had planned.  One camper that shall remain unnamed even smelled of french toast, not bad for roughing it!  As we slowly packed up our gear and accommodations, groups formed up to head out.  After being away from the family overnight with no cell service, I decided to head back home.  It was a great trip and I was anxious to have a little quality time with them on Sunday before the weekend ended.  Two of us grouped up for the trip back to MD just in case issues were encountered.  Four hours later, after an easy drive and stop for gas, I rolled into my driveway.  It was a short but fun trip and I sincerely hope the DRT crew decide to do more unofficial events like this one.  With so many of the big events lasting days and costing sometimes hundreds of dollars, this was a welcome chance to see some friendly faces and take a short break from our regular schedules.

Until next time!

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