Overland Adventures

Overland Adventures

Last weekend, Matthew and I had to do what many families and small business owners do, divide and conquer. Matthew drove down to Flagstaff to attend Overland Expo West camping and biking with a bunch of other Rivian enthusiasts, and I stayed behind to be a chauffeur.

When we were at King of the Hammers at the end of January, we met Jheryl (aka ev-lander) so when the plans for Overland Expo were coming together he and Matthew made plans to do a little mountain biking outside Sedona. Jheryl brought a group of folks from the LA area and they enjoyed a night of dispersed camping and a few hours on the trails before heading over to the Expo.

Once he got to Flagstaff, Matthew camped with more folks we met at King of the Hammers. Josh and Kenny (aka evoffrd) and Will are the Arizona Rivian Club leaders who put together the special campsite so the group could camp together at the Expo. They put together a potluck, special night runs up into the surrounding hills as well as an epic raffle. Last summer, just before we launched sales of the Thunderbolt Camp Kitchen, we drove 2,500 miles through the Pacific Northwest kicking the tires on the setup. Made a few tweeks and then ordered a production run of parts. This trip allowed Matthew to do one final trial on the new aluminum Overland Kitchen and declare it ready for market. He's picking up CNC'ed parts today, and the laser cut parts in about a week.

Charging for the 1,600-mile roundtrip journey was a snap. There are new Rivian Adventure Network (RAN) chargers opening all the time. And now that the Tesla Super Charger Network is opening up to Rivians, there are even more charging options. Rivians are notoriously magnets for bugs, but some of the RAN charges now have windshield washing stations! Matthew added a little juice to one that was close to dry. His insect graveyard of a windshield transformed into a clear view. 

I stayed back in California to drive our son to three different music gigs for three different bands and then the Championship High School Mountain Bike race at the beautiful Six Sigma Winery and Ranch. Since Matthew had the R1T, and I needed to transport the kid’s mountain bike, I rented a Wrangler with a hitch-mounted bike rack from Turo. It was a bare-bones model and I immediately realized how spoiled I’ve gotten driving the comfortable and capable Rivian.

We squeezed the camping gear and dog into the Jeep and made the best of it. It was the puppy’s first time camping and she did relatively well, sleeping through the night in the tent even if I didn’t. Driving home after a long day of races, I missed the Driver+ features even more. 

Memorial Day weekend we’re camping again, but this time we’re taking the R1T and leaving the kids and dog at home.

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