I really like going to Overland Expo. It’s a huge venue, lots of cool people, and the chance to see other overlanders, all in one place, can’t be missed. With living in the middle of the country, it seems like all the cool stuff is on one coast or the other and I just don’t get to see friends as often as I like.
Held just south of Flagstaff Arizona, OXW is the original Overland Expo – there is now an east coast event – has grown year after year. It’s also 1600 miles from Milwaukee. I usually take a week to get there, and a week to get back, but with other trips and wanting some time off to spend with Sue this summer, I decided I would try to make it back in 2 days. It would mean long riding days, but I was pretty sure Curiosity and I could manage it. Sue, however, didn’t like the idea as much. For a while I planned to just use a regular car and a trailer to get Curiosity west. Sue pointed out that we’d gotten an RV for moments like this, and kept up the pressure until I agreed.
I decided to keep the route simple, just driving there and back. One thing I have learned about travel – when time is tight keep the miles down. With Cliff my fuel economy would be much worse as well, two tanks of gas being the entire fuel budget for Curiosity to make the trip. But, in theory at least, it would make the drive back safer and Sue wanted me to be safe.
It also meant I could bring books with for signing and selling, and have more things than what I could cram onto the back of the bike. That would be nice, I supposed. Little did I know what sort of adventures waited ahead in what would become an Overland Expo to remember.
That was still a ways off, though. First, there as an old friend I wanted to visit – hidden in the plains of Kansas, one of the best collections of space history in the world.