The primary goal of the event was to gather like-minded people to come hang out and meet other members,says Chris Devereaux. It is also to educate, and spread safety and tread lightly beliefs and information, all while being at a low cost for all members.
The location was ideal. Palo Pinto County does not have a large population area. The hilly terrain surrounds one of the more scenic lakes of Texas: Possum Kingdom Lake. The campsite on the ranch was atop a hill that required 4WD if pulling a trailer up the steep gravel road.
The event was attended by 120 people who arrived in 53 rigs. The size was just right for people to get to know each other. The itinerary included educational classes, area trail runs on scenic dirt and rural roads, a Dutch oven cooking contest, and a raffle. The family friendly event attracted rigs of all sizes and brands, classics to brand new, and well-outfitted to minimalists.
On Saturday morning, folk gathered for the informational presentations and discussions. It became apparent over the weekend that some of the attendees were just getting started with overlanding and were hungry for information and destination ideas, as well as gear and outfitting knowledge. These types of ideas exchanges are exactly why such an event is so beneficial for the overlanding community. Not everyone can make it out to a large-scale expo 3 states away. A weekend event in Texas is far more attainable.
Because Texas lacks BLM and National Forestry public lands, the Texas State Parks often serve as scenic getaway destinations for weekend camping. The event leaders recognize the value of these state parks and thus used some of the registration fees to make a $200 contribution to the Texas Parks & Wildlife State Parks fund.
I am already looking forward to the 2018 gathering. As interest in overlanding continues to gain momentum, I expect to see an even larger turnout next year.
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Spring 2017 Issue: