Think Woodstock meets vehicle gearheads. Over 6000 people made a pilgrimage to Asheville, North Carolina, in October to meet fellow travelers, check out overland gear and vehicles, and learn about skills and techniques for distant and off-road ventures.
Travelers and vehicles included an amazing woman
who travels overland on a scooter (maximum distance on a tank=60-80 miles), to adventurers in million dollar global expedition vehicles. Vendors ranged from BF Goodrich and Land Rover (with dramatic off-road demonstrations), to the smallest of entrepreneurs who have come up with clever and innovative new outdoor equipment and accessories.
Overlanders love old Volkswagen buses the most. The four-wheel drive VW Syncro next door where we were camping (above) was one of the most trafficked vehicles on all the grounds of the Expo.
The irony and juxtaposition of the Biltmore Estate with all these scraggly and not-so-scraggly campers was fabulous. The Biltmore Estate is the “monument” of George and Edith Vanderbilt, featuring their 275-room home and surrounding grounds. The landscape was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and includes over three million planned trees and plants. It is an American Castle, as ostentatious and extravagant as it gets.
We love subcultures. The Overlanders are a unique, ingenious and adventurous subculture.