Trips Research Archives

To Top

Book — The First Overland: Four Wheels & Frontiers

• CATEGORIES: Books, Trips This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

UPDATE II: Coincidently, Daniel Strohl published a story today discussing the “Last Overland” journey of 1955 which went from London to Singapore.

UPDATE: After five years of occasional searching, I finally snagged a copy of this book from the US. It’s more of a detailed travelogue than I’d expected, with specifics on the mileage and other details from the trip. It was a quick, fun read.

From the original November 2, 2013, post:  It is 1957 and you are stuck in Singapore fighting on behalf of the British government.  You are ready to leave.  You want to get home.  How do you get there?  Maybe you should buy yourself a junked MB and drive home? It’s only 13,000 miles …..

To add to the fun, with the exception of a school wall map, you have no maps of any kind (though you do have a compass and protractor), let alone mileage markers or directions.  And, it’s likely that gas stations will be few and far between.  Finally, you will likely encounter various factions of people not so friendly to you and your buddy.  Now, that sounds like an adventure!

And, it was a true adventure for Roy Follows and Noel Dudgeon, starting as two Colonial Police officers as part of a force battling Chinese Communists near the end of the Malayan Emergency.  Ready to head home, the pair bought an MB in February of 1958 and begin a long journey home full constant brake-downs, broken parts, and other obstacles.  Here are some pics of from the book, included a compiled map from the back and front covers.




I never did understand why they named the jeep “Pliuet 1”.



Continue reading

To Top

1949 De Anza Cavalcade – Life Magazine Tags Along

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine, Old Images, Trips, Women & Jeeps • TAGS: , This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

UPDATE: This was published back in 2010. This seems appropriate, since the post below this one may feature the dozer blade shown in the photos below.

I believe these images are from the 1st annual De Anza Cavalcade, which occurred in 1949.  You can read a little about these events from the Hemet Jeep Club’s Website. Here’s an brief synopsis from Harry Buschert’s memorial:

In 1948 (Harry) Buschert joined the first Hemet Jeep Cavalcade and jumped in a jeep with Harvey Gibel at the Hemet Farmer’s Fairgrounds. The first Cavalcade, sponsored by the Anza- Borrego Trails Association and the Hemet Valley Chamber of Commerce, began as a way to show the public the need to pave the road between Hemet and Borero Springs. Over 400 Jeeps and 800 passengers came out for the first event. They took two days to travel down Coyote Canyon. Buschert would participate and assist in running the events for years to come. The event ran continuously until 1973. By 1973 the movement pave the road had become obsolete, the high prices of gasoline made the event too costly, and the perceived impact of the event affecting public perception all led to the its ending. The event took a fifteen year hiatus and began again in 1988, Buschert took part in the anniversary run.

The Life Magazine Photographer was Peter Stackpole, whom the New York Times described as a chronicler of California Trends.  Peter was part of the first group of photographers hired by Life Magazine.

You can view all the photographs of this two day ‘Jeep Ride’ in 1949 here. I have included small versions of a few of my favorite images.  Click on the images to see blown up views.

1) Here we are at the beginning:

Note the Department of Agriculture painted on the side.  That looks like a nice wool jacket, too:

Here the ‘wagon’ train is on the move.  Note the little boy peeking out the window:

You can see the line of Jeeps stretches for a ways:

Here the jeeps stop for a rest; I probably lightened this up a little too much, but I wanted to be able to see the details of the jeeps better.  Note that one of the jeeps near the bottom of the pic has an extended back — a woman is sitting in back of it:

One of the stranger arrangements was this CJ-2A that sported 3 or four passengers plus luggage, plus a plow! I have 3 images of that below:

And finally, when’s the last time you saw a Ford GP out Jeeping?

Again, you can see MANY more pics of this 1949 Hemet Jeep Club Calvacade at the Life Magazine Image Archives.

To Top

The First Set of Pics — The Southwestern Utah 1961 Trip

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images Jeeping, Trips • TAGS: , This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

First published (03/24/2011): A reader named Alan found these these classic jeeping images from the Four Corners area of the Southwest while scanning some slides, taken while on a jeep trip in 1961.  Not only are the colors wonderful, but quality of the shots are fantastic.  The slides came from Alan’s father-in-law and the CJ-3A, the yellow jeep in image 2, was his father-in-law’s father’s jeep.   I will publish a couple more posts with more pictures later this week.

When I lived in Utah, I used to travel down to the Moab area, find a piece of slickrock (similar to the type of rock the jeep below is traveling down), throw my sleeping bag on a flat surface, and fall asleep under the stars (and there are lots of visible stars down there).   At sunbreak in the morning, the light would cause the slickrock to turn intense reddish colors.  Southern Utah is one of my favorite places to explore.

See additional pics here.

To Top

Mitch’s CJ-6 Diesel Tackles the Naches Pass

• CATEGORIES: Features, Trips This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Not many updates tonight. I sprained my finger playing basketball today, so typing is a bit slow. 

This weekend Mitch Carter and the Wandering Willys Jeep Club drove the Naches Pass. Normally, Mitch would take his M-38 over the pass, but this time Mitch drove his recently purchased (out of a field) rare Perkin’s powered 1966 CJ-6 for its inaugural jeep trip.

You can see from these photos posted in August that his jeep wan’t quite ready to go jeeping when he bought it. However, over the past couple of months his got the jeep back into running shape. Then he added some new wheels and tires. Great work Mitch! The jeep looks good and it appears you had a fun run.

nachesrun2013_zpse9f74635 nachesrun2013-2_zps114f3c52 Nachesrun2013-3_zps724a1974 Nachesrun2013-4_zps8b2d6b89 Nachesrun2013-5_zpsb45c24eb Nachesrun2013-6_zps28d402b5

To Top

The Third Set of Pics — The Southwestern Utah 1961 Trip

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images Jeeping, Trips • TAGS: , This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

UPDATE: This was originally posted March 28, 2011:

Here is the third set of pictures from Alan that show more of the Four Corners Trip in 1961.  You can see the first set here and the second set here.

To Top

Letter I wrote during the summer of 1986

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features, Trips, Women & Jeeps This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Last month I discovered a letter I wrote in 1986 during my first summer at Roche Harbor. I sent it to my parents, who promptly put it a filing cabinet. Looking for some personal records, I discovered the letter. For anyone who hasn’t read my book (Finding Virginia) the following letter probably won’t mean much. For those that have read it, there are many familiar themes throughout the letter that also appear in the book. That fact my letter covers jeeps, cooking, and a girl shows you that I remember the summer of 1986 pretty clearly!  However, one event I didn’t include in the book, because I didn’t remember it, was going on a date and having the jeep breakdown. That’s so classic me.

Before I get to the letter, below is a picture of my first jeep two months after I wrote the letter. Cullen and I had come over the Naches trail the previous day, damaging the fiberglass front passenger fender in the epic battle against gravity I describe in the book. We slept that night at the Beverly Dunes. In the morning, we drove towards Moses Lake. Around noon, we stopped and took this picture. After the picture, we proceeded to Moses Lake, then on to Idaho. We stayed in CDA for a couple hours, then started back to Anacortes by way of Stevens pass to catch the 6AM ferry back to the islands. It was a long day.

On the front of the jeep you can see a large chain, which, among other uses, was the shovel tie down. Behind that is a trusty warn winch that saved me many times. The grill is fiberglass and, though already patched once, split into two during this trip. The headlights are 5 1/2 rather than 7″. The smaller size and a wiring problem insured lighting at night wasn’t very good. As you can see, bungie chords were a must for holding down the hood. Wedged between the passenger seat and the roll bar is an old canvas collapsable bucket. It’s still in my parents garage. We carried an extra red gas tank, which is attached to the roll bar on the passenger side. If you look near the rear wheel well you can just make out the racing number from the 1985 summer convention.


Click on the link below to read the letter.

Continue reading

To Top

1968 New Mexico Jeep Trip

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine, Old Images Jeeping, Trips This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

The May 1968 issue of New Mexico Magazine has a good story and pictures on an annual jeep trip by the Las Cruces Four Wheelers and the Las Cruces Jeep Club. Fifty-five people in 17 four wheel drive vehicles, including at least one Landrover, Scout, Bronco, Flatfender and CJ-5 (several of these), made the 32 mile trip through a portion of the San Francisco River.

The article includes a map, pictures, and tales of their exploits. As you can see from the pictures, they spent plenty of time deep in water, crossing the river back and forth. The article begins on the map page (page 2). It’s a pretty large picture.




To Top

1920 Trip of 25,000 Miles

• CATEGORIES: Camping, Features, Trips, Unusual This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

A few days ago in Omaha Ann took me to a favorite local chain called PepperJax.  Somebody decided to turn the concept of a buritto shop — where the customer moves down from station to station as someone builds their burrito — into a philly steak shop.  So, you can get steak over rice, in a sandwich, in a salad, and more.  It was quite good, with the bun made fresh minutes before my sandwich was built and piled high with steak.

After devouring my sandwich, I was admiring some of the old pictures hanging on the wall when I spotted this interesting photo.  I tried to find more information about it, but the story escaped my searches.  A caption underneath the picture states the image was of an Auto Camp taken September 23, 1920 at Elmwood Park in Omaha, Nebraska,.  On the car, which appears to sport all metal spoke wheels (or maybe part wood), were the following phrases:

2. 25,000 Miles in 1 YR
3. OVER – 11,000 M in 3 months
4. over 5,000 towns and cities
5. ______ OR BUST (I couldn’t make out the first word).

The car is pretty strange.  There must be a good story here.  Below is the whole picture followed by a closeup of the car.

To Top

The Second Set of Pics — The Southwestern Utah 1961 Trip

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images Jeeping, Trips • TAGS: , This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Here’s another round of pics from the 1961 Four Corners trip his father-in-law and his father-in-law’s father took.  You can see the earlier round here.

Now, for a bit of trivia, the four corners monument is actually 1800 feet away from the real point where the four states meet.  You can learn why here.

And here they have arrived at the Four Corners, a place which looks a bit different than it looks now!

To Top

Fish and Chips 2010

• CATEGORIES: Features, Trips This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

It is winter time and that means only one thing:  time for the Wandering Willys Jeep Club to complete their annual Winter run over the Naches Trail in search of Fish & Chips (You might remember their 2009 trip report here).  The restaurant of choice was a local favorite called Gold Creek Station Restaurant.

I’ve snagged a few pics from their website.  You can see pics of the entire trip here.

Of course, you gotta have the initial line up …

To Top

Hein & Family Explore Oz in a Jeep

• CATEGORIES: International, Reader Stories, Trips This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Hein, his wife and their daughter took a 16 day trip in September, 2010, into Australia’s Outback.  Hein provides this report and these images of his great adventure. If you missed it, one of their more memorable encounters was with the Camel Man, which I reported a few days ago.  Thanks for taking the time to share this with us Hein!

Hein writes, We had a Fantastic trip through the Outback, not totally without its “interesting” moments! We broke the trailer chassis completely on day 2,  blew a tyre in the middle of the desert and had to replace that, but the Jeep ran like clockwork trough some extremely harsh terrain.

Some of the roads were so corrugated that even with soft tyres we vibrated clean off the road at 20 to 40 kmh; then there were other sections where we plowed differential-deep trough clay and mud for hundreds of kilometres at a time, but all in the name of FUN!

We covered over 7,000 km (4350 miles) in the 2 weeks, 80% off sealed roads, and camped wherever we got to each day. The average fuel-consumption was just a fraction better than my 7.5 km/L expected, with the average price of fuel about $ 1.75 /L due to transport-costs to these remote locations.  It was certainly a trip to remember!

Day 1) We left Brisbane heading due-west trough some farming-country and camped on the bank of an abandoned road-quarry with looming rain-clouds Everywhere!

Day 2) It rained quite heavy during night.  We had to pack-up in the rain and head out further west into ever more sparsely populated areas, encountering the first of many roads closed or severely-damaged due to flooding.  As a result: the next town was already out of Fuel! The last 100 km of Adventure-Way into Innamincka was barely passable even in 4wd. We passed a few abandoned trucks already stuck axle-deep, pummeled by constant rain.

The light was fading and we had no idea where or if we are going to reach somewhere to sleep. Needless to say, the family was extremely Anxious and Scared! Well after dark we continued travelling, the road now an Absolute Quagmire that the Jeep can barely crawl trough in 2nd/3rd gear.

As we approached about the hundredth floodway (normally dry , now a Raging-River), this one more churned up than most by some previously-stuck truck, I had to really nurse and cajole the jeep to get trough. Slip, slide, bounce, repeat was the process until we barely make it up the opposite bank.

However, there was a casualty, the trailer now sat at a Very Disturbing angle. I launched myself out with the camera and ratchet-strap into the pouring rain and ankle-deep mud, with daughter crying and wife not looking too happy either.  Fortunately, my wife is a farm-girl and trusted that I would make a plan.  A few minutes later I had the trailer strapped together and we limped into town after another half-hour, and one last river-crossing, straight into the Hotel!

Day 3) With the trailer needing repair, I had to unload everything and find Kbong, a local Trucky with the only workshop in town.  After moving the family to a camp in the National Park across the river, I would spend the rest of the day cutting out the remains of the rusted and broken frame.  Then in the afternoon, I built a much-sturdier new, vastly-improved little red-trailer, from the only length of 2 1/2″ Square-tubing in town.  Then, I got to immediately test it by crossing the now flooding river to meet up with the family at the National Park!

Continue reading

To Top

A Short Weekend Trip along the West Coast of South Africa

• CATEGORIES: International, Trips This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Claus reports that he and some friends enjoyed a short vacation recently and has some pics to share with us!

Claus writes, “We have finally done a short weekend trip up the West Coast of SA. Nothing hectic just 6 jeeps and 3 trailers going on a stroll. The route all together was about 220km, but it was just fun enjoy the ride and in the evening sitting around a camp fire and enjoying all jeep talk. Just therapeutic for the owners”

I asked Claus about the unusual stonework for the fireplace.  He informed me that, “The fireplace is built like that so it allows many people to “braai”. In the centre you make the big fire and then people can sit around it and scrape the hot coals from the centre out to the sides where you can braai or bbq your meat. So you always have a big fire in the middle so it continuously burns and provides hot coals. They don’t all look like that here. The camp site serves 6 tents so you can just all gather around one fireplace and be social.”  Learn about Braai here.