How did a typical suburban family all of a sudden turn outdoor-craved overlanders?
Like many others, the COVID pandemic changed our world. Once being content to watch TV, play video games, and go out only on nice days, we found ourselves with the need to get out of the house where we had been stuck far too long. We worked from home, attended school from home, started going stir crazy at home… But what could we do when we needed to stay away from everyone?
As a prior service member and boy scout I (Jason) was no stranger to the outdoors, and Anna could hold her own having explored the county, traveling on her own. It was time to get the kids away from the screen, get dirty, have some fun, and learn some outdoor life skills.
Having purchased our FJ Cruiser not long before this we headed out to the only place I knew of where you could ride ‘off road’, the New Jersey Pine Barrens.
While being outdoors capable, taking a vehicle off of the pavement was still relatively new. We took to the pines without concern because we would just go around anything we were not comfortable with.
As you can see to the right, that didn’t work out. We tried to go around a large puddle and broke through ice and snow to the unseen slop below. Luckily there were some some folks who pulled us out before too long. But we knew then that we needed to outfit the FJ before getting in any further.
We played it safe for a long time, and even started recording some early trail rides, but it wasn’t till the 2022 Mid Atlantic Overland Festival where we got serious. We brought Casey (The FJ) to Mainline Overland… and as the video can tell, the rest is history!
Now we’re in a constant search for new places to explore, vistas to look out from, and interesting side quests where we discover local history, good food, and meet like-minded people to share in the adventure. There is so much to see and we’ve only scratched the surface. If you’re read this far, maybe you too are looking for some adventure? Connect with us and be a part of the journey!