Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

Archive for the day “June 3, 2017”

Rochelle, Illinois

My GPS led me through a web of country roads to get here, and I have to say, the farther south and west you go in Illinois, the more the dense forests and hilly terrain make the trip appealing. Somewhere along the way were jillions of local cars and pickups jammed beside the road for a late afternoon food fight of some kind in town, and the north end of the same town offered a Civil War reenactment this weekend. And we suburbanites think meeting at a sports bar and grille is hot stuff. Whoop-de-do.

Not sure how long I’ll be here: the showers and laundry at this Petro truck stop have a certain appeal. It might be exciting when the time comes to head for the Chain-O-Lakes State Park, since unlike last year at this time, not very many sites remain unreserved, and the unreserved sites always tend to be a challenge to use – which is why they remain open. I’m winging it this year, but who wants to camp on a pronounced slope where even 4WD won’t get you out if it rains? Adventure!

Overland Expo West 2017 – Part 3

[The following video in this post weighs in with a runtime of 8:21, so those on limited cellular data plans may prefer to not click on it in order to save their bandwidth for higher things.]

On the last day of the Expo, Land Rover opened up their test track to other vehicles, and three remarkable rigs showed up to take advantage of the opportunity. One was some kind of huge, ex-military truck, one was the little Pinzgauer (also ex-military), and one was an Earth Roamer XV-LT, a model no longer in production. (The XV-LTS “luxury expedition vehicle” that replaced it boasts 1,200 watts of solar, a 90-gallon freshwater tank, and a maximum range of 900 miles. It also carries a battery pack rated at about 1,000 amp hours capacity. Yow.)  This is the rig that starts at some $438,000 and change, being based on a highly modified Ford F-550 chassis. Due to its personalized license plates, I am convinced that this particular Earth Roamer is owned by the president of the company. Who was actually behind the wheel at the track, I do not know.

You’ll notice a few things about the footage. First is that each vehicle tends to stop and start, and even reverse at times. This is done as tires leave the ground, locking differentials are engaged, or for various and sundry reasons. Some parts of the video have been sped up to twice their normal pace. This stands out for Read more…

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