'Home on the Road' by Mark Stephens Published in Overland Journal

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"What can I tell you about my older brother? If you're thinking wedgies and swirlies, and my forehead compressed in a woodworking vise, banish that idea. I'm the one who attacked him with a hammer as a kid..."

So begins this feature article in the Spring 2009 issue of Overland Journal. The idea here is that it's juicy enough that you'll want to get the rest of the story.

This is my first (public) foray into the "adventure parents" theme with my paid writing.  Metaphorically speaking, this story camps out at the confluence of parenting and outdoor adventure, sits down to watch the two rivers collide, and witnesses the resulting rapids.

Brooke and I took Chloe, who, at the time, was merely 11 months old, and hit the road with my brother Greg and his five-year-old daughter, Samantha. Meandering through back roads of Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico, we managed to last three weeks living out of our Nissan Frontier; Greg and Sam out of their Toyota Tacoma.

More importantly, though, we saw some cool things and enjoyed the trip. A beautiful blizzard in Yellowstone (in June), the indescribable White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park, ghost town at Animas Forks, Colorado, and a starry night at Chaco Canyon - just to rattle off a few.  Most certainly though, it wasn't all peaches and cream.  Numerous sleepless nights, foul weather, kids with bug bites, peeing the bed . . . but we look back on the trip with fondness.

If that doesn't sell you on purchasing your own copy, I'll tempt you slightly more.  The stunning photography - standard fare in Overland Journal - includes a stirring collection called "Eyes of Hope."  I approve of their inclusion of the human element as a defining keystone in this overlanding thing they try to define.  Alas, it's the humanity and culture that sets this type of travel apart from your typical off-highway tales. Dare it need to be defined it at all.

Jonathan Hanson, as usual, handles his prose with deft humor and detailed facts in his treatise on eight different camp chairs, conservation safaris in Kenya, and motorcycle jackets (if that's you're thing).  And, God bless us fools! Erica Ryberg recounts her tale of bicycling a couple thousand miles from Prescott, Arizona to Sturgis, South Dakota - and does so during the famed motorcyclist gathering.  Back me into the ropes, and I'll admit this article was my favorite.

Pick up your own copy and see if you too will laugh out loud at the bottom photograph on page 36 by Lois Pryce . . . as I did.

Support independent business, starving artists, and other variations of vagabonds and dirt bags: Overland Journal Spring 2009 Issue $12.00


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