• Home
  • /
  • Adventure
  • /
  • A year in review: Overland International’s 2015


A year in review: Overland International’s 2015

Time sure does fly when you’re having fun. It seems like just yesterday that we laid out our plans for 2015, and here we are a year later about to do it all over again. The past twelve months have certainly been some of our favorites, with countless new memories, exciting adventures, and best of all new friends from all over the world. As we prepare to head into 2016, we find ourselves looking back at the accomplishments and experiences of the last year. We hope that these trips have inspired you to have your own adventures, and we look forward to even more journeys with you in the future. From our family to yours, we hope you have a joyous holiday season and a happy new year.

 

Nepal

As one of a handful of journalists selected to visit Nepal to report on the country’s state of affairs after the tragic earthquake in April, I discovered a destination very much ready for tourists. After a week long walk into the Khumbu Valley beneath the shadow of Mount Everest, I came home forever changed by my experience. Nepal is a land of unimaginable beauty. I will return. – Christophe Noel   Read the story here: Destination Nepal

Nepal_1

Nepal_4 Nepal_3

Nepal_2

Wild West in a Sprinter Mojave

After his tour of Sportsmobile West’s facility, Chris Collard and his wife Suzanne headed for Wyoming in a new Sprinter Mojave to explore Teton-Bridger and Yosemite National Parks and the Wild West town of Cody. Look for an article on this adventure in the Spring Issue of Overland Journal.

2015 Collard -  Wild West in a Sprinter 002

2015 Collard -  Wild West in a Sprinter 0032015 Collard -  Wild West in a Sprinter 0042015 Collard -  Wild West in a Sprinter 005

Cambodia

Itchy feet found Chris Collard in Cambodia with long-time Overland Journal contributor Sam Watson for two weeks of trekking through backcountry rice paddies, fishing villages, and Angkor Wat in a Land Rover Defender.

2015 Collard -  Cambodia 002

2015 Collard -  Cambodia 0032015 Collard -  Cambodia 004
2015 Collard -  Cambodia 0052015 Collard -  Cambodia 0062015 Collard -  Cambodia 007

Iceland

Scott Brady was up to his usual travel shenanigans this year, and packed in some really incredible trips. This beautiful shot is from his circumnavigation of Iceland.

DSCF2635

Alpine Loop, Colorado

Many of you may not know this, but Expedition Portal is on the leading edge of the bicycle industry. Over the last two years, we have had the rare opportunity to test revolutionary mountain bikes months before the buying public, or even the core bicycle media. This summer I took Salsa Cycles’ latest adventure bicycle, the Deadwood, on a three day ride around the famous Alpine Loop in Colorado. It was one of the most scenic escapes of the year. – Christophe Noel  Find the story here: Three Days of Deadwood

Deadwood_2

Deadwood_4Deadwood_3

Deadwood_1

 

Kenya

Chris Collard’s next adventure was in Kenya, where he and Sam Watson visited Tsavo National Park before heading north to Meru to work with Born Free Foundation on a new lion survey and with the Kenya Wildlife Service on anti-poaching patrols.

2015 Collard -  Kenya 001

2015 Collard -  Kenya 0062015 Collard -  Kenya 005
2015 Collard -  Kenya 0042015 Collard -  Kenya 003

2015 Collard -  Kenya 002 (1)

Hema Map Patrol and completion of the Land Cruisers Direct BJ74

Overland International had the great privilege of partnering with Hema Maps this year to bring new GPX tracks to the Hema Explorer App, and new four-wheel drive stories to our readers. The project not only took us back to trails which hold a special place in our hearts, but gave us the chance to explore areas in which we had never been. This year’s North American push saw deep snow in the San Juan mountains, scorching heat on El Camino Del Diablo, misty forests of the Great Smoky Mountains, towering peaks of the Alpine Loop, stunning vistas of the White Rim trail and the Grand Canyon, the wide open skies of Big Bend, the completion of the Arizona Traverse, and so much more. It was truly an unforgettable twelve months. – Chris Cordes

IMG_9806

 

IMG_9743IMG_9638

DSCF4009

IMG_9530IMG_9539IMG_9836
IMG_7590IMG_9498

IMG_7733_1

_MG_1244IMG_9146

IMG_9650_1

Lost in an Earthroamer

There is no better way to spend a week than in an Earthroamer while traversing the high backroads of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. In June of this year, as the last of the spring snows receded from the highest routes, we drove the company’s flagship demo truck in a serpentine route around the state crossing the Continental Divide four times in the process. It was an experience for superlatives and set a new benchmark for luxury overlanding. – Christophe Noel

Earthroamer_4

Earthroamer_3Earthroamer_2Earthroamer_1

The American Expedition Vehicles Brute Double Cab

Our time with the Brute sadly ended, one of the team’s favorite North American overland vehicles. This shot was taken in northern Arizona

_38C4130

Mostly Dirt Every Day

September found Chris Collard in with the “Mostly Dirt Every Day” crew for a 9-day vintage rig traverse of Idaho and Montana. Don’t miss this awesome North American trek in the Fall Issue of Overland Journal.

2015 Collard -  Mostly Dirt Every Day 002

2015 Collard -  Mostly Dirt Every Day 0032015 Collard -  Mostly Dirt Every Day 004
2015 Collard -  Mostly Dirt Every Day 0052015 Collard -  Mostly Dirt Every Day 007

White Rim Trail

Utah’s White Rim Trail is not a difficult route, but it can be if you do it in a day––on a bicycle. Although it is only 100 miles in length, I chose to use the White Rim to test Rocky Mountain’s adventure-born bicycle, the Sherpa. Knocking out the first 85 miles in one day may have been ill-advised, but the Sherpa tackled the terrain with aplomb, fairing better than its rider at times. A test of metal and man, it was one of the more arduous outings of 2015. – Christophe Noel

Whiterim_1

Whiterim_3Whiterim_2

Moab’s Easter Jeep Safari

Chris Collard has been attending the Red Rock 4Wheelers’ Easter Jeep Safari since 1995. For the past decade he spends a few of those days filling commercial photography needs for Jeep and Mopar. Here a just a few of his great shots from this years event.

2015 Collard - Easter Jeep Safari 002

2015 Collard - Easter Jeep Safari 0032015 Collard - Easter Jeep Safari 004

2015 Collard - Easter Jeep Safari 006

Toyota Ever Better Expedition

Scott Brady had the rare opportunity to work with the Japanese branch of Toyota and travel the trails of Moab with the Ever Better Expedition.

DSCF8378

NORRA Mexican 1000

In May Chris Collard was the team manager and navigator for legendary desert racer Rod Hall. After a full restoration of the Ford Bronco in which Hall won the 1969 NORRA Mexican 1000, they took it back to Baja and landed a second-in-class trophy. Check out the awesome SCORE International video on their race. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqqnXTqrT7U

2015 Collard -  NORRA Mexican 1000 001

2015 Collard -  NORRA Mexican 1000 0022015 Collard -  NORRA Mexican 1000 003

2015 Collard -  NORRA Mexican 1000 006

Ram Rebel

In the days before Overland Expo West, Chris joined Ram Truck for the launch of the 2015 Ram Rebel.

2015 Collard - Ram Rebel  003 (1)

Completion of the long term G-Wagen

The long-term G-Wagen project was finally completed this year and taken on an epic trip with the Adventure Driven crew to the Grand Canyon. It serves as Scott Brady’s daily driver and North American travel vehicle.

DSCF4883DSCF7204

Baja

It seems that our team can always find an excuse to visit Baja, and 2015 was no exception. Chris Collard spent his fair share of time in the beautiful region, Scott Brady wandered down on the Yamaha Super Tenere, and Christian Pelletier even took his “budget overlander” for some well deserved relaxation.

2015 Collard - Long-term BFGoodrich KO2 001

IMG_3738FullSizeRender

DSCF3246

Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame

Three years ago Chris Collard was nominated by Jeep legend Mark A. Smith to be inducted into the Off-road Motorsports Hall of Fame in the Pioneering Journalism category. This year Chris was selected by the review committee to be one of five inductees for 2015. Check out these two awesome videos on his induction.

Induction presentation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGeL6U4FA2M

Chris’ tribute to Mark Smith:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPSD08FpTTA

unnamed

2015 Collard -  Off-road Hall of Fame 0022015 Collard -  Off-road Hall of Fame 0032015 Collard -  Off-road Hall of Fame 001

 The Utah Traverse

One of my favorite adventures of the year, the Utah Traverse, a long-time project for Sinuhe Xavier. We rode across the state, including Canyonlands and Elephant Hill. – Scott Brady

_38C2481_38C3187

TRD Pro Arctic Circle

Our creative director, Sinuhe Xavier, put together an expedition to the Arctic for a Toyota short film and the launch of the new TRD Pro. Scott Brady was brought in as an expedition consultant because of his extensive experience in cold weather travel to support the main drivers Andy Bell and Ryan Millen.

H38C4107

Image by: Sinuhe Xavier

 

And so much more!

We can’t possibly cover all the amazing weekend trips from this past year, as we’re sure this photo-stuffed article is already trying to break your bandwidth. Don’t worry though, you can catch many of them on Expedition Portal’s adventure section.

IMG_0217

IMG_7020_1IMG_7382

IMG_0114

 

IMG_5190FullSizeRender 6
2015 Collard -  BFGoodrich Tire Evaluation 0012015 Collard -  BFGoodrich Tire Evaluation 002

2015 Collard - Long-term Tacoma  001

 

If you missed last year’s recap you can find it by clicking on the banner below.

22

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Chris didn’t receive a real taste of the outdoors until moving to Prescott, Arizona, for college in 2009. While working on his business degree in the Embry-Riddle undergraduate program, he learned to fly and spent his weekends exploring the Arizona desert and high country. He fell in love with backcountry travel and four-wheel drive vehicles, which led him to Overland Journal and Expedition Portal. Chris was immediately hooked by the concept of overlanding, which combines the excitement and adventure of flying with his affection for cars and trucks. After receiving his degree, Chris did a summer internship with Overland International before accepting a full-time position on our team.