With over 1,000 people in attendance at the 7th annual NW Overland Rally in Plain, Washington, there was bound to be a few interesting vehicles, but the sheer diversity was truly impressive. The rally pulls attendees from all over the PNW and has a solid draw from southwestern Canada. The 15-year import laws in Canada mean that there are usually at least a few Delica and other small interesting Japanese 4×4 vans, as well as newer Land Rover and Land Cruiser models than we can’t get here in the states. The PNW in general also seems to have a lot of intrepid self-reliant people, who tend to create some impressive, and not so impressive, rigs on their own. New unique custom vans and truck campers can be seen at the rally every year.
The most prevalent brand at the rally was Toyota, with Dodge, Jeep and Land Rover fighting for a distant second. The Tacoma ruled the roost, with the 4Runner not far behind. There were Land Cruisers of nearly all generations, but there weren’t any “pigs” or 50 Series in attendance this year. The LC200/LX570 and the GX470 had exponential growth since years past, as these vehicles are becoming reasonably priced on the used market and getting aftermarket support that they haven’t had before.
Besides all the awesome vehicles in attendance there were also over 80 vendors and an action-packed long weekend full of workshops, demonstrations, classes, hands-on driving instruction, trail runs, competitions, mountain biking, yoga and so much more. A highlight of the NW Overland Rally is always the MASSIVE nightly gathering around the campfire for a distinguished guest presenter and raffle. This year’s presenters were Richard and Ashley from “Desk to Glory” and Jim West of Camel Trophy fame. The raffles this year were full of a plethora of truly impressive prizes, culminating in a CVT RTT and a Warn Winch with STEP 22 Gear Winch Cover. Most in attendance walked away with a prize of some sort.
There were also plenty of quality adult beverages to be had over the weekend: KMS’s Bloody Marys in the morning, Equipt/AT Overland Margarita Night, Metal Tech’s Manhattan Happy Hour, a happy hour from TorFab, and Ninkasi Brewing’s nightly craft beer offerings at the campfire, just to name a few. The annual local wine tasting class, put on by Andy and Mercedes of Crankshaft Culture, is also always a highlight of the weekend.
If you want to be a part of a fun gathering of the overland tribe that is focused on connecting like-minded people, the NW Overland Rally is for you. Yes you can check out the latest gear from some of the top industry players and yes you can learn a ton from experts on a wide range of topics, but the primary focus of this event is to enjoy a weekend together enjoying the amazing area that is Plain. I hope to see you there next year! – BD