Beyond the statistics at Overland Expo EAST

Mark Twain did not coin the phrase “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics,” but that doesn’t make it less appropriate for the 2015 Overland Expo East. Statistically, October recieves the lowest rainfall of any month of the year in Asheville, North Carolina, but that’s a damned lie when a hurricane cruises by offshore and backs up a massive low-pressure system on loan from Canada. The result was a decidedly damp Expo.

Rather astonishingly—or perhaps not if you know the type of people representative of our community—the show went on. Land Rover kept their driving course open the entire weekend, and participants had more fun and instruction than they would have on a dry course. Several impromptu winching sessions ensued, and with LR4s maxing out their sophisticated traction-control systems, it was likely the only time students experienced instructors exorting them to drive “Faster, faster!” 

Meanwhile, BFGoodrich Mud Terrain tires were getting a workout at BFG’s own course, which while shorter was no less challenging: Spectators lined up outside splash range and cheered as the company’s demo Jeep Rubicon and turbodiesel Defender 110 cleared each obstacle.
Elsewhere in the venue, classes were full (those in the three enclosed tents seemed particularly well attended . . .), vendors reported brisk business, and evening social gatherings in the big lake house were lively. 

Most special to all of us was the Saturday evening introduction and presentation for ConserVentures’ new charity fundraiser, in memory of young motorcyclist explorer Alistair Farland. A room full of several hundred people engaged in dozens of conversations fell completely silent as Alistair’s story unfolded through video and the recollections of his friends. The subsequent silent auction and raffle raised over $5,000. Find out more about how you can help this important effort here.

We at Overland Expo want to thank everyone who persevered through the weather, who sent us emails about what good times they had in spite of—or because of—the challenging conditions, who supported our many sponsors and vendors, and who gave generously to a wonderful cause that will inspire young people to explore and change their world.

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