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Overland Expo East 2014

The first few hours of Overland Expo East 2014 looked more like Woodstock than anyone could have possibly prepared for.  Put it in four-wheel drive low, winch-up, and read on.

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It was the kind of rain that gets folks thinking about collecting animals and building a large wooden boat.  Just a few hours into the first day of the first annual Overland Expo East, the skies released a deluge of water that sent everyone running for the closest awning or canopy.  The rain came down so hard and so fast that it was truly comical.

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Above: At the height of the storm, we were under a canopy at the Four Wheel Camper display

Following the rain storm, Angela and I returned to our camper, which was at the top of a hill overlooking the Expo.

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Above: Four-wheel drive vehicles attack the mud hill. Click to enlarge.

What had been a dry dirt road was now a full-on mud bog, sending four-wheel drive vehicles of every description wheel-spinning and fishtailing in spectacular mud-flinging fashion.

The real show started when someone decided that their truck and travel trailer could take on what had thwarted a few dozen jacked-up Jeeps, legendary Land Rovers, and tricked-out Tacomas just moments earlier.  As the travel trailer rig rounded the corner at the foot of the hill, the cheers went up.  Without speaking a word, everyone was thinking the same thing, “This guy is nuts!”

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Above: Proof that travel trailers cannot go anywhere. Note the flying mud in the center picture.  Click to enlarge.

Undaunted, he hit the accelerator, rushing straight into the thick mud soup.  The gathered crowd roared with raised camera phones as the rear wheels instantly painted the trailer a deep brown.  At first, the Ford F-250 made the seemingly impossible climb, impressively passing the spots where many others had failed.

Then, despite what can only be called a terrific effort, the truck and trailer ground to a halt, sinking into terra non-firma.  The only thing moving were wheels and mud.

“He’s done,” said the guy standing next to me.

“Time for a winch out,” said his friend.

Well, if there was one place on planet Earth to get stuck in the mud and need a winch rescue, this was certainly the place.

Like kids running down stairs on Christmas morning, the crew from RawHyde Adventures rushed into action with their Warn winch-equipped Ford F-250.  I don’t think they could have been more excited if they just won the lottery, twice, on their birthdays.  An actual winch-out situation, with an audience, at the Overland Expo?  There isn’t a bow big enough for this gift.

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Above: RawHyde adventures winches out the travel trailer. Click to enlarge.

The better-equipped RawHyde truck made to the top of the hill with ease, turned around, and dug in about fifty feet from the stuck Super Duty.  The RawHyde team then walked the winch lead down to the tow hooks.

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Above: As the action unfolded, the play-by-play was called out on camera with a level of TV-ready reality drama only Mark Burnett could dream of.

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