PLAIN, WA – Summer vacations are always a blast and ours was no exception. We were lucky this year and got to experience a part of the NW Overland Rally put on by Ray Hyland and his team. In the last 8 years, this rally has grown at an amazing rate from around 80 people to over 2,000 with more than 800 vehicles either on display or wandering the event grounds in a fantastic display of unique vehicles, personal innovation, and adventuring spirit. Located close to the unique Bavarian-village styled town of Leavenworth (A must see all by itself) the 2018 NorthWest Overland Rally or NWOR drew people and vendors from all over the Northwest, Canada, and beyond.
|PHOTO: S. Bewley, E. Bewley|
|STORY/EDITOR: E. Bewley|
A family affair. The NWOR does offer all the amenities such as classes, driving challenges, vendor displays, and a large raffle. All of which have become standard fair in over-landing event circles. But this event, we noticed immediately, is special. There is a real family vibe here and people are much more focused on reconnecting with or making new friends, having fun, and occasionally…. learning stuff.
The low all-inclusive entry fee gets you access to all of the best regional and national vendors that are supporting our sport. They have the time and want to talk with you about their ideas. We were truly impressed with how many newer vendors had awesome products and services on display and the depth to which they enjoyed talking about their creations was inspiring.
One of the cool parts that we personally enjoyed was the random free beers that were offered either by a group of people or a vendor. This seems to be a NW event (all kinds of events) extension of hospitality and is great. It give everyone standing around an easier chance to mingle and talk about casual things. The occasional slip into the technical dull-drums of our hobby can even be welcomed with open arms in this positive and friendly environment.
For us, the Suzuki enthusiast, there wasn’t a lot of specific attractions and there were only a few Suzuki at the event. We did get a chance to meet a wonderful couple from Washington state and learn about them and their blue Samurai as they walked the skills driving challenge. We hope to see them on the trail soon!
Another cool Samurai was this one serving as a toad. The idea of wrapping one with a TOPO map probably isn’t new but was done so well on this Samurai that we had to take note. Other ‘cool’ features were the steel rally wheels and interior modifications. We dug it a lot and this ride is making us think about getting a tin-top Samurai again.
Wishing we could spend more time at the event, our time table for our summer adventure compelled us to move along to the next. We really enjoyed the NWOR and plan on attending next year. If you are anywhere near Plain, Washington and enjoy the over-landing adventure lifestyle, you must attend this excellent event.
About ZUKIWORLD Online: We are an enthusiast web site dedicated to the promotion of the Suzuki Automobile as the best and most capable vehicle on the planet. We offer product reviews, Tech tips, DIY, Travel and Adventure, Forum, Technical information, Life Style, and so much more!