Thank you for coming to Desert Mountain Overland. We are a husband and wife team who found our love for overlanding together.
Being outdoors has always been part of my life. As far back as I can remember, my family would go camping and hunting in the mountains of New Mexico. I always enjoyed when we would drive for hours into the most remote parts of the state. What really influenced my love for off-roading was a large amount of open space land behind my mom’s house.
We hiked and would ride mountain bikes through the open space regularly. Over the years mountain bikes turned into mini-bikes, mini-bikes turned into 4-wheelers, and as a teenager 4-wheelers finally turned into cars and trucks. I even used drive my first car, a 1998 Honda Civic, as far as I could into some of the dirt roads. When I was about to graduate high school I got a 2003 Toyota Tacoma. A 2.5 inch lift and larger tires later, this truck was my favorite vehicle, even to this day. I don’t think there was a rough dirt road or dry wash that I did not drive though at one point or another in that open space.
I would end up driving my Tacoma everywhere so I could get the chance to go off-roading. The Jemez and Gila mountains would be my playground over the years. I even learned how to be pretty self sufficient when I would drive myself to family camping trips with my own food and gear. I would sleep in the bed of the Tacoma with a large tarp covering the whole truck as a makeshift tent.
My drive to get into overlanding would come after getting married to Crystal and moving to Utah. I met a great friend who got me more involved in off-roading in all these new-to-me Utah areas. He would eventually start pointing to a couple prominent overlanding YouTubers to watch. I had never heard the term overlanding before, but have been hooked ever since. Happily Crystal was equally hooked and thus has prompted us to more adequately build out our equipment to do more camping, off-roading, and overlanding.
I grew up in the middle of nowhere New Mexico. My family wasn’t really outdoorsy at all, but I spent as much time as I could outside. The only thing I knew about off-roading was the four wheelers that the kids who lived on farms and who went hunting had. As I got older, that didn’t change much. It truly wasn’t until I met Eddie and we drove to California that I saw off-roading in the sand dunes along I-10. But I wasn’t interested.
I’ve always been passionate about and drawn to the mountains. I could go traipsing around in the woods for hours. None of the common dangers have ever concerned me. But I didn’t know there were paths and trails for vehicles to go exploring. I literally thought it was all hiking trails.
As I got older, I started to see magazine covers or pictures of Jeep’s that would crawl on these crazy rocks and get beat to shit. I still wasn’t interested.
Fast forward to a couple years ago. My husband had a 2003 Toyota Tacoma that he would take out with one of our friends. I didn’t understand why they wanted to go beat up perfectly good vehicles. I thought they were going out and finding places to crawl like the Jeep’s in not as modified vehicles. Every time my husband went out, I worried what damage the truck would see. I was imagining that he would come home, being towed, because he broke an axle or worse.
Around the same time, our friend introduced us to Expedition Overland on YouTube. I started seeing offroading in a new light. Not long after, we went out as a group to go wheelin. I was nervous the entire time and not too happy about trying to go up rocks with brush around us. But, at the same time, I was really enjoying myself. Until, a branch from one of the bushes punched the front fender of the truck that we were talking about selling. It didn’t take long, but I was back to enjoying myself. I talked myself off the rage ledge and the trip was actually really fun.
We continued to watch Expedition Overland and a few others for a couple seasons and there was something bubbling in me. I hated carrying a tent, cots, pads, and the sleeping bags just to be comfortable with my back when we were camping. But I loved going camping and being in the mountains. So I started considering a rooftop tent. As time went on, we went to Utah Toyota Offroad Expo at Snowbasin and did a trail there. I may have been working remotely the whole time, but I really enjoyed going up that trail.
I would say I became hooked. We learned of Overland Expo in Flagstaff and signed up. I started considering more trailer options and we were debating between a overlanding trailer and rooftop tent, or a teardrop trailer with a real mattress. Well, at Overland Expo we made our decision and I couldn’t be happier.
That is when I decided I wanted to share our journey and adventures with others. I want to inspire others to find something they are passionate about, even if it wasn’t part of their upbringing. Life is ever-changing and there is so much opportunity.
So here we are…..sharing our journey with you.