This was the adventure that started it all.

(Well, technically Fort Desolation evolved over a thousand different adventures throughout our lifetimes. But this was our first official event as a team.) It was high time we pulled our noses off the grindstone of creating Fort Desolation and got back to the experience of living it. 

So we pointed our overland caravan toward one of our favorite spots on earth: Canyonlands National Park, just a few hours from our Salt Lake City HQ. Canyonlands is in the middle of a geological mind-bender called the Colorado Plateau that straddles the Four Corners area where Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico connect. There’s plenty of scientific literature explaining how this 240,000-square-mile area came to exist. But to us, it feels like an awe-inspiring art installation that Mother Nature, Salvadore Dali and Ennio Morricone might have created together. 

We pitched camp in a secluded canyon near the Gemini Bridges landmark consisting of two alcove-type natural arches. (We like that only rugged vehicles can get in and it’s too far off the beaten path to attract the masses.) The campground was a paradise of its own, plus an ideal jumping-off point for exploration. And this trip was all about checking out new routes and getting back to camp with enough sunlight to make a special dinner for our crew.

We love cooking over a fire and always come loaded with hickory or fruit wood that adds a great smoke to the food. In this case, we grilled dry-aged ribeyes over the campfire on a trusty metal grill we’ve seasoned over countless campouts. We seared peppers and onions in a cast iron pan. We coated our potatoes in oil and salt, wrapped them in foil and placed them right into the coals. Of course, our beverages were perfectly paired. 

We filled our souls with breathtaking views, star-filled skies and campfire conversations. Then we headed back home to wrap up this website. We’ve got a lot more road ahead of us. And the more ground we cover, the more kindred spirits we meet. Their journeys always inspire us, so we’ll keep sharing ours in case they inspire you, too. 

By the way, we’re vehicle-agnostic and use the term “overland” to include as many outdoor-loving friends as possible. So whether you’re vanlifing your way through national parks, logging miles off-grid in an overland rig or traveling light and fast on an adventure bike, that includes you. Hope to see you around our campfire sometime.

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