"Winter is a season of recovery and preparation."
- Paul Theroux
CUSTOMER HIGHLIGHT: DANIEL C.
Vehicle: 2018 Toyota 4Runner in Matte Cement Blue
Instagram Handle: @theafrooverlander
Rig Nickname: The rigs name is Messandei after my favorite Game of Thrones character (If ya know, ya know).
How'd You Get Into Overlanding? My sister and my brother-in-law camp occasionally and after I got my rig about a year ago, it became the family trip car. There’s only so much to do while camping and having such a capable vehicle made getting to those awesome camp spots where you can enjoy some privacy from the masses possible, especially on a holiday weekend. Shortly after, I joined some 4Runner groups on Facebook, made some friends and started wheeling more and more.
Current Cali Raised LED Products: I am running the 43” Amber/ White Dual Fuction LED Light Bar along with both the Amber and LED Ditch Light Pods. I got both items around the same time back in February 2020. While off-roading, I use the lights to help me navigate through the trail and the many obstacles it may present. I often tend to arrive at the campsite at night, but it does not bother me as my Cali Raised LED products are there to make setting up camp in the dark a breeze.
Favorite Trip: Hands down spending 4th of July weekend at The Great Sand Dunes in Mosca, Colorado is still my favorite camping trip. The trip was a total of four days with three nights at the Dunes. Messandei and I were accompanied by two friends and after arriving at Twin Peaks Campground around 1AM on the first day of the trip all of the camp spots at the base of the mountain were taken so we began to off-road to the top.
After climbing about 50% of the way to the lakes, the trail began to grow more and more narrow and filled with large boulders which proved too challenging for Messandei. We pulled over to the side of the mountain and set up the tent. With morning, the view we woke up to was unchallenged and it only continued as we hiked up the rest of the way to the lakes and found it just as spectacular.
The rest of the trip was equally as amazing and filled with off-roading in the sand, visiting Zapata Falls, and some water crossings on Medano Pass. I enjoyed this trip so much that its going to be a yearly thing going forward.
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FEATURED TRAIL: MEDANO PASS, GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK, CO (CLOSED FOR THE SEASON)
Location: 32 miles outside of Westcliffe, CO
Terrain: Forest, Sand and Water
Difficulty: Easy - Moderate
Medano Pass offers travelers breathtaking scenery, plenty of free dispersed camping, hikes, sand, and water crossings. Truly a gem in the middle of the Rocky Mountains, Medano Pass is your gateway to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. The Great Sand Dunes offer a breathtakingly unique view that can be found nowhere else in the state of Colorado. The Great Sand Dunes are the tallest sand dunes in North America, rising to a maximum height of 750 feet from the floor of the San Luis Valley on the western base of the Sangre de Cristo Range, covering about 19,000 acres. When the road reopens in the spring of 2021, expect sand conditions to be soft and loose.
To help navigate your way around GreatSand Dunes National Park check out Gaia GPS, the best outdoor GPS app for off-roading, overlanding and camping. The app has a free and paid version, both offering maps from around the world to help plan your next trip. If you use our link below to purchase a premium paid membership you can receive 20% to 50% off.
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