We are constantly asked to setup overland group rides, we enjoy it so we do so. Typically we expect 20-25 overland rigs show up to ride the entire day and maybe around 10 or so to stay and camp out. Well July 30th 2016 was different.
We organized a ride and camp out in the Catoosa Wildlife Management Area located in Crossville, Tennessee for July 30th it was scheduled to be an extremely simple and easy route so that everyone can join even the Subaru overland crowd without having any issues. The route was 80% gravel with one tighter section of trail that could lead to some pin stripping but no big deal. The highlight of the route is the Nemo Tunnel system which consists of a ¾ mile long train tunnel that curves through the mountain side, making it impossible to see daylight at either end which is really cool and different.
The morning of the ride we organized convoys in Cleveland, Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, Nashville, Tennessee, and Atlanta, Georgia all with one purpose to meet at the Crossville Tennessee rally point.
My personal convoy group met at Lasaters coffee & tea in Cleveland Tennessee at 8:00am and by 8:30am we shockingly had 25 overland rigs I began to get a little worried about how many others planned to come, I told Ceatta my girlfriend that we are just going to “wing-it” because I’m afraid we may be overrun. Two hours later we are pulling into the Crossville rally point and to my surprise only a couple tracks were there I felt immediate relief.
About an hour past as we wait for the groups to show up I begin to realize our Earthbound Overland group ride filled the entire gas station, forcing cars to park on the side of the road and across the street! We even drained their regular unleaded fuel tanks. Our total numbers were 72 rigs, including Subaru’s and dual sport motorcycles and about 160 people.
Luckily Cumberland County sheriff department came to our rescue they gave us a full blue light escort to the Catoosa WMA. They too were overwhelmed and shocked considering we had two miles worth of Overland rigs heading to one destination.
When we reached our destination four groups were organized dividing up everyone into the proper places. We all had the same route so we decided to stagger each group start time of 20 minutes after the group before it leaves.
After a successful and very enjoyable day ride we all settled down for good camp fire and some grilled camp food. Talking about past and future adventures many even recapping about the day long into the night.