A camping trip in the land of OZ
We had been trying to get a camping ticket for this event for over two weeks. I got a message on facebook that a RV site had opened up. Jamie and I jumped on it! We were heading for West Mineral Kansas to camp next to the worlds largest electric shovel, Big Brutus.
We had a tough week, so when Friday rolled around and we had a three day weekend ahead of us, both of us were excited. We were going to spend the next few days meeting new friends, visiting with old friends all while camping in the heartland of Kansas.
We packed up the JK and hit the road around 11am. It was an easy drive, just taking over an hour or so. We pulled up, found our spot and set up camp. We spent the afternoon, just relaxing and walking around all of the cool rigs. The vendors were set up so we got to look around before the larger crowds arrived. We are always amazed by the way people set up their rigs. It seems we always learn something from the way people set up camp.
It looked like the weather was going to roll in later in the evening, so we got back to camp to cook dinner early. We wanted to eat, clean up and go listen to some music before the rains came. The rally had a number of bands schedule to play for the group. We ate some burgers and then took our chairs down to Big Brutus to listen to some music, while partaking in a few adult beverages. The evening was a lot of fun, however the rains came so we had to get back to camp to avoid getting drenched. It was a great day. A much needed day of rest.
It rained most of the evening, making it easy to sleep well. The bad news was the fact that I drank fluids all afternoon, so I spent half the evening going to the bathroom. I guess that happens when you are getting old. We got up and had our oatmeal under our new moon shade, while enjoying a good cup of coffee. Nothing beats breakfast and a hot cup of joe after a good night of camping.
Before I move on from the morning, I am going to speak about the Moon Shade. Before I purchased the moon shade, I had reached out, asking if it would work well with a 2dr soft top. I was assured that it would work great with the magnets that they offered for installation. Well let’s just say that is not the case. The roll bar on the back of the JK will not hold the Moon shade. We did solve the problem by lowering it down to the body of the Jeep. We saw a couple of rigs that used the shade with new Green Elephant tent poles, so we think it will work out in the long run. Just be careful if you have a soft top before ordering the Moon Shade.
Saturday was not a total rain out. The rain subsided by 10am, so we decided to jump in the Jeep and go explore some. There is not a lot to see in the middle of Kansas but we had a great day driving around the countryside. We took a slight detour to the Kansas Crossing Casino. We stopped for lunch, but of course we had to spend a few dollars. Jamie had some luck and paid for the gambling and the lunch we had. A BIG WIN! We enjoyed the day and decided to head back to the rally by mid afternoon. We wanted to do more of the rally. We listened to the bands, watched a class and ate some unhealthy fried food from the food trucks at the event.
We finished the night sitting by the fire, while listening to the music from a distance. It was a wonderful way to end the day. Jamie and I had a lot of laughs and just enjoyed a lazy Saturday evening sitting by a camp fire. Speaking of camp fires. We purchased a Fireside pop up pit. It folds up small but allows for an above ground fire. It was a huge hit! It worked out so well and was easy to clean up and store. We should have purchased one sooner.
I have to say that I had the best night of sleep I have had in a long time. I only got up once during the night and we did not wake up until almost 7am on Sunday morning.
Camping is not for everyone. I am just so glad that I get to share this great activity with my beautiful wife. We truly enjoy these moments together. There were a number of couples and families camping at this event. It is so cool seeing people binding while enjoying the great outdoors. Just another reason to love the Overland community. Everyone is so friendly and so helpful. We always seem to meet the nicest people at these events.
We took our time getting around on Sunday morning. We were not in a hurry for the weekend to end. We cooked up some eggs, sipped coffee while watching rigs wrap up and get ready for their journey home. We enjoyed the morning, before packing up to head home. It was such a fun weekend and the event was enjoyable. We are looking forward to attending next years event. There is not much wheelin going on, but that allowed for plenty of time to visit with all of the rigs and get to know folks in attendance.
One of the highlights was getting to see Matt’s new Gladiator. Matt and his wife run a great YouTube channel called Ozark Overland Adventures. If you want to know what wheelin in the Ozarks is all about, this is the channel for you. Go check it out. They also have a website and other social media outlets.
One of the coolest thing about this event was the location. The history of Big Brutus makes the entire experience a special one. If you are ever in the area, stop by and visit Big Brutus, you will not be disappointed. The BIG IRON Rally was amazing. Come join us next year! Take care everyone and be safe out there.
See all of the pictures from this event here in our photo gallery.