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Gratitude is a KOAR principle

“To travel, to experience and learn: that is to live.” — Nepalese mountaineer Tenzing Norgay

I swear it was September yesterday. It can’t be Thanksgiving already, can it? I mean, I am still sifting through photos and memories. Thinking back to this past September and the amazingly awesome weekend I spent with some equally awesome people in the middle of nowhere in an area of Michigan with a name that no one can quite remember how to spell or pronounce. 

If you are not familiar with the Keweenaw Overland Adventure Retreat, let me give you a brief synopsis, a bunch of car camping enthusiasts from all over the Midwest converge on a base camp for a weekend of fun. We have vendors, swag giveaways, clinics, campfire gatherings, and probably too much food and beer.  We spend a large part of the days wandering around the Keweenaw peninsula, exploring backroads, beaches, waterfalls, forests, abandoned mines, ghost towns, and sleepy villages. We hike, fish, swim, bike, rock hound, and stargaze. This event was born out of the desire to bring like-minded skottle nerds together and to introduce them to the stunning beauty and recreational activities available in the Keweenaw peninsula. 

Looking back to the first event we did in 2018; I am especially grateful to host facility Northwinds Adventures owners Carl and Michelle and recreation director, Rob. Without their support and trust, this event never would have happened (I had to convince the owners that our crowd was more the fry donuts for breakfast than spin donuts in the mud kind.) This location was the right place at the right time, and many great memories have been made there.

Our vendors deserve a special thanks for their support and patience as KOAR got off the ground and into its second year. Thank you, TC Teardrops, Xventure Trailers, Venture Overland Company, Auto-Pros Glass & Tire, Brickside Brewery, ChiTown 4×4, and Artemis Overland Hardware for your commitment to a Midwest overland event. We love that you guys all joined in on the fun and appreciated the time, effort, and generous swag donations. Also on the list to thank are our media sponsors, Overland Pioneers, and Voss Adventures. Jeremiah, Brian, thanks for so beautifully sharing your experiences at KOAR, I never tire of watching the videos you make (this is where you pause reading and follow them.)

I don’t feel like I have thanked the KOAR team nearly enough. Jack, Chris, Mandy, Taylor, Jake, Carly, Cody, Peter and Megan, YOU ROCK. From leading trail rides to stuffing swag bags and everything in between, I am so thankful for every one of you. The improvements over last year were a direct result of you all stepping forward and making the event better in every way with your talents, enthusiasm, and love of this community. I heart you all.

Finally, thank you to all the KOAR attendees. Nothing is quite exciting as seeing you roll up the dirt lane in small rigs, big rigs, BIG rigs, filthy or clean, full of dogs, kids, smiling faces, it is a humbling validation that this community, this family, needed a place to gather. Thank you for trusting us and our vision, thank you for sharing it and adding your touches to the story. It is so rewarding to see this event turn into a friend’s reunion and to be able to make new friends that we can’t wait to see next September again. 

Is it here yet? I can’t wait.


UPDATE- the dates for the Keweenaw Overland Adventure Retreat will be announced soon, along with other exciting news. Sign up for email notifications on our site, so you don’t miss a thing!


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