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The 2005 “JellyStoner Expedition”


In the summer of 2005 we helped our friends James and Angela prepare their Defender 90 for a trip through Africa. After the 300tdi conversion and a lot of additional accessories, we thought it would be a great idea to complete a test trip. Something Connie and I had failed to do before our 2004 Africa trip, and would have helped us greatly. So plans were drawn up. Initially we wanted to travel from Canada to Mexico as much by back-country roads as possible. Due to time constraints that idea was abandoned, and we shorted things to a three week trip traversing Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Nevada and Utah. Still as much off-highway as possible.

So in late July, with wires still hanging out of the D-90 dash from an incomplete dual fuel tank set-up, we started north heading for Yellowstone. Our 110 was still fairly tired from the Africa adventure, so we weren't in top shape either, but that all added to the adventure!

For three weeks we battled mechanical and electrical glitches, miss-direction, bugs, road closures, under-impressed locals, dirt and lack-of-water. And enjoyed every minute of it. We saw a great deal of wildlife including a bobcat on the Oregon Trail. At one point the incomplete wiring in the 90 shorted out the entire ignition circuit leaving us stranded for an hour. And a blown rear wheel bearing could not be field repaired, it had to be taken to a shop in Moab to have the hub pulled off the axle.

It was a fantastic learning experience for James and Angela and a hectic but fun vacation for us all.

Click on the state links to travel!