Hi Georgia Overlanders,
February 2020 marks the ten year anniversary of the first Georgia Overland blog post and I thought I would celebrate a decade of Georgia Overland with a few observations.
Observation 1: A factory stock 4WD or AWD car, truck or SUV with reasonable ground clearance is sufficient to negotiate 99% of the legal, off-pavement and mostly well-maintained graded gravel roads found along The Georgia Traverse. As many have mentioned on forums and in conversation, you can drive a common, everyday front wheel drive sedan on 90% of the roads, provided the weather is dry and conditions are favorable. The point is this, don't worry about building the 'perfect' rig, get out there and explore with whatever you happen to be driving or riding.
Observation 2: There is no right or wrong way to 'overland'. What was once known as packing up the car and going camping has become a massive industry selling us clever and robust solutions for problems we have yet to, and may never, encounter. Here's one take on travel today and be sure to read Ted Simon's thoughts on this topic.
Observation 3: GeorgiaOverland.com has had far more visitors than I could have imagined when I began developing the route (later to become 'The Georgia Traverse') across North Georgia over ten years ago. In the last ten years this site has had more than fifty thousand visitors and nearly 900k page views. I know it's not going to break any records related to 'daily active users' and that's not that point of the site. You can drop by once, download a few files, and go about your day. It's not meant to function as a means to generate advertising revenue and it's not meant to sell you on a lifestyle or image of what 'travel' is or should be. You may have also noticed that the site does not focus on photos or detailed descriptions of the route and this is entirely intentional. The act of travelling somewhere you have yet to visit and know little about is exciting and it doesn't matter if it's around the corner or around the world. I derived a great deal of enjoyment exploring the backroads of North Georgia and I wish the same for you!
Georgia Overland is, and will always be, offered to the community completely free and without any paid advertising. In an age where everything seems to be monetized, I'm happy to offer this to the community as a free service. I hope you find the information useful and I owe the community a tremendous debt for making The Georgia Traverse into the what it is today. I see the Instagram pics of your incredible rigs, I read your Facebook posts and forum comments mentioning the route as a destination you visited, or plan to visit, and I find this all quite remarkable. Thank you!
Lastly, I always feel an obligation to remind others to be careful out there. Plan on much slower travel speeds (10-20mph) when driving on dirt and gravel roads. Like any trip into the outdoors, please use common sense and let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return. Trail conditions can change from day to day and some sections may be very remote with no traffic and no services (no fuel, food or cell phone service). With limited or nonexistent services, you must plan accordingly when it comes to food, fuel and the possibility of an unplanned overnight. Pack and know how to properly use a First Aid kit. Please practice responsible use and pack out what you pack in. Stay on the trail. Visit Tread Lightly! for tips on reducing the impact on the land by you and your vehicle.
Founder of Georgia Overland
Creator of The Georgia Traverse