The Four Wheeler Magazine Adventure Expo Recap
By Cody M. Sisson
For those that live, or want to live, in Southern California, the Orange County area is considered a prime location for anyone that loves outdoor activities. The south western border of the county is the Pacific Ocean and it is only about 2 hours away from Big Bear Mountain and the off road mecca that is Johnson Valley. There is a huge commercial and industrial presence in the county, making it a prime location for employment. Those that live in Orange County usually make enough money to pay for increased housing costs and those of us that don’t live in the county usually have to commute in for work (I’m not bitter about it at all).
With that said, the Orange County Fairgrounds was the perfect place to hold the first Four Wheeler Magazine Adventure Expo. The event, held on March 7th and 8th, celebrated the outdoor lifestyle as a whole. It was more than an off road or overland event, it was designed to show how vehicles are the mechanism used to get you to the adventure at the end of the trail; hiking, fishing, kayaking, camping, etc. There were people and products from all different aspects of the outdoor lifestyle on-hand to showcase products, collaborate on efforts, and swap stories of that one time out in the forest.
For a first run at this type of show, it was a huge success. Four Wheeler partnered with the Team at Lodestone Events, producers of the Overland Expo Series, to pull it off. As an attendee, the success could easily be measured by the broad range of people and vendors that participated in the event. It was more than an outdoor event and more than an off road event. In this one place, you had the ability to quench your thirst for a multitude of outdoor activities, big and small, powered by fuel or electricity, day or night, fast paced or slow and relaxed.
The Team from The Trailchasers Podcast was at the event with Icon Vehicle Dynamics, a presenting sponsor of the show. The Trailchasers had the opportunity to interview Sean Holman (Motor Trend), Jay Tilles (Banks Power), Brad Kowitz (Trail Recon), Ian Johnson (Big Tire Garage), Jason Demello (Demello Offroad), and Clay and Rochelle Croft (Expedition Overland). Each of the interviewees in the mobile studio talked about the show from their perspective. However, the one consistent theme was how excited they were for the event to come back next year. And why wouldn’t they be excited? When you look at the landscape of vendors, as impressive as it was, you quickly realize that the “outdoor lifestyle” encompasses even more than what we saw this weekend. That you could build on this event even further. I wouldn’t be surprised if next years event expanded to boats, a scuba diving pool, a bungee jumping demo, and an indoor surfing pool. I mean, the possibilities are endless.
However the Four Wheeler and Lodestone Team decide to grow the event, it seems clear that the community will do whatever it takes to support it. If they can have this kind of success, on a first try, in the midst of a major medical scare, then I don’t think anything can stop them going forward.