Ya, you read that right. 4400 miles in 6 days. Why you ask? Well, what had happened was… My Go Fast Camper was sitting in Bozeman Montana mocking me, and I really wanted to get out and use it. But let’s back up a little.
Each year my wife and I take a at least one long two week trip. Last year it was from TN to Vegas then off-roading across all of Utah before heading home. You can read all about that here: The Excuse: A 4400 Mile, 12 State Adventure
During last years trip I was really thinking about how much nicer it would have been to have a camper like the GFC. When it was raining and we were stuck in the RTT, or when we were packing up in the snow I kept thinking how much I wanted a GFC. Well, come first of the year I decided to order one.
Unfortunately it didn’t look like it would be ready by October which is when we take our big yearly trip. While browsing the forum one evening I found a gentleman that needed to sell his earlier preorder spot. With no hesitation I bought, then sold my spot. Before you know it, the camper was in production and finished! Even though it was a 30 hour drive from Tennessee to Bozeman it was still cheaper in gas to go get it than it would have been to have it shipped. Plus I’d have it sooner.
First order of business was a co driver. My father offered to go with me so that was taken care of. Or, so I thought. With less than a week to before we left, he had to back out due to work. Amazingly a friend of mine from Michigan, who I’ve only met once, volunteered to make this crazy trip with me. We found a ferry from MI to Milwaukee was the most cost and time efficient way to meetup. With that settled, I stripped the truck of it’s rack and tent, and installed the kb voodoo bed caps. I did a quick differential and transfer case oil change and finally threw all new filters and windshield wipers on the truck. With everything ready I counted down the hours before the start of our crazy adventure.
The morning of June 26th, my alarm woke me up around 4 am. I took a quick shower, threw my bathroom stuff together and finished loading the truck. Just after 5 am I was rolling towards Milwaukee. The GPS said it would take around 11 hours. That put me there way ahead of the ferry, but I didn’t want Matt to be stuck waiting on me to get there.
The trip up was uneventful. I got there with plenty of time. I took the opportunity to find a starbucks and log into work for a bit before running back over to the ferry dock. Once Matt jumped off the Ferry we made our way out of Milwaukee knowing we had 20 hours of driving to go and only 36 hours to get be at our destination.
After a few hours on the road we decided to make camp at McMullen Memorial County Park. It was a beautiful spot to camp, but with us arriving so late we didn’t want to drive around with my big lights on accidentally waking people up. We took a look at the map and decided to hike about a 1/3 of a mile out to the primitive camping area. I’m so glad we did! We found a huge campsite with plenty of trees for our hammocks right on the edge of the Wazeda Lake. It was perfect! It didn’t take long before we were both out cold.
With our alarms waking us up around 5 am, we each stuck our heads out of our hammocks and found a beautiful sunrise over the lake. It was the perfect way to wakeup for a long day’s drive. We quickly packed and made our way back out of the park.
Our first stop of the day was probably the most diverse McDonald’s I’ve ever been too. Half the tables were taken by Mennonite’s who were all riding in 12 passenger van. The other half a complete cross section of America. White, Black, Asian, Hispanic… It was a super happening and diverse place that morning! Oh, and that was my first time using a fully automated ordering system. It seems I don’t get out to each much…
The day was long. We shot across Minnesota and into North Dakota. I’m pretty sure the only time we had to move the steering wheel was when we had to jump off of I-94 for gas. Let’s just say it wasn’t the most exciting stretch of highway either of us had driven. Oh Ya, we did hit a bit of a storm on the way I got to see my first shelf cloud in person!
After escaping the oh so exciting Wal-Mart of Billings MT (don’t ever go there) we made our way to Itch-Kep-Pe Park in Columbus MT. Once again we arrived well after dark. If there had been another campground within 50 miles, we would have gone. This may have been the single worst camping area I’ve stayed at. I appreciate the city has provided a free place to camp, but now I understand why most places have limits on how long you can stay. As we drove by Meth Production Facilities half covered in weeds and vehicles that looked like they haven’t run in the last 2 decades we weren’t sure we wanted to stay. But after a 14+ hour day we were too tired to keep going. We carefully got out of the truck doing our best to lookout for needles and broken glass pipes. Our hammocks were quickly setup, pistols carefully positioned in the hammocks, and a couple quick beers were drunk. We were both able to drift off to the sound of train horns and rumbling rail road tracks…
In the morning we found maybe we were being dramatic. The sites were large, the old trees beautiful, and the broken down cars were, well… still broken. Once again we quickly packed our gear and ran to the nearest McDonald’s for a quick bit to eat. After completely confusing and frustrating the poor lady behind the counter I stepped into the restroom. When I returned Matt had apparently apologized for me and all was well. It was early, and I suppose my communication skills weren’t up to par.
With a little extra spit in my food, we made our way the last two hours to Bozeman. We got there about 30 minutes before my install time, but they worked us right in.
Matthias is one efficient installer! He had the foam slapped on the truck, the GFC up on a crane and was backing me in within 10 minutes of me getting there. With the install done in under 30 minutes we took a few minutes to walk around and see the operation. Those guys are awesome! It’s really impressive to see everything that goes into making these campers.
The Purple frame is gonna look so SWEET on someone’s rig!
While the install was happening trouble rolled up in her Tacoma. A good friend of mine has been living out of her GFC for around 2 months with an estimated 5 months to go! She’s been traveling the US and happened to be close by while I was in MT. We had planned on meeting up for a couple days before we headed back east.
With the install done we started making our way towards Yellowstone only to get a message from the owner of GFC. He was in town and not far away working from a local coffee shop. We decided to run over there for a bit and chat. Graeme is a super nice and genuine guy! It was great to meetup and talk for a bit. Rebecca had some concerns and thoughts about the camper and Graeme was awesome about listening and trying to work with her to address those.
After coffee got back on the road to Yellowstone. We made a quick stop in Big Sky for lunch. Well, we thought it would be quick at least. The pizza was great, but the 45+ minute wait wasn’t ideal.
Once entering Yellowstone we stopped and looked at a couple beautiful hot springs, just about walked up on a Bison grazing near the boardwalk, and even made our way down to Old Faithful. Luckily we only had to wait about 20 minutes before seeing it go off. Pretty amazing to see it shooting 80 feet into the air!
Stick around for part 2!