“All these wonders in one world and you a man upon it.”— The Land of the Blue Flower
The expedition to travel the earth’s seven continents, covering more than 58,000 miles, and spanning three years began quite simply: Two dreamers sat down to breakfast. One had a passion for Land Cruisers – a passion he has had since he was tall enough to clamber into one on his own. The other had made overland adventure a lifelong pursuit and career.
Greg Miller, CEO of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies, and Scott Brady, publisher and chairman of Overland Journal and ExpeditionPortal.com, were drawn together by a common vision: to travel the earth’s seven continents, touching each one in the same vehicle. It took nearly a year of intense planning, preparation and gear acquisition, but in April 2012, Expeditions7 was ready to get underway. The vehicle of choice was the 78 Series Toyota Land Cruiser. By the time the expedition rolled to its final stop in Tooele, Utah, in 2014, the fleet of vehicles would include five Land Cruisers and one AT44 Hilux – each chosen to fill a specific role.
While setting wheels down on all seven continents was the primary goal, the E7 team wanted to drive some of the world’s most iconic routes as well. In North America, it was the Dalton Highway out of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. In Europe, the destination was the northernmost vehicle-accessible road in the world – Nordkapp, Norway. Crossing the Asian continent through Siberia would include the infamous M56 Kolyma Highway, known better as the Road of Bones. In Australia, the choice was the Canning Stock Route. The Namib Desert and Skeleton Coast would be the focal points of Africa. The last leg of the expedition would see the team completing the Pan-American Highway— the world’s longest “motorable road”—spanning North and South America.
Antarctica presented its own unique challenges for Greg, Scott and the E7 team. The journey to the southernmost point on the globe required the expedition to scale back to just two specialized vehicles and a much smaller crew, which now needed to include a skilled mechanic—an absolute necessity on the remote and dangerous terrain famous for wreaking havoc on anything mechanical. It also added new words to the team’s vocabulary: Katabatic winds, to describe the relentless downslope gales; and Sastrugi, the Russian name for the jagged waves of ice blanketing the arctic plains.
For the leaders of the team, the three-year journey was epic. It was a dream turned reality, the opportunity to explore the world with good friends, talented cinematographers, and in the most exceptional of vehicles. Greg Miller expressed the discovery learned by many adventurers and explorers: “When it comes to dealing with other cultures, very little separates us. Whether we were in Africa, South America, Siberia, Australia or the United States, people just want to provide for their families. They all want food, comfort, friendship and a bit of fun. The lessons you learn interacting with other cultures, and perhaps reaching just a bit beyond your normal comfort zone, are lessons you can’t learn in school.”
The remarkable people involved in the expedition comprised a core team of six individuals, but also included a group of about 47 people who spent time on the journey and added to the richness of the adventure.
Expeditions7 wasn’t a trek intended to land in the record books, but one to make connections, cementing bonds with family and friends, of finding new stories and inspiring others to look at the horizon and seek out their own adventures.
Greg is a passionate Land Cruiser collector and overland traveler with over 40 years of global adventuring. He brings a wealth of experience in technical terrain and precision driving to the E7 team. Greg Miller is available for group speaking events upon request.
Bryce recently spent two years living in and around Santiago, Chile as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He currently works for Miller Family Real Estate and is attending Salt Lake Community College.
Josh is a trained driver on race and off-road courses, as well as a FJ40 Land Cruiser owner, and serves as one of the team’s photographers. He’s also taken an interest in outdoor cooking. Josh is currently attending the University of Utah.
Oakley is passionate about adventuring and photographing the varied landscapes of the world, especially his home state of Utah. He has been driving off-road since the age of 12 and owns his own FJ40.
Scott is the publisher and chairman of Overland Journal and expeditionportal.com. He has spent the past 30 years exploring and photographing the world while exploring on motorcycles and expedition-worthy 4-wheel drives.
Kurt has been a Land Cruiser owner since the time he was 15 and has traveled all over the globe in Land Cruisers. Kurt’s vast experience with 4x4s makes him the go-to guy for just about every aspect of the E7 journey, EXCEPT for cooking.
For the team members of Expeditions 7, a breakfast meeting in 2011 would lay the groundwork for an ambitious expedition; to drive a Toyota Land Cruiser around the world. An ambitious goal by any expedition standard, Expeditions 7 (E7) would bring two different adventurers’ dreams onto the world’s stage.
Back in 2007, Scott Brady had started dreaming about a seven continent journey across the globe on his motorcycle. To some, this might be an extreme version of a road trip, but for Scott, who is the publisher and chairman of Overland Journal and ExpeditionPortal.com, crisscrossing the globe in search of adventure has been his passion and career for the past 30 years. It would take the next few years to document nearly every stage of the journey including logistics, costs and potential roadblocks to his dream ride.
“As with many of life’s goals,” Scott stated, “I needed to wait for the best timing, or in this case, the best partner.”
Fast forward to the summer of 2011, where Scott Brady and Greg Miller would discover their shared dream of a global expedition. Greg, the CEO of the Larry H. Miller Group (whose companies include professional sports teams, a world-class race track, a chain of movie theatres, a top-ten auto dealership group and a host of other businesses), is no stranger to travel or adventure. In fact, Greg has one of the most complete and rare collections of Land Cruiser vehicles in the world, and his driving experience ranges from the extreme terrain in Moab, Utah to high-performance driving in the Gumball 3000. It was his passion for Land Cruisers which lead him to dream about driving one around the world.
Over breakfast, as Greg and Scott discussed their shared love of overland adventures, the idea of a seven-continent journey began to take shape. As Scott shared a few details of his planned trip and they each discussed their personal goals for such an undertaking, by the time breakfast was over, they agreed the timing was perfect to set their shared dream into motion.
Greg and Scott, as well as the team that would eventually make up Expeditions 7, wanted the journey to be purely about adventure without the constraints of third-party promises or commitments. If they were going to do it their way it would mean they would hit the road without sponsorships.
For the leaders of the team, the three-year journey is epic. “Expeditions 7 is a dream turned reality, the opportunity to explore the world with good friends and talented cinematographers, and in the most exceptional of vehicles.” Greg expressed the hope shared by many adventurers and explorers; “I am looking forward to being able to observe and immerse myself in many of the world’s most fascinating cultures, and travel across its most beautiful and challenging landscapes.”
The thin profile of Baja Design LED light bars surround the underside of the Eezi-Awn rack.The entire rack is set back, limiting light scatter on the hood.
Aluminum tie-down rails help secure the bags in the loading area. A recessed 12 V switch activates the water pump.
A flat sleeping surface is critical for comfort. The height is set to match that of the National Luna fridge.
AKA “Sherpa I”
This pickup was enlisted to haul all the camera and support equipment for the team. Powered by a 1HZ diesel with an aftermarket low-pressure turbo, the 79 Series also boasts an ARB bull bar and front and rear ARB locking differentials. A custom canvas top includes drop-down sleeping “wings” and a secure storage drawer.
AKA “Sherpa II”