Covercraft helps Lonesome George II – April 2020

April 9, 2020

Time warp back to 1988 on the Galapagos Islands when we had a personal introduction to Lonesome George, the last known survivor of the giant Galapagos Tortoise, (C.n.abingdoni), on the Pinta Island. On January 25, 2012, Lonesome George died at an estimated age of 100 years, not that old for a Galapagos tortoise. They can reach 200.

It was 1988 and we were exploring the amazing Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. Lonesome George was hanging out at the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island. He loved to have his neck rubbed.

It was 1988 and we were exploring the amazing Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. Lonesome George was hanging out at the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island. He loved to have his neck rubbed.

In the 16th century, there were more than 250,000 tortoises in the Galapagos. Their ability to survive without food or water for up to a year was part of their downfall. When pirates, whalers and fur sealers discovered that they could have fresh meat for their long voyages by storing live giant tortoises in the holds of their ships, the species was doomed. They were also exploited for their oil, which was used to light lamps and in the 20th century for sun cream!

Our Mascot – The Galapagos Tortoise

The Galapagos tortoise has been our mascot since Land Rover days. The Turtle One was called La Tortuga Azul , (The Blue Turtle), and thus was born The Turtle Expedition, Unltd., as we traveled the world slowly with our house on our back and our adventures were clearly “Unlimited”.

Readers like you who have followed us around the globe for decades—or maybe for just a few years—in magazines like Four Wheeler, Off-Road, Power Stroke Registry, Trailer Life and Overland Journal, or similar publications in 10 different countries, you know the kind of roads we drive. You’ve seen us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and at www.turtleexpedition.com. At shows like SEMA in Las Vegas and Overland Expo in Arizona, a common question is, “Wow, how do you keep this truck so clean?” The sarcastic answer with some truth is, we take a rag and wipe off the dirt.

2016: The Turtle IV, BMW 330ci, The Turtle V at a photo op.

2016: The Turtle IV, BMW 330ci, The Turtle V at a photo op.

Some of our most valuable possessions are protected from the weather when they are not in the garage.

Some of our most valuable possessions are protected from the weather when they are not in the garage.

On the road, we carry a “wash kit” with a tire brush, a long handle brush, a bucket and a few Carrand™ Professional drying and detailing towels and a couple of Carrand Water Blades. Seriously, if you are still using an old bath towel or a leather chamois to dry your vehicle you may still be playing music on 8-tracks! For quick clean-ups we make room for a couple of packs of disposable Glossers by CleanTools. A small can of Turtle Wax Bug & Tar Remover can work when elbow grease fails.

Lonesome George II finds a Home

Thanks to a forklift and a couple of body-builder friends, this 300-lb tortoise now has a safe home in front of our office.

Thanks to a forklift and a couple of body-builder friends, this 300-lb tortoise now has a safe home in front of our office.

We don’t like a dirty truck, and we know, whether or not they have a personality, clean vehicles run better. Find us a river, a lake or a hose on the side of the road, or in the case of a special creek in the mountains of Tajikistan where we had a little help, it’s wash day. (https://turtleexpedition.com/along-the-pamir-highway-tajikistan-8-july-2014/) & (https://turtleexpedition.com/the-magic-girl-of-the-pamirs-update-november-2018/).

Turtle George and The Turtle V waiting patiently for Spring to arrive.

So that’s half the answer of how we keep an expedition vehicle that has logged over 200,000 miles looking sorta like new! But we are not on the road all the time. When we are home in California, we do have a garage which is often half full of our furniture when we are gone for years at a time and our house is rented. Protecting our vehicles from the crud of bird doo, pitch, dust, tree pollen and the damaging ultraviolet rays and heat of the sun is clearly a job for Covercraft. Since 1965, Covercraft has been the #1 source for custom automotive protection worldwide. Their vast line of quality products include Custom Car Covers, Custom Seat Covers, Dash Covers, full and half Pickup Covers and Custom just about anything you want to protect, including expensive tires and totally one-off custom vehicles like our own Turtle Expedition trucks.

Now fast forward 32 years since we met Lonesome George at his home in the Galapagos, or 48 years since we drove away from South Lake Tahoe in our trusty Land Rover, La Tortuga Azul. At a local garden supply store we recently discovered a near exact replica of Lonesome George. Thanks to a forklift and a couple of body-builder friends, this 300-lb tortoise has a new safe home in front of our office.

Lonesome George II likes his Neck rubbed

Our own Lonesome George II does not seem to mind having his neck rubbed either.

Our own Lonesome George II does not seem to mind having his neck rubbed either.

Then we started thinking. Since we will be gone over a year in South America, wouldn’t it be nice to have some kind of cover over Lonesome George II to keep the birds from using his shell for a bathroom. If Covercraft can make custom covers for everything from giant travel trailers to custom expedition campers to motorcycles, maybe they could make a special custom cover for Lonesome George II. We took a few measurements. “Of course”, they said! Made from their WeatherShield HP Cover material, our mascot will be protected from rain, snow and bird poop in our absence. If you have anything you need to protect, Covercraft has the answer.We again thank and congratulate Covercraft for shifting their manufacturing from quality car and seat covers to protective gear for medical personnel and first responders to help fight the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Reptile Magazine: Lonesome George dies

One Response to “Covercraft helps Lonesome George II – April 2020”

  1. Gary and Monika
    We enjoy everyone of your posts. Hope you are home and safe. I’m sure you can’t wait to get going again as we are. One trip cut short and several up in the air right now. Hope this Covid thing gets cleared up soon. Stay safe. Waiting for next update from you.
    Terry and Terri Cole

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