July 17, 2023 – USA: Week 6 of the 2023 edition of the Nomad Overland Rally saw a crescendo of activity as Teams began pushing harder with the competition really heating up. Team 116 Tembreull has held on to the First Place slot for three weeks in a row, but Team 101 Mercer and Team 123 Roderick are close behind (and running almost “neck and neck” with only 27 points separating them).
Team 116 Tembruell of Michigan added to their lead this week after an Overland Stage through Allouez to the Gratiot River, where they followed the dirt road to the mouth of the river, and on to their camping area near the old Calumet Air Station. Amber and Dave continued working on their Activities and PhotoQuest search, and got some valuable skills in backcountry Search and Rescue during their Group Training Activity. While in Calumet, they took some time to check out the Keweenaw National Historical Park where they learned a lot about the history of copper mining in the area.
Team 101 Mercer maintained their position in Second Place, by focusing on Activities and PhotoQuests this week. Tonya and Chris spent most of the week close to home in Colorado, strategically looking for some of the more difficult animals to find in the wildlife section of the Quest. They also ticked off some Backcountry and Driving Activities while preparing for their next set of Overland Stages in Wyoming.
Team 123 Roderick held on in third place after completing two more Overland Stages in Arizona this week. Raelynn connected with Jessica Chasse of Team 103 to tackle a route from Prescott Valley to Granite Basin then on along the Perkinsville Road route to Chino Valley. Along the way Raelynn and Jessica made stops to complete Activities and capture PhotoQuests, starting with a hike on the beautiful Fay Canyon Trail in Sedona, then continuing on to the Palatki Heritage site to learn more about the petroglyphs and the peoples that created them. The next day the two Teams continued exploring around Jerome, before picking up the Perkinsville Road trail. On the way to the historic bridge, they were stopped by a search party looking for a man who’d been missing for almost 20 hours. When Raelynn and Jessica got to the bridge there encountered some hikers who told the Teams they had seen the man earlier, several miles down the road. The hikers headed back to look for the man, and Raelynn and Jessica stopped a Sheriff’s deputy to relay the information to the Search Party. Luckily they were able to find the man, who had left the day before for a hike and got lost. Great work Team 123 and Team 103!
Team 104 Swenson got a nice bump with a Bonus Mission and some Stewardship Activities this week. Sara Swenson was on her own for this segment, and enjoyed driving (she usually navigates while Dave is the primary driver). For her Bonus Mission Sara drove along the very scenic Dolores Road route with segments in the Pinnacles National Park and Hollister Hills OHV area. While she had hiked in the Pinnacles before, she had always done the “heights” and so enjoyed checking out one of the Cave trails as part of her Mission — it made for a different kind of hiking experience with a lot of scrambling over boulders and some fun route finding. Sara also did some spontaneous Stewardship Activities when she saw what looked like the remains of a vehicle along the side of a trail. She cleared up as much of it as she could fit in the GX. And a fun PhotoQuest highlight of the Week was encountering a beautiful Black Bear that she was safely able to photograph — great shot!
Team 111 Potter had a busy Week logging a few more Overland Stages, Stewardship Activities and a Training Event. Lisa has been slowly but steadily increasing her score and continues to climb in the Rankings. One of the Stages from this Week also included a big Trail Cleanup. Lisa was guiding the Bard Creek run for her Colorado 4×4 Girls club clean-up event, and the whole group got to explore the Bard Creek Mining area as a bonus. They had 29 participants pitching in to help with the cleanup. This was a special trail cleanup — it was Carrah’s 9th Birthday and the little girl had asked to have a trail cleanup, so the club stepped up and even worked with Forest Service to get Smokey the Bear and Stay The Trail’s Rhover to be there for the kids. The participants removed illegal tepees, extra fire rings, cleaned out bird houses that they had installed a few years back and cleaned up trash. Lisa also took part in a Training Activity the following day with I4WDTA-certified trainer Matt Balaz and his On Trail Training group.
Most of the Nomad Teams are somewhere along the midpoint of their adventures and Teams are currently active in Tennessee, Georgia, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, California, Texas, Iowa, Michigan Virginia, North Carolina, Wyoming and Utah. Check out the Leaderboard to see how everyone ranked at the end of Week 6.
Check out these updates, or go to the main news page for more articles and information about what is happening around the 2023 edition of the Nomad Overland Virtual Adventure Rally.