August 3, 2022 – USA: Just like hunters in search of big game, Nomad Overland Virtual Adventure Rally Teams seemed to concentrate on the “big” animals in the Photo Quest. Everyone was looking for the “elusive” moose. The Photo Quest is one of four “pillars” of the Rally, and contains a list of 150 things that teams can find outdoors during their travels to add points to their score. There are many different kinds of things on the list, but one category is “Wildlife” and it includes a few hard-to-find animals in addition to the moose — a beaver, an alligator and an owl also seem to be particularly challenging for the Teams.
Teams where having fun with this and some of them got a little bit creative in their attempts. The rules say that the wildlife must be real, alive, and in it’s natural outdoor environment — it cannot be photographed in a “zoo”, “safari park”, or other “attraction” that charges a fee for entry (the only exception is a wildlife refuge/rehab that may ask for a donation). Nevermind the rules, some Teams seemed to enjoy sending in their “finds” even though they knew they would not get the points (and we thoroughly enjoyed seeing them — perhaps next year there should be a prize for the most “creative” moose alternative).
Team 129 Raynaud found an interesting “moose” during a trip out west. This moose was sculptured entirely out of barbed wire. While Raynaud did not get her “moose” points for this one, she did get the “barbed wire” photo points.
Team 116 Tembreull found their “moose” in Minnesota. Unfortunately he was part of a taxidermy display at the North American Bear Center, so could not count for the Photo Quest points — though he made quite an imposing photo. Not sure it would have been a good idea to be quite so close to one of these guys in real life!
Team 140 Bower had some fun with this one and made a few creative attempts at capturing the elusive “moose.” Charlene Bower was definitely on the lookout for Photo Quest items everywhere. She was finding animals in unusual places and took a quick selfie with a moose sculpture on the wall at the Yosemite Lodge knowing it wouldn’t count for points, but enjoying the “find” anyway.
Team 110 Johnson found an interesting “moose” during her trip to Spokane. This metal moose by the river made for a perfect photo, even if it couldn’t earn points. (She already had her points for “sculpture in a wild place”).
Team 133 Nikolic was in search of a moose for nine days, traveling from the Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont to the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire and on into Maine. There were moose-crossing warning signs on the highways, and moose-kitsch souvenirs in all the stores — but not a single actual moose sighting in the woods. Finally, while leaving Maine, on a quick stop in a Cabela’s store the “elusive” moose appeared as part of an in-store display. No points for it, but a fun photo nonetheless.
There were a few Teams that actually DID find a moose. One of the first was Team 111 Potter who caught a quick video of one in Colorado. Lisa Potter had missed out on a few “moose-sightings” early in the Rally, when she heard from friends on the trail that they had “just seen one”, but with perseverance and a little bit of luck she finally got her moose!
The Photo Quest added a fun element to the Rally and kept competitors aware of their surroundings while they were out exploring.