August 2, 2022 – USA: Week Eight of the Nomad Overland Virtual Adventure Rally saw more teams reaching the 2,000+ level, though the top three teams continued to shuffle positions among themselves. It was a good week of solid progress for a few of the Teams that had gotten a slower start and as Teams begin to focus on the final stretch there has been a rush of activity.
Team 136 Anderson pushed ahead into the lead with 3,866 points. Cheryl Anderson continued to get out exploring as she strategically chased points around Northern California. Cheryl made a stop at Point Reyes National Seashore, covering almost a hundred miles of banked twisting shoreline highway to reach it. Point Reyes is a long peninsula and it is one of the most dangerous stretches of shoreline on the California coast. After pausing to explore the “Historic Life-Saving Station Cemetery,” Cheryl looked up it’s history — the cemetery holds the remains of a small group of volunteers who set up a “lifesaving station” in the late 1800’s to save people when their ship wrecked on the shoreline. The four young men who started the station were immigrants with no family in this country, and when they died they were buried right here. Their station ultimately led to a more organized service that ultimately become the modern U.S. Coast Guard. Continuing her journey through history, Cheryl followed the coast to Fort Ross, an old military fort founded in 1812 long before the gold rush. The next day, for Stage Eight, Cheryl and her husband Larry set off for some kayaking and fishing around Meadow Lake and set up camp at a dispersed location near the dam. In the morning they were faced with heavy smoke from a nearby wildfire, and after a little bit of fishing, had to turn back towards home.
Meanwhile Team 104 Swenson slipped into 2nd place spot with 3,542 points after a quiet week.
Team 111 Potter held onto the 3rd place position with a big jump in points to 3,402. Lisa Potter was very busy this week, with a Stage Eight that took her from Colorado to Nebraska. Lisa was still Jeep-less while waiting for back-ordered parts, and decided to use her Ram Truck and the SxS for this segment. She used onX Offroad to create a more “interesting” route to Orleans, Nebraska where she got to play on the SxS to check off some fun Driving Activities on Fisherman’s Trail. Lisa used the opportunity to compare the driving techniques for the SxS with those of the Jeep. She found that for soft sand, it was very similar and keeping up momentum was key to avoid getting stuck, but in the muddier terrain she tried to go slow so as not to kick up so much mud. Despite her best efforts, she still had to spend 1.5 hours cleaning mud off the SxS. For Stage Nine, Lisa organized a combined trail run/cleanup trip along Oh-My-God Road to check out the Russell Gulch ghost town and cemetery in the Clear Creek Ranger District of the Arapahoe National Forest. She used a borrowed Jeep to do the hill climb at Yankee Hill and the Quartez boulder climb on Forest Service Road 175.1. The clean up group consisted of 6 Jeeps, 12 people and 1 dog, and they collected ten garbage bags of trail trash from around the area.
Team 110 Johnson added 400+ points during this week. Briana Johnson did her first Overland Stage and a bunch of other Activities, which included a “night run” on the famed Rubicon Trail. Well, the “night run” ended up being a bit longer than Briana had planned because she had some mechanical problems. A few electrical and fuel pump issues made driving the super-difficult trail even more challenging, but she made it through and back home under her own power. Briana also got in some time exploring by foot and kayak, with a hike and fishing trip on Rockbound Lake where she made a nice catch.
Team 107 Groth racked up a whole lot of points via the Photo Quest this week. Cindy and Mike Groth were just beginning their multi-leg Overland Stages this week, and used some trail time with friends to check off as many Photo Quest items as possible. Cindy and Mike earned 290 Quest points in this week alone as they traveled from California to Colorado.
Team 120 Rodriguez completed their Stage Three at Hunter Mountain in New York, earning more points by participating in a special event with Northeast Offroad Adventures (NORA 4X4). Beth, Ernesto and Emilio Rodriguez joined the NORA group on a fun run up to the summit of Hunter Mountain.
The Rally now moves into the last two weeks, and Teams will need to focus for a final push to maximize their points — this is especially critical for those Teams that got a later start on their Overland Stages. There is enough time left for some surprises, as even teams that just began their multi-leg trips this week can complete all Twelve Overland Stages before the competition ends on August 14th.