August 7, 2022 – USA: Week Nine of the Nomad Overland Virtual Adventure Rally was characterized by intense activity, as teams pushed ahead into the last two weeks of the competition. One more team completed all 12 Overland Stages, and the first place team held on to the top spot, surpassing the 4,000+ points level. The second and third place Teams swapped positions and there was a fair amount of movement up and down the rest of the Leaderboard as “slow-and-steady” Teams began to surpass some of the “early-starters.”
Team 136 Anderson maintained the lead with 4,157 points. Cheryl Anderson kept up the momentum, participating in a Stewardship Action, as a volunteer with the Cal4WD Association in preparation for Sierra Trek — an event that raises funds to support the organization’s work to keep public lands open to 4WD vehicle access. Cheryl also continued checking off Photo Quest items, targeting some of the more elusive animals by setting out before daybreak and staking out their habitats.
Team 111 Potter took over the 2nd place position after a busy week racking up a total of 3,875 points. Lisa Potter continued to be creative with her vehicle usage and focused on some of the more difficult map and compass navigation skills this week. For Stage Ten, Lisa traveled through three different counties (Jefferson, Gilpin and Boulder County) as well as two ranger districts (Clear Creek and Boulder Ranger Districts), one State Park (Boulder County Open Space lands) and one National Wildlife Refuge (Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge). She scouted a route from Gross Reservoir Dam Road to Flagstaff Mountain in the Roosevelt National Forest that she thought might make for a fun “winter” trail — it is generally rated a 1 or 2, but with switchbacks and steep enough hill climbs that could be interesting if wet or snowy.
Meanwhile Team 104 Swenson slipped into 3rd place 3,670 points after a somewhat slow week .
Team 140 Bower made a big jump, adding over 600 points this week. Charlene Bower completed multiple Stages and checked off most of the Driving Tasks while leading a Ladies Offroad Network VIP group on the Rubicon Trail for the 70th Anniversary Jeepers Jamboree event. Charlene also captured a lot of Photo Quest items while in the Tahoe National Forest and Eldorado National Forest.
Team 116 Tembreull made a huge jump back towards the top of the Leaderboard after finishing their 12 Overland Stages and earning over 1,200+ additional points in a single week. Amber and Dave Tembreull began their multi-leg journey with Stage Eight, heading from Michigan into Wisconsin, camping at Superior Beach. For Stage Nine they left Lake Superior and continued to Minnesota where they found a great dispersed site at Big Rice Lake in the Superior National Forest. The following day, on Stage Ten, they picked up the scenic Gunflint Trail and stopped at the North American Bear Center, where they saw a fantastic taxidermy Moose (they took a photo even though they knew they couldn’t use it for the Photo Quest), before ending their day setting up camp at Devil Fish Lake in Grand Portage State Forest. Amber and Dave finally made it to the Grand Portage National Monument for Stage Eleven and took the ferry to Madeline Island and Big Bay State Park. They ended their Overland Stages, with a Stage Twelve from Crandon, Wisconsin to High Rock Bay, Michigan, checking out the Seven Hour Plane Crash Trail in the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest along the way.
Team 109 Call had a solid week with a major Clean Up effort on BLM land around the Five Mile Pass area in Utah. Codi Call and members of several of the region’s offroad clubs got together to clean up five different trails during the project. 80 rigs representing B.O.A.R., Utah 4 Wheel Drive Association, Vernal Rock Rally, RedRock Crawlers, Wenches with Wenches and the Utah DNR all converged on the area to pick up “big” trash that included things like convertible couches and other abandoned household items. The group totaled almost 200 people and removed 1,920 pounds of trash from our public lands.
Team 125 Horseley made a big push this week over a few multi-leg Overland Stages. Marla Horseley and her Women In The Wind group based out of Tulsa, Oklahoma set off for a six-day 1,647 mile journey, beginning with Stage One from Tulsa to Ankeny, Iowa. For Stage Two the ladies made a stop at the Field of Dreams in Dyersville before visiting the Effigy Mounds National Monument in Harpers Ferry, where between 850 and 1400 years ago Native Americans created mysterious effigy mounds that can only really be seen from the sky. The next day, for Stage Three Marla and her friends continued their journey going from Merrimac, Wisconsin to Rolla, Missouri and Route 66.
The Rally now enters the home stretch — Week Ten. Teams must focus for one last big push if they hope to improve their rankings, as the bar has been set quite high by competition for the Top spots. But as Team 116 Tembreull has shown with their 1,200+ points gain in a single week, there is still time for major upsets. Competition ends on August 14th.