Nomad Teams on the Rubicon

August 1, 2022 – USA: This year the Nomad Overland Virtual Adventure Rally saw several Teams tackle the iconic Rubicon Trail as part of their Overland Stages. Though Teams created their own course route and could have chosen to do a simple scenic overland journey, quite a few of them decided to take on the challenges of one of the most difficult offroad trails in the USA — and every team that did it, made it through unscathed!

In the very first weeks of the Rally, Team 123 Brezina, based in Maryland, flew across the country and headed out to the Rubicon with the Barlow Adventures crew. Mandy Brezina took that opportunity to strategically check off a huge block of items from the Photo Quest list while she drove the trail. Mandy was the first Nomad to cross the ‘Con as part of the Rally event — and she would soon be followed by a host of others, each team approaching the challenge in a slightly different way.

Mandy Brezina of Team 123 driving a Barlow Jeep on the Rubicon during the first weeks of the Rally.

Team 121 Hentz made their trip to the Rubicon during the third Week of the Rally, heading west from Arizona and picking up a number of Photo Quest items during their roadtrip to the start of the famed trail in Georgetown, CA. Cheryl and Joe Hentz planned their Rubicon Stages as a test to prove to themselves that they could do the trail on their own. It wasn’t their first time, and they had studied the maps and knew the obstacles, so they set out a course of day trips to focus on specific challenges. They aced their “exam” overcoming the driving obstacles flawlessly and the only “hiccup” they had was finding their way through the Granite Bowl where the “trail” was not super obvious.

Cheryl and Joe Hentz of Team 121 made their first ever “solo” Rubicon trip.

Team 136 Anderson and Team 122 Norton decided to do the Rubicon Trail together. In fact the duo had wanted to run the trail together even before they joined the Rally, but the Rally gave them the motivation to get it done. Cheryl Anderson is based in Northern California not far from the trailhead and has driven the trail many times before, but this time she would be guiding her friend Wendi Norton, for whom the Rubicon was a “bucketlist” trail. Wendi, based out of Kansas, had driven her Jeep “Sharkbait” all the way to California for this adventure, and the two Nomad Teams set off on several of their Overland Stages together.

Wendi Norton of Team 122 and Cheryl Anderson of Team 136 together on the Rubicon.

Anderson and Norton ran the trail over three days, camping en route for two nights, and accomplished some of the Activity Tasks during that time, but they wrapped the Rubicon Stages into an even longer shared roadtrip to include three additional Overland Stages in Northern California.

Cheryl Anderson of Team 136 (driving Super Taco) and Wendi Norton of Team 133 (driving Sharkbait) enjoying the Rubicon.

Team 110 Johnson was the next Nomad Team to hit the Rubicon, doing the trail over a weekend. While Briana Johnson’s trip didn’t go quite as planned this time, they still managed to drive out and make it home under their own power. Briana’s troubles centered around electrical and fuel pump issues, and she ended up doing a bit more “night wheeling” than planned. Still, she was able to get through the trail and even take some time out to go for a hike and enjoy time with friends in one of the most beautiful wild places in the country.

Briana Johnson of Team 110 did some “night wheeling” on the Rubicon.

At the end of July Team 140 Bower headed out to the Rubicon Trail leading a group of Ladies Offroad Network members on a VIP Experience during the 70th Anniversary Jeepers Jamboree event. Charlene Bower has been running the Rubicon Trail ever since she was a kid traveling the route with her parents. This year was special with the 70th Anniversary event, and Charlene decided to share it with some of the other Ladies Offroad Network members. She incorporated the trip into her Nomad Overland Stages Three and Four, and completed a number of the Rally Activity Tasks at the same time as she led her group through a fun event that was a “bucketlist” item for many.

Charlene Bower of Team 140 leading her group on the Rubicon during the 70th Anniversary Jeepers Jamboree event.

The Teams all choose to drive the Rubicon trail for different reasons, at different points in their Rally, but they all — like everyone who takes on the challenge of the Rubicon — had an amazing adventure. And for the Nomad Teams, the adventure didn’t end when they came off the Rubcion — it continued as they picked up their next Overland Stages and rallied on through the rest of the summer.

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