June 22, 2022 – USA: The Nomad Overland Virtual Adventure Rally teams finished week two of the ten week event with a crescendo of activity across the country. More teams began their overland stages and a few started on their stewardship activities this week. There were trail clean-ups in Arizona and Colorado and Nomad teams were busy exploring in Colorado, Washington, California, Arizona and on the famed Rubicon Trail.
Team 111 Potter rose to the top of the Leaderboard with 904 points after a busy week that included several Overland Stages and a trail cleanup. As part of her Stage 4, Lisa Potter led the Colorado 4×4 Girls over the Switzerland Trail to Gold Hill and the Gold Hill Cemetery before looping through Four Mile Canyon. Though the route was not very technical, the group had to face challenges specific to high elevations — they started at around 8,500 feet and reached their high point on Mt Alto, at around 9,000 feet — it was critical that everyone stay hydrated at that elevation as they followed a historic narrow gauge railroad grade from the late 1800’s along shelf roads.
As the week came to a close, Potter and the Colorado 4×4 Girls set out on a Tread Lightly Stewardship project organized with the Clear Creek Ranger District to clean up a heavily-used trail near Idaho Springs, CO on June 18th. The clean-up crew of 23 participants and 14 vehicles removed a truck-bed-and-a-half of trail trash and installed Fire Restriction signage around the area.
Team 104 Swenson moved into 2nd place with 896 points as they spent the week working on route planning and preparation for their next set of Overland Stages. Sara Swenson and Dave Hopkins put together a 1,010 mile route across Northern California, with plans to spend 10 days exploring around the region before returning to Santa Cruz.
Team 121 Hentz held on to 3rd place with 620 points continuing with their Overland Stages around Arizona’s Tonto National Forest. For Stage Two Cheryl and Joe Hentz began near Payson, AZ, picking up Houston Mesa Rd and FR 1562. While Joe was airing down near a dispersed campsite, Cheryl noticed a lot of trash left behind by previous campers, and she went about picking it up, earning some Tread Lightly Stewardship points in the process. Once on the trail, the driving was not technically difficult, but the roads are rocky, so it was slow going. The area has a diversity of trees, including pines, junipers, oaks, and walnuts and there are geodes everywhere. The route goes through some beautiful scenery but the highlight of the Stage was when it actually rained (something of a rarity in this part of Arizona).
Team 123 Brezina focused on the Photo Quest this week during a trip from Arizona to California and the famed Rubicon Trail. Mandy Brezina captured 390 points by finding and photographing 80 of the 150 items on the list over the course of the week — and had a great time out on the trails, too.
Team 132 Kienlen continued with Overland Stages in the Washington area, completing a loop around the Wenatchee National Forest, following Forest Service Roads to Sugarloaf Peak which has an elevation of 5,814 feet, before circling back. Jenn Kienlen also took some time to attend the Northwest Overland Rally from 16-19 June and joined in a Rebelle guided trail run as part of that event, which earned her some Nomad points as well.
Was so great seeing so much varied activity going on across the country as we head into Week Three of the Rally.