We're starting the day on the dry lake bed! AND, we get to start the day with another vehicle! This is the first time in the rally where two vehicles started at the same time! It made for some epic photos and videos, as you can see from above! One of the many fun things about this line up photo, the Wunder On (Team #124) vehicle was next to us, who happened to be the team we paired up with in Glamis (more on that in the next post!).
We started the day departing the dry lake bed at the base of the Johnson Valley OHV area. Despite driving STRAIGHT into the sun, it was a beautiful start to the day! Irma was behind the wheel and Mandy navigating. Today would be a fun day filled with a variety of scenery, to include a drive through all of Joshua Tree National Park and ending the day with our first taste of Glamis! What a fun-filled, 400+km day!
Before getting to Joshua Tree, we had a Precision Enduro to complete. This was our second of the Rally, and we were really hoping to do much better than the one we had on day 3. Precision Enduros are different than the On-Route or On-Time Enduros in the sense that they are all about going slow and being precise. The first one was technical driving with a lot of roads, so if you did not pay attention to the headings closely, it was very easy to take a wrong turn (like we did). This one ended up having some technical driving, but was a lot more navigating in an open dry lake bed, so heads were very important, especially when two flags were next to each other! We did much better this time around after implementing our major lessons learned from day 3!
We had the amazing opportunity to transit through Joshua Tree National Park today, of which neither of us had ever been too. We heard a lot of amazing things about it and it was a treat to see it! The unique Joshua Tree (Yucca Brevifolia) looks like a combination of a palm tree and a cactus and can been seen in various forms throughout the park. It truly is magical!
After Joshua Tree, we had various checkpoints along the way to Glamis. Today had 21 available checkpoints, of which we were able to go after 15 of them. A huge improvement from the last few days, so it was good to have some confidence going into the final day knowing we had our groove back. It was probably one of our best days so far, when it came to communication and teamwork. It just goes to show that the more you do it, the better you'll get. I suppose that goes for most things in life :-)
Rolling into Glamis (the Imperial Sand Dunes) was as amazing as everyone had told us it would be. The dunes go on for more than 40 miles and can be up to five miles wide. 40 MILES of sand! So crazy. And we're navigating to checkpoints in the sand!
It's intimidating at first glance. But we reminded ourselves what we had learned and practiced - specifically when it comes to the make up of a dune - there's a packed side and a soft side. Drive on the packed side as much as possible and know that you won't be driving in a straight line giving how the dunes are formed. This makes for a different kind of navigation, but forces you to rely more on direction and to account for variation from distance when you cannot drive a straight line.
We rolled into our final base camp after a successful first time in the Glamis Sand. We were conservative intentionally, when it came to going after the checkpoints. Mandy had spent a decent amount of time in the sand, but with temperatures reaching beyond 110 degrees, being smart and not getting stuck was our plan. Tomorrow will be the final day of the 2020 Rebelle Rally. THE FINAL DAY! How are we already here?! We were just getting into our groove! Nonetheless, tomorrow would be a blast, spending the entire day in the sand. Not only that, but the rules are a bit different on the final day. Given the increased risk that goes along with driving in the sand, you have the option to team up with at least one team, up to two. We had so much going on these past few days, we hadn't even begun to think about who we'd partner up with, if anyone. That'll be something to figure out tomorrow. It's time to eat some delicious food and get some rest before our last big day!
- Disclaimer -
Please remember, this recollection of each day is our view alone. Others definitely had different experiences. We wanted to share ours with you from our perspective, but definitely ask questions of other Rebelles and/or the Rebelle Staff if you are unsure of something. Also do your homework and read the rule book! Although we pulled snippets from the rule book, it changes some each year and is what you should refer to for the official Rebelle Rally rules and guidance.