It’s 1:38 am and I can’t sleep. Wendy and I have so much on our plates right now, I assume she is probably in the same boat. I’m very thankful for Google Earth, Google Maps and all the features that help us familiarize ourselves somewhat with the terrain we will soon be immersed in. Tonight, Wendy met up with Louise Bergeron, Gazelle veteran and now a Rallye Sheriff. She also is an expert navigator and gave Wendy solid feedback as she practices the various aspects of her job – plotting, measuring, calculating – and so forth.
I head back on Friday to the Imperial Sand Dunes which lie at the US/Mexico border. Two weeks ago, my soon to be sister-in-law and her husband, Eric, loaded up their desert rig – complete with toy hauler that sleeps four comfortably, a incredibly sick sand buggy, a Ranger and the dog Cloe. Larry and I followed in Rod’s H3 and spent the weekend practicing in the sand.
Chad Hall who raced Dakar tried to prepare me … “Driving in sand dunes is a COMPLETELY different experience than any off-road driving or racing you have done to date.” He wasn’t joking. Out in the dunes in a stock truck with the tires mostly deflated, and the possibility of a 5-10 mile walk back to camp..well, I felt small. The desert is vast and the new border fence seems to run to infinity, however, I was still only a few miles from I-8 and a short drive to Starbucks. Not quite what we’ll be up against in the Sahara.
The sand buggy is incredible and floats across the dunes at high speed. Eric was a great coach….showing me what to do, not to do, and how to attempt to keep your bearings when you have to drive in circles in search for a good line. I CANNOT IMAGINE getting to Morocco without having spent at least a few days in the dunes. I can only imagine it would have been sheer panic, complete confusion or both. Nothing prepares you for dune driving except dune driving.
If you would like to read more on our up coming fitness journey we made a guest post on a well read fitness blog “Enjoy To Workout” you can read more there.