We Are Registered!

01 Sep 2009, by Brian in Uncategorized

Kim and I just registered for two cars to participate in next summer’s Mongol Rally!

Starting around some time late last year we knew that we wanted our next big trip to be Mongolia, but when we started planning we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.  Our original plan was to take the Trans-Siberian Railroad across Russia and trek by horseback over the Mongolian steppe.  We also wanted to be involved with some kind of volunteer opportunity during part of the trip.  After a few months, in the course of my research, I discovered this video of the Mongol Rally.  Adventure. Culture. A good cause. It took us about 2 seconds to decide this was how we were going to Mongolia.

Little did we know that we had just scratched the surface of such an epic undertaking.  We’d have to raise thousands of dollars for Mercy Corps; arrange visas and permits; acquire a vehicle; outfit said vehicle for a 10,000 mile journey over mountains, desert and Siberian tundra from London, UK to Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia; and all of this before we’re even out of the starting gate.  We soon learned that all of this would be moot if we couldn’t even get into the event.  Apparently there is quite a queue just to register.  Last year all of the available spots filled up in just a few minutes.  So we joined the mailing list and waited to find out more details from The Adventurists about when to register.

The summer crept by, and we watched this year’s rally unfold. We planned a mini-rally of our own through the American West.  This was in part a way to get to my cousin’s wedding in New Mexico, in part a vacation to parts of the US we had never seen, and finally, partly a test of our endurance.  A 3,800 mile drive (granted, over well paved roads) in 7 days would surely test our ability to log long hours in the car together and start memorizing whole episodes of This American Life. Also of course this would provide for us our first obstacle: word came down from The Adventurists, registration would be on the 2nd to last day of our road trip… at 6am PST no less.  So it was that we had to make sure we stopped at a hotel in Salt Lake City, UT with a reliable internet connection and wake up  at 5am this morning to register.  We had a feeling that we would want to assemble a team larger than could fit into 1 car, so we registered 2 for the event.  This meant we had 2 laptops hitting their website as it slowed to a crawl under the traffic that bombarded it from would be adventurers around the globe.  Kim and I both thought at several points in time we were getting frozen out before we could complete the registration, but we somehow were both successful before all the slots filled up.  Before we could celebrate, we packed ourselves up, jumped in the car, and I drove over 900 miles in 14.5 hours from Salt Lake City to Seattle, if for no other reason than to somehow prepare myself for this crazy journey.

Now we are back home, and the reality of what we’ve undertaken is setting in.  Now the planning really begins.  We must finish forming our team, Baatar Hero! We need to start fund raising.  We need some cars…

First step down… about 9,999 more to go.

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