The last month has been spent trying to win a place in an amateur Iditarod; by popular vote. I built a new website, vote4rose.com which I’m sure I’ll use again for something. I learned a LOT about social media and even use twitter now.
I managed a bit of press from 600KOGO as well as some air time
raised ~$30 for Traveling Stories (at 25¢ per vote, donated my me)
and even briefly caught the interest of Fox 5 Sports. I went to the Fox studio in San Diego last Thursday for an interview but then Southern California caught fire and my bit didn’t (hasn’t?) aired.
As of today, Monday December 11, 2017, with 3 days of voting left, I’m in 15th place. 13,372 votes behind the leader for the North America spot. I think it’s safe to say I’m out of the running.
Luckily, I have a fallback plan! Friend and fellow explorer, Chloe Phillips-Harris has put together a winter camel expedition covering almost 200 miles of the Mongolian Gobi Desert. In January.
In January 2018 with the help of Tsestgee and Unenburen, Chloe is leading a winter expedition through the Gobi Desert. The inspiration came from a trek she did in the Simpson Desert of Australia.
We will be trekking across the Gobi by camel, covering about 300km in total. As part of this we will be saddling, packing and caring for the camels with the help and guidance of local herders. We change camels every two days as not to take them to far out of their home range.
Why winter? Because the camels look truly beautiful this time of year with their winter coats, and its a very different way of life to experience compared to the summer months. There will be snow and its going to be cold. Average temperatures in January in the Gobi range from -4 F down to -40 F.
We will be staying with different families along the way in gers and will give us a chance to experience a way of life that hasn’t changed in hundreds, even thousands of years.
Unenburen has already selected the route and it looks amazing. Everything from mountains, flat steppe to sand dunes.
Some of the highlights will obviously be the scenery, but also traveling through areas rich in wildlife ( antelope, saga, camels, horses, foxes, wolves, big horn sheep, snow leopords etc), and historically significant mountains where monks used to hide in caves from persecution. We should also be able to see some bronze age cave paintings and a huge frozen waterfall. But most of all getting to learn how to care for, ride and travel with camels, in a very unique way.
One last bit of great news is that we are going to start our trek from a Camel Festival. There will be 300 camels in one place, with beauty competitions, races and a chance to milk camels and taste camel vodka.
Who has a proper parka and -20 sleeping bag I can borrow??
Seriously…I need some for real gear. Help! Just for 3 weeks! I’m leaving January 16th!
In other news, this announcement most likely finished off any non-gray hairs my parents may have had.