Hitting the road

Happy holidays!

After spending this past summer and fall completing what turned out to be an 18,000 mile / 23 country road trip (from the UK to Mongolia and back), it's certainly been an interesting and eventful year for me, and as 2016 comes to a close, I feel an enormous sense of accomplishment!

Now that I've finally returned from my journey and gotten caught up with everything back home, I'll be spending the next few months sorting through the thousands of photos and videos my brother and I took as well as the dozens of hours of audio I recorded, and I'll be releasing more podcast episodes recapping our adventures.

So far I've told you about the massive amount of preparation this trip required, from planning our route to securing visas, getting vaccinations to buying a car and learning to drive stick. On my latest podcast, I pick up where I left off, on the day last summer when we finally embarked on our journey!

It was a Saturday afternoon in mid-July when we drove from our friend Jane's house in Nottingham down to the Goodwood Raceway in southern England to join other ralliers from around the world at the starting line. Upon our arrival, another team welcomed our friend Rosi by graciously offering her some of their boxed Merlot!

Then I spent a few hours walking around and chatting with other rally participants to hear their stories about why they were taking part in this crazy journey. There were a couple of guys from Colorado with a 1960 Ford Falcon who planned to go fishing in every country along their route. Team "Hiley Unlikely" was driving a 3-wheeled, vintage convertible with a motorcycle engine that couldn't go in reverse. And a group of Brazilians I met were planning on driving past the finish line, all the way to the Pacific Ocean!

Rallier Liam Thorpe, putting golf balls off his car's hood

Team Fiesta Vikings drove 1500 km from Norway to the launch with a moose head on the back of their car

Mongol Rally participant Marcus Kilgour

Late night partying on the eve of the rally launch

It was a festive, party-like atmosphere that lasted late into the night!

 
 

After getting a few hours of sleep, we woke up early the next morning, unsure of exactly what lay before us, but excited to finally hit the road. Dressed in our formal best, we posed for a group photo.

 
 

Then we joined the other cars lined up at the racetrack start line.

 
 

Watch us drive a lap around the Goodwood Raceway as we set off on our journey.

Then listen to my latest podcast episode here:

 
 

(Note that it contains some language that might not be suitable for younger listeners.)

Once you're done listening, check out my brother Drew's recent photo essay from our trip that was featured on Outside magazine's website. He also took all of the photos I've included above. If you'd like to see more of his (non-rally) work, you can check out his website.

See you in the new year!

-- Scott