Team Tuesday 2019: Noelle & Lola

Today’s Team Tuesday has been friends for 20 years, are travel buddies, share a love for adventure, and can soon add Rebelle teammates to their resumé.

Piloting a bright yellow 2015 Subaru Crosstrek, Team #201 Noelle Sanders and Lisa “Lola” Wolford are ready to tackle the mental and physical challenge of the Rebelle. As first time competitors they are, in their own words, “ready to rally!” With that said, let’s meet Noelle and Lola! 

Noelle is from Phoenix, Arizona and currently lives in Chandler where she is an Environmental Consultant. She’s competing in the Rebelle because Lola made her do it! Given Noelle loves wildlife, campfires, new friendships, and adventure, we’re pretty sure she’ll be right in her element.

What is Noelle most nervous about? “Tremors, like in the movie with Kevin Bacon. Those creatures are scary” (you are not alone in that sentiment, Noelle.) And she’s not leaving home without her Chapstick which, speaking of scary, is very scary to leave at home when you’re entering ten days of desert life.

Lola is from Kent City, Michigan and resides in Tempe Arizona where she is a flight attendant. 

And she’s (happily) going through a midlife crisis as we speak. “I’m having the best midlife crisis ever! I need a challenge that is both mental, physical and where I learn new skills. Going into the Rebelle, I’m the most fabulously scared I’ve ever been, and loving it.”

Lola has a love for motorsports which came from her mother, who was Nascar while Lola’s a NHRA gal. She’s also a big fan and supporter of  live, local music, which “soothes her soul.” And, if she’s not busy enough, she and her husband have also hosted 50 international students from 10 different countries over the past 14 years. 

Lola’s looking forward to applying her new skills, meeting all of the competitors, and exploring new territory on the ground for a change during the Rebelle.

And speaking of the rally…don’t ask Lola about those early morning wake-up calls! As a natural night owl who loves working the red eye flights, she’s definitely nervous about that 5am cowbell.

What is Lola not leaving home without? Her vintage 1973 Big Boy piggybank. He literally has been all over the world with Lola. Coins from her travels are places inside. 

We’re looking forward to having these two join us in the dirt in just a few short weeks!

Team Tuesday 2019: Noelle & Lola2019-09-18T12:33:56-08:00

Team Tuesday 2019: Anna & Andrea

Better together? Passion and perseverance. Today’s Team Tuesday shares both qualities, and those grit factors led them to their Rebelle Rally return this year.

Anna Lewis (and her sweet FJ) is competing in her second Rebelle, and Andrea Shaffer is coming back for year three. The two met in 2017 during the rally while on separate teams, and came together naturally in 2019 to tackle unfinished business, and utilize their skills jointly as driver and navigator. With an appreciation for the outdoors and each other, we can’t wait to have this duo back in the dirt with us. So let’s welcome them back – but don’t call it a comeback!

Anna’s hometown is Elkins, Arkansas, and she currently resides in Turlock, California where she’s Technical Services Food Director for a food manufacturing company.

Anna loves to off-road in her spare time, along with gardening and doing crafts. And she’s competing this year with a sense of unfinished business. In 2017, she was learning to compete and “learn the ropes.” Now with one rally under her belt and knowing how to compete, this year is more about working hard together as a team.

Aside from the off-road and adventure part of the rally, Anna’s favorite thing about the Rebelle is the women and staff that are brought together for the event. “It is amazing to have that caliber of individuals all focused on one event. I also really loved seeing so many cool areas throughout the west.”

And she can’t wait to compete with Andrea.

“We met during the 2017 Rebelle Rally. My initial memory of Andrea was her hiking to a checkpoint in Dumont Dunes while her teammate was working on their vehicle. Her grit and determination to get as many points as possible even with adversity showed me what an awesome lady she is.”

Anna forsees her biggest challenge as time management, mentioning they’ll have to have a game plan for all situations. And she’s not leaving home without her FJ Cruiser, Hot Hands, and a great sleeping pad! 

Andrea was born and raised in Las Vegas, NV where she currently lives with her family. She multi-tasks with two jobs – stay-at-home mom, and vinyl business owner. Andrea also loves to camp, explore the outdoors with her husband and kids, and go bowling. She’s super excited to head back to the rally after a “year off,” calling it one of her best adventures to date.

“Anna and I met during the 2017 Rebelle Rally. We started talking again while stalking the 2018 Rebelle. We just clicked! And I’m excited to get back to the community that is the Rebelle. I love the family we become during the week, and even after.”

Andrea knows there may be a challenge in the fact that they’re a new to each other team, but is focusing on working together to do the best they can. An she’s not leaving home without her plotter, snacks, and map wheel! 

Team Tuesday 2019: Anna & Andrea2019-09-18T12:34:08-08:00

Team Tuesday 2019: Eliza & Kendra

The Rebelle not only brings strangers together, it brings strangers together to compete…together. Today’s Team Tuesday showcases a team who has never competed with each other, and also never met in person! Two like-minded women sharing a love for adventure and serious determination chops teaming up for the rally makes our day. Because, in the spirit of the Rebelle, why not just go for it?! On that note, let’s welcome the team – Eliza Coleman and Kendra Miller!

Eliza is originally from Berlin, New York, and splits her time between Park City, Utah, and Santa Rosa Valley, California. Eliza is also a stuntwoman/stunt coordinator, and happens to race stage rally in her 2WD 2010 Scion xD.

A self-described habitual experience collector, Eliza loves adventure, and loves driving on dirt roads. She’s excited to add the Rebelle to her collection as she’s new to navigation and dune driving.

“In the Rebelle, I’ll get to see remote areas that are otherwise out of sight. The whole experience of traveling with analog navigation, exploring with a teammate and being in a community of like minded women is pretty awesome. I can’t wait to be ‘away from it all’. I hope the food is good!”

Eliza is piloting her Jeep Wrangler that she purchased from her son last year with the idea she’d like the option to off-road whenever, wherever. Voilà! Unbeknownst to her in 2018, that option is happening this October. And with someone who she has an easy communication with, and has a great attitude. “I feel very fortunate to have a teammate that has experience doing the Rebelle, and I can’t wait to meet Kendra in person!”

Kendra is from Hemet, CA and lives in Snoqualmie, Washington where she works in marketing. Kendra is also a 100% Rebelle, meaning she has competed every year since the inaugural competition in 2016. Why is she coming back for year four?

“Because I love it. I love getting rid of my electronics, sleeping in the desert, getting to see amazing places that most people don’t even know about, the strategy, using analog tools to navigate the earth. It feels kind of wild but also completely natural to be coming back. Every year I think ‘Oh, I’ve done that. I’m good.’ and then registration opens. My mind immediately goes to planning who my teammate will be, what vehicle I can take, which class should I enter!”

Kendra is looking forward to seeing what new challenges Emily and the Rebelle staff have in store, and also self camp night – a night teams spend away from basecamp comforts for an evening together full of conversation, good food, and a little more rest than usual.

Kendra is also stoked to be competing with Eliza as she has a great sense of humor, is really easy going, and very dedicated to having a good rally. And she’s not leaving home without a positive attitude!

We love your attitude already, Team #184. See you in the dirt!

Team Tuesday 2019: Eliza & Kendra2019-09-18T12:34:38-08:00

Team Tuesday 2019: Chelsea & Kristian

A 1992 Mercedes Benz G Wagon running on chocolate-based biodiesel. A dynamic pair of sisters whose desert adventures date back to college. One epic adventure this October bringing all three together to test their skills this October. Please welcome in today’s Team Tuesday, Team #124 Chelsea Vachon and Kristian Yehl Moley!

Chelsea currently resides in Noosa Heads, Queensland, Australia. She moved quite a bit during her life, and considers Boulder, Colorado home. A Research Fellow at the University of Southern Queensland, Chelsea completed her PhD last year. She studied winegrapes and climate! “Everyone always laughs when I say I have a PhD in wine,” mentioned Chelsea. We personally think it’s nothing short of amazing, Chelsea!

When Kristian called Chelsea to tell her about the Rebelle, her first words were, “This is the coolest thing ever!” and stated she wouldn’t miss it for the world. Every year Kristian and Chelsea would adventure to Moab during college, so teaming up for another one just made sense.

Chelsea is a little nervous about running out of chocolate fuel given its usual inaccessibility. She is excited to take on the digital detox, which won’t be a challenge. “I am more than happy to have a digital detox. It makes me sad to think that, today, we spend so much time online in a digital world. There is a whole natural world out there just waiting to be enjoyed in real life.”

Also competing is Bertha the G Wagon that Kristian lovingly restored. Bertha (named after Bertha Benz) will be the icing on the cake for Chelsea. Previously, Chelsea off-roaded in Jeeps, and is looking forward to the experience in a new type of vehicle.

And Chelsea won’t be leaving home without her stuffed bear, Como.  She travels a lot for both work and pleasure, and learned having a little piece of home with you when you wake up in a place far from home is key.

Kristian currently resides in Boulder, Colorado. She’s a mom and left her previous job to stay at home with her kids – but found she was sad not creating anything for herself personally in her daily life. So she started teaching herself photography, videography, design, and marketing, seeking a creative outlet. She is now a content creator and manager for her family’s chocolate company as well as a creative consultant for women run start-ups.

It’s natural for Kristian to compete alongside Chelsea as she not only introduced her to off-roading more than 20 years ago, but also to adventure.

“It was like Lara Croft walked into my life when I met Chelsea. She had taken a chance at life and not just left for college but abandoned a life to which she couldn’t belong. We soon spent most evenings, every weekend, every holiday, and now 20 years with each other. My family adopted her and gave her a new place to belong. I would be a shadow of myself if she had not brought such light and adventure into my life. She is my sister in every way that matters and the best person to ride the Rebelle with.”

She’s also excited to take on this dream adventure with like-minded women. “Every current Rebelle and future Rebelle that I meet seems to link arms with my spirit. I see the smiling face or the determined eyes of a Rebelle, and I see myself reflected back. I think this is a place to belong, and I’ve been looking for it my whole life.”

And that chocolate biodiesel? Kristian’s husband has 25 years in chocolate industry. From restoring abandoned chocolate equipment to buying used and making it better, he knows chocolate. After years of composting or giving away “waste” chocolate (chocolate that can’t be sold), he took his engineering mind and made a chocolate based biofuel.

“Not all 4x4s are available as diesel, so they’re not all capable of running on biodiesel, but the Mercedes G Wagon started out as a diesel and is nearly unchanged in design since it’s inception in 1979,” stated Kristian. “We’re excited to take a car that undoubtedly represents brilliant engineering and upgrade it with a 21st century, environmentally friendly fuel.”

There you have it – the first biodiesel in the Rebelle will be running off of chocolate. And not just any chocolate – Chocolove.

Team Tuesday 2019: Chelsea & Kristian2019-09-18T12:35:09-08:00

Team Tuesday 2019: Karen & Dana

How does it feel to compete in every single Rebelle since the inaugural 2016 competition? You’ll have to ask this next team in less than three months. Karen Hoehn and Dana Saxten, two San Diego moms with a drive for adventure (literally) will be one of the “100% Rebelle” teams hitting the dirt with us for a fourth year in a row. If you don’t know them by now, we’ll take care of that in today’s Team Tuesday. Please welcome Karen and Dana!

Karen is from Del Mar, CA, and works in the auto industry. And to clear things up for all of you future Rebelles worried about digital detox – Karen is one of the many Rebelles who happily surrenders her phone and devices before getting ready to Rebelle! She actually mentioned its a bit daunting to turn the phone back on post-rally.

Karen is coming back to the Rebelle because it’s something that’s so different from what she does on a daily basis – challenging yet fun, and she adores the women that she meets on the rally. 

“I love everything about the Rebelle Rally. I hope to never miss a year. Dana and I really get along. It’s so much fun the first morning when the car is all packed up and we look at each other and crack up laughing. We know what we are in for and we equally love it. We truly look forward to the adventure every year.”

She’s also stoked on the course as the past scenery she traversed on the rally was nothing short of incredible, and can’t wait to see what Course Director Jimmy Lewis has cooked up.

 

Karen is nervous about the dunes (you’re not alone, Karen) but is bringing Dana’s Land Rover LR4, “Bella,” back for a fourth year in a row and knows she’s in good hands behind that dash. She’s also in good hands with her teammate as Dana purchased her a coffee machine that right works off of the vehicle! The extra caffeine literally at her disposal will make everything taste a little better.

Dana is from neighboring Encinitas, CA where she’s in the restaurant business. Dana’s up for the challenge ahead this fall which is why she’s competing (plus the good road trip part.) 

“I think it’s good to test one’s limits – physically and mentally. The Rebelle does both of those things in an unusual and fun way.”

She also loves being out in the middle of nowhere with the magnificent scenery of California and Nevada that she normally doesn’t see. 

Dana’s not so favorite part of the Rebelle are the Enduro Challenges. While her team improves every year, she stated it will be a long way to go before she’ll be comfortable doing them. And they have yet to change a tire yet on the rally, so she mentions they may be “due” this time around. 

And she’s not leaving home without her favorite pillow! The first year she forgot to pack one and asked to buy one from her hotel. They ended up giving it to her, and now its Dana’s “rally pillow.” And perhaps lucky pillow, too…we’ll be thinking of you during those Enduros, Dana! 

 

Team Tuesday 2019: Karen & Dana2019-09-18T12:35:28-08:00

Team Tuesday 2019: Debbie & Maria

The mother-daughter bond is like no other, and today’s Team Tuesday is taking it next level by competing in the Rebelle – together. With 2018 Rebelle Maria Guitar participating alongside her mother Debbie Bruen as Team #114 Sand Cats Rally Team, they’re not afraid of a little digital detox. And their chosen third teammate? Maria’s 98’ Toyota 4Runner. Please welcome Debbie and Maria!

Debbie is originally from the Bronx and now resides in Raleigh, NC. where she owns Home Organization by Debbie and is a design consultant. Debbie has not competed in the Rebelle, but that doesn’t mean she’s not familiar with it. In true mom fashion, Debbie was glued to her computer last year watching Maria’s every move on the rally tracker. And now she will be the one out in the middle of nowhere finding her way – alongside the only person she’d do it with.

It all began when Debbie flew out to join Maria at Rebellation last year. Caught up in the competitors’ excitement, when Maria asked Debbie to be her 2019 teammate Debbie quickly responded, “Sure!” after a few gin and tonics. The next morning, she realized what she had done (relatable). So here she is now, learning how to read maps, and there is no one else she’d would trust to be her partner than Maria.

She’s also excited to explore parts of the west that are brand new to her, and get back to her desert roots.

“I lived in the desert region of the Turkana District in Northwest Kenya for over 12 years, where I learned to love the desert. My driving gear was just a loose dress (the culture) and flip-flops. And we avoided driving on the sand dunes if possible. We had a Toyota Hilux and always kept a machete under the front seat. I once buried the truck up to the axles in mud, which is when we pulled out the machete, hacked away at palm fronds, and positioned them below the tires to get out of the mud. We never heard of MAXTRAX – how they would’ve made life so much easier!”

Although she’s a little nervous to test her skills in the rally, Debbie has complete confidence in her multi-talented daughter.  And she’s not leaving home without her bible and and LOTS of Ziploc bags!

Maria is originally from Kenya and now calls Ostrander, Ohio home. She’s an Engine Test Engineer at Honda and cannot wait to get back in the Rebelle after competing in 2018. 

“The Rebelle embodies many things that I love in life – adventure, maps, and problem solving that challenges you to become better than you were yesterday. I love being off grid, knowing where I am, not just because a GPS tells me but because of the ability to utilize a compass and map.”

This is the first time Maria is competing in her 4Runner. She’s a little nervous with it being 21 years old, but is putting it through the paces now and making certain appropriate modifications are complete prior to the rally. She has confidence her “super awesome” 4Runner will be good to go!

Maria is also looking forward reuniting with the community of Rebelles.

“Having the wonderful comradery of strong, brave women who come together for this event is amazing, the feeling is like nothing else! And coming back for round two is exciting. I had the time of my life last year; it is such a wonderful and empowering experience, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with my mom!”

She’s also looking forward to having some serious vehicle time with her mom as they always have a blast together. And Maria’s must have item? A photo of her husband and cat!

Maria welcome back to the Rebelle and Debbie – buckle up for an adventure like nothing else! 

 

Team Tuesday 2019: Debbie & Maria2019-09-18T12:35:43-08:00

Team Tuesday 2019: Chris & Anna


Team Tuesday 2019: Chris & Anna

 

When your common denominator is a vehicle, you drive an FJ in the Rebelle. So is the case with today’s Team Tuesday, Chris Cole and Anna Loy! With a love of off-roading and adventure enthusiasm, they’re gearing up for their next skill test taking place this October.

Chris is originally from Estes Park, Colorado and now resides in Broomfield, Colorado. She’s an accountant and bookkeeper at Toytec Lifts in Denver. Chris and Anna met on the Facebook Colorado FJ Cruisers page as they both have Toyota FJs. Meeting in person last year at the NW Overland Rally, in July Anna asked Chris to be her navigator in the Rebelle. 

Chris already has a few memorable trips that stick out. One is an unforgettable trip in her 20s to Alaska where she experienced the land, people, and lifestyle. The experience was amazing. Getting ready her ultimate road trip in just four months, she’s not leaving home without coffee (we got you Chris), and her toothbrush. Although she’ll miss speaking with her daughter for ten days, she’s also competing in the Rebelle for her.

“I want to show my 13 year old daughter that her mom is a strong woman, and that I am ready for this new adventure that I am scared to death to try.”

Anna is from Diamond Bar, California, and now calls Las Vegas her residence. She keeps busy as a registered nurse, and when she’s not working you’ll find her off-roading, traveling, reading, and concert-going. 

This FJ enthusiast fell in love with off-roading a few years ago, and hasn’t looked back since. She discovered meeting a ton of great friends is one of the many perks of off-roading, along with exploring the outdoors like never before. Anna is now looking to push herself even more as an off-roader – hence her competing in the rally this year. 

“The Rebelle Rally is to me that other level of testing my off-roading skills and learning how to navigate out in the desert.  Going off-roading while trying to get from point A to point B is a challenge. I’m going for it full steam ahead!”

A self-proclaimed Toyota person, Anna describes her FJ as a “highly capable vehicle for most any terrain.” The vehicle  impresses her time and time again with what it can do off-road. 

We’re stoked to have Team #105 compete in their favorite vehicle this fall. And their passion for adventure and off-roading will definitely be fueled on the Rebelle!

Team Tuesday 2019: Chris & Anna2019-09-18T12:35:57-08:00

Team Tuesday 2019: Thayer & Penny

Don’t call it a comeback: Team Tuesday has returned with another fierce duo headed to the Rebelle this October!

Thayer Low and Penny Dale are automotive-minded women, and met over Instagram via one common love – Land Rovers. Having competed last year together in Thayer’s LR4, they’re thrilled to get back into competition mode together in the dirt for the 2019 Rebelle Rally.

Thayer was born in Hawaiian Gardens, California and moved around quite a bit with her family growing up. She now calls Arvada, Colorado home. Thayer is a dedicated mom to two girls (a full time job!), loves to off-road in her spare time, and head off adventuring with her family.

She’s excited to use her skills from last year in this year’s competition – coming back better prepared and armed with her 2018 experience. Plus with her Land Rover, Thayer feels she’s in good hands. “Land Rovers are extremely capable off-road cars that often don’t get enough credit. ‘Monty’ (our third teammate) has a great ride, covers all kinds of terrain, holds everything imaginable, and hauls toddlers on top of that!”

Thayer feels their biggest challenge last year was the dunes – navigating and driving in them. So returning to tackle them is definitely on her to-do list!

Lastly, her favorite thing about the Rebelle? “No technology! And the lifelong friends you make.”

Penny’s hometown is Saltspring Island, BC Canada, and she currently resides in Vancouver where she is a registered Interior Designer. And Penny is just as big of a Land Rover fan as Thayer! Her passion for the vehicle stems from her experience driving them.  Like Thayer, she owns an LR4 and calls Land Rovers “incredibly capable and intuitive without aftermarket mods and equally as comfortable.” Penny also has a passion for off-road adventures (we don’t blame her), and you can also find her doing anything outdoors…at anytime!

Penny had an incredible time last year with her teammate, and mentioned she learned so much about both the competition, and herself. “It’s an incredible challenge and environment to test yourself and grow. To do so with so many inspiring women is very special.”

The hardest part about last year’s rally? “Understanding we can’t know everything and learning to give yourself grace when you goof up.” And the best part according to Penny? “The camaraderie amidst the competition.” 

See you in the dirt, Team #164 Anam Cara!

Team Tuesday 2019: Thayer & Penny2019-09-27T09:25:42-08:00