Meet Team #179: the Free Range Dames
We are two women who competed in the 2018 Rebelle Rally, the first offroad navigational challenge of its kind in the United States. The course spans over 2000km from Lake Tahoe to San Diego over 7 days of competition. Elise was the navigator and Mercedes was the driver in the built 2012 Toyota Tacoma you see above (provided courtesy of Bomber Products). In the Rebelle Rally, no GPS is allowed, only old-school map and compass, making it one of the toughest and most unique challenges.
Elise is a passionate explorer with an insatiable curiosity. She grew up in a family of outdoor sports enthusiasts who nurtured in her a thirst for learning and adventure. Elise strongly believes in “making it happen;” achievement comes from a combination of grit and simply taking the first step. Elise is a freelancer specializing in geospatial applications, web development and e-commerce. When she’s not ripping around the continent in an overland vehicle, you can find her hiking, skiing and kayaking in the Montana wilderness.
You can follow her travels and adventures at @elise.skis
Mercedes is a Portland Oregon-based freelancer and adventurer who specializes in all things related to vehicular adventure travel. She, along with her husband Andy, run Crankshaft Culture, an automotive website dedicated to “getting out there” (no matter what type of vehicle you own). Currently in their stable, they have two right-hand-drive turbo-diesel Mitsubishis: a 1989 Delica Star Wagon (aka The Space Tractor) and a 1992 short wheelbase Pajero. In addition, they have two customized subcompact daily drivers. Mercedes, a dual citizen of the United States and Germany, loves to travel. Her most recent trips include exploring New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and many of the western states.
“I’ve known Elise through overland rallies and events. During the last few years Elise and I become friends and hoped someday we’d compete in the Rebelle Rally together. This year, the dream is becoming a reality! I’ll be the driver and Elise the navigator.”
Pickup Truck Plus SUV Talk
The Gearhead Project Podcast
In this episode, we talk about the countless hours behind the scenes, doing the grunt work. Dealing with the not-so-glamorous nuts-and-bolts of the affair. Looking fear and uncertainty straight in the eye—and making progress no matter what.
“We had the privilege of catching up with Team Free Range Dames at the NW Overland Rally in Plain, WA. After a short conversation with Elise, seeing her passion along with her genuine persona, we knew having her and her partner Mercedes on the podcast was something you would find great value in. ” Click above to see the shownotes and take a listen!
The Off-Road Podcast is a show for anybody that loves getting off the highway with their rig. We don’t judge here, having an adventure off-road is all the matters. In this episode, Offroad Podcast talks to the Free Range Dames.
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