Baja XL Rally – Team EarthCruiser

T-minus 23 days until the Baja XL Rally begins.

As our excitement builds for the start of the rally, we thought you’d like to know a bit more about us, and the other EC owners going.

Team Leaders: Lance Gillies and Michelle Boltz are the founders of EarthCruiser, and will be leading the caravan through the Baja. While neither of them has driven the Baja before, their experience with travelling across remote places and over rugged terrain is extensive. Lance started out building road trains in Australia, and was well known as a competitive 4×4 enthusiast competing in many international events. Michelle has been living and traveling internationally for more years than she would appreciate us talking about. She successfully navigated across Siberia and through Africa, and has refined gourmet cooking in remote places.

Sweepers: Chad Knight and Brent Baker will be trailing the caravan in a 2016 Toyota Tacoma outfitted with an EarthCruiser MOD camper. They will be responsible to keep in contact with the team leaders and ensure that the entire caravan stays together, capturing pictures and videos, and pretty much anything else that the team leaders ask them to do. Chad spent 4 years in the Navy as an Aviation Electronics Technician, where he completed 3 Afghanistan combat deployments. Camping in remote areas around Oregon with his family and drinking tea is what he enjoys in his downtime. Brent is an avid outdoors-man and has volunteered for search and rescue and other back-country organizations. He has completed numerous long distance trips across the US and Canada, primarily on a motorcycle.

Rick and Julie Brake: Live in Australia and have owned their EC (“The Cocky”) for 9 years now. They have had The Cocky in North America for the past 4 years and it has taken them from the Arctic Ocean (Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk) down into Mexico and in fact over most of the western third of the US and Canada. Julie is a very keen naturalist especially bird watcher, while Rick likes pottering around with small vehicle or other projects.

  1. Why did you want to do the Baja XL rally? Definitely wanted to ‘do’ Baja peninsula as it has such a reputation for ruggedness and beauty, plus we have never been in this type of event before. Still not sure if we will like the pressure and the driving distances and hours each day, but decided we should give it a shot!
  2. Is there any pre-rally preparations you are doing? The EC will get a full service by Fuso in LA before we go. Apart from that, we keep our EC “expedition ready” all the time and our set-up has proven itself over and over again. But there are no certainties in an event like this and the need to be “resourceful” and “resilient” is part of the attraction of the event!
  3. What is your expectations for the rally? We are expecting it to be a lot of fun, a personal challenge and a team challenge (getting along with so many other people in close quarters after long days in the saddle and potentially being in high stress situations at times). We are expecting to see some fabulous scenery and experience some very rewarding driving and camping. And to make some more life-long friends…

Reed Resnikoff: Ran an adventure motorcycle company in Asia for most of his life before retiring to live full-time in his EarthCruiser. He enjoys photography and experiencing new cultures, food and scenery. While he has primary been traveling the US for the last year, he plans to head eastward and travel around the world collecting experiences.

  1. Why did you want to do the Baja XL rally? Sounds like fun!
  2. Is there any pre-rally preparations you are doing? New tires. Fill water tanks. Stock the fridge. Buy suntan lotion.
  3. What is your expectations for the rally? To have fun. To experience a different part of our planet. To experience a different culture. To eat great local foods.

John and Amy Sullivan: Tend to take longer trips in their EarthCruiser because they don’t live where it is stored, and want to get the most out of living and traveling in it as time allows. Their last trip was 3 months long, traveling primarily on County, State, US Forest, or BLM lands. They prefer the roads less traveled as often as they can, and because they’re not obligated to be hooked up to a generator or propane tank, and with its 4×4 capabilities, they can go places that most people in a motor-home are unable to go to. Both like to travel often, enjoy writing, and playing the guitar.

  1. Why did you want to do the Baja XL rally? We’ve traveled a lot on mainland Mexico, but this is the first time on the Baja peninsula. Traveling off-road there, with like minded folks, seems like a good way to explore Baja.
  2. Is there any pre-rally preparations you are doing? Living in Hawaii it has mostly been ordering some communication equipment, and getting in touch with people we know who are very familiar with Baja. We’ll be doing some more once we get to California.
  3. What is your expectations for the rally? We’re expecting to be in areas that the average Baja traveler wouldn’t be able to get to. We know that driving will be challenging in some areas, but we’re confident that our EarthCruiser can handle it. And getting to know people from many different places with many different experiences will be great.

Eric and Rebecca Bornstein: Have traveled the Trans-Labrador Highway, been all over Alaska, most of the western states and the eastern seaboard.  Most of their trips are relatively long from 3 weeks to 3 months at a time. They love the size and simplicity of their EarthCruiser whether it is driving it offroad or into a city to stay in a nice hotel. Rebecca loves to hike, run, bike, and Eric likes to fish, hike, bike, build stuff, work on trucks, and take pictures.  They both love to travel and see new things, eat new foods, meet new people.

  1. Why did you want to do the Baja XL rally? We have never been to the Baja and thought it would be fun to do, we worry about security a fair bit so it is always nice to check out a new place like the Baja with some other folks.  We will be driving a Mercedes Gelandewagen with a roof top tent.  We are so spoiled by Moe (our EC), so I hope we don’t end up hating ourselves for taking the Mercedes.  We like to try new things, so this should be interesting.
  2. Is there any pre-rally preparations you are doing? Yes, we are basically setting up the truck for travel.  We are removing the rear seats and building some storage, which will include a small water tank and pump, plumbed air compressor, and a refrigerator.  We are putting a RTT and awning on a roof rack, etc.
  3. What is your expectations for the rally? See new places, meet new people, test out our vehicle and ourselves.

Glenn and Jeannie Capachin: Love getting out in their EarthCruiser, especially when it is headed into the snow for ski season. While we could try to share their story, we’d do it a injustice. So, here is a bit about them from the words of Glenn…