Rebelle Rally

Team Anam Cara #164 

"The Rebelle Rally is the first women’s off-road navigation rally raid in the United States.

Blending the love of driving with the ultimate challenge of precise navigation, the Rebelle tests your skills over 8 days of competition. It is not a race for speed, but a unique and demanding event based on the elements of headings, hidden checkpoints, time, and distance using maps, compass, and roadbook.

The Rebelle Rally covers more than 2,000 kilometers of stunning terrain across the Nevada and California desert." -


When I embarked on the Rebelle I really didn't know what to expect besides it was going to be amazing, I was sure of this, and that I probably should have spent more time practicing with a map.  Both ideas proved true. The Rebelle is adventure of a lifetime and also probably one of the most challenging things I've undertaken.  Sign me up for 2019!

I first read about the Rebelle in Alloy and Grit in the summer issue (I think?) of 2017 and lamented to my husband that is would be so much fun to do, but our kids were 1.5 and 2.5 at the time and I couldn't see it happening.  However, my husband was sure we could wrangle enough grandparents to watch the kids, so the first day sign up began for 2018, I did! And began to search for a partner! 

Penny and I met through Instagram! She contacted me to talk about the pros and cons of getting a 4Runner verses a Land Rover for overlanding. Having driven both, we chatted a bit before I decided to ask if she had heard of the Rebelle. She hadn't but was almost immediately on board and we were facetiming that night about when we could meet in person. Hence our team name, Anam Cara, "soul friend" in Gaelic. 

Fast forward a few months and Penny and I had been able to spend some time training (see a few other posts) and were pretty sure we could rock it at the Rebelle! We arrived with confidence, sticky notes, and snacks! We were set! Just as I had heard so many previous Rebelles say, the first day was a breeze and the days got gradually harder. By the end we were laughing that we thought we could win! We were competing against professionals! 

Nicole Dreon_Day 1_813.jpg
Richard Giordano_Day 6_211.jpg
Photo by @desktoglory
Paolo Baraldi_Day 6_2233.jpg

It's hard to sum up the Rebelle Rally in words, even pages and pages.  It is freedom, exhilaration, living life open wide. It's doing something extreme, but with a safety net. You can't actually get too lost in the desert when you have a tracker on your car, or so I hope! 

It seemed as though many women got so many things out of this event. Spending eight days, 10 hours a day in a car with someone, that you possibly just met is no joke. Especially when your communication is key! Penny and I were lucky that we made a great team and never had any throw-down fights. We got into a groove of unpacking and packing the car- although we did almost earn a name for ourselves of being late to the starting line! 

My biggest take away from the Rebelle was that anything was possible. I found that I was capable of doing so much more than I thought. And that in my perspective, failure and quitting was not an option. I knew we wouldn't win or place well after a few days, but that meant we were going to know more for next year and have the time of our lives doing it. 

I wish all women were able to experience the Rebelle or something similar. I find myself daily thinking of my experiences and saying "well if I did the Rebelle I can do this!" 

Photo by Penny Dale
  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • Black Instagram Icon