A TRUE TRAILBLAZER:
GLOBAL NOBLE After the successful climb of majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro, and a few days to give Noble’s feet a chance to recover from the trek, the plan was to head to Nairobi. A stop at the Amboseli Game Reserve was on the agenda. “En route, we blew a tire and discovered a wasp nest in the tire,” recalls Noble. “This was only our second flat tire since what turned out to be our wise decision to have those new steel rims handmade for the Jeep.” “The Masai Foundation had loaned the land for the game reserve to the British Protectorate of Tanganyika,” said Noble. “This was the heart of Masai country, with their many herds of cattle, goats, and donkeys. As we drove, we regularly waved to the many Masai on the roads, who greeted us with a big ‘Jambo’ as we traveled along.” Amboseli is flat, dry and full of thick bush, but according to Noble, its animals were among the easiest to see. “As we entered, a large bull elephant charged our Jeep, along with a black rhino charge immediately thereafter,” said Noble. “Each animal stopped about 50 feet from our Jeep, which was about the size of a large elephant. Our Jeep ‘out-stared’ each charging animal, but were we pushing our luck?” 32
AUGUST 2014 | TRAILBLAZER
After viewing hundreds of Grant’s and Thompson’s gazelles, as well as an equal number of impala, gnu, and zebra, Dean and Noble exited the game reserve before sundown and headed into the community of Amanga, which was on the border of Kenya and Tanganyika, where Noble purchased a Masai spear for $5.60. Traveling 100 miles north, they found themselves in Nairobi, the commercial capital of East Africa – at 5,500 feet it was, according to Noble, “a fascinating place.” Once in Nairobi, Dean wanted to fly to Madagascar to see its
Noble writing up his many notes.
many endemic birds but the $150 round trip cost on Air France was prohibitive. “So, he had to wait until he was a storied ornithological professor in Texas before he could visit Madagascar,” said Noble. Noble set about looking for a source of funds, hoping to sell the story of their trek to an advertiser. Sure enough, Bardahl, a US company that was the leading brand in motor oil and oil additives, was interested in the story, tendering one hundred British pounds for the opportunity for the Jeep to sport a Bardahl sticker advertising that the Bardahl
TrailBlazer is the monthly magazine for members of Thousand Trails campgrounds