MIR’s 30 Years: Overland Expeditions, and Channeling Siberia (VIDEO)
(Douglas Grimes is co-founder and president of MIR Corporation.)
MIR Corporation is known as the “logistical wizard” for our pioneering travel and tours at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Over the years, clients have approached us to create custom, private journeys as well as overland expeditions through multiple countries by car, motorcycle, and even on foot. Few places have challenged our “logistical wizardry” more than Russia’s Siberia, and especially Siberia’s Kamchatka Peninsula.
This was especially true back in the 1990s when the area was just opening up to Western travelers, and I was among the first to see it with my own eyes. At that time Siberia was a place of curiosity and intrigue to intrepid travelers, as we learned through one of our earliest pioneering, custom journeys there.
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A year before the departure, the channeler, her travel agent and I did an exploratory trip of these places: flying here and there, venturing deep into Inner Mongolia, heading to the town of Hattanbulag – another destination chosen by the channeler – and then driving in the middle of the night to get to the next destination by morning. One place she had channeled was a small village in the middle of China that had once been a large redwood forest. However, we discovered that almost all of the forest had been turned into rice paddies except for a small area near this village.
Two other places were in Siberia: one near the Russia/Mongolia border, Menza, and the other called Davsha, on the northern tip of Lake Baikal. Back in the days of the U.S.S.R., Soviets used to go to Davsha to relax, staying in rustic huts in this park area. But when we were there, there was not much left.
What was so odd is that as the plane flew from Minneapolis to Beijing to begin the journey, it was struck by lightning! The plane had to land in Japan and was a day late, which meant rescheduling our two charter flights to the small town that would eventually get us to that redwood forest village in central China. It was a logistical challenge, but we pulled it off. Looking back, it was a tough trip – lasting 22 days – but a very interesting journey to some truly far-out places.
As for our destinations with the channeling group, I loved the Lake Baikal stop in Siberia with its sandy beaches, fantastic scenery and great hikes in the area. This visit to Baikal would be the beginning of my enchantment with the world’s oldest and deepest lake, and with Siberia itself.
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The Chinese village in the redwood forest was very rustic and quite an adventure; we slept in the local schoolhouse on the floor in sleeping bags or tents outside in the yard. As we drove through the village, people from all over lined the side of the road welcoming us. Even the local “mayor” was there and joined us for dinner. Our travelers loved it!
The clients were so happy wherever we went; for me their satisfaction was a wonderful reward for the two years of planning for this trip. Then, and now: I am so proud and honored to see clients delighted and challenged on these handcrafted custom, private journeys, returning home with life-long memories of people and places they likely would not see on their own.
More on “MIR’s 30 Years”
Learn more about “MIR’s 30 Years” in the stories below, all embedded with videos. They include MIR’s beginnings and the mindset and mission of MIR’s president and co-founder, Douglas Grimes; MIR’s utterly unique travel offerings at the crossroads of Europe and Asia; and Siberia, one of MIR’s favorites specialties.
- “Imagine Your Journey with MIR” (story); view video – MIR’s 30-year expertise in making dream trips come true.
- “198os Volleyball Diplomacy, and MIR’s Beginning” (story); view video – Volleyball is the game changer: a young Douglas Grimes dreams big, and his (MIR) world changes forever.
- “Back in the U.S.S.R.” (story); view video – Traveling back in time to MIR’s mid-1980s beginning, and a watershed decision.
MIR’s One-of-a-Kind Journeys
- “Handcrafted Journeys: Making MIR Movies” (story); view video – MIR’s memorable custom, private journeys are akin to making movies, including tracing family history “back in the old country.”
- “Epic Journeys: Ultimate Dream Trips” (story); view video – MIR’s adventurous overland expeditions include one Canadian couple’s extensive yearly travels, from driving along the Silk Road to motoring through China, Siberia, and the Balkans.
- “Beyond the Stars, Inside the Russian Space Program” (story); view video – MIR President Douglas Grimes’ favorite tour harkens back to the U.S.-Soviet space race, from exploring Star City’s once-classified cosmonaut training facility to witnessing the manned launch of a Soyuz spacecraft.
- “Overland Expeditions: Roving the World in Land Rovers” (story); view Land Rovers video – Land-roving at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, MIR creates an ambitious itinerary for 54 participants and 18 vehicles, from Kazakhstan to Turkey.
Siberia, A MIR Specialty
- “Why I’m Sold on Siberia” (story); view video – Countless reasons why MIR President Douglas Grimes loves this vast, pristine place.
- “Siberia’s Beauty of Lake Baikal” (story); view video – MIR President Douglas Grimes’ lasting memories of this legendary lake in Siberia.
- “Overland Expeditions: Channeling Siberia and Beyond” (story); view video – One of MIR President Douglas Grimes’ early (ad)ventures into Siberia with one channeler, her five dozen followers, and their six sacred crystals.
- “Overland Expeditions: Driving Siberia and Beyond” (story); view video – MIR helps intrepid motorists re-create the 1908 automotive Great Race in their 1928 vintage car, down to gas station locations in Siberia and tricky border crossings.
- “Overland Expeditions: Running Through Russia and Beyond” (story); view video – MIR’s extraordinary logistics for 79 runners and support personnel, running 5,500 miles from Eastern Europe to China via Russia and Siberia, all to promote safer drinking water.
- “Overland Expeditions: Total Solar Eclipse in Siberia” (story); view video – MIR prepares three years in advance to bring more than 300 travelers – “sun chasers” – to the heart of Siberia for a rare total solar eclipse.
MIR, in a Nutshell
- “MIR in a Nutshell” (story) – Compact and concise, here’s everything you need to know about MIR on one page.
(Top photo credit: Michel Behar – A Buryat shaman performs a sacred ritual in Siberia.)
PUBLISHED: November 21, 2016