MIR’s 30 Years: Overland Expeditions – Driving Siberia and Beyond (VIDEO)
(Douglas Grimes is co-founder and president of MIR Corporation.)
For years MIR has been creating handcrafted tours to places that are “far from the familiar,” including Siberia and the Russian Far East, China and Tibet to Central Asia, Iran and North Korea. We also create custom private journeys for groups and individuals based on their specific interests, destinations, and timelines. As well, it’s especially challenging – and satisfying – to plan and oversee imaginative overland expeditions to many of MIR’s 35 countries.
Two modern-day pioneering drivers, Luke Rizzuto and John Quam, faithfully followed as closely as possible the entire 16,000-mile route of the 1908 “Great Race” won by American George Schuster in his Thomas Flyer, a race that transformed the automotive industry. Joining them for the leg of the journey that MIR was part of were retired Air Force officers Eileen Bjorkman and Leo G. Janssens, driving a slightly more modern vehicle – a 2008 GMC.
(click on photo for larger version)
MIR is grateful to have helped play a part in their automotive overland expedition, and we’re honored to showcase their imaginative adventures here.
Luke Rizzuto: “Longest Race: Living a Vision, 1908 Style”
- Eileen Bjorkman: “Longest Race: Driving Siberia, 1908 Style”
- Leo Janssens: “Longest Race: Driving to Parts Unknown, 1908 Style”
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: Motorcycling with GlobeRiders” (story); view video – Intrepid motorcyclists repeatedly choose MIR for their global travel logistics, from the South Caucasus to Iran, and from Siberia to Central Asia.
- “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: Luke Rizzuto – Luke’s beloved 1928 Plymouth Roadster was used to re-create as closely as possible the 1908 “Great Race.”)
PUBLISHED: October 25, 2016