Rebelle Rally Champion, Nena Barlow, on Episode 81


Coming off a fresh win at the Rebelle Rally, Champion Nena Barlow, shares life, training, adventure, and the 2021 Rebelle with us. A master trainer, business owner, and self-proclaimed off-road enthusiast, Nena provides a lot of insight into what makes a perfect Rebelle and how others can better their experience.

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3:30 – Jeeps and trucks and tractors, I drove everything

7:55 – I get claustrophobic in cities

12:43 – Jeep rentals were a natural fit for the business

17:11 – I saw the picture of the Ostrich!

24:00 – it sounds like a sewing machine

28:15 – my favorite people on the planet are in this one place for this week in October

32:46 – apply a little Maxtrax, a little shovel, a little Bubba Rope to get people unstuck

40:15 – it’s so easy to get turned around, like being in the middle of the ocean

48:16 – how do we top this?

We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.



On today’s conversations with Big Rich. We have Nena Barlow. Nena is the owner of Barlow Adventures and Jeep Rentals with offices in Moab, Sedona, Vegas, and on the Rubicon. She’s a professional certified four by four trainer, owner of the Sedona Jeep School.

[00:01:37.710] – Big Rich Klein

And just now, in fact, crowned on Friday, trophied on Saturday, the 2021 winner of the 6th annual Rebelle Rally. Nena, it’s great to have you on board and Congratulations.

[00:01:53.790] – Nena Barlow

Thank you, Rich. It’s great to be here. Great to see you again.



[00:01:59.250] – Big Rich Klein

We get to see each other, typically during Easter Jeep Safari at one of the parties or something. And then, of course, for the Rebelle Rally, as much as we can see each other when both of us are pretty Dang busy, right?



[00:02:15.930] – Big Rich Klein

Let’s jump right in and talk about your life. And where were you born? And where did you grow up?

[00:02:22.710] – Nena Barlow

Well, born in California, I grew up in the desert outside of Palm Springs on a big Ranch that was out there about an hour outside of Palm Springs.



[00:02:35.970] – Nena Barlow

Offroading was a part of just our daily life getting around. We had horses and goats and beef cattle at times and citrus and dates and corn and broccoli. Ranching farming was my upbringing. Of course we get out there. What most people don’t know is actually I cut my teeth on four wheeling teeth on a 76 Bronco.



[00:03:10.630] – Nena Barlow

My dad had it since it was new in 1976, and we were the crazy people that put steel bumpers and a winch and huge 31 inch tires on it.



[00:03:30.430] – Nena Barlow

Just to get around in the sand and everything out there. So Jeeps and trucks and tractors and I drove everything, whatever I could reach the pedals on.

[00:03:42.850] – Big Rich Klein

Yeah. And that was just the upbringing being on a ranch/farm, I can imagine.



[00:03:49.390] – Big Rich Klein

So Palm Springs.



[00:03:52.450] – Big Rich Klein

That is deserty, that’s for sure. With mountains all around and then, of course, the heat.



[00:04:01.570] – Nena Barlow

Now it’s like when I’m back. Well, number one, of course, that area has grown so much when I was there growing up as a kid. Of course, there was big open stretches of desert in between all the little cities between Coachella and Indio and Palm Desert and Palm Springs. And now it’s just one whole. The whole Valley floor is just one big metropolis.



[00:04:23.890] – Nena Barlow

I went to graduated of Palm Springs High School, Bob Hope spoke at our high school graduation. So it was quite a lot of contrast between kind of the Hollywood crowd and then the farming area and the desert four wheeling crowd and dirt bikes getting out. We, of course, have friends that were in the race in the Barstow to Vegas, and we go out and support that. So just kind of a mishmash of all things outdoors and Southwest growing up.



[00:05:00.370] – Big Rich Klein

So you said motorcycles. How old were you when you first rode a motorcycle?

[00:05:06.430] – Nena Barlow

Oh, my gosh. Probably six or seven. That didn’t last long. I think the family was kind of into that for a few years. I was more into horses after that. Which gives you still plenty of opportunities to fall off and break bones.



[00:05:27.490] – Big Rich Klein

I didn’t know if maybe you were on the line there, like with Jimmy.



[00:05:40.910] – Nena Barlow

My dad had a 250, and I think I rode a 125 and I got more into horses. Then I actually got into muscle car, really? In high school and stuff.



[00:05:53.930] – Nena Barlow

Mustangs, Mustangs.



[00:05:58.070] – Nena Barlow

Got in a lot of trouble.

[00:06:00.530] – Big Rich Klein

Oh, come on, Nena Barlow in trouble. And yeah, I know.

[00:06:04.070] – Nena Barlow

Thankfully, there wasn’t social media and cell phones back then.  READ MORE

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