In preparing for such a monumental undertaking there were countless issues that needed to be resolved, not the least of which was that Rogers hadn't owned a car in three decades and had a complete lack of off-road-driving experience.
"That was pretty foolish looking back on it," Rogers admits. "I hadn't owned a car since 1968, and I hadn't even driven all that much. Paige had more experience behind the wheel, but it wasn't like she'd been out hot-rodding through the Sahara, either."
Rogers admits that their relative ignorance resulted in what amounted to a crash course in extreme driving.
"You talk about on-the-job training. We were trapped in a blizzard in Iceland on the third day of the trip, and I had to have a guy show me how to put the car into four-wheel drive," says Rogers [ED. NOTE: The G-Wagon is full-time 4WD but he probably meant "use the differential locks," which illustrates the point]. "It was like everything else on the trip--we simply had to learn about cars and off-roading as we went along."
Once underway, Rogers says the trip called for constant improvisation. Closed borders, epidemics, infuriating bureaucracies, and on-going hostilities between rebel fighters and government troops all required the couple to be fast on their feet.
"There's no way you can do detailed planning in advance. You can have an idea of your route but you never know what you'll find when you get there," he says. "But figuring all that out as you go along, where you're going to find food, fuel, water, and a place to spend the night--that's a big part of what makes it an adventure."
Snow Drifts and Soldiers
While Rogers admits the trip had its share of more traditional travel memories--visits to the Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu, the Vatican--for him, the trip itself is the thing.
"For me, living on the road is a never-ending sensory high," he says. "I live in New York, which to me is one of the most exciting cities in the world, but when I go out my front door tomorrow, whether I turn right or left or go straight ahead, I know more or less what I'm going to see and what's going to happen to me. But, when I'm on the road, I don't know what's going to be around that next turn. I could meet a bunch of guys with guns or I could meet a goddess--that's the thrill."