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A wheel desert adventure

November 29, 2018

Speeding through the sand, cruising to abandoned mines and climbing a 4,000-foot mountain to find an outstanding view of Lake Mohave, are just a few of the highlights that come as part of the “Oui experience.”

Whether you are skilled in utility vehicles or not, husband and wife duo Jake Benz and Ani Kataroyan are prepared to give you a desert adventure like no other. The couple moved from Minnesota to Arizona in 2017 to pursue their dream of opening a UTV attraction in a desert playground for adults.

“We enjoy the beauty of the desert, and just want to share our love of nature with others,” Kataroyan said. “After a year in business, we feel so lucky because we have had the chance to meet the most amazing people through Oui Experience.”

Benz has been driving UTVs for years and is the perfect instructor for new or veteran drivers, allowing guests to go as fast or slow as they please.

He will pick up guests from their hotel and bring them to the property near Dolan Springs, Arizona, to start the experience.

After some quick instruction, guests get to take the wheel and hit the trails. Jake will guide guests through the desert, stopping at an old quartz and gold mine, where mine shafts and rusted equipment is still visible, Kataroyan said.

Next, the trail forages through the Black Mountains up a 4,000-foot peak for an outstanding view. Stop and take in the serenity while gazing out over Lake Mohave, before climbing back in the driver’s seat to head down to the lake.

At the summit of the tour, Lake Mohave, guests can take a breather and walk around a bit. Peering out at the sparkling water, you’ll almost forget you’re in the middle of the desert and not by the coast.

Kataroyan said they use GoPros to record clips of the tour so guests can keep a copy of the video to remember their experience.

There are two tours available — the Full House Experience and the Royale Experience. The Full House is a two-hour tour with a group of other guests and does not include lunch. The Royale is a private trip with at least three and a half hours of driving time and includes lunch on the beach at the lake.

In the future the couple plan to offer “glamping” and multiple day excursions.

The tours are a great option for bachelor/bachelorette parties, birthday parties, business team builders, or just a fun day with friends. They can accommodate a maximum of 12 guests at a time.

The experience truly is one-of-a-kind. It’s an adrenaline rush driving as fast as you can handle through desert terrain, while still feeling secure with an experienced guide.

Jake and Ani take every precaution to ensure their guests have a fun, yet safe time. They are prepared with everything needed for the day, from cleansing wipes to rub the dust off your face, water to stay hydrated, and first-aid supplies. Their vehicles are licensed and insured, and the couple are both first aid certified.

To book a trip, visit www.ouiexperience.com, or call 763-218-8422.

Tips for your trip:

-Wear comfortable clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty. You will be coated with dust from head to toe by the end of your excursion, so don’t plan to wear your finest threads for the day.

-Wear tennis shoes or boots. You will want closed-toe shoes that won’t slip when you are driving, and to walk around in desert terrain during stops along the trails.

-Use the restroom before you depart. You will not have a chance to use the restroom until you reach the lake.

-If the forecast is sunny, don’t forget to apply sunscreen because you will be out in the open for several hours.

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