The team had a great night, there was plenty of red wine to keep things lively. As we went to sleep, a heavy fog rolled in coating us all in dew. Below, Kathleen wakes up to discover that the sleeping bag is soaked.
The primary mission was to get breakfast cooked. Below, the team prepares "breakfast with a bang"..
Mid-way through the cooking, there was an explosion. Seems that the cooks left the propane lighter too close to the burners causing it to pop. Gladly, the propane did not ignite, but it did scare the shit out of us.
Despite the explosion, it was great eats.
After we ate, we loaded our gear for the long trip home. We checked the vehicles and headed out. On the way, we came across this medium sized cholla, the scourge of the Sonoran desert. Thick, evil spines that have barbs and some kind of toxin that causes both pain and infections.
The team is waiting for me on the first ridge out of the tundra. The big trucks are small specks in a sea of sand.
Roberto gets a helping hand from Mike with a tow strap.
The big dunes of the Altar go for many, many miles in multiple fields of dunes. Below, you can see the smooth lines of the razorback dunes that are prevalent in this area.
On a previous trip to the Altar, we encountered an almost-new Dodge pickup in a death bowl. At the time, the truck was in good shape and not (yet) stripped. We said that should we get that way again, we would reassess the situation for salvage. Below, the guys perform the assessment.
Rob uses his Jed Clampett winch to roll over the vehicle to remove articles of interest.
The engine was removed, and drug to this small hillock to serve as a loading ramp for the truck.
Setting up for lunch at the death bowl, I pulled forward too far by about 6 inches and became stuck. Below, Rob gives me a tug with the strap..
On the way out, near San Luis, we encountered another cross courtesy of the members of the Cruzeros group from San Luis.
Live fire shooting range for the Mexican Military. We decided to steer clear of this area.
We came out of the dunes at a different spot than usual and got somewhat lost. In our attempt to get to the main highway, we ended up having to cross this dry irrigation ditch. No problem for the mog; big problem for a standard truck.
The balance of the trip went like clockwork. We got diesel in San Luis and the hopped in the line for the border. This trip, since we crossed on a Sunday afternoon, it took a full hour. Roberto and crew went on to Mexicali since that is where their car was parked. Below is the border marker near the checkpoint.
A parting shot of the group.
This was a great trip, by any metric and all of us had fun. This time, we had no injuries, no illnesses (food borne or otherwise), and best of all no tire problems. The XM47s rock the Altar.