Borrego Thanksgiving Quad Camp Trip

Thanksgiving with friends

Trip Report 20121120-25

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The Experience

We were invited to join our dear friends Kai and Tina at their Thanksgiving party in the desert.  Our usual location was close to the Borrego Sink and had plenty of trails for riding our quads, motorcycles and Razr ATVs.

The photos below are what we saw.

Our campsite had a nice view of the mountains to the west of Borrego Springs.  Look closely and you can see the road cut for county road S-22, AKA Montezuma Grade.  Montezuma is quite steep and can be very scary since the road is narrow and it runs along the side of the cliffs.

The Borrego Valley has sand hills that are frequently built around the root systems of desert bushes.  This hill was based on the root system of a small mesquite bushes.

Our camp was close to a good sized arroyo that flash flooded last summer.  Most of the trails had been impacted by the action of the water.  When we camp with our quads, we place them on our car carrier trailer and hook them up behind Thor.  Thor cares little about the trailer in terms of handling or braking, but the added weight does impact our uphill speed.

Due east of our camp the Borrego Badlands are visible.  These mud hills show the powerful effect of water, even in (or especially in) the desert.

To the north, we could see Toro Peak in the Santa Rosa Mountains.  Toro Peak is just a bit over 8,000 feet and gets snow every winter.

The sand hills are dry and harsh but do support a variety of life as evidenced by the tracks in the sand.

We arrived on Tuesday night before everyone else.  We had the place to ourselves and the next morning the balance of our group started arriving.  Above is Mike and Carrie's motor home and sand toys.

When the balance of the group arrived, we unloaded our toys as well.  I have had my Yamaha Banshee since 1998 and it totally rocks.  Even after all these years it still makes my hands sweat when I ride it.

One of the other dirt toys.

Kai's Baja-proven Gas-Gas moto.

Steve and Stephanie brought plenty of toys.

Steve and Steph also brought their Kawasaki UTV.

Our campsite is very close to the Borrego Valley airport and we saw plenty of private planes.

Our mutual friend Dan purchased a house on the south side of the Borrego Sink.  Above, we load up to go to his house and retrieve some more sand toys.

Houston, we have a problem.  One frequent failure on both quads and motorcycles is having the shifter fall off.  Look at the photo above just inboard of the peg and you will see the naked shaft where the shifter was attached.  Unfortunately, this quad will not allow starting the motor unless the transmission is in neutral (which it is not).

The solution is always the same: a vice grip on the shifter shaft.  This will get you back to camp.  As a side note, they found the shift lever on the trail and re-installed it successfully.

The place that Dan purchased came with some nice relics in the yard.  Above is a radiator cowling.

There were some interesting farm implements as well.

This looks like a tractor-towed plow.

Dan's place is on the Borrego Air Ranch and most of the homes there have hangars for their private planes.  Dan doesn't have a plane, but a hangar makes a nifty place to store toys like his U1500.  Also note the Razr ATV at the right.

Dan has 2 of these awesome machines at his place and he was nice enough to allow us to use them for the weekend.  They are fast and stable at high speed even in the "whoops" and ruts.  These were recently used in a multi-day Baja beach and mountain cruise.

We had tri-tip BBQ for dinner.

Kai's hound "Reilly" was very well behaved.  Reilly loves to camp.

Next morning, Kai had a plumbing failure in his RV.  Because I had similar issues in my rig, I had some spare fittings and PEX pipe.  I discovered that several of my fittings were the wrong size so we jury-rigged a cap for the pipe.  Ugly, but it allowed the system to continue to work without leaking.

It was finally time to fry our turkey.  Putting a cold turkey into boiling oil is a dangerous process and must be treated with great caution.

Once the turkey is fully submerged the boiling becomes violent. The trick is to get the hook out of the oil without getting splashed.

Steve's Great Dane puppy "Tiki".

Tiki is on a 4" platform, but still her head is as high as Kathleen's waist.

In about an hour, the turkey was ready to eat.  The deep frying produces a nice golden brown skin and moist meat.

The Mexicans call this insect a "pinacatl" which is known locally as a "stink beetle".

We had cooked about 5 pounds of bacon for the group breakfast and saved the drippings in a large can.  That can was inserted in the fire and when it reached critical temperature it flamed like a jet engine.

After the bacon grease burned out, things settled down to the normal post-dinner food-coma level.

Kathleen and I got a chance to take the Razrs out on the trail for a high-speed run.  They are great fun; very fast and have a great suspension that makes driving them a pleasure even over rough ground.

Several days later we went out shooting in the wash and had a case failure.  The case on the left is the normal .45 ACP.  The center case split near the root of the case.  The slide on the pistol came back and "picked" the next round from the clip and pushed the bullet into the case when it hit the broken case that was stuck in the chamber.

Saturday night brought a moon that was nearly full and provided a great view.

We always enjoy our camps at the Borrego Sink area.  We call the location "El Dumpo" because it is close to the Borrego landfill.  But, the good news is that the landfill is far enough away to not have a downside.  The weather was great; it was sunny, warm and calm every day.

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