Trip Report 20121120-25
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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
The photos below are what we saw.
Our campsite had a nice view of the mountains to the west of
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
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
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
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
We arrived on Tuesday night before everyone
else. We had the place to ourselves and the next morning
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
Steve and Stephanie brought plenty of
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
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
There were some
interesting farm implements as well.
This looks like a
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
We had tri-tip BBQ for
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
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
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
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.
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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