Part 1: MogFest 2020 Day 1


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The Experience

A trail run was planned for the first day, so I made the rounds of the campsite to get some photos of the various rigs before we hit the trail.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

A customized 404 that has "been around".  This DOKA (double kabine, AKA 4-door) had a big part of the bed removed to provide improved departure angle on rough obstacles.

Alan's well-worn early model 406 that is headed for a major restoration.  Current plans are to replace the motor and do a frame-up restoration including driveline components.

A very nice 1300L fire truck.  These fellows traveled from Houston, TX in ONE-SHOT, all 21 hours or so.  That is a lot of seat time.

Terry's 1350; being a later model, this is a very nice truck although it looks as if he needs a spare tire.

Kevin's clean 1300L.

Eric's Altar-proven 1300 DOKA.

I rode with Alan in his open-cab 406.  We drove past the lineup and got photos of the group before we headed out.  This was one of the Pinzgauers that was at the meet.

Ready to eat some dust.

A custom rock buggy.

Joe's propane-powered modified 404.

Charlie's super-clean 1300 with many custom enhancements.

A trail-ready 1300L that later developed a minor fuel leak.

Eric is happy to finally get rolling.

Geologic structures near Calico in Mule Canyon.  These hills have been warped, uplifted, eroded and then volcanically intruded.  The prominent ridge is such an intrusion.  The resulting mineralization results in vivid colors in an otherwise drab desert (thus the "Calico" name).

Barren "badlands" and dirt trails.

The group heads higher into the hills.  I shot this out of the rear of Alan's truck while we were rolling.

The Mule Canyon trail goes through a narrow cut in the mud hills.

Moderate winds kept the trail dust to tolerable levels.  Riding in the open cab of Alan's rig was an eye-opening,  but mouth-closing experience.

The convoy rounds a bend in the trail and crosses a small arroyo.

The inevitable fuel issue: a leaking fuel filter which was likely caused by an incorrectly seated gasket.  I have suffered this issue many times due to the upside-down nature of the filter mount.  The gasket has to be seated from the bottom-up with impaired visibility leading to frequent mistakes.  The issue was never fully resolved, but since on this motor the filters are on the pressurized side of the fuel pump, the system only leaked as opposed to aspirating air into the fuel with is death for diesels.

Most of the trail was "just a dirt road" and an easy cruise.

Once we got deeper into the mountains, the trails became more challenging.

Several of the grades were quite steep and required 4x4 and in some cases diff-lock as well.

These trails were no challenge to the rock buggies.

This rig has been well used (or used well depending on your outlook) and shows it.

We did a bio-stop at the top of the ridge.  The view was expansive, but impeded by the smoke from the nearby fires.  The haze lasted for the entire festival.

A view of some of the mines in the Calico area.  This area was heavily worked back in the late 1800s.  Back then, the remoteness and the high temperatures in the desert during the summer made this a hellish place to work.  The haze and general poor air quality was due to the fires in the nearby mountains.

The smoke from the fires drifted hundreds of miles.  Note that the horizon is hidden.

Showing off for the group.

Another area worked heavily during the mining heydays.

The group comes down out of the hills.

We arrived safely back at camp (not always the case....).  Kathleen stayed in camp in Thor because she wanted a down-day.

Mule Canyon is a pretty easy trail, but perfect for a family run.  That said, it was a good run.  The group returned to camp for dinner an a campfire.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2020, all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use without attribution.