Weekend Offroad™ Come Explore With Us………
It was an idea to bring people together, to go outside and explore, to make new friends and most of all to have fun.
It all starts with a meeting of strangers in a parking lot who quickly come to realize they have much in common. Brief talks about roof top tents, what kind of tires you use or what your last off-road trip was and soon friendships are being built.
A quick brief from John (@socal_overland) about the details of the next 2 days trip, Matt (@mv_expeditions) goes over what to do if you experience a mechanical problem, Cody (@xpeditionamerica) talks about safety and first aid and finally, me, Adam (@everymanoverland), gives a quick review about radio communication.
Now its time to get this convoy moving. We all get behind the wheel of our vehicles and line up to start our adventure, and what a variety of vehicles we have. There are Range Rovers, Toyota Tacomas, Mercedes Sprinter vans, Land Rovers, Jeep Wranglers, a Toyota Land Crusier 80 series, Toyota 4 Runners, a Toyota FJ cruiser and a Chevy Colorado ZR2. We don’t care what you drive…..we’re just here to have fun!
After a short drive from our meeting point, we finally get the wheels into the dirt. We have a brief air-down of the vehicles tires followed by one last short brief on safety, asking for help and, most import, “Leave No Trace” while we are out here in the park.
And just like that we are off, in search of adventure, challenges and a good time.
After 10-12 miles of mild trails, we come to the Mud Caves where we stop for lunch. Many venture into the mud caves to explore while others inspect the assortment of rigs in attendance. Conversations center around trucks, equipment, and off-roading experience; it’s apparent, friendships are being formed. Opportunities are taken to capture plenty of pictures of the fantastic sights of Anza Borrego and the outfitted rigs that have come out today.
After lunch, we are back to the trail on our way to the “Diablo Drop Off” where we will all be put to our first real test. After a chance for everyone to survey the hill, John and Matt take the first drop and assume positions to spot everyone on the way down. Slowly and safely everyone makes it down without incident.
With everyone down and the sun getting low in the western sky, the decision is made to make our way to camp. We once again line up and proceed down the dusty and bumpy trails that make off-roading so much fun. After 6-8 miles of trail, we find ourselves at the west end of Fish Creek where we all find a spot and begin to set up our camps. Some have rooftop tents, some in-ground tents and some “car camping”, as they sleep in their vehicles (one of my favorite ways when you are moving from location to location each day).
We all enjoyed a group meal of chili dogs, hot links, nachos with cheese and jalapenos and some may have partaken of an adult beverage or two!
Finally, it wouldn’t be camping without a campfire. There were plenty of smiles and laughs as stories were shared of trips past. There is just something about sitting around a campfire that makes life-long friends out of people you just met . . . . unless, of course, you’re the one who forget the marshmallows like I did. It won’t ever happen again, I promise.
The next morning we take our time, enjoy some coffee (2 gallons to be exact), have some toasted croissant, get that fire going again and talk about the events of the day prior.
We want to be moving again by 10 am, so we start packing by 8:30 to get everyone loaded and ready. Everyone was ready to go with time to spare.
On to Sandstone Canyon where the previous storms have washed away many of the visible trials. Four to five miles into the canyon there was a huge rock slide that covered the trail. A local jeep club was attempting to winch out the boulders so we decided to turn around and head for pavement. Back down Fish Creek we went.
Along the way we stopped for one last group photo that showed the variety of vehicles in the group, all of which had performed amazingly over the past 36 hours. All strangers a day ago, now all friends.
With one final stop to air up the tires before we hit pavement and head home, we all take a few minutes to say goodbye to our new friends. We exchange a few hand shakes, some contact information and talk about the next trip. Then it is time to head our separate ways - back to reality. Soon the itch to get back on the trail, back in the tent and back around the camp fire will start to burn again and we will plan our next adventure.
So come join us soon on a “Weekend Offroad™” adventure to make friends, test your vehicle, enjoy some good food, hot coffee and most of all have fun!
-The Trail Team