Hi Everybody !
Although it’s taken me quite a while to get the wrap-up for the 2nd group’s TDS adventure, here it is. But before I begin, here is a quick addition to the first group’s story: Ken, Skylar and Paul went to the Pumpkin Patch…AND, Once Again, we had a Raffle Winner – Paul won a $100 gift certificate.
Well, despite the weather predictions of cooler temperatures and breezy to windy days, the the 2nd group had a good sized group too !! Because I wasn’t there to personally relate all the fun they had, I’ll do my best based on conversations I had with those who went. I am sure there are hundreds of stories that will be shared, here are some of the highlights:
First and foremost – No one got hurt and everyone made it home safely !
The second group out to TDS this year had a great time ! Bryan Slattery got out there first on Wednesday at about 2:30pm, with Kirk, Brian F. and George, hot on his heels, rolling in about 3pm, so they were able to camp at the plateau. Brent and his son Brian made it to camp about an hour later. Dick got there about 4:30 or so and everyone took their time setting up camp, ate and had a campfire. Darryl, Emily and her friend Amanda got there early Wed evening. Tim and Maureen pulled in about 9pm and completed the Wednesday arrivals. The second group basically had the desert to themselves, so they didn’t need to put up the rebar, caution tape “gates” or taped off perimeter.
Corey and his dad Brian, showed up Thursday morning. Corey with his Jeep and his dad pulling in with a fifth wheel. Bryan K. got there about noon on Thursday and if I’m not mistaken, Larry also got there Thursday. Art pulled in late on Friday, but left on Saturday with an issue with his trailer.
The second group was kept mobile and having fun with 13 off road rigs – some built for the “wild” and some pretty much stock, as well as 2 dirt bikes and a Land Cruiser. Here’s who showed up: Brent and his son Brian, Kirk, Brian F., Bryan S., George, Dick, Tim, Maureen, Tom, Terry and their friend, Corey and his dad Brian, Brian K., Darryl, Emily and her friend Andrea, Larry and Art. Hope I didn’t miss anyone!
The weather although cooler, was great for wheeling every day – mid 60’s Wed. – Fri. warming up to the mid 70’s Saturday. Nighttime temps were in the 40’s. There was a variety of weather…sprinkles a bit on Wednesday afternoon and a steady drizzly rain during the night Wednesday night, but nothing to make the ground muddy. There were steady breezes every day that turned into the normal desert “afternoon to sunset wind” a couple times, but nothing that wasn’t tolerable. There were quite a few tent campers, but no tents were flattened this year, with the exception of Brent’s privacy shelter. The winds calmed down in the evenings, so everyone got to relax around nice campfires every night. Thanks to everyone who brought firewood!!!!
Because it wasn’t the normal TDS week, things were very very quiet, with light traffic on the road for the first couple days with a bit more traffic on Friday and Saturday as a few more folks came into the area to camp and play. Basically, the second group had the desert to themselves.
Journeys were made to the familiar places and on Thursday everybody headed out together. But after reaching Fonts point the group split up with some heading back toward camp. Some of them made to the Ocotillo Wells training area, and some folks made it to Fish Creek wash, SandStone canyon and again cross country back to camp.
Of course there was plenty of toolin’ around by everyone. Playing around in the gullies and hills due north of camp, thru the trenches and into the various washes. On
Friday, I think was the trip to the Calcite mine, and after that, everyone went up and across the plateaus and down the other side to play in the Telephone Booth area. The Ash Rock formations at “signpost” were empty of the normal crowds that sit there waiting for rigs to go up it. Just like the first group experienced, the second group had the same conditions at the “Rock Buggy” waterfall area on the north side of Telephone Booth. It was a real challenge this year…the sand at the base had gone down what seemed to be 2 or 3 feet lower than we all remembered where it was last year. Tim and Bryan K. have rigs that are really set up good and they made it up the middle waterfall with relative ease. C-Clip hill is a scary challenge for plenty of folks, but Dick, Tim, and Bryan K. scrambled up it again this year. Bryan S. gave it a heck of a shot, but alas, didn’t make it.
There were Night Runs on Friday night and Saturday night. From what I know, the only breakage/damage happened to Bryan S’s rig – with a scraped and dented door that happened on the Friday night run.
Camp disbanded Sunday morning with folks saying their good byes and leaving at various times. The winds for the drive home Sunday were pretty strong in places and the traffic was heavy for some, but the good news was that everyone made it home safely!!
All in all, it was a great week for the second group!! Everyone was respectful, ate good, no one ran out of liquids, and everyone had fun. Most importantly, no one got hurt !! Thanks again: To those who brought firewood, To those who shared their supplies, To those who helped each other on the trails and To those who provided their mechanical skills when repairs were needed…Kudos to everybody !!!
I’m speaking for everyone when I say that, “we look forward to next year and hope that we can all get together again.” (and maybe before then too)
Till then, Stay Safe, Stay Healthy and Count Your Blessings !!!