MogFest 2003

Unimogs in the Mohave Desert

October, 2003

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The Trip

Every year for the last several years, my buddy Kai Serrano hosts MogFest.  To date, MogFest has been somewhere in the Borrego desert, usually near Truckhaven.  This year, for a change, he hosted the party at the ghost town of Calico, CA in the Mohave desert.  This area has some pretty good wheeling close by, but the desert is very barren (even for a desert).  The photos below are of MogFest and have a bunch of shots of mogs belonging to other guys in the group.  Attribution is given where I remeber (now that I am old, I suffer from CRS disease -- that is "can't remember shit" for those that don't know).  So moggers, if I got your name wrong or associated the wrong truck with you, just shoot me an email and I will correct the page.  The address is bcaid "at" san "dot" rr "dot" com.

Kai Serrano's 416 double cab.

Blair Gillespe's 1300 with Alaskan camper.

Eric Johnson's from Salt Lake with his 416 double cab.

Randy Lester inspects a 404 radio box .

Randy Lester's 1300L.

Greg Maiser's 404 double cab.

Bill and Kathleen's 1300L.  Note the barren hills with no vegetation of any kind.

Mog central.  A true feat of engineering.

Kathleen fixin' to get a beer.

Terry Lane's 416 attacks a hill.

A 416.

The dirt hills have some big dropoffs. Blair's 1300L is cresting.

Caravan makes it's way down an easy stretch in the trail with Eric Johnson leading.

Look at all that daylight under my 1300.

Calico is an old mining district and these are frequently associated with geologic upheaval.  Note the folded bedding  of this outcrop.  There is a volcanic layer that has been folded through faulting.

Blair descends a steep section of trail.  The Alaskan camper seems to travel well.

John Wessels descends from the ridge.

The area is pockmarked with old mines, many very dangerous and dilapidated.

The group takes a lunch stop and explores one of the old mines.

The group descends a side canyon on the way back to the camp.  Note the barren hills.

Back at camp: time for chow, a little light snack.

Dutch ovens at work cooking baked potatoes.

Chuck Presnails and John Wessels prepare margaritas while Greg Maiser chats with Tina Serrano.  We had a great steak dinner for about 40 folks.  There were plenty of cocktails, wine and beer so the party was lively.  Discussion centered around past MogFests and trips that the group had done as well as planning the run for the next day.

Kai Serrano's 416 entering a slot canon.  This was just as narrow as it looks.

Kai signals to stop.  Due to tilting, I tagged my canopy on this, tearing the fabric.  Sadly, the truck is so forceful, I could not feel or hear the damage and had it not been for skilful spotting, I would have torn the whole side off.

There were good sized ruts in the trail.  Note size of the rut compared to the diameter of the wheel on the left.

Odd rock formations in the canyon with hard cap rock, Alan Draper's 406 in the foreground.

Kathleen ready to do some more wheelin'.

John Wessel's VW Synchro on a ledge.

We ended up towing a Ford up this ledge as it was too big for the capabilities of his rig.

The trail was rough, full of very sharp rocks which took chunks out of the tires.

The rocks took their toll on the rubber on this jeep -- he had a flat and backed up traffic. Here, they complete loading the flat back on the spare rack.  Mark and Dan watch on the left.

The mogs took a break while the jeep changed his tire. He had the whole trail blocked.

Mark Mitchell's 1300L in the barren hills above Calico.

Old ore train at Calico Ghost Town.  Somewhat of a tourist trap, but reasonably interesting.

The girls found an interesting artifact: a fake skeleton in a bathtub.

Chuck, Greg and Mark hanging out in camp.

Calico was a good time.  It was hot, but bearable.  Having the gatering at an organized campsite with water and electricity was a good call.  And, the trails started literally at the edge of the campsite.  Finally, given the proximity of the camp to the freeway, this was a great choice and we will likely come back in the coming years..


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Copyright Bill Caid 2004