Anza-Borrego Quad Camping Trip

Trip Report 20120101

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The Experience

Every year, our good friends Kai and Tina host a New Year's quad trip to the Borrego Springs area.  This year was no exception and unlike some of the previous years, the weather was OFF THE CHART!!  The days were high seventies, sunny and no wind.  The nights were in the forties, clear and no wind.  What a rare treat and a great close-out for the somewhat suspect year of 2011.

The photos below are what we saw.

The approach to the Borrego Springs area is via the so-called Montezuma Grade.  This grade is steep and we have had a number of brake failures on it over the years.  We were lucky as losing control and going over the cliff would likely be fatal.  But, scary descent notwithstanding, the views of the valley below are breathtaking.

There was some slight haze in the air, most likely from dust raised from all the folks with off road vehicles cruising around in the great weather.

On the right side, middle of the photo above is the so-called "Borrego Sink" which is a (usually) dry lake bed.  Our camp site would be to the north (left) of the sink in that patch of green brush.

When we arrived at camp, I noticed that we had gotten an extra prize during the trip.  That is a 1/2" hex head bolt sticking from my nearly-new $1200 Michelin tire.  Ouch.  The good news, if you can call it that, is that the tire held pressure all the way back to San Diego.

Our good friends Kai, Tina and dog Reilly.

The 1017A towed the trailer as if it were not there.  Above is the camper in the travel configuration.

The camper in the raised configuration.

Once we were set up, it was play time.  One of the guys brought a super-trick nitro-methane powered 4x4 RC truck.  This rig was fast and very entertaining.

The kids were totally enamored with chasing after the truck.

Oops, Ron put a little too much throttle in the turn.

Ron drove the RC truck hard and in the end he damaged some internal workings.  He put the rig on the "bench" and quickly found that one of the internal bearings was wasted.

This truck is both sophisticated and pricey.  The purple tower is the heat sink for the cylinder head.

Tina and the girls in camp organized group meals making it easy on everyone.  Above Kai works the griddle with his famous pancakes.

The 1017 was our base station for the weekend and was the shelter from the non-existent foul weather.  This was such a pleasant surprise.  We have camped in this area in the winter many times and have frequently had cold, windy and/or rainy weather.  High winds in a dusty area is no fun and there is usually no place to hide.

Our camp had a clear view of the mountains to the west of Borrego Springs.

My trusty 1998 Yamaha Banshee.  This quad has neck-snapping acceleration and goes as fast as you dare.

Kathleen's 2000 Raptor.  This quad has had some issues over the years, but is sound now.

We had brought our rifles and pistols, so we thought that we would go shooting in one of the neighboring washes.  So, we loaded our junk on the quads and prepared to head out.

I do not have a rifle rack on my quad, so I placed them on the seat and sat on them.  Not an ideal solution, but it DID work.  The cloth cases prevented any damage to the guns or the quad seats.

Shooting did not go as well as we would have hoped.  I purchased a thousand rounds of Wolf steel case .45 ammo and the loads were very hot.  The casings bent my firing pin and required some heroic efforts to get it out of the slide of my 1911.  Happily, firing pins are not very expensive but it did end shooting for the day.  Plus, the powder that Wolf uses is very, very dirty and almost seems resistant to normal powder solvent.  On Wolf, "once burnt, learnt" is my philosophy.  I am sure that I will get plenty of emails on the topic, but rest assured they have been removed from the "approved vendor" list.  My HK ate them without incident, but the steel cases did hammer the face of the slide on both guns.  I normally shoot my own reloads which use brass cases, so this is not the normal situation.  In the photo above, my cooler served as the ad hoc cleaning station for this event.

John Reinhardt came by with his kids and his 1450 DOKA with nice camper box.  The box is unfinished, so they slept in tents.

Another shot of John's rig.

John, in the rear of the photo above, brought his paint guns and let the kids have a go at them.

We had a great time, as always.  There were several acts of drama, though.  Kai crashed his moto as did his son (in separate events).  Luckily, they came away with minor injuries.  The weather was as nice as it could be and our trip back to SD was uneventful despite the 1/2" bolt in the tire.  Thanks to Kai and Tina for organizing the event.

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