Tierra Del Sol 4x4 Event

Controlled Chaos in the Desert

Trip Report 20120303

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The Experience

My mog buddy Mark invited us to join him at his Borrego Springs home and attend the 2012 Tierra del Sol 4x4 event.  We knew from another 4x4 buddy that there were AT LEAST 1500 registered participants and we both felt that was a lower bound.  We joined Mark at his newly remodeled Borrego house and then went on a trail run prior to going to TDS.  First, we went to Font's Point to catch the view.

The photos below are what we saw.

We went to Font's Point because it had a great view of the Borrego Valley.  Above, you can see our 1017A ("Thor") in the parking lot at the point.  Visible in the distance is the Borrego Valley.

Looking to the west from Font's, you get a good view of the Borrego Bad Lands.

Looking to the southwest, you can see more of the badland hills.

Looking east, the mud palisades presented a daunting view.

To the south, in the distance, the sand hills of the Off Highway Vehicle Park are visible.

The city of Borrego was clearly visible against the mountains.

To the north of our position, Clark Dry Lake was visible with the Santa Rosa mountains in the distance.

Our path from Font's Point gave us several nice views of the Santa Rosa mountains.

Thor is a great vehicle for this kind of duty and provides us not only highly capable off-road ability but comfortable living quarters.

From the Font's Point area, we traveled east on SR-22 to the Truckhaven area.  Mark was a registered participant, but still had to get into the line for a technical and safety inspection.

Since we were not registered, we drove off to the side of the line.  The passers-by were awestruck by Thor and really did not know what to say.

The tech guys were trying to figure out how his mog fit into the whole scheme of things.

When we finished with the registration actions, we headed over to find a place to park to allow us to see the vendor area.  I learned what I already knew which is you better be in 4x4 BEFORE you need it, or you risk digging big trenches.  We were not stuck, but it did require both diff-lock and low range for us to self-extract.  Full tire pressure insures that you dig deep trenches; we were too lazy to air down.

In the vendor area, there were all manner of diversions.  Above is the articulation ramp where you can demonstrate the articulation ability of your vehicle.  Thor would just crush his ramp, so we did not try.

The central vendor area was something like a carnival.

Like a carnival, there were plenty of diversions for the attendees.  All manner of junk food was available including funnel cakes, burgers, fish tacos, kettle corn and the like.

Some of the vendor's rigs were very impressive.  The rig in the photo above was based on a Freightliner chassis.

To the west of the vendor area was the obstacle course, and so-called "training area".  There were plenty of folks trying their luck and testing their skills on the obstacles.

Some of the obstacles were challenging and had steep slopes.

I doubt that my 1300 would be able to do this obstacle and Thor would definitely not be able to do it.  We did not see anybody that attempted it.

The tire pit provided a tough challenge for any vehicle.

From the chaos of the TDS area, we headed to the 17 Palm spring.  I counted the trees; there were more than 17 palms.

Our host, Mark, heads off to look for the actual spring.  I did not take a photo of the spring, but it was a small muddy hole about a foot in diameter and 18" deep next to a sign that says "water not fit for consumption".

On the way back to Borrego Springs, we passed some steel sculptures, the most interesting being a dragon.

The dragon had a long body that spanned the nearby road.  Very cool.

We enjoyed our visit to the TDS affair, but it was basically controlled chaos.  Tons of vehicles, tons of dust, lots of people.  That said, they did have adequate restroom facilities and that says a lot of good things about the event planners.  We did not go on the trail runs, there were just too many vehicles.  Instead, we went and did our thing independent of the group.

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Copyright Bill Caid 2012.  All rights reserved.