Desert Dash Day 2

After a wonderful and fun filled first day of the dash we awaken to take on day 2. Sunday was a little windy in the am but not to bad. I knew what we where about to get into, probably the hardest part of the dash and the part that kicked my butt two years ago. But I was ready this year. We all headed out down to the first trail head, as we cruised along through the trail all I could think about was what lied ahead. The squeeze, pinion and heartache hill. As we rolled up on the squeeze I watched as Andy spent a little to much time thinking and he fell to the right up against the rock, ouch he was ok though. So lesson, just go for it. Pick a spot or line and go. I managed to go through with no problems but this was not the section I was worried about.

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The section I was about to tackle next pinion is one that wore me out in the past. I watched as Ben made it look so easy, my years of practice and riding had payed off as I went over and up each obstacle with ease. My joy could he heard, it was as if I had just conquered Mt. Everest. One more challenge lie ahead, heartache hill. As we rolled up on it there was a flock of riders all watching or helping in some sort of way and some just wondering how they where going to do this. I took a quick glance and well, here is where the lesson paid off, just went for it down the hill I went with style and ease. Now my confidence level just went to an all time high.

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Andy and Matt however did not fair to well, they took a spill on the way down. But all was ok we moved on to what was left of Fairchild and into fish creek. Along the way Andy tagged a rock with his left foot. His boots did the job but his foot still swelled up and the pain was beginning to be to much for him.
So we headed off to the next trail head where Andy decided to head back to camp via slab. I had just purchased a GPS before this ride and was still familiarizing myself with it, being the only one left in the group with a GPS I volunteered to lead the group on the rest of the trip. We had almost made it to the lunch stop when Matt noticed his backpack was missing, which had his wallet and keys in it. Now it was time to make alternate plans and backtrack looking and asking every rider along the way. With no luck we came up empty handed and stopped at the Iron door for lunch and a cold one, had a few laughs and good spirits. From here we slabed the remainder of the trip back to camp and ended our weekend with some laughs and 340 miles of memories.

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Desert Dash Day 1

One of my favorite times of the year, every February San Diego Adventure Riders has an annual event called Desert Dash. One that I look forward to attending either as a rider or volunteer. This event is a 2 day 340 mile trail ride through Anza Borrego Desert that covers a lot of fun trails. While most of these trails are fairly intermediate there are a few sections that can be a fair challenge for most however. Have no fear though there are easy bailout options if it becomes to much. Two years ago I got beat bad in some of those sections, but not this year.
Friday night we arrived at Butterfield campground in Anza Borrego, unloaded and met up with my fellow riders for the weekend. I had my family with me this year so we ended up getting a cabin so they can enjoy themselves while I rode.

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After a good dinner and night rest the day had come. Saturday morning and time to ride. We all met up at my cabin and mounted our trusty steel horses, the sum rising as we set off. The first trail was one that I hadn’t been on before and probably one of my favorite of the day, Oriflame a very long climb up and flowing back trail to highway 78.

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We hit highway 78 for a few miles and hooked a left at the trail head for Grapevine. This trail was fun and where we started to get a little taste of sand. One of the riders with us Ben was getting a good taste of it after a couple of drops he finally got the hang of it. Then up Jasper trail, I was following Andy close and learned a valuable lesson. One at a time going up hill, Andy almost made it when he got stuck and his bike was sideways in the trail, I was right on his tail and had to try and go around only to find my front end heading for him so had to stop as well. When getting going again I dropped my bike, no worries though we mustered on to highway S22 to get to the next trail.
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A few slab miles later we made a fuel stop, then to the next trail head which was a fun little sand wash that lead us to insperation wash.
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Then a quick detour to an amazing spot to stop, fonts point was what looked like a mini grand canyon in the middle of Anza Borrego. This is one site worth going to see and the pictures really do it no justice for its height and beauty.
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Continuing on after our little detour we ended up in some more sand washes just south of 78, we where all getting a little hungry so we decided to jump North on the highway and slab the rest to the lunch stop. Our lunch was provided by the Salton Sea fire department, burgers and dogs. When we rolled in to my surprise there was my whole family and best friend to meet us, sure was a wonderful to see and made for an awesome break. There in the top right of the photo below.
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While talking at lunch Andy realized that his troubles he was having in the wash where do to his front tire, the knobs where starting to chunk off. So we came up with plan b, our own little adventure. We filled up the bikes and headed off to Ocotillo wells to get a new tire for Andy. When arriving Andy stayed to get the tire on and me and the rest of the crew headed around the corner to the Iron Door for some cold beer. Andy was done in record time and was able to join in for a round.
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A nice little break, we mounted the bikes and headed down the road to fish creek where we peeled off and rode fish creek to Diablo drop off. This is where I had my only good spill of the day as we came around the corner and up the first incline my bike went left and fell to the right on my leg. No injury but with Ben’s help he lifted the bike off my leg. I have to say the fox boots did there job, my foot was resting on the exhaust and my boots have the mark to prove it. At the base of Diablo was a line of jeeps, we waited our turn to tackle the sandy hill. Let’s just say the hill won except for one rider named Andy who was the first up it.
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After a long break we continued our journey toward base camp through washes and out to S2 to make it home before sunset and lose to 200 miles of riding. The day ended with a dinner from the club at the club house and a raffle in which I won a brand new back tire.
This is one of the most fun events one adventure rider can attend, well organized, good people and a good turn out every year. If you haven’t been I highly recommend checking it out next year. You’ll be glad you did. Stat tuned day 2 will be posted next week.