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1st Annual Anza Borrego Expedition Print E-mail
Written by EBruddah   
Tuesday, 24 March 2009 00:00

Anza09-pray4surf    

The 1st Annual Anza Borrego TTORA SoCal Expedition run was a success despite the fact that it was cut short due to inclement weather.  The advanced party arrived on the afternoon of the 20th and secured our location off of S22 and Cross Over Road near the intersection with the 86.  This is on the North Side of Ocotillo Wells outside of Truckhaven Hills.  This spot was chosen since it was close to gas, services and major landmarks.  I arrived with Ackerlight and Sparky shortly after midnight and attempted to get some rest before our expedition but failed miserably at it while I sat and drank around the campfire with the others.

The 1st day began as any other TTORA camp would start the day.  You have the responsible ones like Arvin G and BrandonH packing up and making sure everyone’s together.  You have the anxious ones like Sparky and J41 who want to go wheel already.  Then you have everyone else who’s just trying to wake up on a Saturday morning with the sun glaring in their eyes.  While Sparky and J41 took off I followed them in vain in 2WD with fully aired tires.  They took off and I headed back to camp to make sure that we can rendezvous with the rest of the attendees.

Pray4Surf arrived shortly before our driver’s meeting and RoastBeef showed up in his SAS’d Nissan.  As we were starting our meeting a California State Park Ranger, Paul Reisman showed up and offered to take us on a tour of the Ocotillo/Anza/Truckhaven area.  We gladly accepted since we would have a ton of time to make it to get through Calcite Mine, Font’s Point and our planned end destination of Lower Coyote Canyon.

Ranger Reisman was very enthusiastic to lead our group and said that it was the “largest group” he’d ever led on his tour.  We had 11 rigs in our group and he led us a geologic, historic and nature tour of the area.  He stated that he had Jeep club out recently who had taken their “Tread Lightly” classes and then immediately went to perform a 3-point turn on the trail over some endangered plants. He stressed the importance of education and preservation.  He took us into some hard to reach and closed areas of the park and pointed out how the area had gotten really beat up after Terra Del Sol 2 weeks prior.  Having been at TDS 2009 this year it was night and day between that weekend and this one, but no kidding right?  We saw some of the wild life and are now able to recognize the plants throughout the park.  So if you’re interested in this tour just be around the Cross Over road and S22 on Saturday morning before 10 am and you’ll certainly run into Ranger Reisman who will be more than happy to tour you around the park.

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After the tour with Ranger Resiman we headed toward the Calcite Mine for lunch.  The climb up to the mine was uneventful.  However once we got to the top of the trail we adjourned for windy and sandy lunch overlooking the Salton Sea.  It was more like a moderate trail and really didn’t deserve the difficult warning that Charles Wellls had given it in his book.
 
After the Calcite Mine we headed over to Font’s Point to gaze at the Badlands.  We had some friendly open desert running on the way to the point and really had a great time going at it.  Font’s point was as stunning as usual and everyone got some great pics.

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After Font’s Point we headed into Lower Coyote Canyon.  The first casualty of the day was Sparky who suffered a rear driver’s side flat and we were delayed for about 30 minutes.  Shortly after his flat BrandonH had lost the ability to shift into 4-LO which really proved challenging for him as he tried to ascend the rocky climbs in LCC.  After all that drama we were able to make it to our camp .  
After spending a very windy night in LCC we decided to call it quits since there were storm clouds on the tops of the mountains and we were leaning on the side of caution since the area is known for flash floods.  Sparky and Blaine went on a run to the Slot and then to Mortero Wash.  While RoastBeef and Pray4Surf headed out on the 76 and had some rain.  However myself, BrandonH, Ackerlight, DTrujillo63 found ourselves in a 40 foot visibility sandstorm on the way back home.

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All in all the expedition style trip for this area seems to work well.  However we will probably start with Mortero Wash and Smuggler’s rock  so that we can end the run closer to home.

(Photo credits- pray4surf, Sparky, SirMarlon)