Altar 2003 Day 4: 07-12-2003

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Camp Surf and Turf back to the Border

I had my tripod setup from the night before and managed to catch this sunrise shot.  It is not as colorful as the previous day, but it did capture the front that was coming through the area.  That front overtook us later in the day on the way home and brought wind, rain and fog.

In addition to a ton of steak left over from the previous night, there were all the potatoes that Dan cooked in the oven.  Here the potatoes have been hashed and are being browned to have with pan cakes and sausage.

Razorbacks make the best photo ops.  Note my "truck nutz" hanging from the rear hitch.

Mike enjoying his Honda 250R quad in the deep sand.  That quad was fast, but very loud.

I identified some of the local vegetation as a wild garlic.  So we dug one up to see if that was true.  Actually, it looked more like an onion since it did not have the clove structure.  It did, however, have layers like an onion.

Big dunes in the distance.

Dan enjoying his quad before he rolled.  Gladly he was not hurt.

Big dunes impress me; it puts things into perspective.

Small trucks in a sea of sand.

Some of the dropoffs on the razorbacks were quite scary.

I got stuck temporarily on the way to the biggest dune.  I got up by backing up and gearing down.

Here the team is at the top of the biggest dune in the field.  Each truck in straddling the razorback.  This made walking around difficult as the natural angle of repose of the sand is steep.  But it did make a good photo.

The view from below.

While sitting at the top of the biggest dune, I unexpectedly smelled cooking bacon.  I turned around to find Mike setting up his fry pan to make TJ dogs (hot dogs wrapped in bacon and then fried) and hot Philly cheese steak sandwiches with grilled peppers and onions.  He used the steak left over from the glut the night before.  Really tasty and totally unexpected.  Great eats in a remote location.

While we were eating, we saw trucks coming over the dunes to the south.  These vehicles belong to the 4X4 club from San Luis "Los Cruzeros".  Nice guys.  Most of the vehicles were pumped up in some way, usually a more powerful motor.  They easily went up slopes that challenged the mogs using horsepower more than gears.  Oddly, they did not air down their tires, instead choosing to power their way through.  We spoke with them at length and they told us the story of the cross.

A group shot of the equipment.

Group shot of the team members.

Heading to the exit point near Cesar's.  Note the dark sky.  We would get a surprise on the way home over the mountain passes near Ocotillo .

I used Kai's trick of using 2wd then mashing the brakes and revving the motor to lower the rear of the bed to ease the loading of the quad.  It worked good as you can see from the grin on my face.

I stated previously that derelict tires were in plentiful supply.  Here, some enterprising soul used these tires to construct a shelter.  Note the blow sand against the south side.

Access road to the border checkpoint.  We waited for nearly an hour to get back.  2 of the trucks got secondary inspection, 2 did not.

On the way back to San Diego, we encountered wind, rain and fog.  The fog was thick and made the drive scary.  Dan and Sean bolted ahead as Sean had to make his flight back to Georgia.  He made the plane.  Last year, Kathleen and I came home to plumbing problems (broken pipe).  This year, Kai had the plumbing problems.  Less damaging, but just as disruptive.

This was a great trip, by any metric and all of us had fun.

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