MogFest 2011 at Truckhaven, CA

Trip Report


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The Experience

The Southern California MogFest is usually held every fall in the October timeframe.  2011 was no exception.  This year, the location chosen was near the Salton Sea just south of Truckhaven Hills.  The weather was sunny and very hot.  I think that most of the crew were happy to be leaving after 3 days of intense solar exposure.

The photos below are what we saw.

We arrived at the camp site on Thursday afternoon and got to witness the arrival and setup of most of the rigs that attended.  Above is a nice rooftop camping setup on a Pinzgauer.

This 6x6 Pinz had a very cool custom trailer with a kitchen and sleeping area.

Frank's 416 DOKA mog.

Rico's 416 DOKA.

This 404 was basically stock.

Alan, our host, makes preparations on his 406 for some trail work.

We drove our custom 1017A with HiLo camper but did not take it on the trails.  Simply put, it would not fit as you will see below.

A Westfalia camper has been fitted to a standard radio box on this 404.

Dave's very rare diesel Pinz.  Take note, this rig is for sale.

A Pinz 710K radio box.

Pinz 710M troop carrier.

Most of the group went on the Saturday trail run.  The large number of vehicles raised great clouds of dust.  Above, the Haflinger yields to faster traffic and lets them pass.

We headed south along Pole Line road toward the mud hills.

Several miles in, we turned to the east toward the Gas Domes.

The line of vehicles stretched for several miles.

The Ocotillo Mountains are visible in the distance.

We got out to inspect the Gas Domes.  While not very impressive by Yellowstone standards, these gas seeps are indicative of some interesting sub-surface geology.  The bubbles are escaping CO2 gas which is also drawing up water with it.  The water is cool rather than hot.

From the gas domes, we got our first look at the Salton Sea in the distance.  The blue at base of the far mountains is actually water.

Alan was acting as trail boss for this run.

Eric's 404 DOKA was back in the pack.  Eric cooked an awesome fried turkey for the pot luck dinner on Saturday night.

Alan led the group into the mud hills on a narrow trail with tight turns.  The tightness proved to be a problem later.

The trail barely fit a full sized vehicle.

We finally hit a tight turn that forced a reassessment of the situation.  Most of the group turned around.  But, given the narrow trail, even turning around was a challenge.

Oops.  Why does Joe have a tow strap hooked onto his roll bar?  Any guesses?  And why, pray tell, is the other end of that strap hooked to a Jeep?  The shame!!

The 712 Pinz was required to perform unnatural acts to turn around.

30 turning points later, the job was 1/2 done.

He was able to back up the side of the canyon wall to get out of the way.

Zach and a couple of the Jeepers came over the nearby ridge.

Zach came down the ridge and into a side canyon raising a nice curtain of dust along the way.

A number of the group decided that we could make it past the tight spot and proceeded up the trail.

That rock ledge has taken its toll on side windows and cabs.  John narrowly missed the point of rock.

Once John was through the tight spot, he parked his Synchro and came back to spot folks through the tight spot.

Thanks to John's spotting prowess, the Pinz made the turn with room to spare.

When considered in terms of number of turns-and-backs that were required, the Haflinger seemed to be the worst of the group.

This Blazer has a divorced rear axle that allows running the front axle to do a "dig" without powering the rear.  The dig got him around the corner without incident.

We got out of the canyons and onto the rim.  From the rim, we could clearly see the Salton Sea beyond the mud hills.

In the distance we could see Joe, Zach and the Jeepers looking at something in one of the canyons.

We finished the trail run and headed back to camp for lunch and beers.  It was hot, so we laid low until sundown, then cooked food for the potluck.  Eric Lint cooked an awesome fried turkey for the group.

MogFest 2011 was great fun despite the heat.  It was great to see the crew again.  Thanks to Alan and Eric for their hard work and to all who participated.

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 Copyright Bill Caid, 2011