NOTES FROM THE ROAD


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Rebelle U…


Rebelle U sand dune training …


16 September 2018: Finished up the weekend at the Rebelle U sand dune training where we got to hone skills for driving and navigating in the challenging terrain of the Imperial Sand Dunes under the watchful eyes of Rebelle Rally founder, Emily Miller and her team of instructors…



Studying the Dunes…


Mapping terrain in the dunes…


14 September 2018: Joined some fellow Rebelle alums out in the dunes to do some work on measuring and mapping in hopes of improving the consistency and accuracy of precision navigation when driving in a complex dune field like this one at the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area



Made it to Glamis for Sunset…


Heading East to Yuma…


13 September 2018: Left Anza Borrego headed southeast towards Yuma and made it to the dunes at Glamis just in time to catch an amazing sunset. The wind was blowing a lot, which means the sand will likely be soft for our upcoming training …



Navigating the Badlands…


Exploring around Anza Borrego…


12 September 2018: Spending some time in the Anza Borrego desert in southern California refreshing desert navigation skills. Despite very hot 100-degree Fahrenheit days, the desert still has its magic and always holds delightful surprises for those willing to look beyond the obvious. The Borrego Badlands are “hidden” from view until you come to the edge of a sandy rise that opens onto a “hole” in the earth full of other-worldly maze-like trails …



On the Trail at Ocotillo Wells…


Out in the desert…


11 September 2018: Fun day today exploring some new parts of the Anza Borrego area, including some of the canyons around the Fish Creek area, before finishing up the day at Ocotillo Wells where the trails were pretty empty in the magical light of late afternoon …



Desert sunrise…


Another day for discovering the desert…


10 September 2018: The heat continues to bake the desert and the only cool moment is the early morning, which gives a chance to watch the sunrise over the horizon in the still silence broken only by the sound of a bird’s wings as it flies overhead …



Into the Badlands…


Navigating around the Borrego Badlands…


9 September 2018: A great full day spent exploring trails and working on navigational skills around the badlands. An interesting observation from today’s “lesson” is the importance of “names.” It seems once we have learned a land feature’s name, we make a cognitive leap in being able to recognize it and distinguish it from the “mass” of terrain features. Today was defined by Indian Head mountain and Coyote mountain as visual reference points …



Welcome to Anza Borrego…


Fun with the Galleta Meadows sculptures…


8 September 2018: Arrived in Borrego Springs via San Diego this afternoon around 4pm. It was 114 degrees Fahrenheit, so seemed like a good idea to “ease” into the desert with some fun navigation exercise — plotting and locating some of the amazingly beautiful Galleta Meadows sculptures by Ricardo Breceda. There are 130 of these giant metal sculptures, rusted into desert colors and silhouetted against the sky and desert landscape all around the area …


PREVIOUS NOTES FROM THE ROAD >


THIS MONTH:

Going to RebelleU for some refresher dunes training in September. Rebelle U was established by veteran off-road racer and Rebelle Rally-founder Emily Miller, to help women learn, build, sharpen, and refine off-roading skills in authentic environments designed for them to excel. The training program offers 1-4 day driving and navigation classes in southern California aimed at preparing women to take on vehicle-based adventure.


COMING UP SOON:

Doing some training with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation®, an internationally recognized not-for-profit foundation, supported by motorcycle manufacturers, that provides leadership to the motorcycle safety community through its expertise, tools, and partnerships. The MSF is the internationally recognized developer of the comprehensive, research-based, Rider Education and Training System (RETS). RETS curricula promotes lifelong-learning for motorcyclists and continuous professional development for certified RiderCoaches and other trainers. MSF also actively participates in government relations, safety research, public awareness campaigns and the provision of technical assistance to state training and licensing programs. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation is a national, not-for-profit organization sponsored by BMW, BRP, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Indian Motorcycle, Kawasaki, KTM, Piaggio, Suzuki, Triumph and Yamaha …



Paris for some project pre-pro and a visit with good friends …


Joining the Scoot West Africa team on a motorbike adventure through Senegal and The Gambia to explore tropical forests and plains of baobab trees beyond the southern edges of the Sahara. The trip is an introduction to new terrain and some of the most interesting culture, history, food, and music on the planet …


THE IMPERIAL SAND DUNES

The Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area, located in the southeast corner of California, is the largest mass of sand dunes in the state. Formed by windblown sands of ancient Lake Cahuilla, the dune system extends for more than 40 miles in a band averaging 5 miles wide (map). Widely known as “Glamis” it is an off-road paradise, with an extensive open area for OHV use.


THE CARGO MUCHACHOS
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The Cargo Muchacho Mountains are located in southern California near the border with Arizona and Mexico. The range runs in a northwest-southeasterly direction, southeast of the Imperial Valley and northwest of the Colorado River not far from Yuma, AZ. They are south and southeast of the Chocolate Mountains and east of the Algodones Dunes. The area is home to the American Girl Mine, and the Golden Bee and Cargo mines, as well as the ruins of some old mining towns. According to DesertUSA, the discovery of gold in the Cargo Muchacho Mining District can be credited to a stray mule. A California-bound wagon train was camped near the mountains in 1862, when the mule wandered off into the foothills. A sharp-eyed man saw something that looked like a golden nugget when he found the mule, and picked it up on the spot. Over the years, there were several mines operating in the area, and they were considered among the most hazardous in the Southwest. Cave-ins and fires were common. Living conditions were deplorable, particularly in summer, and when the mines closed the town–originally known as Ogilby and Hedges, then later called Tumco–was abandoned. The site, with just a few ruins and some very dangerous mine shafts that drop a 1,000 feet or more, is now managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).


HISTORY: YUMA, ARIZONA

On the bank of the Colorado River, Yuma is tucked in Arizona’s southwest corner, and shares borders with Mexico and California. Unique geography created the Yuma Crossing and shaped the history of the community and the entire Southwest. Two outcroppings of granite that held their place against the Colorado river’s might and squeezed it into a narrower channel made it possible to cross the river here. The location was strategically important, and the first european explorers in the area noted it as a potential site for settlement in 1540. However, it was the gold rush of 1849 that put Yuma on the map for most Americans. Thousands of fortune hunters headed west, seeking the quickest way to reach California, and in one year, more than 60,000 travelers passed through Yuma to the rope ferry across the Colorado. Reflecting the town’s new importance, the U.S. Army in 1852 established Fort Yuma on Indian Hill, overlooking the strategic crossing…


ABOUT ANZA BORREGO
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Anza Borrego Desert state park is California’s largest state park encompassing more than 600,000 acres. Running about 25 miles east to west and 50 miles north to south, it offers an unparalleled area to practice desert navigation. The park is framed by many rugged mountain ranges and has over 500 miles of primitive jeep and paved roads, with varied terrain that includes routes up rocky hills, through deep soft sand and wash beds, and steep climbs. Named for the 18th century Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and borrego, the Spanish word for bighorn sheep, the park is just a two-hour drive northeast from San Diego. The Anza Borrego Foundaton has a forty-year legacy of promoting conservation in the park and the surrounding ecological region through land acquisition, education, interpretation, and scientific studies.


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