March 2002

I didn't know I would be writing this report, so some of the events will probably get mixed around, but you'll all get the general idea about the trip. I arrived at Dumont on Friday late afternoon to find Bobbo and Iceman there in our old camping spot by the river near the road crossing. Apparently I had passed Dakota coming in because he had left to get gas in Baker a few minutes before I got there. The wind was blowing, and I was seriously trying to figure a way to sleep in my jeep. I managed to turn the jeep sideways to the wind and by blocking the under side with everything I could find, I got my tent set up and braced to the jeep mirror. With the stakes in and all my stuff inside, it was fairly stable.

When Dakota got back, we sat around while they told me all the stories of their adventures that day in the dunes. Apparently they got all the way to the top of the biggest dune. Somewhere near there, Dakota lost a bead and after they fixed it, they watched the sunset. The wind was blowing so hard, it was like a whiteout. Getting down was quite scary. We hit the sack early, with Iceman in his camper, Bobbo in his truck, Dakota in his Cherokee, and me in my tent. The wind rattled around a bit, but was not really bad. No chance for a fire though. All through the night, rigs were coming in to camp up by the dunes. Apparently this was spring break for a lot of kids.

The next day, the wind was still blowing, but not real bad, so off we went to play. When we got up on the flat, we couldn't believe how crowded it was. I've been going to Dumont for 20 years, and this was the most people I'd ever seen. We all kept airing down as our tires kept heating up. All of us under 10#, some even lower. Eventually we each found what worked for us. Bobbo seemed to have just the right combination of tires, power and balls to get wherever he wanted to and the rest of us were able to go too with a little more effort. That morning we went all over the main dunes. There were lots of ATCs, motorcycles and dune buggies, but no other jeeps that I saw. Even though there was a lot of activity around us, we never really got close to anybody because there is so much room at Dumont. Eventually we found ourselves at the top of Idiot hill, having come up from the front side. After going to the bottom we worked our way around the back side of the dunes going north, and ended back on the top where the others had been the previous day. It really was the highest point in the dunes. I didn't believe there was a flat enough spot for us all to stop, but we managed it, except Iceman who got a little too far over the edge and had to go on down. The wind was still blowing, but not like the day before. We then decided to go back to camp for lunch.

After eating and resting for a while, we went back out to play with this boat anchor I had brought out. Dakota purposely got stuck to see if he could use his winch and the anchor to get free. The anchor went down about a foot and then just tunneled toward him. It looked like a gopher in a cartoon. So we pulled it up and decided how to improve it for next time. Sometime later, Bobbo noticed that one of Dakota's lug nuts was missing. When he check them, the rest of them were finger tight. Apparently when he rolled the bead on Friday, they removed the tire to reseal it, and he didn't tighten them back up. We played around for a while and then started back to camp to try to figure how to fix dinner with the wind still blowing hard. On the way, we spotted some guys selling Tee shirts with Dumont Dunes on them, so we stopped. They had a bunch of shirts from previous Dumont events for $5 each, so we all picked through them until we found what we liked. How can you lose at $5 a piece?

Back at camp, after much consideration, we decided to build a fire even with the wind blowing. About that time, it died down some, so we were able to get the fire going and dinner cooked over it without any problems at all. Iceman ate in his camper (although he was upset because his microwave was broken), while the rest of us cooked on the grill. Even though the wind blew the whole time, it wasn't bad. We still had a good fire and burned up nearly all the wood we had brought. The wind didn't really blow much that night, but toward morning, a few drops of rain came down. Not even enough to wet the ground. The next day, Sunday, Iceman left early to visit Craig and Sarah in Phoenix. Bobbo, Dakota and I went out for one last time to play on the dunes. This time we went down to the south end. There are some pretty big, steep dunes on that end, and it's not so crowded. After running them for a while, Dakota rolled a tire off the rim right near the top of a long run up a hill. The angle on the slope was too steep to put it back on safely, so he backed all the way down with it flat and flapping around the rim. Because the sand is so soft, when he got to the bottom, it wasn't even hurt, even though it was full of sand. After jacking up and cleaning the sand out, we resealed the bead, and he was ready to go again.

Shortly after that, Bobbo and Dakota both got stuck on razorbacks at the same time about 200 feet apart. Bobbo came over the CB yelling to me, "DON'T GET STUCK, DON'T GET STUCK!" After pulling one, and then the other off (after getting some pictures of course), we were on our way again. Soon we figured we'd about done it all, so we worked our way back to camp to start packing up. After a leisure packup, we got on the road, and I noticed my gas gage was on empty. Bobbo had 5 gallons in a can, but I wanted to see how long the Roostermobile would run on empty. By taking it easy, we made it to Baker without running out. We gassed up and then went to Arby's to eat. Back on the road, the traffic was thick, but moving. Bobbo peeled off to take old Hwy 58 over to Mojave, while Dakota and I continued home.In spite of the wind, the weather was great. Not at all hot, and nice at night for sleeping. With the water running next to camp, it just lulled you to sleep. Those of you who decided to pass on this run really missed a good one, and may not get another chance to do Dumont if they do in fact close it.

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