January 19-21, 1996
It was raining in Los Angles, the weather was on the cool side, and it was time again for the Second Annual Fargo Canyon Run. A sturdy and dedicated group, know as the Roughwheelers, were diligently headed for an offroad experience, in the face of inclement weather conditions, secure in their knowledge that "it doesn't rain in the desert' that's why it's a desert !". Plans were made, rendezvous mapped out, supplies acquired, loved ones kissed good bye, promises of a safe return made. The first five of this hearty group gathered at Winchell's Donuts at the appointed time of 8:00 p.m. on Friday night, as planned. But were was Montego? The group pulled out at 8:05 and discovered Montego on the CB. Unfortunately, he eventually caught up to us on the 91 (South). As a snowball acquiring mass as it rolls down the hill, so too did this steadfast group acquire more vehicles as it hurtled towards its destiny. Two more vehicles joined the voyagers at the weigh scale on the 91 and one more at Dillon Road in Indio.
Friday Night - Fargo Canyon:
The group arrived at camp Friday night about midnight, and nobody seemed very tired, so a "first" for the Roughwheeler occured. We had a campfire on a Friday night! One Christmas tree was consumed producing a blazing inferno. After a couple hours of camaraderie and the consumption of various beverages was completed, the group settled down about 2:00 a.m.
The group grew by two more vehicles to 11, with the arrival of Gary and his son Wayne. In attendance for the start of Saturdays run were:
Bob ( Fearless Leader)
Robert(Sandman) & Diane(Fidget)
Joe & Paula
Dave ( Montego)
Victor & Andrew ( sleepyguest)
Andy ( Gadgetman)
Steve ( Scarecrow)
The Saturday Run:
We started up Fargo Canyon, made a left on to Rock House Canyon. This canyon had only three obstacles along the route in the form of water falls. The question came up, is it a water fall even if there is no water going over it. If a wash is a dry river, what do you call a dry water fall? impassable ? ( More on that later). Everyone made it over these three water falls, which got progressively harder, on their own power except one. Guess who? Last year I was among those to be strapped over, but not any more now that I'm 'jacked up!" Lunch offered several typical Rooster jokes, a graphic description of how to skin a rabbit from same and a heart wrenching remembrance of a father skinning her rabbit by Paula. We continued on through the high country of Joshua Tree National Park, enjoying panoramic views of the Salton Sea until we found the BIG DROP OFF. Last year this plunge seemed enough to make grown men have a problem in their shorts, but this time everyone slid down in fine style with only a few nerves slightly shaken. We returned to the same camp after lugging those Christras trees around all day. Who knew?
Saturday Night Camp:
While we were setting up camp again, we were visited by the long arm of the law and nonsense, known as the National Park Ranger, even though we were far outside National Park boundaries. He informed us that in the near future we would not be allowed up Rock House Canyon, because it was considered "impassable"'. We informed him that we had just taken 11 vehicles through, including a Montero. This fact would not differ him from his path of bureaucratic logic, (an oxymoron, to be sure). The canyon was impassable because the general public could not get though and specifically neither could his park ranger Bronco. We tried to explain that we were the general public, but we were getting nowhere. We finally concluded that we would never win, so we untied the baffoon and sent him on his way. A lively horseshoe game ensued, which the championship crown was passed to yours truly and Victor's guest. Sorry Rooster and Victor! The Saturday night campfire was full of the usual joviality and bad jokes (wood eye - hunchback etc.) After the appropriate amount of various beverages were consumed, the call arose for Christras trees to be put ablaze. The discussion of new handles for club members ensued Some of these include:
Wayne - Henery Hawk * Robert - Bobbo * Joe - Cuddles * Paula - Fuzzy Bunny or Floppy Bunny?
Victor's guest, Andrew, was sleeping so soundly in has chair by the fire that several fire crackers and a flair pistol shot close by failed to wake him. He finally wondered off to bed.
The Sunday Run:
We started up another canyon only to be stopped by a twenty foot solid rock dry water fall. After much discussion about trying a winch or even dynamite, we turned back to do a little cross wash running. A funny thing happened on this simple trial, it turned out to be" impassable" to our Fearless Leader, who had to be strapped out of a gully. Then along came Victor, only to get high centered on the same rock that caused Bob's demise. The best part was that Victors guest sat in the Jeep, sound asleep, never to awake though all the jerking around that Victor had to do to get flee. A tow strap to Andy finally got him off that infamous rock. We then all made it back to Dillon Road and home with out any more problems. Well, one small one, when Fearless got stuck in a vacant lot in Desert Hot Springs while relieving himself.
Bob ( red wrangler ) Baker