I passed on the 8pm Redondo Beach drop-off, opting to leave around 12:30. Knucklehead, Pappy, Nancy, Sunflower (sorry, Chris, they threatened me), and I hooked up at Green River around 1:30 for an early departure. With Pappy in the lead, we made a short stop in beautiful Fontana to heckle Scarecrow a little, so he sent us back to the freeway the long way around - Thanks. We made a two dollar a gallon gas stop in Barstow with the next stop to be the Mad Greek in Baker. However, about ten miles out, Pappy pulled over with a pegged temp gauge and empty radiator. Once the radiator was refilled, no obvious leaks -hmmm. It was time for food, gas and the last 40 miles to Dumont.
When we arrived at the campsite on the Mighty Amagrosa River, Iceman, Oreo, Santa Fe, Koolaid, Glowboy and Crabby were already there. Once we set up camp, everyone pitched in to build a firering and the evening festivities began - I think no explanation is required. About this time the evening entertainment began when Chris and I decided to take a little proficiency run in the dunes. Knucklehead decided that he would come along to keep the two yahoos from getting into too much trouble, or that was the plan. After playing for an hour, we decided to return to camp by following our GPS track and I got us stuck good! I zigged when I should have zagged. Chris yanked me off of a nice knife-edge back to the bottom once more, a little too exciting. Once more we were on our way back to camp except that I went over a very steep dune and yelled NO, CHRIS! So now we're separated by a big dune and resorted to shining our lights on the dune tops to get Chris around to where I was. Meanwhile, back at camp they had been listening to a very entertaining radio program featuring John and Chris doing who knows what in the dunes other than exercising advanced nubee skills. So unknown to us the rescue operation with Iceman, Oreo, and Pappy had begun. Eventually, Chris and I got ourselves back together and learned of our imminent rescue. Since we were only 1.5 miles from camp on the edge of the dunes, we figured they would "find us" in 10 to 15 minutes or so. Meanwhile back in camp, the radio show continued. After giving our GPS coordinates 10 times or so, our rescuers turned around and headed the right direction towards us. We're finally "rescued ì via the far side of Dumont dunes. After a 5-minute drive back to camp we celebrated as only Roughwheelers can! Though I joke about the whole rescue operation, I really appreciated the concern of all involved. Thanks!
Saturday morning in Dumont
It's a beautiful morning on the banks of the MIGHTY AMAGROSA River. We gathered before Iceman for the drivers meeting where Oreo was presented with a photo of a new safety uniform for wayward dune riders. On the first dune of the day we're having a blast going for high marks wishing that we had paddle tires like Iceman when we heard a radio call. Apparently, Pappy wasn't having enough excitement so he ran over Nancy's foot and ankle (thank goodness for sand) and got more excitement than he wanted. Nancy was ok but Pappy took her back to camp and she was thus spared further excitement. We had a great time going up, down, over and around for quite a long time without anything of note, though some interesting sidehills caught our attention, until once more - A radio call. Patty got herself on the wrong side of the momentum/sidehill curve and got stuck on a nice sidehill,
almost rolling, but was smart enough to stop before she rolled and was strapped out in short order. So off again in the dunes for some more pleasant cruising and the soon approaching lunch hour. Suddenly as I came around a dune, there's Knucklehead parked on a nasty sidehill. No, not parked - he's still moving! But not forward. Knucklehead proceeded to perform the slowest roll ever seen. He would have gone over at least one more time but was saved when three tires came off their beads and dug into the sand. So a little yank, a little air and Knucklehead was back on the road with only minor damage. Now it's lunchtime and back to camp. Bruce looked worried because his run-over wife was there.
Afternoon cruise - Bobbo led a nice leisurely dune cruise punctuated by big screams from his right seat and then Bruce stuck near the top of a big dune. No problem ñ Bobbo gave him a little yank
out and more screams coming down and we're off again. Sunflower found a nice little jumping dune so I hopped out for the photo op and got a couple nice shots of Chris and one of Pappy flying the stars and bars with four tires in the air. After their fill of airtime, we were off again and eventually hooked up with Thumper and family. On the way back to camp, Bobbo took us on an old railroad trestle (covered in dirt) and a little splashing in the MIGHTY AMAGROSA .
Back in camp we had a little happy birthday celebration for Iceman, camp fire, dinner, Christmas trees, and then the night run. This night run was more enjoyable for me than Friday night's due to not getting stuck! Though I had some problems with one dune that was eventually conquered (20 tries) with a nervous kid in the right seat (Josh). More dune cruisín, then back to camp for an extremely large camp fire. We ended the evening with a video of the rock crawling championship viewed off of Iceman's jeep tailgate. What a day!
Sunday morning was pack up and leave, though, Chris and Bobbo opted for one more romp in the dunes but for the rest of us - more gas and home via Route 66.