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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Trip report: The TC fools (The Bros) do Anza

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jefe 4x4

West Slope, Northern Sierra Nevada

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Posted: 04/05/18 10:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A very few places in my life have had such a magnetic appeal, and storied history as does The Anza Borrego Desert State Park and environs in Southern California. My first trip there in 1965 was with my new bride, Judy, in our four wheel drive 1949 Jeep Ute Wagon. She died of Hodgkin's Disease in 1967. We were able to go down Coyote Creek, AKA, The Anza Trail, through the willows and mud well before it was closed off to vehicular traffic. We then proceeded to the jewel of the area; the Fish Creek/Split Mountain drainage. It has several narrow canyons that beg to be explored. Jump ahead 53 years and after dozens of trips to the area, Jeanie and I plug in with my brother John and Krys. John is a reformed world class rock racer and won the very first "King of the Hammers" off-road race in California. That's in the past now, but he still has his tow vehicle, a 1999 Ford LB F-250/Camper package diesel/6 speed manual pickup with a 9.5 foot OUTFITTER!
[image]
He is now a world class rock race rig fabricator.
We had 10 days to play with and Jeanie and I left the West Slope of the Sierra Nevada in a terrific rainstorm that lasted the whole 450 miles to our first stop: Bro John's rancho in Agua Dulce. We spent the 1st night in the TC in his back driveway.
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We left John's place about mid morning in order to miss the miserable traffic that shows up every morning and picked our way south on these freeways: 14, I-5, 210, 57, 71, 91, I-15, south to Temecula where we finally headed out toward actual desert and away from megalopolis. We drove into Borrego Springs in early afternoon, noshed and fueled up once more then headed toward 'the slot' a local landmark with a tight walking trail at the bottom of the slot.
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This is a spot where you do not want to be a full size TC-er.
We proceeded to mouth of Fish Creek/Split Mountain area and up the canyon to make the left turn up Sandstone Canyon.
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It got pretty tight in there, but from previous trips we knew there was a turnaround.
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We turned around here: Faux Bucket won't take my vids, so this one's from my dropbox:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/f0j10uxr4sn8jrx/end%20Sandstone%20Cyn%20Anza.m4v?dl=0

On we went up Fish Creek toward the "DropOff" not be confused with the sand hill called, Diablo Drop Off. It got very tricky so we turned around and headed for our first Anza camp along Fish Creek.
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Our tire pressure was @ 30 pounds since the pavement ended:
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Some of you might wonder about the Wild Flower Bloom this year in Anza: pretty much a bust: This was about it:
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Not much chlorophyl here:
[image]

The next morning we headed for the faint trail leading to the bottom of the dreaded Diablo Drop Off, a 300 foot high sand hill with deep mogols near the top. I do have a history with this hill. In 1988, in my first trip with my new-to-me 1982 CJ-8, I put the hubs in and tried the hill with full tire pressure, in low range, 3rd gear, which suddenly grenaded about half way up. The Jeep T-4's 3rd gear was the size of an oreo cookie and was promptly replaced with a Ford NP-435 transmission after we limped home. Jeanie was not enthusiastic about repeating the epoch fail of the CJ-8, but Bro John assuaged her saying he could fix anything that broke. The trail was hard to find and once we did, a Jeep Club was coming down the trail against us in the narrow wash.
They all moved out of the way clinging to the walls to let the seemingly behemoth machines pass. Most of them had big smiles on their faces thinking, "These guys are crazy". Here's a vid of a set of mogols near the base of the sand hill:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/xg1lwe92448ry7z/Mogols%20at%20great%20sand%20hill%20Anza.m4v?dl=0
And, here is the proof that we made it up the Diablo Drop Off:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/bfj5y93wsd7vfkw/jefe%20does%20sand%20hill%20at%20dry%20wash%20of%20the%20devil%20Anza.m4v?dl=0
John tried it first with 30 pounds in his skinny little grave diggers and dug that grave about half way up. Once back at the bottom he lowered the pressure to 20 pounds and chose 4th/low range instead of 3rd/low range as being too slow without enough momentum. He then made it up. Taking his lead, I lowered the pressure in my tires to 20 pounds and used 4th/low range to crest the obstacle. Near the top you encounter some large mogols so a quick drop to 2nd gear was in order. You'll see that on the vid. Here we are going out the in for the Diablo Drop Off into the Arroyo Secco del Diablo (dry wash of the Devil):
[image]
We then proceeded up some other washes (arroyos), namely June:
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Where I got my axles twisted up, big time,
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It was time to head for another campsite:
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We had lots of firewood along and the approved metal fire box (aka a washing machine tub with 3 legs) Jeanie and I are enjoying a famous Mexican adult beverage at the moment.
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We went deeper south to a place called Dos Cabesas, a water stop on the ill-faded San Diego and Arizona Eastern railroad.
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and on a loading platform found this:
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Getting across the tracks we drove further south toward the spring that fed the water tank at Dos Cabesas. It is in an area with huge rocks, some the size of a school bus. There are 2 rock formations that look like heads in silhouette.
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This may have been our favorite camp. Lots of space: beautiful surroundings with birds and wildlife.
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petroglyphs:
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outside shower pop tent:
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The only woe was getting genie back in the bottle, so to speak. We worked a while folding it up according to the terrible directions.
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Finally, Bro John came over and said we need to make it fold into 3 circles and that solved the riddle.
We explored other canyons some that had indigenous palm trees:
[image]
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On the way out, we came across a woman in a 2WD mini pickup stuck to the frame. We got around her and winched the stuck rig back around the way she came. Vid:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/r1erpumhsa74j5l/winching%20in%20Anza.m4v?dl=0

Lots of roads that looked like this;
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This is the scene up Pinion Wash on our last camp before heading home:
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This was a great trip, the best ever to Anza with people I love, and I got to use the winch to boot.
regards, as always, jefe

* This post was edited 04/05/18 10:44pm by jefe 4x4 *


'01.5 Dodge 2500 4x4, CTD, Qcab, SB, NV5600, 241HD, 4.10's, Dana 70/TruTrac; Dana 80/ TruTrac, Spintec hub conversion, H.D. susp, 315/75R16's on 7.5" and 10" wide steel wheels, Vulcan big line, Warn M15K winch '98 Lance Lite 165s, 8' 6" X-cab, 200w Solar

Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli

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Posted: 04/05/18 10:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My camper's going to have to lose some weight and the truck workout and get in shape to squeeze through there.


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joerg68

St. Ingbert, Germany

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Posted: 04/06/18 04:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank You for the wonderful TR! The great Outdoors... Thanks for the ride! I just love these desert pictures.


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stumper92

Virginia

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Posted: 04/06/18 05:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I always look forward to your reports. I rode through Borrego Springs on a rented motorcycle a few months back. That is definitely and area I want to explore more of.

GpnAZ

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Posted: 04/06/18 06:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What an exciting adventure, you got it all this trip, great trip report and pictures, thanks for sharing!!


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notsobigjoe

southeast

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Posted: 04/06/18 06:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

WOW!!!!!!

GeoBoy

Bennington

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Posted: 04/06/18 07:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great trip report.

emcvay

Moses Lake WA

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Posted: 04/06/18 07:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cool trip!


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profdant139

Southern California

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Posted: 04/06/18 07:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Excellent! Thanks for posting this TR.


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Clarryhill

Midcoast Maine

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Posted: 04/06/18 07:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Some impressive trail work there, El jefe!! Appreciate you taking us along. It's the only way I'll ever see those trails [emoticon][emoticon][emoticon]


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