Recently some friends and I got the itch to do some off road touring. We set our sights on Anza Borrego state park about a 2 hour drive east of San Diego. We anticipated a very difficult two day one night tour in the beautiful state park on the 4×4 flash flood trails. We knew it would be very sandy so we picked a day that was 3 days after a large storm hoping it would make the trail a bit easier. Perhaps 3 days was too long…
The day of the tour we drove to end of the trail to hide water and firewood and then drove around to the start of the trail to start the ride. This process took a lot longer than expected and we didn’t actually hit the trail until about 2pm. As soon as we started riding it was very apparent the tour wouldn’t happen as planned. The sand was horribly deep and very difficult carrying full camping supplies. For the first 5 miles we averaged about 3 miles per hour. Still, I carried on since I wanted to see as much of this trail as I could. I had the other riders pick up my 4×4 as I continued on. Eventually when it was too dark to ride safely I quit and started walking. It was incredibly quiet and peaceful as I walked though those canyons alone in the dark. I was probably being stalked by a mountain lion but hey, ignorance is bliss right?? Eventually the truck caught up with me and ended up doing some of the trial by truck that night. There’s a part of the trail called “the squeeze” that is VERY narrow. Getting down it was not so bad but getting back up with full air pressure took about an hour. We came through with the truck in perfect working order so called that a success.
That night we drove back around to the campsite we had planned and got to work assembling the tents and making a well deserved dinner. We all slept really well, in fact I slept 10 hours which is something I don’t think I’ve ever done while camping. So damn quite out there and the deep canyon keeps the sun away for most the morning. After having pancakes, eggs and bacon we headed out for some more 4×4 action. We probably put 30 or so miles on the truck that day.
So yeah, the bike tour didn’t go as planned but the trip was still a blast. Off road touring is hard to plan, unpredictable, aggravating, dangerous, exciting and fun all at the same time even if it does end up in failure.
Photos by Brian, Eamonn, Sky (Velo Cult owner) and Nik (employee at Velo Cult)