The kids are all excited (and so are we adults) for Christmas this year. Hoping to get lots of cool Jeep stuff and camping gear this year. Fingers crossed that I've been good all year and Santa will hook me up with some awesome stuff!
Our December 2014 Anza Borrego day trip included six rigs: three Wranglers, a 4Runner, and two Land Cruisers.
We organized an early morning meet up in the 35 degree (almost winter) morning weather of Southern California. Following our meet up, we convoyed out to the trail head. Our early start would provide us with plenty of time to drive approximately 50 miles off-road, starting in at highway S2, cutting across highway 78, and finally to highway S22 in the north.
We would also complete a few short hikes, including a slot canyon and a mud cave.
After some early morning discussions about our rigs and airing down our tires, we were ready to hit the trail.
Dropping into the trail, we were treated to perfect conditions as the desert had just been watered by recent rains.
There was little to no dust, which allowed our group to remain tight throughout the day.
A few miles into this off-road trail, there is a lesser known slot canyon that we explored on foot.
Hiking up to the slot canyon, the dogs were happy to lead the way. There had been some recent cave-ins, which the dogs needed help traversing. Despite the hoisting, the dogs had a lot of fun and so did the humans.
This slot canyon becomes very skinny, twisting and turning and sometimes appearing as if it is going to a dead-end.
The slot canyon eventually opens up to provide a stunning view of the desert plateau.
We also stopped further down the trail to explore the mud caves.
John getting ready to hike into this mud cave.
Climbing out of the sand wash up and onto the plateau, we then headed toward Middle Mesa.
The 4Runner making its way up onto the plateau.
Arriving at the Diablo Drop Off, which is more like a sandy downhill these days, but it is still fun to drive. Maybe we should rename it the "Diablo Downhill".
Orange Crush making its way down the soft-sand of the Diablo Drop Off.
Our friend in the white JK dropping in.
The Land Cruiser starting its way down with the 4Runner following.
The 4Runner was plowing some sand with its front air dam; time for a suspension lift and bigger tires?
The second Land Cruiser in our group making its way down the squishy sand hill. Headed toward the SoCal Overland Wrangler.
After the traversing the sandy downhill, the Orange Crush enters the second section of the Diablo Drop Off.
The Land Cruiser dropping in and making its way down the trail.
The white JK dropping in with ease.
The 4Runner making its way through the first few holes on this section of the Drop Off.
The second Land Cruiser making its approach.
After making our way down the two sections of the Diablo Drop Off, we were on our way through the final was section of this trail toward Fish Creek.
We arrived at the intersection with Fish Creek and decided to take a break and have lunch.
The kids had fun climbing the rocky hill.
We also took a quick stop at the Anticline for a geology lesson, but soon decided that driving on to our next destination would be more fun.
We would exit Fish Creek and cross over highway 78 to make our way toward the Pumpkin Patch.
On to our next destination, the Pumpkin Patch...
Pumpkin Patch trail provides a roller coaster ride for some added fun.
The 4Runner making its way through the maze of trails that lead to the Pumpkin Patch.
Orange Crush finding a new route to the Pumpkin Patch.
Arriving at the Pumpkin Patch to explore the mysterious and ancient pumpkin shaped rocks that are made of hardened sand.
After leaving the Pumpkin Patch, we continued north on a trail that would bring us to highway S22. After exiting onto highway S22, we would be nearly finished with our day, aside from filling our tires with air and filling our bellies with dinner and drinks.
Despite arriving in Borrego Springs before 5PM, which meant most restaurants were still closed for their mid-day siesta, we were able to find one open restaurant.
After dinner, we found free compressed air and gas (not free), before hitting the pavement back to home.
Thanks to everyone who joined us on our final trip of the year. We hope you had a great time with us and will come out and join us again soon. We are now planning a January 2015 trip through Joshua Tree.
We hope your year-end holidays are perfect and that you get lots of cool gifts for your rigs.
Have a Happy and Safe New Years celebration!
We just completed printing of our first SoCal Overland shirts. Our shirts are screen printed on USA Made Heavy Cotton. These shirts are comfortable to wear and quality made to last a long time.
We have sizes for youth (XS, S, Med) and for those adults that want to be like the kids, we also have a few Adult Large and XL sizes available.
This little Mouse is four years old wearing the XS size.
Shirts are $17.00 (includes CA Tax). Order from our store page $21 (includes CA Tax and USPS Shipping)
Our December Anza Borrego off-road day trip is happening on Saturday, December 20. Want to join us for a day of easy to moderate off-roading? Send us an email and we will include you in the official invitation.
We had a wonderful experience this year, picking out our Christmas Tree from a local independent guy. The kids had a lot of fun running around through all of the fresh cut trees and talking with the friendly folks at our local Wayne's World Christmas Tree lot.
While the cost is a little more than what you might spend at Home Depot, our tree from Wayne's World looks and feels like it was just cut. The cost is a little more than the Home Depot trees that have been sitting in refrigerated trailers for weeks and it felt really good to support the small independent guy.
Here's our tree this year. The Mouse decided to make a crazy face for the photo. Thanks to my super wife for taking this awesome picture of me with the kids.