Joshua Tree - BLM camping trip!
Good morning OCO Fam!
What an epic weekend we just had.. After every trip I say the same exact thing, I don't know if we can top this one! LOL
This was our biggest trip to date, our previous couple trips have been hard capped and there were a lot of people that were missing out. It's a real tough job to have to turn people away on trips we have but for safety reasons (our #1 concern) we have to have a cap. For this trip we upped the # of rigs we were going to take since we had a lot of our team available to help coordinate trails and logistics.
Friday, the 1st we had a crew get together to head out to the campsite early. We wanted to make sure the camp ground wasn't taken due to the amount of people we had RSVP. As always, we had a few meeting locations due to where everyone lived. All the OC locals met at panera bread off bristol, this is our go to meeting spot since it's pretty close to the freeways. The LA and non local to OC guys met us up at a Carls Jr in Riverside. I was personally really stoked on this trip, not to take anything away from our previous ones but we had a lot of our original guys able to free up some time to join us. Sean @hadokyn_t4r & AL @sponsoredbywifey, have supported us since day 1, they were on the very first trip to Gorman and our schedules haven't been able to line up ever since - so I was definitely excited to see my guys. Needless to say, this Jtree trip was special for many reasons. It was also my first time camping with Gene @dirty_t4r (along with many others) after knowing each other for so long.
The crew was all accounted for at Carl's Jr and it was time to meet at the last location in Twentynine Palms to gas up and rendezvous with the last few rigs. It was about 11:00PM when we finally hit the staging area and aired down. It was great to see everyone exchanging hugs and how are you's as we got the rigs ready to head into base camp. This whole thing has been a dream, how a car basically has brought so many people together and so much joy to each one of our lives. A car has brought people out of their shells, a car has broken barriers between ages, a car has connected people with different backgrounds and pasts. This is the reason why we do what we do & this is the reason we will never stop.
We did a quick check and all the rigs were ready to go! It was about 10 miles to base camp so it wasn't going to be a very long ride. Our campground was BLM so we weren't inside JTNP to be clear. The sky was dark but the stars lit up the night, the rigs looked amazing in the convoy and the lights were shinning. The sand was super soft and there was very little wind so the dust clouds were huge and it was difficult to see (thank goodness for lightbars).
We rolled up to our campsite after about 40 minutes and started setting up. There's nothing like the fresh air while you are out of town, you can smell how clean it is. We lined the rigs up in a circle and started to get situated. Trevor @ohtrevor got the fire started and the night was still young, well, not really - it was past midnight. We decided to rewards ourselves with drinks, one thing lead to another and it was 4:30AM lol. We had to be up by 7:45-8:00 in order to meet the crew that was ready to head in at 9:00AM.
The sun was just hitting my tent and I felt the warmth of the morning, what a great night sleep. Kunaal @tailsonthetrail & Freddy @dirtyreaper_t4r had already left to bring in the group. The tembos were sizzling and breakfast was just starting to be made, nothing like waking up to the smell of amazing food. As we all started to wake up and get food in our bellies the dust clouds started to show from over the hills, the rigs were starting to roll in!!!
One by one we pointed the rigs left & right to park, we wanted to keep the trail clear as we were hitting some dirt later in the day. Boy, were there some sweet rigs; I was drooling as they were rolling in. I got to shake a lot of hands and meet some really awesome people, personally. We helped a few rigs air down at the campsite, and taught a few people how to use deflators. After announcing about an hour departure time everyone started cleaning up and prepping for some dirt.
Anthony @argomez2015 was taking the easy group down some trails and mellow shoots. We always split our groups up on our trails, we never want to force anyone into doing anything they are not comfortable with doing. Kunaal, lead the hard group - we were heading to Brooklyn mine. On the way to meet up, Mr. Nolan @mild.taco himself didn't see a rock, got stuck and killed his skid plate, it was a good laugh but also a lesson to always pay attention on trails. We got him out of the mess pretty quickly, Sean got out a snatch strap and yanked him out. This is the importance of having recovery gear, you would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
We met up with the group at some sand dunes and the crew got to have some fun. Donut's were def being done and the dust was flying! After that we convoy'd to brooklyn mine and the ride was really fun. Nothing to crazy technical but it was just enough to give us all the dirt fix we needed. The entire run last about 2 hours out and 2 hours back!
Everyone got back to camp at about 4:30-5:00. Exhausted, tired, hungry, everyone was ready to have a good time. I came back to a nice surprise, Huey @toyolo_ surprised us and showed up to camp!! Thanks for coming out bro!!!! Dinner started, as you all know, we do not play around...
First up, James @bountyrunr busted out the carne asada, the distinct smell of the meat cooking on the skottle was filling the air, my mouth was watering. At the same time Kunaal had thrown some enchilada bowls on, we were ready to feast. As always the food comes out in waves, as soon as those entrees were finished, the next run came out. Carnitas chili, Teriyaki chicken and fried rice were all on the skottles heating up! If you were wondering.. We had 5 tembotusk skottles going at the same time, it was pretty funny. As fast as we were cooking the food, it was being eaten. There really isn't a better feeling then cooking and seeing others enjoy your food; it just brings people together. As all this food was sizzling on the skottles, Dave @myfjcruzer was in the background getting the dutch oven ready with his 5 hour chuck roast. MmMMmM. We took a little cooking intermission haha, at this time we saw some bright lights and dust in the air. It was AJ @fotornr & Jason @tacodust, they made it!!!!!!
The crew was all here, it was time to take a BUNCH of shots and have a great time. Jason & AJ had me dying all night, those guys are hilarious. You know the drill, as we drink, we eat. The next batch of food was ready to be cooked, buffalo chicken wings, chicken porridge and some more marinated asada! We all had a great base to do some drinking and partying, beer bongs and shotgun races all over the place. I was crying I was laughing so hard at some of the things the guys were doing, man, we sure know how to have a great time. We had some foot races going on between Ray @vei1side and Nolan, Nolan was crazy and ran barefoot... He was undefeated Saturday night, in shotguns and in races :).
It was great to see normally quiet people come out and enjoy themselves, this was the plan and idea from the start. Giving people a platform and a place to feel comfortable and be themselves, there's no need to be shy or hide anything with us. Another EPIC trip was coming to an end and I'd have to say I definitely made the most of it, it was time to get some sleep and get ready to pack up the next morning.
Thank you so much for reading, and thank you to everyone who came out to spend time with us. Our family just got a little bigger!!!
Hope to see you all soon and at the Toy drive this weekend!!!!!
Photo Credit goes to: Gene @dirty_t4r and Chris @t4rchirs
Video Credit goes to: Drew @Drewdaytoday