Boy, was that a fun weekend!?

Its Sunday the 20th, and i’m here writing this blog after an amazing weekend. It’s really refreshing to be able to get out in the outdoors and clear your mind with great company. Owning a 4runner has been one of the best things that has happened to me. Its a powerful feeling to be able to explore places not very many people get to see & witness things some will never be able to experience. After every trip, as I go through photos, I reflect on the entire weekend & cherish every moment of it - you cannot take experiences like this for granted.

Our trip started quickly as a majority of us rendezvoused at our usual meet up spot in Orange County at 8:30PM. The other half of the party that was not local to OC would meet us at the last gas station stop in Twentynine Palms at 10:30. The convoy/drive was smooth for the most part, we did run into some traffic caused by two accidents; it was MLK weekend so there was a good amount of people on the road. This set us back about 30 minutes which ended up working out well since Bryan Rush @blinkroqs (Dometic’s West Coast Tech/Event rep) was running late after arriving from a trip up North, getting packed up, and heading straight to the last gas station stop.

Photo Jan 19, 12 00 42 PM.jpg

At about 10:55PM our entire crew finally linked up and we were ready to get on some dirt! We were on pavement for about 15 miles before we hit the turn off we would be taking to get to camp. The staging area was right off the turn so we lined the rigs up & did the damn thing. For me, once we air down it’s the key sign that a good time is about to start, It’s like that sensation you get when you are about to get new toys as a kid. We had a few new rigs on the trip so we had to get them dialed in, the best part of having knowledge is extending it. I never really understand people who got upset when others asked questions or didn’t know how to do something. We drove through a dirt road for about 45 minutes, the road was pretty simple & we were in 2WD the entire time. There were a few ruts and large rocks but nothing too crazy, before we knew it we are rolling into our campsite - open, beautiful and tons of space.

As everyone started setting up camp and their sleeping arrangements, I looked around and took it all in. All these people with the same interests in one place, how the outdoors and a car brought all these people together. We cracked some beers, took shots and enjoyed each others company as we exchanged stories and checked out all the rad rigs! The night was rolling by quickly, before i knew it - it was already 4:00AM and time for sleep. The entire weekend during the evening time temperatures dipped to the low 40s, it was cold but bearable and we were fully prepared.

Philly Cheese Steak!

Philly Cheese Steak!

Morning was here, as I unzipped my Alucab, the cold fresh air and the smell of nature filled my tent. It was time for breakfast. I whipped up a quick egg, potato and sausage scramble while Jose @hosemang warmed up some soft flour tortillas. This day was going to be a “mellow” one, a few of us were going to stay at camp while the rest of us packed up to hit a mine. This trail was rated easy, as I started leading the crew up to the trail head I noticed that this trail had not been taken in a long time. The vegetation was overgrown and there was almost no trail marks in some sections to even know which road to take. This is also one of the reasons we stress knowing basic mapping skills, I almost relied entirely on what was mapped out on Gaia GPS prior. About 20 minutes in i realized this “mellow” trail had changed a ton due to the recent rain, there were some large ruts and very high cliffs. The trail was super narrow in some sections that made it exciting - butt pucker worthy lol. We were in the final few miles of the trail when I heard a loud pop! I immediately got on the radio and asked what happened, quickly we learned that Jose had broken his valve stem on a rock that caused a slow leak. It was all hands on deck at that point. We used a hi-lift to jack his rig up and replace a tire. I can’t stress enough the importance of trailing with knowledgeable people and the correct tools. We ended up needing a bottle jack, hi-lift, impact drill, and a breaker bar. We got the tire replaced and with a few mishaps, we were now on our way back to camp. It was time for some lunch, ya’ll should know by now that we definitely eat well on our trips. Kelly @mtns_yo had been over by his rig cooking on the tembo tusk for almost 20mins, I kept cracking jokes about how long he was taking; I asked him if the food would be ready for breakfast the next morning ;). Well, about 10 minutes later Kelly brought a giant plate over with what he was cooking…. PHILLY CHEESE STEAKS on hawaiian bread rolls, oh my goodness it was mouth watering..

We were all literally drooling.. Time for the next course - Jose and his daughter Mia got down on some Spaghetti while I cooked some fried rice & orange chicken. After stuffing our faces, it was time to have some drinks and enjoy ourselves. We sang happy birthday to Mac on his 31st birthday, Claudia/Freddy were nice enough to get Mac a Birthday Princess Sash for him to wear LOL. Mac was super surprised and was overwhelmed by love, this is what it’s all about & what I feel sets us apart from different groups. Theres a reason I call what we have a family; the love everyone shows to each other. Oh, you thought we were done with the food? Not even close, it was night time now and chilly - what better to have then some chicken porridge, cooked by none other than Mr. Jimmy Speeks! It was delicious and kept us warm in the cold weather. The moon was out and beautiful, it’s moments like this when I realize life is pretty good and the simplest things can make us happy. Good food, good times and great company. After an amazing night of sleep, Kelly made sure we were fed before we made the trek home. He whipped up his special chilaquiles and over easy eggs. Mouth watering to say the least!!!

I really appreciate ya’ll taking the time to read my recap of this past weekends camping trip.. Before I sign off, I want to leave you guys with this.

Chilaquiles by Kelly @mtns_yo

Chilaquiles by Kelly @mtns_yo

Life’s short, live it the way you want. Take plenty of pictures, meet new people & don’t ever take a moment for granted!

Casey Ngo
OC Overland

Aaron SatterfieldComment