You know your life revolves around adventuring when your 4 year old requests to go off-roading and camping for his 5th birthday. So early March 2015 with gear, kids & dogs in tow, we set out to do just that.
Friday night’s arrival was a late one, reaching camp in Dos Cabezas around 10pm after some light wheeling in the dark to get there. Set up the sleeping arrangements for the little guys, had a few cold ones around the fire and called it a night as we had an early morning and a packed day ahead of us.
We awoke to a beautiful sunrise over the trestle and the realization that we were completely surrounded by treacherous cholla cacti. When there are dogs and small children around, these buggers are NOTHING to be messed with. With that in mind, we did our best to make quick work of whipping up breakfast, packing up camp and getting on the road. Not a moment later, the less intelligent of the two dogs decided to tango with said chollas. He did not come out on top. It took 4 adults working together to remove the bulb from his face, and luckily he was unharmed and able to continue the trip.
Another vehicle joined the group, and off we went to check out the mud caves or “Arroyo Tapiado” by the way of Sin Nombre Canyon. There’s nothing quite like walking into complete darkness and feeling your skin cool as it leaves the hot sun. High powered flash lights were our friend. The kids thought the caves were just about the coolest thing they’d ever seen – nature’s fort. 6 adults, 4 kids and 2 dogs navigating through spaces formed by rushing rain water so tight you’re crawling in sections. I can’t lie and say it isn’t just a tad eerie.
Next stop, Diablo Drop-off. As we approached the “drop-off”, a bit of an ominous feeling overcame us – as the mouth was surrounded by eager onlookers – waiting for the next victim. Our caravan of three dropped down into the extremely steep and silt filled trail (4×4 required) without even breaking a sweat. We navigated around a few more obstacles, and dropped down into Fish Creek Wash to Sandstone Canyon.
Though it is a place we’ve visited many times before, Sandstone Canyon is one of those places that just has the ability to leave you in awe. It’s walls tower on either side, with a span between them barely wide enough for a vehicle in some spots. It was a perfect spot to relax, regroup and wolf down some lunch before heading back down Fish Creek and into the Ocotillo OHV area.
After a quick pit stop at the ranger station off of HWY 78 (super nice, clean bathrooms), we decided to check out this little downhill section. Although we would have loved to go for it, we decided to just spectate for a while as it looked to be a bit much for the stock FJ and Super Duty. Glad we made this choice, pretty sure had we gone for it, we would’ve bit off more than we could chew. Or maybe a tire would have bit off more fender than it could chew – either way.
Our trip happened to land on the same weekend as the well-known jeeper get-together “Tierra Del Sol”. With the Truckhaven obstacle course and thousands of people in attendance, it makes for first class spectating. This would be our last stop before setting off to find a place to camp for the night.
Due to the aforementioned offroad event taking place, finding a place to camp was slightly more challenging than usual. After a while of searching we finally found a spot that would be safe to settle in. Assembled camp, cooked up dinner in the log hog, and let the little guys go wild with LEDs and glow sticks. Recapped our awesome day around the nice toasty log hog til the wee hours of the morning, frosty beverages in hand – of course.
For many, Sunday morning signals the feelings of packing up from your epic adventure, and hitting the highway home. We decided we wanted to milk just a little bit more from this trip & set out to trek across the OHV area to access “the road less traveled” on our way home. This took us from (insert area here) and dumped us out in the little farm town known as Ranchita. Dusty trucks, kids, dogs and beards in one piece, it was time to hit the road home.