Summer is over. Boats are back under their covers. Thoughts of dusty desert trails begin to cloud the mind. It’s time to explore desert…
During the course of the seamlessly endless blazing sun, TAC managed to sweat it out and get some upgrades and much needed maintenance done on the vehicles. The Tacoma received new front and rear bumpers from All-Pro Offroad to help with transporting liquids, ability to carry a full-size spare and a better approach/departure angle. Baja Designs supplied their all new Squadron-R Sport LEDs to perfectly fill in the auxiliary light pockets, and to finish it off, a 30″ Stealth bar to help lead the way at night.
The Bronco, after it’s appearance in Four-Wheeler magazine, exchanged the spool for a TrueTrac to help with road manners and the 4wd system was brought back to life with a new transfer case, actuator and locking hubs. A partially clogged catalytic converter was replaced after it was found to be the culprit of decreased performance and a few odds and ends buttoned up completed needed preparation for the first trip of the season.
To start it off, we tackled a trail I coined the “TAC Trail”. A few of the segments are well known, others not so much, but stringed together managed to cover from Indio California to Parker Arizona mostly all on dirt. It was a fine line dicing between BLM, National Park and Wilderness areas ensuring that where we placed our tires was legal and wouldn’t disturb any sensitive surroundings. Lack of information, pictures and previous reports made this a bit difficult to plan as usually there’s an abundance of material to go off. In the end all the pieces came together to form our first adventure into the unknown.
Hitting the dirt in Indio meant that we only had about an hour and half drive before we put pavement in our mirrors. This was a welcomed change as most of the time it’s a 4 to 5 hour ordeal just to reach the general area of where we’d be camping the first night. Anxious to to hit the trail, the miniatures reminded us they needed to be fed.
Airing down and getting ready to tackle Berdoo Canyon.
Berdoo Canyon was easy going for the most part. A few technical areas to contend with due to recent rains and boulders placement, but it was a great way to kick it off.
Getting to spend time behind the Baja Designs lights was an eye opening experience compared to the knock-offs and competitor products I’ve used prior. The quality of the beam pattern and output really put it into perspective on why they’re the best in the business. But what stood out the most about their lights is the color temperature. The 5000K spectrum does exactly what they advertise; reduces eye strain/fatigue and illuminates surroundings in a natural way.
Up Berdoo Canyon and into Joshua Tree, we merged into Geology Tour Trail where we’d intercept Park Boulevard that would take us to the Old Dale Mining District. Our destination was an old mining cabin that we’d run into on a past trip. It would provide a great place to setup camp and a fun and safe area the kids could play around.