We Visit the 2018 Tierra Del Sol Annual Safari! Or, the Experienced Idiot’s Guide on How to go Off-Roading


While the desert may seem desolate during the day, there are plenty of critters to keep you company at night. Meet “Flash”.  Side note: I am absolutely amazed at how far camera technology has progressed in the last decade or so. This photo was taken without any additional lighting, and Flash was more spastic than a 6 year-old all jacked up on Mountain Dew. 

With temperatures in the upper 30s, Jeff boiled some water to put into insulated containers in his sleeping bag. Since water needs a couple thousand or more BTUs to boil, this energy can be slowly released throughout the night. By morning, the water was still a toasty 95 degrees F.

Snug as a bug.

Ocotillo Wells SVRA is huge at 85,000 acres of open desert, and it is surrounded by huge swaths of open BLM land. Any destination requires traversing miles of trails/roads like this one. Our campsite was a couple of miles outside of Ocotillo Wells SVRA on the border of the 600,000 acre Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

No government-run area is complete without rules posted on a multitude of signs with helpful tips like: “Operating a vehicle off highway can be dangerous.”

One nice thing about camping on private property is you don’t have to navigate through a sea of other campers. Motorhomes like this (which probably crossed the scales north of 30,000lbs combined) need to keep speed up to prevent digging, so you sometimes have to make split decisions on which way to go. This man chose poorly. You can either get it out yourself, or use the giant hydraulic winches on a wrecker to pull you out. Luckily, AAA RV plans will cover this if you know how to report it and drop the driver a $20 or three…

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