Ocotillo Wells Night Run 2017... August 19th

Offroad VW based vehicles have problems/insights all their own. Not to mention the knowledge gained in VW durability.

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chuckput
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Re: Ocotillo Wells Night Run 2017... August 19th

Post by chuckput » Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:42 pm

Darn. There's always next year!

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CentralWAbaja
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Re: Ocotillo Wells Night Run 2017... August 19th

Post by CentralWAbaja » Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:21 pm

The 2017 Night Run in Ocotillo Wells is in the books. Interesting run of emotions for the weekend. Meeting some folks face to face for the first time after years of chatting and sharing info online was one of the reason it was so important to me. Riding with great people that I have met and have developed friendships with was another. And lastly the fact that for the last 6 years I have been saying I will be there next year.

Plans have been in the works for a few months now and teams of 3-cars were being developed. My teammates Leatherneck and Jason Busk are two guys that have been there from the start of my build helping me along. Jason and I did get to ride together back at new years but David had not yet seen The Queen since it was still in a very uncompleted state. We have ridden together a couple times but just not with the new car.

As folks began to arive Friday afternoon Jason, David and I along with Joe headed out for a shakedown run. Unfortunately sometimes going fast in the desert does not go as well as we hope. 1/2-mile into our ride David hooked a rut and smacked a tree causing severe damage to the front and rear suspension of his buggy ending his weekend but fortunately he was not hurt. After a recovery effort getting his buggy back to camp Jason and I did get a short ride in. After darkness settled in Joe, Jason, Denny and I headed back out. This time David rode shotgun in the queen with me. This time Jason car would lose all electrical power and need to be towed back to camp and I was was going to be faced with the fact that I may have lost both my teammates and it was only Friday night. With Jason's car back at camp the rest of us set out to give the cars a good flogging and that we did.

Saturday would dawn and Jason would begin the parts search from the desert and found an alternator within 20 miles and was ready to go before noon. So the same 4 rigs set out to the desert for a good beating. After a good 20 or 30 mile thrashing Jason began to have electrical issues and we decided to limp him back to camp once again. A decision my passenger Keith Post was good with as the desert was not agreeing with his contact lenses. KP and Rachel Garrett had made it out to the desert from San Diego to camp with us for the weekend. Back at camp Jason's electrical issues would prove to be weekend ending as he would load his car on the trailer. That left me as a man without a team. But I did have a "Plan B" as I knew that Danny and Clint were on their way in with the "wing it because it works" plan of picking up a 3 car at the event since there are always a few looking to join in at the last minute. A quick conversation with them and I had guys to run with once again.

A little while later Danny came through camp looking to hand off a radio so that he would have communication back at camp as he was about to head out in the 105° heat as a 1 car shakedown run. I had a decision to make....let him go alone or go with him and see if I could break a 3rd teammate in 2 days. I have waited to many years to chase this guy around the desert to pass on any chance to do so and so off went on a very mild yet very hot shakedown run that all went as planned.

As the 8:00 start time approached we would all attend a gathering where the event rules were laid out. 12 GPS coordinates with token boxes at each location were placed in the desert ahead of time. Token values would not be set until the run was over by luck of draw. So while this us not a race, the more tokens your team can collect the better shot of accumulating the most points you have. All 3 cars must stay together including if there is a breakdown that requires recovery or a tow back to camp. And everybody must be back in camp by midnight or it's a disqualification. Teams were announced and those that needed members were paired up with teams. 19 of the original 21 cars would start. Leaving one team running as a 4 car team. That team would end up being us. As we all walked into the pre event gatherings most of us noticed a very clean (like brand new never seen dirt) bad ass Baja bug. A couple guys showed up to play with this very unproven car and because we were all there just for fun and had no chance of winning this this thing we were like yeah run with us. Yeah there was a chance we might be hooking him to a strap within 10 miles but what the heck that can happen to any of us as had already been proven.

Colette had decided not to ride along as she was not feeling great. So I asked Jason to ride shotgun with me. His sister Dani would run navigation for Denny, Joe and Rick. And I tell you right now either one of those two in the right seat is a huge advantage for your team. Nice work both of you guys!.8:00PM came and we were all handed the list of GPS cord and we were off.

Again this is not a race but a fast paced poker run if you will with some advantage to being quick so the pace is kinda intense. Lots of dust and things to avoid in the desert while cooking along at a good clip. Danny took the lead position if our group with me behind him and New guy with bad ass Baja(sorry just do not remember their name) behind me and Clint taking on the dust sucker roll of bringing up the rear. New Baja guy learned real fast that he did not have enough lights for the pace we were going to run but still did a great job of hanging with us all. Yes I did get stuck in some sand, and yes Steve Lindmark had to pull up along side me to see just how stuck I was and was just as quickly stuck right next to me lol. Some of his team and my team all took some sand in the shorts pushing us both out. 4hrs out playing hard in the desert you have to almost remember to drink water and take those few opportunities to do so. The path took us down some high speed washes and some tight canyon washes yes we found mud in the desert in August and even had a couple wherefugarewe moments. At times we were straight up crossing desert looking for anything that resembled a road, trail or even a path all in a quest for a red reflective marker and a box of poker chips. We made it back to camp at 11:43 with all 12 chips and 4 running cars. At midnight the draw for point values took place and as luck would have it ours topped the field! I was given an award for farthest distance traveled to get there. At 1265 miles my bet is that had everybody covered pretty well lol.

So much fun and so many great people that mean the world to me as I could have never built my car the way I did without their advise, input and support.....even if most of them thought I was building a show car trailer queen. Lol.

Posted from the road ibwill try and get some pics up later
It is not Mickey Moused.....It's Desert Engineered!

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Re: Ocotillo Wells Night Run 2017... August 19th

Post by no1clyde » Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:12 pm

Great wright up Daron, I enjoyed reading it. Sounds like a good time was had by all except Leather and I am sure he had a good time too :D

Ed

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Re: Ocotillo Wells Night Run 2017... August 19th

Post by Leatherneck » Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:27 pm

It was a blast, not as fun as being able to run it but it was still fun watching you guys. I have some pics to post if it will let me upload a panorama pic. The girls did a great job of running the race, they were worried it wouldn't be fun or hard enough but with the time it took you guys to bring in 12 tokens they did a great job.

LOL Zancat I was thinking you were in well before 0100

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madmitch
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Re: Ocotillo Wells Night Run 2017... August 19th

Post by madmitch » Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:43 am

Nice going Daron!
If you feel you are picking up speed you may be going downhill.

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chuckput
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Re: Ocotillo Wells Night Run 2017... August 19th

Post by chuckput » Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:20 pm

I am glad that the run was last weekend and not this weekend. Yes, we had triple digit temperatures last weekend, but (IMHO) it was "comfortable." Today, here in the desert, it is currently 112 degrees with a forecast of 115 tomorrow. When it is that warm it means it does not drop below 100 until after midnight. I love the desert!

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CentralWAbaja
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Re: Ocotillo Wells Night Run 2017... August 19th

Post by CentralWAbaja » Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:11 pm

I will just drop this off here....


Make sure you set res to 1080p
https://youtu.be/v0eS1uEBEWA
Last edited by CentralWAbaja on Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
It is not Mickey Moused.....It's Desert Engineered!

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dustymojave
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Re: Ocotillo Wells Night Run 2017... August 19th

Post by dustymojave » Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:29 pm

Nice trail Daron. It sure looks like that ridgeline trail was recently created with a small grader.
Richard
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'58 Baja with 815K Miles and counting

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