Author Topic: UFC in Ocotillo Wells 12/8  (Read 2200 times)

zaphos

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And on to Sandstone Canyon
« Reply #45 on: December 11, 2018, 10:37:31 AM »
I was feeling a bit of wanderlust Sunday so I headed down to Sandstone Canyon for a looksee and found lots of glorious MUD...

Pro-tip: Close them damn windows!

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It was kinda crowded but there was plenty of room to go around.

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I had heard there wasn't a good place to camp at Sandstone but, as I came out the back, I found this perfect spot so I think I am taking the fam and spending the night. I THINK the white truck was just packing up from the night before...

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I was looking for a through route and I THINK I found one heading west from the west end of sandstone but as I started down the trail/ swamp, I saw huge trenches where it looked like someone dug themselves out/ got dragged out and I could manage about 5 mph at full throttle in 4 hi with front lockers on and about a 15 ft rooster tail coming out the back.

Being a solo trip, a Sunday, and not being very excited about the prospect of a bunch of drama, I kept the throttle pinned, swung old girl hard to port, and slowly rowed back. Apparently my display was fairly dramatic. When I came back around there were a pack of people waving with thumbs up so I guess they enjoyed the show. I'll do some further exploring when it dries up.   

« Last Edit: December 12, 2018, 09:58:22 AM by zaphos »
Destination unknown but I'm on my way.

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zaphos

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Misc Pics
« Reply #46 on: December 11, 2018, 12:03:55 PM »
Just let me know if I am obliterating the server with all these pics...

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the 2018 Xterra Television with Surround-vision/ 3D/ 4K/ Supernatural Display....

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Merry Xmas...

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The Lost X/ swamp buggy being all majestic (This is on S2 heading back down toward Fwy 8)...

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« Last Edit: December 11, 2018, 12:14:28 PM by zaphos »
Destination unknown but I'm on my way.

KI6EBQ

JFanaselle

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Re: UFC in Ocotillo Wells 12/8
« Reply #47 on: December 15, 2018, 06:52:49 AM »
Sorry it's taken me so long to get some photos posted up. We got home really late on Sunday after a really rough afternoon (more to follow). But I wanted to say thanks to Dale and to everyone for making this such a fun and memorable trip! The location was epic, the weather was PERFECT, the company was awesome, the fights were entertaining, the food was great, and the whole night was one for the record books!

Here are some shots I got around camp on Saturday night. I was bummed the rocket never launched, but still got some great shots:

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JFanaselle

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Re: UFC in Ocotillo Wells 12/8
« Reply #48 on: December 15, 2018, 06:59:46 AM »
After we broke camp on Sunday morning, the wife and I decided we'd take a very long way home and do some exploring. We traveled east out to the Salton Sea and made our way around the bottom of the lake with the intent of exploring the southeast coast area all the way up to Bombay Beach. We checked out some of the geothermal power plants and made our way to Red Hill Marina area, which was very cool. Like most areas around the sea, it seemed so post-apocalyptic and made for some great photos. We started to travel north from that area and found another really cool location with ponds and wetlands everywhere, and TONS of amazing bird life. Parked the Xterra and sloshed around a little on foot, shooting some great photos and doing our best to stay out of the mud.

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JFanaselle

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Re: UFC in Ocotillo Wells 12/8
« Reply #49 on: December 15, 2018, 07:22:02 AM »
As we traveled further north, we found ourselves on a small levee type road between two large ponds. I've heard TONS of horror stories about the mud around the Salton Sea, and have seen countless photos and videos of people buried up to their frames in nasty stuff because they tried to get a vehicle too close to the shoreline. What most people don't realize is that everything near the shoreline that looks like dry ground was actually under water, likely just a few months earlier. So the top surface drys and looks hard packed, but everything underneath is nasty and soggy.

For this reason exactly, we stayed FAR away from the shoreline of the actual lake, but were intrigued by the wetlands area we were in. We were being extra cautious and avoiding any roads that looked or felt muddy, but apparently not cautious enough. While driving very slowly down the road between the two large ponds, we hit a patch of mud that was slimy and slick like ice, and as if a giant sea serpent had reached its arms out of the water and pulled our car, we simply slid sideways down off the road and almost into the water. :(

The photos don't do justice to how badly we were stuck. We did a great job of not panicking and spinning the tires, but I still underestimated just how bad it was. After surveying the situation, I (foolishly) figured the mud wasn't as bad as I thought, and thought I could crawl  back up to the road by switching to 4-lo and locking the rear end. We jacked up the rear end with the hi-lift and stacked rocks under the tires, which did give us some good traction for a few feet. However, as I started to climb back up to the road, the tires once again broke loose and the truck once again slid sideways down to the shoreline, this time colliding with a large wooden fence that surrounded a duck hunting blind between the road and the shore. After an hour of jacking up the rig and stacking more rocks, moving a few feet, and doing it again, we finally got it turned around, but still couldn't get up to the road. There was nothing to anchor to in order to use the winch, and even a second rig there wouldn't have helped because it would have simply pulled them down to where I was (the mud was SO slick! - both Jessica and I slipped and fell in it at least 5 or 6 times each).

I decided we needed help - either extra hands, or just a clear brain that could give us some fresh ideas. I posted up in a few of the Facebook offroad recovery pages saying we needed help (including two that are local for the Salton Sea area), but got virtually no responses. Lot's of people asking for updates and telling me to try stuff I had already tried, but no one who was willing or able to come give us a hand. Knowing that everyone from camp was likely already back in OC or SD by now, I decided to call some tow truck companies and see if there was an option for help there. Quickly hit some dead ends (most were closed and their answering services said they wouldn't respond to help. AAA also tried a few companies for me who all said no), and we decided that we needed to roll up our sleeves and get it out ourselves, or prepare to spend the night again (it was about 2:00 pm by this point, and we had already spent almost 2 hours trying to self recover and get help). We spent the next 90 minutes jacking up the rear end, stacking rocks, moving a few feet, and repeating. I aired down further (10 psi), which did help a little more. After some backbreaking work, we finally got the truck straight along the shoreline and pointed in the right direction to get out of there. Thankfully, there were large rocks stacked along the shoreline and I was able to crawl along them, using them for traction as we moved back out off of the levee toward the main road. I was so thankful for my skid plates as I dragged the bottom of my rig slowly over the rocks, and occasionally we'd have to stop and stack more to get up over a rock that was too large.

After traveling about 500 feet, I reached a spot where the slope back up to the road was less steep, and decided to go for it. I gave it some skinny pedal and fishtailed like crazy until I was back up on the road, and kept driving until I was out of the mud. Almost 3 and a half hours later, we were finally out of the mud from hell.

We got back out to the road and aired up. The inside of the rig was covered in mud, we were covered in mud, but we were safe and free and headed home. I stopped off at a self car wash on the way and sprayed as much as I could off of the undercarriage and sides of the rig, and did it again the next day with a pressure washer at home. We finally got home about 10:00 pm.

I learned a lot about self recovery, particularly about not underestimating how bad mud can be. It was stupid to try and climb back up to the road, and I took some pretty gnarly body damage as a result (plus destroyed someone's hunting blind. Don't worry, we found the locals who owned it and they weren't upset at all. We offered to pay or help rebuild, and they declined). Next trip to the area will be in a few weeks. I've decided that I must bring either a land anchor, traction boards, and/or another rig. Or maybe all 3. :)

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Celt

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Re: UFC in Ocotillo Wells 12/8
« Reply #50 on: December 15, 2018, 08:11:17 AM »
  Great write-up Joe! I didn't know you got stuck in that greased baby snot from hell but am glad you made it out ok! I know you mentioned you couldn't have used your wince because you had no winch point. Please don't think that I'm trying to be snarky or anything but I was thinking your Trasharoo and a bunch of those big rocks inside it would have made a nice deadman. Dig a hole about 1-2" and place the Trasharoo filled with rocks horizontal to the X with the inch angle that will give you the most travel and use it in conjunction with the stacked rock method you were using. Put your snatch strap around the Trasharoo and adjust it for your cable. Pile more rocks or even mud if that's all you got over the Trasharoo. If you don't want to use the Trasharoo a ground tarp is super effective too. If you can't for whatever reason dig you can create an elevated dirt and rock pile and line the far edge with the most rocks. Put your snatch strap as flat as possible against everything so it won't dig in and begin to pull through.

  I'm super glad you guys got out ok. Getting stuck like that is no fun rather the perverbial barrel of monkeys. It's really neat when due to just being plain stubborn and using your head (Which you did) you get yourself out of a really nasty situation! Good job there for sure! Both of us really enjoyed that trip and everyone's company. We have such an awesome group and we don't see each other enough at all. We need to do more of this stuff er um I mean camping and not the getting stuck stuff for clarification....
Isaiah 6:8

GreenAcres

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Re: UFC in Ocotillo Wells 12/8
« Reply #51 on: December 15, 2018, 11:32:39 PM »
Ohh, that looks tough! Yes, so glad you guys worked it out. I wish I'd read this post before today's meet up in Irvine, I would have got my wife another coffee or something and stayed longer to hear more story details. The question of land anchor, traction boards etc. is a good one..... i'm thinking traction boards would have been the easiest help, but who know with that kind of mud!

zaphos

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Re: UFC in Ocotillo Wells 12/8
« Reply #52 on: December 17, 2018, 11:34:35 AM »
Hey Joe,

Glad you made it out of there and your photos put me to shame, very nice. Sorry to hear about the damage.     
Destination unknown but I'm on my way.

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