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Imperial Sand Dunes - December 21, 2003
(Southern California and Southwestern Arizona)

We got back from the Imperial Sand Dunes Sunday afternoon and I have finally had a chance to upload the pictures.

I wanted to thank all those who came out from California to join us at the Dunes. We had nine trucks (eight H1's and 1 H2). Five from Arizona and four from California. Heck we even allowed a few jeeps and a Land Rover to play with us.

Unfortunately, unlike the last three, this trip was marred by some damage to a few of the trucks. A couple of motor mounts, fans, and fan shrouds from a few hard hits on two trucks - both that impacted winch-first into sand, one while climbing a steep slope, the other when descending.

The worst was a rollover during the night run. We had a driver get up on a steep side-slope, in very soft sand and not enough momentum to get the nose downhill when it started to dig in. The down-side tires dug in and the truck rolled sideways - a complete 360, landing on it's tires. The majority of the damage was caused by the roof-rack, rack mounts, and bolts which punched through the roof in several areas when the wagon rolled over it. The good news is that no one was hurt and the wagon was fully functional and continued to play with us for the next two days.

Once again the dunes provided an excellent experience - the technical issues of reading the dunes, the sand types and figuring out where to go and how. As always there was the opportunity to practice recovery techniques, and the strapping of trucks that were high-centered, or the one that got stuck on a bad side-slope.

I think everyone had a great time - even those that had a few mechanical problems. I received several notes and calls indicating that a good time was had by all.

Pictures are HERE and HERE.

I'll look forward to the next trip!