Gary Preston, a member of both Desert Explorers and the Old Spanish Trail Association, passed away at the age of 79, on February 24, 2016, doing what he loved best, on a trip in the desert. The peace and solitude of the desert was what he most enjoyed. He was a quiet, private person, but he was often there in the background. Gary helped Nelson Miller pre-run most of the trips that Nelson lead for Desert Explorers, also often accompanied by Ted Kalil. We managed to explore much of the West Mojave Desert over the last couple of years. Gary and Nelson had also hoped to one day travel the entire length of the Old Spanish Trail, from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Los Angeles, parts of which they had already traveled.
Gary was very active in the early days of off-road racing. In 1967, he was leading the first Baja 1000 by a wide margin when his motorcycle broke down. In 1968, he and his partner, Larry Berquist, returned and won the second Baja 1000 with the best overall time. He also had a number of other wins in off-road racing, often on his big Triumph motorcycle.
Gary will be fondly remembered and sorely missed!
— Nelson Miller