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| Jay Lawrence | Trip Reports

2019 - Trip Reports - It's All About the Trips

It’s All About the Trips From the very beginning, Desert them has had some truly rewarding is acceptible,” we have always been able Explorers has been all about the trips. The great views, lost cabins, beautiful hidden creeks and groves, petroglyphs, rock formations and especially the bonds formed around a campfire over shared stories and potluck meals. All these are the fruits of our many, many trips together over the last thirty-plus years. We do trips with a bit more altitude in the summer to escape the heat. We try to catch the wildflower blooms in the early spring. We follow decaying trails to long forgotten towns and spots most folks only see on maps. We get out there. All of this wonderfulness requires some energy and forethought. An idea for a trip! A willing leader! Or two! Or three! Eager participants! Planning, preparation and packing! Everybody but the very newest new person in our group has experienced the anticipation of getting to the trailhead to meet the group, wondering what we might have forgotten to bring or to do, who we will meet and what we will see on the trip.

Like anything else in life, our trips rarely go exactly as planned. A trail might be washed out, somebody gets a flat. We take a break, figure it out, fix the problem, adjust our plans and explore what is there to be explored. Suprises like unexpected critters, hidden springs, beautiful canyons and new friendships figure in as well. If you have experienced any of these things with other DEers, you might want to consider leading a trip of your own with us. Or maybe enroll a more seasoned leader and then assist them, plan the trip together and rope some other folks into it. See how it goes. Good trip? Maybe do another one later in the year. Rough trip? Maybe take a different tack on planning the next one.

Everybody in the Desert Explorers who has led a trip has had these experiences and more. And every one of surprises along the way. The single hardest part is getting yourself out of the house and into the outback. The energy spent planning will come back to you in new sights, new friends, new knowledge and new memories. Here are the basics: Most of our trips have been two or three days, sometimes a lot more, sometimes only a day. Our trips are mostly “G” rated. We don’t run custom built rock crawling rigs up cliff faces just to see what breaks or who has the most testosterone. We run the vehicles we drive to get groceries and we expect to come back with them in one piece. Maybe a little desert pinstriping from the bushes facing the trails, but intact. No bushwhacking. We stay on established roads and trails, though they may be faint or in need of repair. There is history and landscape to protect and respect at every turn. We do the research, find the trail and leave no trace. We camp. Usually dry camp, which means you bring everything you need, food, water, shelter and supplies. Camp sites tend to be primitive. Folks overnight in tents, campers, in vehicles, on cots and on the ground. Depends on your comfort level. At our yearly Rendezvous, we hold it somewhere that folks who no longer camp can bring an RV or get a motel room. As the years add up, sleeping on the ground is often not an option, so we adjust. We prep our transportation. Four wheel drive is often needed. High ground clearance keeps the undercarriage from being damaged. Rugged tires, simple recovery gear like a tow strap and a good jack are vital. The list goes on.

Short version – we don’t wander off the pavement fat, dumb and happy thinking the world will look out for us. We look out for ourselves and each other. Even though the running joke has always been that “A ten percent loss to get everyone back to civilization without too much drama. Plan accordingly. Hopefully this monologue has served to encourage you to plan a trip and/or lead a trip. If you plan a trip but are trepidatious about leading it, we’ll put you together with an experienced leader.

If you would like to lead and need an assistant, we can make that happen too. If you need a ride, sing out. We do this together and it’s been going on this way successfully for a lot of years. See you on the trail. ~Jay From the Trip Coordinator Having recently been appointed Trip Coordinator I am getting my feet wet learning the sacred honor of how to coordinate Desert Explorers trips, avoid conflicting dates for our trips and plan future events. In order to do that our trips need to be funneled through the trip coordinator (me). Then we can keep everyone informed about which trips are available and what to expect along the way. We can maintain a master calendar of when and where future trips will be.

We are all enthused about interesting places to explore, tour and visit. In the future please contact me, Jerry Dupree at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 760-564-3145. I will be happy to talk with you by phone or in cyberspace to arrange dates and destinations. Please prepare a short write up of the trip, meeting time and place, route, special features, surprises, approximate length of the trip, level of difficulty, etc. Please note any permits, special equipment or fees that may be needed. This is a good way to avoid confusing the trip coordinator (who can become easily confused), and to help members schedule more trips with a bit of advance planning. Thank you everyone. ~ Jerry, Trip Coordinator