Subs of­fer

On his way from LA to Baja Kiwi off-road pho­tog­ra­pher Mike Pef­fers checked out the fa­mous Glamis sand dunes. ef­fec­tively kit it out for overnight 4x4 trips.

NZ4WD - - CONTENTS - Story and pho­tos by Mike Pef­fers.

The Al­go­dones Dunes, com­monly known as Glamis, at over 517 square kilo­me­tres ( 200 square miles) is the largest OHV ( Off High­way Ve­hi­cle) sand dune recre­ational area in the USA. It is lo­cated in the south east cor­ner of Cal­i­for­nia near the bor­der with Baja, mak­ing it an ideal place for us to get our off road fix be­fore head­ing into Mex­ico for the SCORE Baja 1000 ( see fea­ture story in the March 18 is­sue, Ed). We headed into the south­ern sec­tion of the dunes, of­fi­cially known as the Im­pe­rial Sand Dunes Recre­ational Area. Ar­riv­ing on Vet­er­ans’ Week­end, it was sup­pos­edly qui­eter; hav­ing missed the may­hem of Hal­loween the pre­vi­ous week­end, and the up­com­ing crazi­ness of Thanks­giv­ing when the dunes are sup­pos­edly crowded with all man­ner of Sand Rails, UTVs and mo­tocross bikes. Another ben­e­fit was that it is free to stay on Vet­eran’s Week­end.

Yep, it’s big al­right!

The sheer scale of the place from the look­out makes it hard to imag­ine the place ever get­ting “crowded”. In fact, other than a few tyre tracks in the sand show­ing where some had been play­ing, we could not see any­one in the dunes de­spite see­ing over 100 of RVs and trail­ers when we drove in. It turned out that be­ing Vet­er­ans’ Week­end, ev­ery­one was well in the dunes watch­ing a multi force fly-over. We did get to see a few UTVs and bikes play­ing, and a lo­cal, Cole Larby, tak­ing his new V8-pow­ered Sand Rail out for a skid. And see his Dad’s cus­tom painted rail, decked out in hon­our of a ’ 57 Chev.

Bit of a drag

Come 4.00pm, and it was time for “drag rac­ing”. Lo­cated ad­ja­cent to a road near the en­trance to the Recre­ational Area, a flat sec­tion is turned into an im­promptu drag strip where ev­ery­one lines both side of the “track” and any­one can turn up to put the ham­mer down. There’s no flag drop or Christ­mas Tree, you just drive up and run. By your­self or with a mate, there are no win­ners or losers, just those with the big­gest grins on their faces ready to do it again. We were lucky enough to be in­vited to jump in Mike Iler’s sand rail, a road­reg­is­tered, four-seat, 484kW ( 650hp) V8-pow­ered Manx, fully kit­ted out with in­ter­com and mu­sic to en­joy the ride. Then at 6.00pm, it’s all over for the night as ev­ery­one heads back to their camp­sites and RVs scat­tered through­out the area. To wrap up the day, we shared a few beers around the camp fire hear­ing sto­ries from the lo­cals about their OHVs and how of­ten they come and play at Glamis (a lot), as well as their opin­ions on Trump, Mex­i­cans, etc.

Sand dune per­fec­tion.

Run what ‘ya brung on sand drag strip.

Area caters for ev­ery pos­si­ble type and/or style of off-road ve­hi­cle...

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