LAND OF THE SUN
Cool rigs we saw at TDS Desert Safari.
SOMEWHERE JUST EAST AND south of pretty much anywhere in California you’ve ever heard about is a strange place we love to go. It’s dry, desolate, and foreboding to most. Why do we love to go there? Well, we often ask ourselves the same question, but year after year we return. The area just west of the Salton Sea is a unique area filled with history, geology, amazing views, unpredictable weather, and some awesome off-roading. The history of the area includes geology formed by an ancient seabed, Native American subsistence in the area, a dry lake that was accidentally filled in 1905, the ruins of a failed centrally located desert lake resort, and more.
The off-road history comes from the world’s oldest off-road event known as Tierra Del Sol’s Desert Safari. The Safari, generally known as TDS (the initials of the off-road club out of San Diego, California, that puts it on every year), is unlike just about any off-road event mainly because of the area that hosts it every year. With mud hills and sand stone ledges as far as the eye can see and trails crisscrossing the area, the terrain is a great test of any off-road vehicle’s prowess, and a great place to meet up with friends to have fun in the desert.
This year’s Desert Safari was the 56th such event, meaning the event itself is probably suffering from knee aches and getting letters from AARP, all while contemplating taking more fiber pills. It’s great place to see 4x4s and off-road vehicles of all type and sorts. From mud trucks to sand rails, stock Jeeps to decked-out side- by-sides, one (if not more) of just about everything is on hand to play in the huge sand box (mostly dirt) that is this area of the Southern California desert.
One of our favorite pastimes, besides playing in the dirt hills of the area, is to look for unique rigs to share with you. Check out what we saw this year at the Tiera Del Sol Desert Safari. For more information on TDS 2018 and next year’s event, the 57th Desert Safari, check out tds4x4.com
We have always liked the looks and utility of the first-gen Toyota Tacoma double-cab trucks. We saw this one near the training center and had to snap a pic. With just the right balance of go-fast goodies, 35-inch tires, and a couple of lockers, this thing could be a ton of fun just about anywhere in the desert.
Tierra Del Sol’s Desert Safari is a great event to check out all kinds of unique rigs. The mud hills and notches are the place to twist up your suspension, find the limits of your traction, and have fun, but the washes allow for high speeds, especially with the right rig. We saw (and heard) this cool desert-prepped square-body Chevy in one of the washes near the
Ocotillo Wells Training Center. We don’t know what powered this retro-tastic prerunner, but it sounded healthy.
Is that the most annoying sound in the world? It’s not every day you see Lloyd and Harry cruising the sheep dog at your favorite off-road event. It’s good to see these guys are still friends after all those adventures and many years gone by. In all seriousness, we think that’s a late-model Geo Tracker under that brown carpet. Whatever it is, seeing it wheel was almost as much fun as the guys driving it were having!
Vintage iron in use is always fun to see. How about this rowdy-looking 1960s Chevy C-10 truck or the late-’50s Ford on Boggers below? Where’s a mud hole when you need one?
A Subaru wagon with skid-steer directional tires? Sure, why not. Why bother with trimming fenders when you can just remove the whole stupid things? Whatever it takes to have fun in the dirt!