Ocotillo Wells Day 2

This is the look of "oh my lord did we just survive that?" After the canyon excursion the previous night, April and I decided to join the 10-man tent in the secluded east wing. We had our own room, and cuddled up under our sleeping bags. We both noticed that quite a bit of sand was coming THROUGH the tent, and would sprinkle our faces and the spaces between our teeth. Several times throughout the night, we awoke to the tent lifting us off the ground with brutal winds and a steady particulate rain of the desert surrounded. I threw my shirt over my head in order to breathe, and April buried herself deep into the bag. The air was stifling. In the morning, we found that everyone else in the big tent had fled to their vehicles to sleep because the storm was too much. Everything was covered in sand. We were among the first to collect our things and scout for survivors. Best camping night ever -- way to survive April!

This was all that was left of the desert as the rest was snagged in the massive tent and our sleeping bags. Oh yea, and probably two tablespoons in each ear.

The morning winds were extreme. Sandstorms would blow in and blast everything in dry burn. April and her trusty sidekick braved the elements for a portable potty that was actually our only break in the storm.

Another round of winds passing.

We were both pretty beat from the long night. I didn't have the heart to ask if she peed mud when she leaked urine with all of the sand we ate.

So... welcome to California?

This was camp, minus several odds and ends that were blown probably to Oz itself. We slept in the room on the right of the large tent.

Apparently, the long night was nothing some shades couldn't cover. Don't count all of those patches as freckles and tan: I think half of it is sand that wouldn't let go.

Goodbye, 80's metal groupie swept away, goodbye. Your single black pump shall endure.

April and I decided to walk around the camp some to get oriented, these our first views of the desert since driving in well after dusk the night before. I think we have enough time for a desert glamour shot series. April?

Woohoo! First, a warmup head check. Yup, everything's in place.

What you got plant? April's here to say hi. Probably my favorite shot for the trip, her hair looks like a small explosion over her shoulder.

Oh, is this seat taken? There was plenty of room in the desert expanse for April to back that thing up.

Greetings from California, version 2.

The winds really picked up. It really was best to look away and never look back.

The winds were SO strong they blew the color right off of her! Actually, you can get a good look at the freckles and false freckles that otherwise blend into shades of skin tones.

April was free. Free fallin. And now she's free. Free fallin.

Amelia was very kind to bring us morning orange juice while hiding away from camp. I think by this point, however, it was closer to orange mud. Still, an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber.

I wondered if April could off-road Ocotillo Wells without an off-road vehicle. She tested the throttle before tearing into the terrain. Don't forget your helmet!

Off-roading without a vehicle isn't easy. It can seriously wear down your body if you don't have proper conditioning and safety equipment. Here, April demonstrates how to correctly perform a self-wheelie without wheels.

It took her a minute to get used to the controls, but once April figured out how to use the vicarious clutch to shift gears, she was really cruising over the sand. Look at that smile!

Heading hard into the turn, she gave it some extra gas...

...before shifting her rear end into a powerslide around the corner. Dig April, dig!

April's off-road experience included some pretty sweet jumps. Check out the air.

Don't try this at home, kids. Leave this one to the professionals. Be cool, stay in school.

Fractions of camp sediment that wasn't washed away. Not everyone was a happy camper.