By Janice Eck
Pictures by Janice and Chris Eck
(Victor Valley)– From February 28 thru March 2, Tierra Del Sol (TDS) hosted the 52nd Annual Desert Safari run in the Salton City area. The event was a great time for friends and family to get together and enjoy the beautiful desert weather. Rain was in the forecast, but not a drop fell and the clouds in the sky shielded drivers and passengers from the desert sun.
Friday allowed people to register on-site along with safety check to make sure mandatory safety requirements were met. Registrations were also taken early Saturday morning for those who waited until last minute to join in on the fun.
Shots rang out promptly at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday morning to signal the start of the run to the 1,500 vehicles that registered for the event. Jeeps, buggies, rails, and other vehicles fit for the rugged terrain drove out in a single file line from obstacle to obstacle. Green arrows led vehicles through easy trails where maneuvering was required at a minimu. Red arrows led drivers who wanted more of a challenge up hills, through canyons and down tall hillsides where they tested the capability of their off-road vehicles. Blue arrows, the most challenging trails, led the way for more tactical drivers.
The atmosphere at every Desert Safari is laid back with a true community feeling. When a vehicle gets stuck on a trail, everyone around has an idea on how to get the vehicle freed yelling out where to turn, what rock to look out for or what wall to climb. Vehicles with winches and tow straps are always willing to help un-stick a vehicle. When a vehicle is broken on the side of a trail with someone working underneath it, passerbies offer a helping hand when needed, but chances are if you’re out at Desert Safari, you are well used to working on your vehicle.
Every year during this time, a small city is constructed in the dry bed area by Salton Sea with motorhomes, trailers, and R.V.s.. More than 100 vendors have booths up to showcase their equipment and many of these vendors donate prizes to the raffle drawing. This year, over $100,000 worth of prizes were given out including a Polaris Razor and an ICON Vehicle Dynamics JK Suspension System while BFG, GenRight, Poison Spider, and Tom Wood’s Custom Drive Shafts sponsored this year’s fireworks show that lit the night sky after the raffle on Saturday night.
If you missed this year’s run, be sure to gear up your off-road vehicle for Tierra Del Sol’s 53rd Annual Desert Safari next year. Bring your R.V. or trailer and enjoy some quality time surrounded by people who enjoy all degrees of off-roading.