Saturday, February 3, 2018

Off Road to Patton's Training Ground

I was out for my morning walk, bright and early as has been the usual since arriving here in Q. Once I was done paying my dues, we got organized to go on a jeep / off road drive with a group led by one of the BLM volunteers here at La Posa. The destination was northwest of town, out in the La Posa Plain. Some 60 years ago, General Patton used this are to train his tank divisions in preparation for deployment in WWII. I have to think this was all planned for a deployment to north Africa.

But first, some scenes along the ride out to La Posa Plain. We met at the La Posa check station, and then headed north west through La Posa West to Tyson's Wash. The group leader used Tyson's Wash so the group could get north without using city streets. Some of the vehicles were not street legal.

North up the wash, we cross under Interstate 10.

Out on the BLM roads northwest of Quartzsite, we pass the by the Quartzsite Golf Course. No grass to be seen, this course is a full 18 holes, all on sand, with creosote bushes for shade. ;-) The clubhouse, well, how about a parking lot and a couple portapotties.

Once out of town, we cruised along on the La Posa plain. Most of the road was a flat, easy drive.

Sandy sections of the road were at times fun, and more often, washboarded in a way that bounced us all over inside the jeep. Not fun, until I started driving up on the sandy tufts between the ruts. Then, we swam along and avoided some of the bounce.

The worst of the bouncing was in these narrow, sandy runs.

Soon, we arrived in a non-marked spot, known to our ride leader. He explained that this area was used for training by the US Army, in particular, Patton's army. The group took a break here, and most everyone scattered out looking for relics. I took my camera for a walk.

I looked a bit, and didn't find anything. I figured one has to do this some to train the eye to spot the unusual. A couple guys found bullets and the tour leader found a section of 50 caliber machine gun casings.

After an hour or so of hunting, we formed up and headed toward the Dome Rock Mountains to scout a mine and do some more challenging off road wheeling. The trip across the La Posa was on some barely used trails. I think the leader was navigating by map and compass.

Over in the hills, we drove through a very narrow wash and up to some mine tailings. The plan was to cross the hill here, but we were one drainage to far west. So, we backtracked down the wash.

We did a quick side trip up this sandy hill, just for the fun of it.

The group found the right road over the hills, but we decided to split off and head back to town. We both had had enough fun in the sand for today.

Tomorrow, we figure we will walk around the Arts and Crafts show in town, then setting in around the rig for the afternoon. Maybe watch that super football game.

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