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Tierra Del Sol Desert Safari 2015: What We Saw and Broke

Agustin JimenezPhotographer, Writer

The Tierra Del Sol Desert Safari 2015 started out like many others in years past, last minute repair work before packing up and hitting the road towards the beautiful desert near the Salton Sea in Southern California. We wrapped up our last minute spool install and re-gear on our 1979 Ford Bronco and headed out on the highway for our secret camp spot out in the sticks. This was the first time we tried taking out 1979 Ford Bronco out to TDS so we were pretty surprised to find out how much fuel it took to get from our offices in Los Angeles to the big gas station in Salton City.

After filling up on fuel and donuts, we headed out to our desert compound where we preceded to air down and lock in our hubs. Of course, we decided to start off the day by checking out the vendor show to see the latest and greatest in the off-road world and maybe even spot some cool 4x4 rigs.

We walked around the vendor show and even the parking lot to check out any cool rigs that might be lurking behind the next shadow. We finally decided it was time to round up some friends and head out into the dirt for some much needed desert wheeling action.

Of course we had to try our hand at crawling some of the trails and while we do enjoy crawling around, going fast is also fun so after hanging out near the obstacle course area, we headed south and found some nice sand washes and small dunes to play in. Unfortunately our friend Adam's Ford Ranger TTB prerunner started running a little hot.

We quickly found the cause and decided the best course of action was to grab a 1/2-inch 3/8-inch drive deep socket out of our Harbor Freight toolset and wouldn’t you know, it worked like a charm.

Of course, it wasn’t long before we found our next mechanical hurdle. Towards the end of the day, we found a nice berm to jump that was no more than a quarter mile from the highway that we decided to post up at for our last taste of off-road action of the day. Unfortunately when it was time to head back to camp, our ’79 Ford Bronco decided it didn’t want to go. We hadn’t even touched the throttle when we heard some nasty grinding sounds. Our first thought was that our transfer case had popped out of gear but after having no luck engaging it in every position, we shut it off and crawled underneath only to find we had some serious play in our rear pinion.

Luckily we were able to limp the truck back to camp in front wheel drive but not before we kicked up some minivan style roosts. Just like last year, we ended up getting towed back home with some pretty gnarly metal carnage.

Check out all the action we saw at the 2015 Tierra Del Sol Desert Safari!

Check out these videos we captures while out at the 2015 Tierra Del Sol Desert Safari!

If that's not enough, check out this cool video that Verne Simons shot of a gnarly little Jeep Flattie RC toy!