By James Yount
I am a hiking, rock climbing, and off-roading enthusiast, enjoying the desert environments that Southern California offers, including Joshua Tree National Park and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Located approximately 2 hours northeast of San Diego, Anza-Borrego encompasses 600,000 acres and stands as California’s largest state park. It is the second largest state park in the lower 48 states, after Adirondack Park in New York. Anza-Borrego is large enough to contain 12 distinct wilderness areas, 500 miles of dirt roads, and over 100 miles of hiking trails.
I have restored a 1990 Land Rover Defender and enjoy off-roading in the vicinity of Anza-Borrego. While Anza-Borrego Desert State Park itself is closed to off-road vehicles, The adjacent Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area encompasses 80,000 acres of prime desert for off-road exploration. In addition, it borders extensive Bureau of Land Management lands that are also open to off-road use. Whatever the terrain, off-roading is an activity that requires careful preparation. This is particularly true in desert environments that offer minimal facilities and water resources. The Anza-Borrego Desert State Park has only a few year-round creeks, all of them located in the Santa Rosa Mountains to the north.
Tires are a critical element in off-roading, and drivers do well to carefully checking tire wear and pressure. Higher tire pressures are generally most suitable for mountain driving, with lower pressures preferable for desert environments, and it is never a bad idea to carry one or two spares along. Particularly in rocky desert environments, it is critical to tighten all nuts and bolts under the hood and beneath the frame before setting out. Also check the condition of the vehicle’s suspension, shock absorbers, exhaust pipe, electrical wiring, and oil and fluid seals. By undertaking regular maintenance after each off-roading adventure, drivers ensure that off-roading remains an enjoyable pursuit, rather than a dangerous one.
About the Author: Jim Yount has nearly two decades of financial experience, regularly assisting other financial advisors in effectively meeting client goals.