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Imperial Sand Dunes, The land of the Free!

In my other blog entry BORN TO RIDE  I wrote about growing up in Yuma Arizona and my passion for OHVs.  When I was in my teens it was easy to go party there just about every weekend.  The cops would show up once in a while and if there were rules there was no one really to enforce them This was fun there was always that one person that could kill it for everyone. Now we have more enforcement which benefits us as well as a huge wall that now goes right through the middle of Buttercup Sand Dunes.  So it’s not as free as it use to be. The problem with all the “freedom” we had was people could die there and really never be found. The Sand Dunes are constantly changing and things that were once there are now hidden in the dunes. An Article in the paper spoke about a gentleman that was looking for a lost pirate ship (I know crazy, right?) that had sunk in the dunes area. He did say he had found something that might be the lost ship but when he was able to get the equipment to dig it out, the dunes had hidden it.  So as they say he is now back to the drawing board. There were also movies that were filmed there in the Freedom Days such as Star Wars. The problem that I had with that is the Movie Set crew had left a bunch of wood with nails or just nails laying around that would puncture the ATC tires.

I want to stress the importance of rules and regulations of the BLM and California State laws, although some of them seem overboard they are the result of that one jerk that ruined it for all of us.  We use to ride with no helmets (big, big, problem especially for the guy that recently slammed into a jeep head on with out a helmet) and girls would ride double in nothing but bikinis (I have seen some pretty gruesome burns with fully clothed people ) although women in bikinis at the dunes would be nice! That would seem like heaven to some now, but reality is that we were playing a dangerous game! California State law requires every rider to have a helmet, long sleeve shirts, riding pants, no shorts, boots that cover your ankle. No it’s not for religious reasons, if you have long sleeve and pants you will be less affected by heat you are in the desert or cuts, scrapes or bruises from riding.

If your thinking about going to ride the Imperial Sand Dunes do your research find out all the required information. Get as much information about where to camp, how to ride etc. The rules and regulations are now there to insure our safety.

Here is a link to the BLM website www.BLM.gov

Have fun!

Mark

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