Blowsand Megaslide Adventure

It the title didn’t catch your attention, I don’t know what will.  This is a post about my crazy adventure in the desert yesterday.  So I’ve talked before about Meet-up groups, basically people with common interests who get together to do whatever it is they like to do.  I’ve joined a few out here and am testing them out but one group I know I like is North Coast Adventure.  I went on a beach run with them on Tuesday (my Achilles were dying!) and I signed up to do the “Blowsand Megaslide”.  Why?  Because it looked crazy. And it was.

My morning yesterday was pleasant but I was feeling tired, so I took a nap.  Not smart.  I woke up late, couldn’t find my phone, and rushed out the door to pick up two other NCA-ers to carpool out to the desert.  Then went to plug in the cord to my GPS and apparently my cigarette lighter is kaput after our cross-country trip.  And I was late.  I’m never late.  Things got better after that though, as the two people I picked up (a husband/wife couple) were SO nice and hilarious.  We spent the two-hour drive getting to know each other and just having fun.  We stopped at a sketchy bathroom, U-turned a few times, talked about all the people who probably died on this adventure… good times!

The Desert Ironwoods Resort

Upon arrival at the Ironwoods “Resort”, aka an RV park in the middle of freakin’ nowhere, we checked in and got our sweet t-shirts.  And our hotdogs! Then we somewhat awkwardly sat by the pool and just observed the wildlife… I mean, scene.  There were people from all walks of life doing all sorts of things.  Chaos.  We did manage to recognize other guy from our meet-up group and became a pack of four.  When the sun dropped enough to shade the hill, we drove through the sand to the slide.  Please note at this point that every other vehicle was either a 4-wheeler/ATV of sorts or a monster truck/jeep… we had opted to driving Funshine because “our Jeep is a gas-guzzler”.  In retrospect, maybe not our best decision of the day.  But Funshine’s a trooper and we made it in with no problems!

The “before” shot

This giant slip ‘n slide was a “some assembly required” kind of operation.  We hung out in the sand and watched as the desert before us was transformed.  After a team of volunteers laid out the tarps and secured them with sandbags (filled on the spot), we were ready to go!  No real American event can start without the playing of the National Anthem, so we stood for that and then charged the hill to get in line.  Our group decided on a “divide and conquer” strategy and the two girls were to slide first while the boys took photos, then we’d switch.  So we jumped in line and waited. And waited. And waited.

The rolling of the tarps

Ready for the main event!

There was some trial and error at the beginning with speed, landing, floats… and after two broken noses, an unconscious slider, and flying children we had it figured out!  Not sketchy at all.  Basically the strategy that was being shared at the top was to not use a float, get a running start for speed, but then toward the bottom spread out and slow yourself down before hitting the pool. And hope the guys at the bottom would stop you before either a) slamming into the retaining wall or b) flying over the retaining wall.  Needless to say, I was excited but a little hesitant on my complete lack of knowledge of where the closest hospital was.  After the fact, the guys admitted that after watching several crashed they were tempted to come up and warn us against sliding…. but then opted to just see how it went.  Thanks guys.

There I go!!

After dancing to music, chatting with fellow sliders, and replacing the water hose, it was finally our time to slide!  It was a blast, really it was.  We FLEW down the slide and while it was kind of hard to see due to the splash kicking up, I was able to “slow down” as I hit the pool and came away injury-free 🙂  I had a moment of panic when I thought I’d lost my contact(s) but they were just jammed up in my eye-lids and I was able to move them back into focus (good news for the drive home).

We then hung out for a (long) while as the guys waited their turn.  During this time, we watched the sliders, made friends with a bee, and just enjoyed the summer evening.  Then disaster: we ran out of water.  The boys didn’t even get to slide and we felt TERRIBLE.  Luckily they admitted that their enthusiasm was waning as it got darker and darker and the injuries kept piling up.  They did get their money back and then we headed off into the desert night to trek home.

The desert night.

Unfortunately, we started to hear a dragging sound coming from Funshine about halfway back.  After pulling over, we quickly diagnosed that the undercarriage was dragging because a rusted nail had stripped from its position.  Several cops passed up without stopping and then an awesome man pulled over with gorilla tape and we completed our temporary fix.  This guy was having a dispute with his wife and decided to take a drive around the block.  We’re so thankful that he did and I really pray that he and his wife worked things out when he got home!

Poor Funshine 😦

Our final stop of the evening was at IHOP, since it was now almost 11pm and little else was open.  We chowed down on breakfast and then I dropped the others off and got home just before midnight.  This 11 hour trek was insanely fun and while I probably won’t slide again next year, at least I met some cool people and can say I did it!  To get a better idea of the action, check out this video from last year (you can skip the ad after 5 seconds).

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/3tFuSzb6qOA?rel=0&#8243; frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cynthia Butler
    Aug 12, 2012 @ 20:00:57

    awesome! Maybe we can do this in Chile!!!

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    Reply

  2. Trackback: Sand, Sun, and SO Much Food « Rays of Funshine
  3. Trackback: Borrego Springs #30before30 Adventure | Rays of Funshine

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