Saturday, February 26, 2011

Imperial Sand Dunes and crashing on an ATV

View of the dunes, with 2 quads in the background
View of the dunes, with 2 quads in the background

Two weeks ago, we camped for a weekend out in the Imperial Sand Dunes off the 8 freeway. It was a fun trip with perfect weather - high of 75 F in the middle of winter. For those familiar with the Imperial Dunes, we took a ride out to Test Hill, where I decided to test out a Yamaha Raptor ATV. After driving up Test Hill 3 times with no issues, I brought my son up to the top and gave him my camera to shoot some photos of me.

In order to go up where he was shooting, I had to drive up a different face of the dune. This one was steeper and softer, with tracks erased by falling sand soon after they are made. I think I may have stayed on the throttle a little too long or not seen where the top was. In any case, the ATV started doing a wheelie at the top of the dune and I flew off the back of it.

Ok, that's far enough. Photo taken by my son, Christian.
Uh oh. Photo taken by my son, Christian.
Airborne. Photo taken by my son, Christian.
Impact. Photo taken by my son, Christian.

With the camera shooting at 5 shots per second, the whole thing happened in about a second. I was on my way up the hill and the next thing I knew, I was laying on the ground, unable to breath.

Fortunately, the bar on the back of the ATV prevented it from flipping over or landing on me. The ATV was fine.. I was not so much. My back took the brunt of the impact and I had the wind knocked out of me. Fortunately, my family was nearby and drove me back to camp in my sister's dune buggy.

Two weeks later, I still have back pain, but it is definitely getting better. It's the reason I haven't been diving in a few weeks and it's going to be my excuse for not being ready for my first 10K run in 2 weeks. :(

Quads in the dunes
Quads in the dunes

The telephone pole out at Gordon's Well
The telephone pole out at Gordon's Well

Imperial Sand Dunes:

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Scott