Far from the typical “off roading” clubs, often seeking only the most extreme of trails, OAUSA is oriented toward the exploration and adventure aspects of back country travel. The BorregoFest events provide an intimate introduction to the world of overlanding, and an in-depth look at the history and scenery of the Anza-Borrego desert. Outings range in difficulty from stock 4WD to lift-and-armor mandatory, and offer ample opportunities for hiking and photography along the way. If the midday heat is too much, head up the mountain to explore the region’s mines on the group’s exclusive mine tour (sign up early, space is limited), or visit the town of Julian’s fine bakeries and wineries.
Back at the comfort of base camp, check out a wide variety of vehicles and equipment, gear and kit, and great food. Friday evening features a presentation on the region by local historians, followed by what typically turns into a de facto potluck. On Saturday the “official” potluck dinner is not to be missed, filled with fantastic appetizers, main dishes from a variety of cultures, decadent desserts, and wine/beer tasting.
Sunday morning begins appreciatively slow after the previous evening’s festivities, with plenty of time to pack after enjoying breakfast and the all-important cup of joe. The morning’s raffle of gear, tools, and swag is followed by an amateur radio testing session—a welcome addition for folks inevitably convinced of HAM radio’s superiority in the field (or anyone looking to upgrade their license). After lunch there are several shorter outings to choose from before heading back home.
On-site camping for the three-day event runs $55-65 and includes access to the shower facilities, crystal clear swimming pool (a welcome relief after a long day of hiking), and one raffle ticket (additional may be purchased). Stop by the OAUSA Forum for details on the next BorregoFest, or to check out photos and stories from previous events.