My buddy Waymon wanted to get in an overnight outing to check the recent repairs to the Muskoka Foundations Adventure Trailer. I have been wanting to check out the Vulture Mine buildings for a possible Disabled Explorers destination and somewhere new to take my sonís Boy Scout Troop. These dual desires meant we could load up the rigs and dash out of town for a Saturday night in the desert.
Having worked the night before in the Intensive Care meant I didnít get rolling till 2 in the afternoon, but that was fine as our goal was the Hassyampa River outside of Wickenburg (small town an hour northwest of Phoenix). Waymon is a recent Texas transplant to Arizona from and he was looking for quick getaway spots.
These were our transports for the weekend, joining us was my dog Jack who is always happy to flush quail when camping. Leading the way is the Disabled Explorers Sportsmobile WAVE (wheelchair accessible van for expeditions). Based on a 2008 Ford E350 van with a 6.0L diesel engine, Atlas Transfer case, Dynatrac Pro-rock 60 front axle, ARB locker, Extreme Outback on board Air, National Luna fridge,Nitto Trail Grappler 35ís and Rigid LED lights to show us the way. It is packed with much more and you can learn about all of it at http://www.disabledexplorers.org
. Following me was Waymon in his Lexus GX (Prado to you non-US folks) which he has kept nicely stock and puts his money toward outings. Behind Waymon is the Muskoka Foundation Adventure Trailer which is available to be used by those wishing to ďdo good as they goĒ, learn more at http://www.themuskokafoundation.org
A quick air down once we hit sand and it was full speed ahead, well almost full speed as this area is very popular with motos, atvís, 4x4ís and even horse riders. In other words when I am driving a rig 10ft tall and 11,000 lbs I donít blast around blind corners since anything in my way will end up as grill splatter.
The Hassyampa River is a novel desert destination as it varies from wide open sand and scrub to narrow rock canyon. The water is always present but depending on the season and the width of the canyon it will be anywhere from 6ft above the sand to 6ft below. Good thing is you have plenty of room to turn around and as always when in the desert know the weather all around you. A thunderstorm miles away can mean a flash flood coming at you.
The narrow section is fairly short but very scenic, it is a great place to let the kids scamper and is plenty wide for vehicles to pass.
Lucky for Waymon the water was shallow enough not to trouble his stock setup. And if it had been deeper there are places to exit the river bed and take dirt tracks around. The Sportsmobile has a fording depth of 39in I think (air intake is behind the headlight), and I have been well over bumper depth many times.