2011 J-Tree VisionKwest: Riding The Snake, Or Something Like It.

After a long absence, the Joshua Tree VisionKwest was reconvened on December 3-4, 2011. It had been almost 7 years since the last Gathering Of The Tribez [And Shit]®™. Were the Ancestor Gods annoyed, or delighted that their prodigal children had returned? As with all family gatherings, we'd have to be deep into the mix before finding out.

Casino Bingo and Draw Poker had begun laying plans and cable for this enterprise several months earlier, with Dr Bingo doing the bulk of the heavy cranial gymnastics. A New Route had been chosen, one promising elements of delight from Previous Outings, but with New Sensations.

Ostensible Route: Boy Scout -->Big Foot-->California Riding And Hiking Trail. Our original destination was Juniper Flats. 

When the rosy-palmered sun arose over the Whine-Dork Sea, a nipply start was enjoyed by the under-dressed scrum, setting epic pace uphill out towards Boy Scout Trail. The bravely-dressed Rebecca V, Lori H fought for pole position, while the Famous Hatted L1-Larry Grill, Messrs Bingo and Poker, with the wisely-retiring John Douglass riding drag on this motley herd. Using my Acme Industries FKT Race-Place Calculator, I realized that since Ian Torrence had not shown up, I'd moved up 4 places.

Upper Boy Scout was crispy cool, with none of the usual heat associated with a Spring Outing. We mocked Ian who was judging the Nude Insulated Carhartt Coverall Contest in Vegas, and all the other losers who were either fighting over trinkets and baubles at the North Face 50, or soon to be releasing the Chocolate Hostage somewhere on the Ridgecrest 50k course.

To the West Portal Of The Gawdz did our brave band thunder, whence to pick up the enigmatic Big Foot Trail, and ride to the west. Things were looking good so far, and the Ancestor Gods took note. Putting down their newspapers and Pall Mall straights, they decided that we were just too full of ourselves. And to their great amusement we went blundering over The Great Cabled Park Boundary down a wide wash, paved with good intentions and swept by idiot winds.

The evidence of our straying was bold, but were we paying attention? The Little Ducklings quacked with delight as they continued on over an offroader's ingress. But doubt began to grow. Where we lost, or delusionally confused? We angled up a jeep road, that perhaps would take us somewhere near Upper Covington, over two ridges and well to the south. At a windy saddle, it became clear that the jeep road was a north-bending loop loop back to the sheetrocked delights of Joshua Tree Village.

Tempis Fugit and a rising wind whispered "turn around" to the benighted party. Thus chastened, we backtracked down to the Wash of Lost Ways And Dreams, thence turning up-canyon back to the trail. And there we saw Our Missing Junction.

But as Dr Bingo later discovered: "We could not find the out extent of the Bigfoot Trail because IT HAS NOT BEEN BUILT YET. Garmin data indicated that our route at this point approximated  a clockwise, inward spiral, not unlike the flushing of a toilet."

The Ancestor Gawdz roared with merry laughter at our discomfiture, wiping tears away at our high-pitched squeaking of dismay. With our now downcast tails between our legs, we sand-slogged back to the Park Road, thence to our New Plan B—get to the fucking car dropped at Ryan [?], where we were supposed to have been several hours earlier.

Running up the road, the first car we flagged was driven by an elder man, with wife and cousins and  their toothsome niece/granddaughter in the backseat, who was probably doing The Obligatory Weekend Ride, perhaps jockeying for Inheritance Pole Position. She was interested in this unexpected development, that perhaps 2 PhD Braniac Who Smelled Like Ass might be riding along. But our gallant hitch-hikers declined to impose themselves, opting to wait for the next car. Paydirt! They snagged the ride, got the car, and within 30min were flying towards us.

Things were looking a lot better after we declared victory, and were ripping down the highway, and our ignominious adventure receding in the rear-view mirror.

With the daze events well behind us, and a good dinner well in hand, chased by estate-pawed vinas chilenas, and pursued by Slutty Little Cookies, Dr Bingo awarded to Ian Torrence his 10th Year Non-Participant's Non-Jacket. Jay Grobeson was also recognized for his non-contributions to the VisionKwest in a similar manner. The assemblage was moved in such a manner that nobody updated their anti-social media for at least 15 seconds. The highlight of the evening was Dr Bingo presenting all participants with a Keepsake Treasure Soundtrack.

Dr Bingo also noted that: Saturday was Ozzy Osbourne's birthday and, given our experiences, the day's theme song should have been Black Sabbath's "Wheels of Confusion." To wit, "Lost in the wheels of confusion/Running through valleys of tears."

By the light of cool sunny morning, Dr Bingo and his stumpy-legged sidekick took a 10-mile mini circumnavigation of Ryan Mtn the following morning. Being humbled from the previous day's adventure, they were properly grateful to stumble around the massive ballsack of Ryan Mtn. Making it back in one piece brightened their moods completely.

And thus ended the 2011 Joshua Tree VisionKwest. Further visual evidence will be forthcoming.


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