Roller coaster on terrafirma

Photography, Travel

If you would like to experience the adrenaline rush and stomach knots at level earth, Desert Wolf Tours is for you.

The Desert Wolf tour entails driving through a Sonoran desert in an ATV (all terrain vehicle). The tour last over 3.5 hours and I have to say that every second is entertaining and guaranteed fun.

The tour brief starts at Road Runner Bar & Saloon, New River, Arizona. Our guide, Kevin is a military guy with a great sense of humor, and that’s a good thing because we go through a serious of mundane instructions in the beginning.  Without this
stand-up routine, the start of the tour would not be promising.

Now this ATV vehicle is called, “TOMCAR,” and anyone who has a driving license can drive it without any training. Now, the Rocky in me was screaming to come out, but I went with my instincts and decided not to drive. I rattle a lot in my sedan, so driving through rocks and hills in an ATV is going to be a roll and rumble for me. I have to say, this was indeed a good idea, and I will say why further along this post.

So, below is the TOMCAR, and in the background is pretty much the terrain one will be on through the tour.

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TOMCAR

After the briefing, we were given Desert Wolf Buffs, which we had to wear for protection against dust trails. Boy, was I glad they gave that! Else, I would have been filled up with mud leaving no space for dinner.

Let the drive begin … we were about 11 Tomcars that day. All other people came as groups of 4, hence got seated in the same car. My husband & I were the only pairs, but we got lucky and got a Tomcar to ourselves with the co-guide Tom joining us. Kevin headed the expedition, and since Tom was in our car, we were right at the end of the car trail.

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The first 10 minutes was nutso scary for me, my heart was in my mouth, my brain in my foot, I had stomach knots, head rush and what not. The terrain is up-down-up, uneven and ofcourse my husband who has no experience with a TOMCAR was going whee whee whee all the way.  Rocky was long gone; I was mighty mouse now!

My husband is 6′ 1″ and he was having a tough time taking control over the ATV initially. You have to use both your legs to brake this thing! So, I am all to glad that I did not venture to drive this vehicle and leave my brains strewn all over the desert.

After the first ten, a calm came over me. I settled in and started taking in the scenic views of mountains, cactus and a ton of power lines around me. Yes, power lines. Proof below:

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Photogenic power lines

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Beware or get poked.

The saying, “it is not the destination, it is the journey” is most relevant to this tour. There are three stops thought the 18 miles drive but more than the stops, the drive is the experience.

At every, stop Kevin and Tom shared their knowledge about the desert. They taught us a few desert survival tactics that included instructions to “how to cook a cactus.”

Now and then, I wandered away from the group to take some snaps so that I could share it with you. Here is a fair warning, if you are keen to take snaps, don’t be standing with the group all the time. They don’t give you any ambling time at the stops. I was quick to catch on and hence moved away the group the last two-three minutes to click a few.  Then it is back to Tomcar and drive to next stop that was a windmill and man-made water spot for animals.

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Windmill and man-made water spot for animals.

 

After this stop was the sunset spot. I was eager to get here naturally. My camera and I were itching to get “trigger happy.” Alas, someone ahead of us dinged his Tomcar. But Kevin and Tom demoed the desert prowess and fixed it quick.

The sunset was breathtaking. I could see blue, green, orange, and pink in the skies. I was mesmerized and once again the photogenic power lines made for beautiful subjects.

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I have to mention that by the second-half of the drive, my husband totally conquered the TOMCAR.  I for one am glad that held tight to my camera and enjoyed the drive all the way back to the Road Runner. By the way, the suspension on this car is nothing short of a miracle. My butt was whole and intact without a bruise. No pics here please. 😀

The only question I was left wondering with is “whether the coyote caught him?” Beep beep.

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Desert Wolf Tour Date: December 27, 2015

Some insights:

  • It is safe and sound, do try it!
  • The trails keep changing; you might not experience the same thing described above.  They have to keep the experience new
  • Try to go as a group of 4, that way you will get the entire car to your group.
  • Do take your sunglasses. DO NOT FORGET.
  • Carry water with you.
  • Try not to stuff yourself before the drive.

 

 

 

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