Back in March, just a couple weeks ago now actually, my in-laws had a big get together in Lancaster, California. Never one to waste an opportunity, my brother in law Garrett decided to bring along his newly built AR-15 so that we could, after doing the requisite amount of ‘oh’s and ‘ah’s to the same old stories, go shooting in the desert. After a few hours of sitting around being bored and respectful, we finally got released. We jumped in his Infiniti M45 and took off in search of some deserted desert to shoot in.
Now, I mention the specific make and model of the car not to impress anyone, but rather to illustrate the ridiculousness of what ended up happening. First, we decided to explore some dirt roads to the east of the in-laws house, not very far away at all. Some of the roads were little more than suggestions, and most of them took us around and under a string of power lines stretching off into the distance, and all of them ended in barbed wire fences. No shooting was done with the gun, but I did manage to get at least one picture of the Antelope Valley, with the Tehachapi mountains off in the distance.
Eventually we retraced our steps and then set off once more. We went up and over the hills, into the small towns of Lake Hughes and Elizabeth Lake, both of which were little more than marshes (even after a phenomenal wet season in California). Things were looking fairly mountainous and we decided to backtrack a little, cut back over the hills, and seek out a prime desert location. In very little time at all, we did just that, finding San Francisquito Road – a hard packed dirt road that wound through rolling hills of brush and desert.
We cruised along this road until we found evidence of civilization once more, then turned back, making sure that wherever we ended up doing some shooting, we were far away from buildings or people. Finally, we picked out a nice looking spot, and began to look for a place to pull over. We rounded a bend and before I could say anything, Garrett pulled off the hard packed dirt – straight into a soft, sandy flood channel.
We were totally stuck.
Still in good spirits, we found a pallet nearby and broke it up. Attempting to feed the pieces of wood to the back wheels of the rear wheel drive luxury sedan, which really looked quite a lot heavier than it had on the road now that it was stuck, proved to be a futile exercise. We used other bits of wood and began to dig the car out, but the next time we tried to get the car out, it only sank deeper into the soft, moist sand. The sun was going down rapidly at this point and Garrett mentioned he had AAA, so we figured we’d just call for a pull out of the sand, go shoot, and by the time we were done, we’d be good to go!
Well, turns out that tow truck companies in the Antelope Valley don’t do dirt at night. At one point, we were told that they would be happy to come out in the morning when, and I really am quoting here, “the sand wasn’t so soft”.
Still, we got to shoot the gun, and I got to shoot some pictures of the place, which I later found to be called Myrick Canyon.
In the end, it was our father in law who came to the rescue, equipped with two shovels, a jack, and some brick pavers. In about 10 minutes we were free of the sandy desert and on our way to a well deserved beer, and rest.