Eight things I learned at Camp RZR
A New Englander's guide to deserts, dune buggies and delicious Mexican food.
The parking area outside Camp RZR
Glamis, California is home to the Imperial Sand Dunes, and Polaris’ Camp RZR. Glamis is 30 miles from the nearest town and is the epicenter of dune culture. Camp RZR is a massive event that happens one weekend a year where 30,000 people who are passionate about driving vehicles on sand dunes gather to ride, party, and hang with new and old friends. Here’s what I learned.
Riders waiting to head up Oldsmobile Hill
1. Just because they look a little bit like Mad Max in their sand blasted boots and goggles doesn’t mean they are scary. The people we met were so friendly and welcoming to the DemerBox newbie crew.
Polaris loaned us this customized RZR for the weekend
2. Riding a RZR in the dunes is fun! It’s also slightly terrifying. My favorite part was getting as high as I could on a dune and riding it like a banked track. My wheels never left the ground but I felt like a hero anyway. I also learned I'm supposed to wear a helmet in California.
3. Night riding. Everyone goes out after the sun drops. I think part of the allure is trying out the very expensive, and blindingly bright lighting systems that people install on their rides. The colored LED flag antennas are a sight to behold when there are hundreds of them flailing around atop fists of light. Imagine a carnival and NYC rush hour traffic mash-up.
Dusk in the dunes
4. Mexican food is better in Southern California. At least it’s better than it is in Georgia or Maine. We found a hole in the wall in Brawley, CA where the tacos were made from homemade tortillas by a sweet little old Mexican lady in a frilly apron. I’m still dreaming of them.
5. Gas stations are few and far between in Texas. I ran out of gas while towing our mini truck to Glamis. I was east of Odessa, TX and not paying attention. Luckily AAA saved the day but I waited 3 hours for them to deliver 2 gallons of gas. That was plenty of time to reflect on the magic of gasoline and my dumb-ass mistake.
Sally is ready to brush her teeth and microwave breakfast at the same time
6. Booking hotels in advance requires an understanding of a calendar. We booked rooms for the five of us at Brawleys finest, The Best Western, well in advance. Unfortunately, we got the dates wrong. So we ended up at the other motel in town. Sally appreciated the velvet bed cover and the microwave right next to the sink. Jayson loved the impromptu Modelo and ribs party that the highwaymen were having outside his door. Me, I slept like a baby. In my sleeping bag.
7. There’s such a thing as too many Red Bulls. As luck would have it (I think) we were just over the fence from the Red Bull guys. We traded them DemerBox hats for what we thought would be a few cans. By the end of the weekend we had cases of the stuff and I felt like I needed a tranquilizer to calm me down.
Jayson averaged a Red Bull every 250 miles on the drive from CA to GA
8. 90’s alternative hits are fine for a crowd, but I never want to hear “Semi Charmed Kind of Life” again.
To say thank you for the amazing experience, we'd like to offer you a $50 discount off any DemerBox. Choose your favorite color and use the code camprzr at checkout.
See you in 2019 Glamis, California! Keep the tacos warm for us. - James