Monday, February 6, 2017

Parker 425

As we travel around the country we like to find new and unique experiences. I have always loved motor sports and have seen desert racing on TV, but I have never been to a race. When we found out that the Parker 425 was going to be held near where we were camped, we decided to check it out. In my last entry, I wrote about going to the street party on Thursday, February 2. They put the vehicles on display to let the fans see them up close and personal. You can talk to the drivers and crews also. Throw in some live music and food booths and you have a fun time.

The race was on Saturday, February 4. On Friday, I went out on my motorcycle and checked out the designated spectator areas. You are only allowed to watch the race in these designated areas. In the past, it was allowed to go anywhere out in the desert along the course, set up camp, and watch the racers come by. Sadly, there have been accidents and spectators have been injured and killed. They now have areas that are roped off  to keep the fans a safe distance from the race course, but still allow them to see some action.

The race course for this event is about 120 miles long. The course winds from the town of Parker out through the open desert in a large loop. There is a morning race that has many amateur classes. These guys are racing for trophies and fun. At 1:00 PM, the afternoon races start with the Trophy Trucks and other professional classes. These guys have deep pockets and the machines are very expensive. They have large crews to help at the pits and out on the course at designated pit areas. The race is 425 miles and ends in the dark.

We arrived at the designated party, I mean spectator area at around 10:00 AM. The morning race was well underway. I tried to take a few pictures and some video, but sadly they did not capture the awesome action.

A buggy that found some mud. Not great for his sponsors. 

As you can see in the pictures, the dust was thick. The course is full of washes and other holes and bumps. It really gives the suspension a workout.

The morning race was fun to watch, but you could tell that everyone of the experienced spectators was waiting for the Afternoon Race. We met a number of fans around us and all were having fun and getting excited for the Trophy Trucks.

You knew things were getting serious when you saw the helicopters in the air. The high budget teams have a helicopter following their vehicle around the course. I did get a decent shot of the #1 Truck. They are last years "Best in the Desert Series" champion.

The still images do not do a great job of capturing the action. I took a bunch of video throughout the day. I stitched them together in this movie:

We were not prepared to stay into the evening. The sun was hot and the dust was thick. We decided to call it a day around 5. We could see the very bright lights of he vehicles bouncing through the desert from our camp site 10 miles away. It was quite a site.

We really enjoyed the experience and would be better prepared the next time we have the opportunity to attend a desert race.

In my previous entries I wrote about buying a new inverter for the. I was able to pick that up on Friday and with Kim's help installed in on Friday evening. It works great and I love the fact that we can turn it off and on from inside the trailer. We are now ready to move on. We have been in the Quartzsite area for three weeks camping out in the desert. We are very pleased with our solar and battery systems. We really have been quite comfortable. It is now time to move into California. I will write about our entry into California and the dreaded check point in my next entry.

Thanks for reading.


  1. Wish I'd known about the race being that Parker wasn't that far up the road. Kathy on the other hand is having issues with all the dust.
    We just drove to Holtsville today and had no problem crossing into California but due to Construction on I-8 the signs were down and we had to backtrack twenty miles. If your in the area of the Hot Springs LTVA stop by for a visit.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. Thanks for stopping by. We are moving today to a county park up by Joshua Tree NP. I don't think we will be going that far south in California.