I've been going to Dumont since about 1998 and have owned buggies since 2003. In that time, I have seen a TON of buggies come and go at Dumont. Most of the duners I have met by now, but I occasionally see a buggy out there that I've seen many times before but have no idea who it is. We usually just do the friendly "duner wave" as we pass by each other. It's almost become similar to the motorcycle wave you see on the street when two riders pass each other going opposite directions. Since the Polaris RZR came out, I have noticed a significant drop in the number of buggies out at Dumont. I often joke that we are an endangered species of the dunes, slowly being taken over by the side x side boom. Five years ago I thought it would be a great idea to get all of the buggy guys and girls together for a weekend. Here is where the Buggy Roundup was born!
This year was our 5th Annual Buggy Roundup. Like all past roundups, we kept the same format...simple. There is no schedule of events. The biggest reason for that is because it's Dumont. Nobody keeps track of time out there. It's a dune trip. The only set time we had for anything was taco night, provided by DDR, free of charge for everyone who came out.
Thursday morning there were only a couple of us out there. It was so peaceful and quiet. There wasn't the normal buzz of sand toys coming from the dunes. The silence was deafening!
Before everyone showed up, we had to check out that sand. The W had blown strong all week up until Wednesday, clearing away those Thanksgiving weekend ruts and chop. It's like the dune gods knew we were coming and prepped the place for us. The sand dunes resembled what we have seen in the middle of July. The sand was fluff and it was stacked as steep as sand could stack in some spots. It made for some difficult navigating, but in areas where you could see well, it was heaven!
Friday morning as the buggy roundup crew rolled in, camp grew larger and larger. We formed a football field-sized camp with our RVs and it started to take shape. Everyone was eager to get out and carve those smooth dunes up. Paddles were being installed, tire pressure was checked, and the final touches were being put on the sandcars before a morning shakedown run.
When everyone arrived, the group consisted of 10-25 buggies on every dune run. With very few breakdowns, it was a damn miracle that many buggies could be in one place at the same time without any problems! We all know how those buggy gremlins can be. There ended up being two broken transmissions and two broken wheels out of the whole group. Not too bad considering!
Saturday afternoon, Ben brought out his scales again. We did a buggy weigh in to see what all of ours cars weighed. It's always interesting to find out that exact number. Everyone lined up and it was a fun way to bring everyone together and get everyone chatting.
With this many cars in one spot, we had to grab a group photo! After "herding cats", Neal Rideout got up on the dune and grabbed a photo of the crew. There were still a few buggies back at camp, either day dreaming or broken, but the final count of cars was about 35. That may be a record!
After the photo, a group run was well in order. We covered a good portion of dune real estate without losing too many people. It's so awesome to look back and see that many buggies running together.
We stopped for a break near Talladega and then headed over to the "huckfest" hill.
Like most late afternoons at Dumont, we closed it out on the sunset hill. Afterwards we treated everyone to a taco dinner with pollo and carne asada. Steve piled the logs on the fire and we all enjoyed some nighttime drinks and laughter. Another successful Buggy Roundup was in the books! Some duners showed up as complete strangers and left as friends. See you guys next year! If you could not make it this year, mark it on the calendar. It always been two weeks after Thanksgiving weekend.
More photos in the trip report thread...
Photos by Neal Rideout: http://www.nealrideoutphotography.com/ddrbuggy5
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