The Morongo Basin Search and Rescue Team is a volunteer group with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and was formed in 1957. The 40 plus members have the responsibility of covering the 5200 square miles within the Morongo Basin as well as a large part of the Mojave Desert. Members of the Team are citizen volunteers from all walks of life who are dedicated to helping people and the community. Members must master extensive skills such as desert survival, tracking, land navigation, first aid / CPR, technical rock rescue and rappelling. All members are certified and meet requirements on a national level. The volunteers are on call 24 hours per day and must equip themselves with personal survival gear necessary to accomplish their missions. Average costs are $300 – $600 per person, but most spend much more than that on specialized gear. The team is also equipped with the latest technology in search and rescue including rope rigging gear, radios, GPS and laptop computers for mapping and coordinating a search.
As you can imagine, it can be costly to volunteer to save lives. To help offset costs, the team sponsors an off-road event every year at the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Park in Johnson Valley. The base camp will be located at Means Dry Lake this year, just off Boone Road. Take State Route 247 (19 miles North from Yucca Valley or 26 miles South from Lucerne Valley) to Boone Road. Turn east onto Boone Road and follow the signs to the base camp. This is a family event – not a race. The Desert Run will be held over the weekend of October 5th and consists of a 15 to 20 mile course designed to meet a variety of off-road challenges. You must have a four-wheel drive vehicle to participate and the trail will be marked “Easy” and “Hard” so you can choose which challenge you would like to take. On the course, you will encounter sandy washes, steep hills and some beautiful scenery with checkpoints throughout the course. While on the course, participants will stop at checkpoints to play a game. Halfway through the course, there will be a checkpoint with a porta-potty. Vendors will set up displays at the base camp and we will have entertainment on Saturday night. There will be prizes and trophies awarded to first, second and third place game winners.
Activities begin on Friday, October 4th at 4:00 pm and conclude Sunday the 6th in the morning. Activities include the registration booth, vehicle Teeter – Totter, Articulation Ramp, various kids’ games, a bounce house, official event T-Shirt vendor and various other vendor displays. Hot food will also be available throughout the weekend with the actual run taking place on Saturday morning.
Tickets for the Desert Run are just $55 if you pre-register on-line by October 1st or $60 at the event. If you would like more information or to pre-register on line, visit the official Desert Run website at www.desertrun.org. If you have additional questions, contact Search and Rescue at (951) 203-6816.
Source: SBSD news release