Summers in the Sonoran and Mohave deserts are always tough but the early arrival of the 110 degree heat, the insidious humidity that settled well ahead of seasonal norms and complete absence of buggyable conditions in and around my local digs had me doubting I would be in any condition to survive the balance of Monsoon Season without at least one solid buggy trip. As the long anticipated date of Fall Buggy Boogie Thang approached, the skies loosed their full fury drowning every dry lake bed within a 4 hour drive and I began to sink into a funk that can only be described as outright desperation. My mind began to ascribe anthropomorphic traits to the Evil Monsoon Gods who seemed bent on mucking about with my fragile sensibilities. That was the moment when I began to fully appreciate the depth of my affliction. Kite Buggy had somehow muscled in on the special place set aside for those most precious penchants in my life. Fire Arms, Good Whiskey, Dirt Track Racing and Tawdry Flaxen Haired Tart now had to share the bunk house with Kite Buggy. At least they would now have a solid fourth for Bridge because Tart couldn’t bid properly if her life depended on it. Honestly, it was a good thing that Kite Buggy came along because I was really getting tired of noisy Strip Poker games in my head every Friday and Saturday night. You know how drunken RedNeks with loaded guns can get sometimes, right? As you might have gathered by now, I was in dire need of a Buggy Trip.
After a savage down pour that leaves the dry lake looking more “lake” than “dry”, it’s not until months later when everything dries, firms up and becomes sufficiently wind scoured that the playa finally regenerates that signature glossy surface we have come to worship. As we all know, torrential rains followed by incessant cloud cover, high humidity and poor winds is not conducive to buggying on a “DRY” lake bed any time in the near future. In less than two weeks’ time the prescribe weekend would be upon us as noted in the Tomes of Antiquity which chronicle the exploits of Horny Naked Buggy Chicks cadre and neophytes since time immemorial… well, okay, for the last few decades anyway… and the Tomes of Antiquity is really a pocket notebook on the dash of Lama’s van that bakes in the sun and gets opened a few times a year to reference phone numbers and e-mail addresses added during the previous event… but I like the allusion. Horny Naked Buggy Chicks, on the other hand, is quite real.
In the early 90’s, Corey Jensen, Dan Rubesh and a handful of others who represent many of today’s Hard Cores, were putting Peter Lynn’s brain child, the kite buggy and their own variations on the theme to the test at El Mirage Dry Lake near Victorville, CA. Elmer’s Garage, as it was dubbed by returning WWII Veterans, is well over a mile wide, 7 miles long and among other things, has served as a military pilot training facility. In the late 1940’s Elmer’s was one of the few places one could seek solace from the sea of humanity, perhaps come to terms with the many inner demons brought home from battle and an ideal spot to screw on the throttle of that Bob Job or drop the hammer on that decked flathead V8 Coup just to see what would happen next. For the last 65 years, Sothern California Timing Association has continued that tradition organizing sanctioned speed trials each Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend.
In the early days of Kite Buggy Lore (circa 1990-ish), most participants were involved in the sport kite business in one form or another and were arguably less brutish than the speed freaks that frequented the scene at Elmer’s. In an effort to present a slightly less Haight Ashbury persona, one of the first tasks at hand was the matter of devising a suitable name for the group that would be in keeping with the rich military aviation history of the place, aid in recruiting prospective future participants while maintain that signature irreverence for all things organized and still get a message across. I can only imagine the conversations sitting around the fire at night after a few adult beverages.
“How about the 303rd Bombardment Group, those B17 guys? They were a pretty notorious bunch. What was their nickname, the Hell’s Angels?”
“Naw, Sonny would have whatever’s left of the Berdo chapter up here in a heartbeat with primary chains and pick axe handles if he found out.”
“Yeah, I suppose you’re right. No need to call down the thunder before we even get off the ground. How about those guys that flew the Grumman Hellcats in the Pacific? I think it was Satan’s Kittens.”
“Come on already. Get off the evil thing, would ya? We fly kites. How evil can that be?”
“But I really do like the conflicting terms idea. You know? Hell’s Angels, Satan’s Kittens, mutually exclusive yet they have a certain ring to them.”
“Okay, let’s start with what we are and turn that around. Let’s see, we’re middle aged balding guys with beer guts who fly kites and ride around on homemade tricycles half stoned and buck naked and in the moonlight. There, do something with that… and without an evil reference this time.”
“Hmmm… How about Horny Naked Buggy Chicks?”
“Yahtzee !!! Ding! Ding! Ding! Winner, winner, winner, we have a winner!”
Good on ya,
PS Want to know more about ‘THANG’ read HERE