Visiting Planet Tatooine From Star Wars + American Girl Mine Campsite Review

Before coming to American Girl Mine road to boondock, I didn’t know about the Imperial Sand Dunes. (Sometimes referred to as Glamis Dunes.) Well, in a roundabout way, you and I sort of knew about them.

It was the planet Tatooine in Star Wars.  Many other movies, TV shows, and commercials have been filmed here.

The dunes came into my life abruptly. They hit me while caravaning in California down I-8.

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On the drive, the landscape consisted of rocky sand and a few small shrubs.

A dust storm loomed in the distance so visibility was very low.

Once we got into the sandstorm, we were in the dunes! We found ourselves looking at a TOTALLY different landscape.

We were surrounded by giant mounds of sand on both sides of the interstate. (These photos were taken on another, clearer day.) img_1098

The sandstorm had blurred the view of the dunes until we were right on top of them.

I knew I had to explore this place.

 

Exploring the Imperial Dunes

A few days later, Marshall and I took The Girls  for a dunes excursion.

We were VERY glad we did! If you go anywhere near Yuma, don’t miss this.

It was actually the best day out of the three days that we went because it was windy and so the tire tracks were minimal. We got the best photos on that day because of it.

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Photo courtesy of Finding Marshall. But hey, I cropped and filtered it! 🀣

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Taking a break for photos. Here I discover, because of the wind, Gizmo has half a sand dune in her eyes. 😲 I’m happy to report it self-cleaned very quickly.

It reminded The Girls of the beach in Florida. Trixie got the ‘racy-chasies’ right off the bat!

 

Gizmo got the racy-chasies as well!

 

Dune Activities

Dogs are allowed on the dunes but they recommend for them to be on leash. Dogs have gotten lost because of running away from fear of the dune vehicles.

People are allowed to drive on the dunes so dune buggies, motorcycles, and vehicles I don’t know the name of all play on the dunes. We got quite a show by one of the buggies I cannot name. (See video below)

I wish I got a full video of the sand he kicked out as he gunned it down the hill. Also, we were glad he didn’t kick the sand right at US!! (Would have been a dick move.) Instead, he gave us front seat tickets to a cool show.

 

Anyway, who knew Tatooine was so beautiful without the sand pit monster? Here are some photos of why you will want to go.

Behold, the beauty of the dunes.

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Turns out Marshall took this one too. 
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On visit 2, we brought along friends John and Becky. I got playful on this day and hence we got shots like this:

How about some sand dune handstands?

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Becky and I in unison. 

More Imperial Dune Antics

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Bear Crawls!

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Marshall pushed her down. Such a dick!

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Very gay expressions we have here. Like we’re making a kids show or something.

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This is Imperial, yall!

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Scrounged up these strangers at the dunes. Kym and Kevin on the right. John and Becky behind me.
 

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Reminds me of Sherlock Holmes but it’s me.

 

 

Things to know about staying at American Girl Mine Rd and visiting the Imperial Dunes

I’m not going into the rules and regulations of riding the dunes. You can already get that here. I am catering to RV’ers and visitors.

Imperial Dunes

  1. You are supposed to have a pass to park at the dunes. The cheapest pass gives you a week of access. (We did not opt in.) However, when you exit on Grey Wells Rd, there is a parking lot on the right just before the Buttercup Ranger Station. It’s 30-minute parking. We parked there without incident. I heard the rangers generally tolerate people to park for a while to walk the dunes for a bit.
  2. If it’s very windy, COVER UP! The sand stings. You will need glasses as well to protect your eyes.
  3. Photos are best in the evening a good hour or so before sunset. In the morning, the sun was softer so not as much contrast in the dunes. If you go RIGHT at sunset, there are too many shadows.
  4. You can camp at the dunes off of Grey Wells Rd. There is an on-site host. It’s just an open area and I’ll state the obvious- you’re going to hear a constant drone of off-road vehicles if you stay here. You are also right on the Interstate. More info on camping there Here.

 

American Girl Mine Rd

  1. Traveling West on I-8, if you pass Exit 156, or Grey Wells Road, there is a rest station in the median. You can dump your trash and get water there. No dump, though.
  2. The road in (Ogilby Rd) can flood. It was barricaded one day when I went home. Sure, I went through it and the road was fine by then, but just know flash floods can happen. We had friends who were stopped by a wash ON American Girl Rd. They parked for an hour and had lunch in their RV. #Benefits.
  3. There’s a TON of space. Explore. Don’t just go to the first place you see other RV’s at.
  4. There’s a train. Choose to park close to it or far depending on your like for the sound. It certainly carries out there. I liked it. Depending on the way the wind is going, you will or won’t hear it.
  5. Sunsets are AMAZING out there.
  6. Don’t have dental insurance? Get a cleaning in Los Algodones, Mexico. It only cost me $20!! Perfectly safe, cheap, practitioners have just as good training as US dentists. State of the art facilities. This is why we stayed at A.G.
  7. I got eyeglasses as well. $10 exam. My total was $120. They work GREAT!
  8. Blazing fast internet out there!
  9. This place is a much better place to stay than Quartzsite if you need a parking spot to hit Mexico. Much closer, better internet and more nearby amenities in Yuma.

See? Nothing to be afraid of. Clean, state of the art, doesn’t look like ‘Mexico’ at all. (For those of you who are wondering)

Los Algodones, Mexico

I saw this Mexican dude literally jump the fence right at the Algodones border crossing. He jumped then just blended in (Sort of) with the crowd. Got away with it! No border agents were to be found.

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Tacos crawl’s in Mexico are the best with friends!

To Make Up For Lack Of Funny…

Ok, so this wasn’t one of my funnest or funniest stories, it was more informational. This doesn’t seem fair as most of my shit has a comedic bend. (I think.)

To be fair to you, I’ll leave you with this video that has entertained me for about at least 30 minutes thus far. (I get the giggles just thinking about it. Every time.)

Thanks for following!

 

 


29 thoughts on “Visiting Planet Tatooine From Star Wars + American Girl Mine Campsite Review

  1. I *just* wrote (literally – yesterday) about surfing sand dunes & how hubby didn’t think playing on the dunes would be all that. Your pics and videos are awesome. I think we’d have to get 100′ leads for our dogs (because Greyhounds) but they’d go crazy just like yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Do it y’all!!!! But don’t go on Presidents’ Day weekend or any other three day weekend for that matter. The dunes were very torn up on our last visit. But it was so freaking windy they had half been repaired!

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  2. I am at Squaw Lake next to Imperial Dam. I have been following your posts for a year. We started FT last summe. Headed to Mittrey Lake next week then west. Your boondocking spots are helpful. Perhaps we will meet at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Watch what you ask for, it just might happen! πŸ˜‚ Thank you for following the journey, you are the reason for me to write. Well hell we were very close by! I’m up in Kingman now. We will be heading up to Oregon this summer. Hit me up if you head that way!

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    1. Well thank you so much! I am always a sucker for a little praise! 😍 yuma, as a destination is not anything special. However, the dunes and the border made it pretty great! PS, I’m a big horse fan too. Had horses from six grade till just after I graduated high school. Best times of my life. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aaaah, there you go! Just having a reason to go besides just to see the town (city?) is great! Definitely, do the dunes. It’s a little bit of a workout getting up them but totally worth it. : )

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  3. One of your best – my favorite was the joyous “racy-tracy” of Trixie … a beach without water was obviously OK with her. Β So happy for you! I sold my SRB house at last and it was a tradeoff for my mtg here so I’m a happy chicken too. Β Happy travels!Β LVYA, Rosemary

    From: Rv Chickadee To: rose0696@yahoo.com Sent: Friday, February 24, 2017 10:36 AM Subject: [New post] Visiting Planet Tatooine From Star Wars + American Girl Mine Campsite Review #yiv3818221757 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv3818221757 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv3818221757 a.yiv3818221757primaryactionlink:link, #yiv3818221757 a.yiv3818221757primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv3818221757 a.yiv3818221757primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv3818221757 a.yiv3818221757primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv3818221757 WordPress.com | RvChickadee posted: “Before coming to American Girl Mine road to boondock, I didn’t know about the Imperial Sand Dunes. (Sometimes referred to as Glamis Dunes.) Well, in a roundabout way, you and I sort of knew about them.It was the planet Tatooine in Star Wars. Β Many other” | |

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  4. Since this is one of your more serious posts, I will try to post a serious comment. Fear is the root of all evil! Fear limits us, it makes us defensive, narrows our views and otherwise makes us lead a boring life filled with worry about the ever present bogeyman. You are leading a fearless life. Evidenced by your dentist trip in Mexico and so many other terrific adventures that you take. People should be inspired by you. Last month along with my two young boys, we walked to Mexico from the San Ysidro border and into Tijuana for lunch. It was an awesome experience and an terrific lunch. When I tell the story back at home in New York, people look at me like I have two heads. I was even accused of putting my children at great risk. You choose to live outside of the bubble and you are a much more interesting person for it. Fear lives in the bubble. More people need to escape the bubble and learn how little there is that is worthy of our fear. I look forward to hearing about more fearless adventures. It is a lot more interesting than hearing about everyone else’s nice safe trips to Disney World.

    Happy Trails

    http://crosscountryrvtravel.com/

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    1. Well, you know how mass society is. Anything outside of the box is scary to them. You’re right… this lifestyle is anything but boring!!

      The Mexico thing- I even wasn’t sure about it but I knew friends who have done it… some for years. That made it ok for me as they explained that there was nothing to fear about it at all.

      THOUSANDS of US citizens cross every day for dental work and eyeglasses. Most of them elderly. That’s why I made sure to mention it in this story. I would even cross the border solo now at Los Algodones as well.

      However, I WOULDN’T trek out of the ‘Americanized’ area all alone. I did that with someone and it felt a little iffy. So yeah, you just do your research and use common sense. I guess that’s too hard for most Americans to do!!

      Yep, Fear is the root of all evil. It’s also what keeps people so damn stuck and miserable. F that! I had to bust out. Never looked back and I never will.

      Thanks for following along and I hope your 2017 trip happens soon! Summer, I am guessing because of the kids. Keep it up, and I’d love to meet you on the road!

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