Food and Big naturally go hand in hand. Make that tacos and you definitely have a winner. While we were out inJohnson Valley,Californiaat the King of the Hammers 2012 event, Raceline Wheels and our friend Greg Mulkey put up a challenge. He invited four of the biggest guys in off-road racing, Dave Cole (president of Ultra4 Racing), his brother, Chris Cole; Shaun Bootsma, volunteer cooridinator of KOH; and Big (president of WE Rock/Dirt Riot) to participate in a Taco eating contest.
All agreed, some reluctantly, but the cause was a good one. Johnson Valley is a huge area lying between two mountain ranges. It is used for off-roading of every variety. Over 160,000 acres of trails and open land on the Means Dry Lake Bed that is filled up and emptied out of people on a regular basis. This is a BLM run OHV park, one of the largest public use areas in California. There is recreating in the area every single day. In addition, there is a Marine Base that runs south and east of the Valley and there is a current plan in place to expand the Marine Base to the west. This would encompass almost all of Johnson Valley and thereby eliminate the recreational use of the area.
Now, I am in favor of the Marines expanding as they need to, they serve our country every day, but my preference and that of my fellow off-roaders is that they expand to the east. There is as much land on that side of the marine base that is currently not being used as there is on the west. So the battle cry is taken up by many, “Go East Marines!”, and the fundraiser Big ate tacos for was to Save Johnson Valley.
The goal for the week was to raise $100,000 on the lake bed to help to lobby and influence our lawmakers that have a say in what happens to the Marine expansion. In addition, March 14 and 15 have been set aside to talk to our local congressman and senators to let them know that even if we don’t live in California, we have a stake in what happens in Johnson Valley. Join up, join the men and women in the off-road community and the thousands of dollars raised in saving our recreational spaces. Go to Save the Hammers.org to find out ways you can help.
And in case you’re wondering, Big won the taco eating contest 🙂