is the concept of Cliff and Ilene Bandringa. By profession, we are a
computer programmer and a technical writer, respectively, but by nature we are outdoor
explorers! As native Southern Californians, we have appreciated the spectacular
natural beauty of the Southwest our entire lives. Since we've met, we
have traveled together extensively through our "backyard" and have been collecting
information and pictures as we go. This accumulated knowledge and substantial
picture library is what we have put into the Virtual Guides we now offer.
Because each Guide is based on our own
personal experience of an area, we wanted to give
you a little bit of background about us. We consider ourselves "explorers"
rather than "adventurers" and, to us, there is a significant difference. Someone
once said that "an adventure is what happens to you when you didn't plan your
trip well enough". Well, that's partially true and we've had our share of
adventures but most have been weather related. We do lots of planning and
research on an area before visiting it and that process is actually what led us
to create these Guides.
consider ourselves "moderate" when it comes to 4WD roads or hiking
trails. We drive an unmodified 1995 Toyota 4-Runner and we each hike carrying
only a tripod, a camera and some water. We spend the night in a local hotel
rather than camping simply because we prefer it. Our Guides do, however,
provide camping information for those of you who do like to camp. Any
rock-climbing we are faced with that requires more than our two hands and feet
is a turn around point for us.
We are in our mid-40's and are physically
active. Compared to most people our age, we are considered to be in
slightly above-average physical condition. This information is good for you to
know because we base the
hiking difficulty chart in each Guide on our own experience. You will need
to compare your level of fitness to our chart and will know after the first hike
how closely they match. You may find that our levels are similar or you may
need to adjust for your level one way or another.
We truly enjoy all the things we write about in our Guides
and hope that our Guides will enhance your Back Roads West
experience! Happy Exploring!