The date was December 28, 2002, and the location was a mysterious, winter-abandoned, newly-named Discovery Water Park (formerly Rock-A-Hoola) perched in the middle of nowhere off the I-15 in Newberry Springs, California. The occasion was the 27th annual Resolutions 2003 truck show. The harsh desert climate brought frigid temperatures to the water park, necessitating a winter off-season where the pools were drained and the water park was left uninhabited. Indeed, it was a perfect venue for a three day New Year’s celebration and truck event of epic proportions. With huge water slides looming in the background, mini trucks laid frame in front of the water park entry gate, food concession stands, and arcades. It was both picturesque and rebellious. Camping was held in the tree-covered park area surrounding the water park, next to the man-made Lake Dolores. A year later, mini trucks and other custom vehicles returned to the “desert oasis” for the 28th annual Resolutions 2004 show.
As with everything else, time brings change. The Lake Dolores Water Park, which had opened to the public in 1962 and saw its peak attendance between the early 1970s and the mid-1980s, laid dormant by 1990. On July 4, 1998, the park reopened under a new name – Rock-A-Hoola – which was fitting for its 50’s and 60’s theme. (Reso was actually held there in 1999, too.) The success was short lived, as Chapter 11 bankruptcy was filed in February 2000. A $400,000 renovation project allowed the next reincarnation of the park to open in May 2002 under the name Discovery Water Park, which lasted through the summer of 2004. The water park shut its doors for good after an intermittent 2004 summer season of operation. It thereafter attracted vandalism and fell victim to accelerated deterioration in the extreme desert climate. The slides are now gone, either dismantled and shipped to other parks or scrapped altogether. Instead of attracting families seeking water play and relaxation, it now attracts curious travelers intrigued by the archaeological remains and professional athletes aspiring to use it as a giant playground. In 2009 Rob Dyrdek used the park in an episode of Rob & Big. A skate film called “Kilian Martin: Altered Route” was shot there in June 2012. A group of artists from New York City called TrustoCorp repainted some of the signs and buildings in 2013.
Time brought change for the Resolutions truck show, too. The longest running 3-day truck run in mini truckin’ history, once attracting 2,866 mini trucks in 1990, ceased after running for 32 years in a row. The final four Reso shows (after the two years at the water park in '03 and '04) were held in Blythe. In fact, it was one of the last remaining trucks runs, period. This holiday weekend truck run (another first) marked the entrance of a new year for mini truckers for many years in a row. It was simple: New Year’s = Reso.
The outlook may seem grim, but a recent Daily Press article spoke of a possible Lake Dolores water park revival, as early as 2015, through a group called Oasis Theme Park. Could we once again see a truck show return to the remote Newberry Springs oasis? Scrolling to the bottom of the article, Sunset’s Bob Hase, who took over Reso in 1985 from Westside Truckers, whets our appetite with a comment that can be summed up by this quote: “With the new ownership I would be interested in doing events out there again.”
We can only hope.