Meeting audio & minutes of the June 2016 meeting

Audio from the meeting can been downloaded here:

Meeting brought to order at 7:10pm

Guests: Jeff Blewett from Cal4

  • Rubicon trip – 8 rigs, Craig was trail boss
    • Lots of breakage – John sheared all studs on one axle before start of trip, Greg & John’s Dad broke leaf spring & center pin. Got fixed up the next day.
    • John drown some worms, caught nothing in the river
    • Cadillac Hill was very wet, some snow going down by Miller Lake.
    • On the way out Dennis had transfer case issues, ending in a call to AAA from  Tahoe
    • Craig broke a track bar and luckily didn’t crash – got trailered back home as well. Needs a bunch of welding/sleeving of the front frame.
    • Sad note: weekend prior a young man died due to a flop and not wearing a seatbelt. Please wear your seatbelt. Seriously.
  • Rodeo Parade
    • Had a good time, 15 rigs showed up.
    • Got 2nd place in category
    • After parade, a bunch of folks had lunch/beers at Dennis’
    • Next year, we need to get placed ahead of the horses – lots of poop to dodge 🙂
  • Rubicon trip – part 2 – Spider Lake & Adopt-a-Trail work
    • Art & John went in Friday; John got caught in traffic  and didn’t get to the trail until after 8:30pm.
    • Camped at start of Granite Bowl, got rained on the next morning (we didn’t set up tents – d’oh).
    • Got serenaded by the Highlanders Poker Run folks set up next to us at 7am, playing the tune from MASH on a tape loop for hours.
    • Made it to Little Sluice early afternoon, spread wet gear out on the rock/rigs in the sun and took a couple hour nap on rocks
    • Wandered over to Spider and setup camp next to the lake – thank you Merlin & John Arnez. Had dinner with Wheelers for the Wounded /Jeepers Jamboree cooks.
    • Worked on our AAT section on Sunday along with Craig. John broke a tie rod on the way there, Art had his pitman arm loosen up and get tweaked. We got about 1/2 of our silt traps cleaned up and headed back to Craig’s
    • Art’s tow rig broke on the way to Craigs the previous week and the resulting repairs took all week, so Art camped out at Craig & Carol’s for 6 days.
    • Tom Kroll and Sherry were on the Rubicon same weekend in different groups, but we never saw them during the weekend as they went to Buck/Springs.
  • Boner nominations:
    • John for breaking all his studs before getting to the trail
    • Craig for getting stuck in the snow
    • Art for too many things to mention, but mostly having to deal with his broken F-350, camping out at Craig & Carols for the whole week and ‘odd’ text messages to John & Rene when leaving (voice to text turned “I’m leaving Craig & Carol’s” into “I’m leaving pregnant Carol’s” :-P)
    • Art won the Boner by a couple votes… I’ll fly it at Trek
  • Jeff Blewett gave details on the new RTF property. Folks are encouraged to go visit it and check out places to camp, as well as look at trails to cut (which we could get named for the club)
  • July trip – Swamp Lake might be closed – stay tuned for any changes in plans (Dennis is trail boss)
  • Club picnic – need a trail boss/food boss – Deer Valley will still be closed, so other options include: Gold Lake, Niagara Rim, Barney Riley. We’ll decide at the July meeting.
  • Sierra Trek
    • Committee registration is open – deadline is July 28
    • Raffle prize solicitation list sent out to everyone to assist in hitting up vendors for donations
    • Trail plans for the Thurs full run – we’ll camp at Jones’ cabin Weds nite and make dinner there again. Please let Rene know so we can plan for food
    • Camp setup – some of us will be up the weekend before at Meadow to setup tents / mark out camping spots
    • We will leave ahead of the rest of the groups Thurs to get video and pictures
    • We will need help at Meadow with running the raffle booth
    • Lots of other runs at Trek (historic run, ATV run, river run, etc).
    • Need someone for the kids raffle this year
  • Cantina for the Con (Labor Day weekend)
    • Some folks are going to volunteer to help sling tacos on Saturday from 9:30 – 1pm
    • All are welcome to come assist
  • Need to discuss ‘Associate member’ ideas – have interest from folks out of the area to be members, but they can’t make it to meetings
  • Adopt-a-trail work
    • Fordyce – setting up AAT sign at Eagle Lake the 2nd week of July
    • Need some tree/trash cleanup run from Committee up to Meadow (will do some of this after we set up the sign)
    • Rubicon – need to schedule a day to finish off the rest of our silt traps (maybe over Cantina weekend?)
  • Last weekend in July – non-wheeling event – 24 of the Lemons – endurance race for clunkers (no more than $500 to be spent)
  • Livermore Amateur Radio Klub doing a General test cram & exam last weekend in July


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The California OHV Motor Vehicle Recreation Division Is In Peril

We are about to lose our OHV division and the grant funds we use to keep our trails ( this includes the Rubicon). Send a letter at this link and come to the open house meeting July 19 th.


Open House 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 19, 2016 Resources Building Auditorium 1416 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814


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Swamp Lake update

I just heard from Lloyd that Swamp Lake is open.  Fire restrictions are already in effect, so no open fires.  Maybe Larry can bring his propane campfire?  There is water and a little campground store at the Dinkey Creek Ranger Station.

So far I’ve heard from Phil, Larry,  and Gary.  And Lloyd and friends are already down there.


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Swamp Lake Run, 7/15-7/17

I heard from Lloyd, who’s down in the Shaver Lake area, yesterday. He said the rangers told him on Friday that the trail was still closed because it’s too wet, but it’s been hot down there. He will call me tomorrow (Monday) if it opens, and Tuesday either way.

I’m in favor of just going ahead and going down. Lloyd said he and his group had spent all day running other fun trails anyway. If agreed, I’ll be going down on Wednesday and will post conditions on Thursday. We should plan to meet on Friday at the Dinkey Creek ranger station, which is at the entrance to the Dinkey Creek campground about 10:30. Take Dinkey Creek Road east out of Shaver Lake. You should get gas in Madera and top off in Shaver Lake. It’s probably a 4 hour drive from Livermore with those stops. There is no cell coverage after you leave Shaver Lake.

Please let me know if you plan to come, so we won’t leave without you.


NEW edit:

I just heard from Lloyd that Swamp Lake is open.  Fire restrictions are already in effect, so no open fires.  Maybe Larry can bring his propane campfire?  There is water and a little campground store at the Dinkey Creek Ranger Station.

So far I’ve heard from Phil, Larry,  and Gary.  And Lloyd and friends are already down there.


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Fordyce Adopt-a-Trail sign installation + Fordyce trip

This coming weekend (7/8-7/10) a few of us were heading up to Cisco Grove with plans to run parts of Fordyce/Signal Peak/etc and also set up the next Adopt-A-Trail sign at the trailhead for Fordyce @ the Eagle Lakes entrance. Plan was to do the sign install starting between 8:30-9am Saturday morning and the other days go run the trail. Also there is a rock crawling competition up in Donner Saturday and Sunday in case folks were interested:

I am planning on getting up to Cisco Grove late Thursday afternoon and leaving sometime Sunday. John and Josh were planning on arriving sometime Friday. Mark is trying to get his rig trail ready in the next few days to come play as well. Everyone is welcome to join, particularly if you’d like to help dig post holes for the sign, mix concrete, etc.




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Ham cram for General exam

For folks with the tech license looking to upgrade a General license, the Livermore Ham Club is holding a cram/exam at the end of July:

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June meeting – 6/28/16 @7pm


June trips:
We’ll have a report from John on the Rubicon run (lots of mechanical adventures to go around).

Rene will report on the Livermore Rodeo Parade.

Art will report on our Adopt-a-Trail run to the Rubicon last weekend

July trip:

Dennis will discuss details of the July trip to Swamp Lake – not sure if Swamp Lake trail will be open in time, but if not, we will have an alternate plan.

Art/Dave Jones will have an update on Sierra Trek raffle plans and everyone’s list of vendors we need ya to contact for prize contributions. Trek is in 6 weeks, so we will also discuss the plans for Trek and the registration details.

Adopt-a-Trail work:
– we got part of our Rubicon work done last weekend, but will need to schedule another day and get some more hands up there to clean out the remaining silt traps. Looking at some weekend day in July.
– Fordyce doesn’t need much in our section of the trail, other than perhaps the usual trash cleanup. There are some other upcoming projects on Fordyce that I’ll get more details on soon.

As always, if you have pics from any trips, bring them on a USB stick/memory card or CD/DVD and we can add them to the club’s photo gallery on Flickr.



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Is it Art?

F 350 ; broken radiator / broken steering box

Jeep; pitman arm won’t stay tight

John’s CJ 5; broken tie rod

Craig’s razor; broken front diff. Pinion carrier. On the right is the rear pinion carrier for the Bronco. Yea Art was also there. I’m seeing a trend. It was a pleasure having Art around for a week while his truck got repaired and I want to thank John & Art for helping me take care of our Rubicon adopt a trail spring clean out. Continuing to be one of  best clubs working on the Con. I’m down to the power wagon so we will see you guys at Trek. Carol has already got raffle prizes lined up.


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Rubicon Adopt A Trail

Hi Guys,
John and Art are talking about doing some work on the AAT this Sunday. If anyone wants to help us please let me know.

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April 2016 club roster posted

The latest Madhatters club roster has been updated with our new members and latest changes.  The roster is available in both PDF and XLS formats.  Please let me know if you have changes for your entry (address, email, phones, rig picture, ham info, rig mods, etc).

Find the updated roster in the Madhatters web site’s Members section.  Sign in using your Madhatter web site credentials.  If you don’t remember your credentials then send Art or Darrel an email and one of us will get you setup.

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