2017 run schedule set

At the October meeting, we actually managed to plan ahead for 2017 and get the schedule mapped out. There are a few runs that still need an assistant trail boss and the fall runs (Oct & Nov) need trail bosses. The Thanksgiving week desert run to Calico will need one or more trail bosses depending on the # of folks who are planning to come down.

The 2017 calendar is here: http://madhatters4x4.com/calendar-2017.html

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Run schedule ideas for 2017

Schedule proposals for 2017 – all runs need a trail boss and an assistant. Ratings 1 (graded dirt road) to 10 (extreme rock crawling):

January 13-15 – Winter Fun Fest – Grass Valley – snow run on sunday, various other options for folks Fri/Sat, raffle duty on Saturday (nite) – Trail runs vary from 3 (rough roads passable by SUVs) to 7 (deep snow)
February 3-11 – King of the Hammers, Johnson Valley – Off-Road Racing events plus trail runs from 3 to 10 rating

February 17-19 – Cal4 Convention – Visalia

February ?? – Snow run? Uncle Tom’s Cabin? (4-7 rating depending on snow)

March – Snow run? Boards Crossing? Yuba Gap? (4-7 rating depending on snow)

March 11 – Black Tie & Boots (fundraiser for the Rubicon)

April – need suggestions – Lost Coast, Rye Patch, historic run thru the mining districts in the foothills? (Ratings from 1-3)

April 28-30 – MTA4x4’s 41th Annual Mud-N-Yer Eye Frolic @Hollister Hills (ratings from 1 to 8 depending on obstacles/trails)
May – Ladies Run – Bear Valley loop (Rating 4-5) ? somewhere else?

May (tbd dates) – Cal4Wheel – Molina Ghost Run @Hollister Hills  (ratings from 1 to 8 depending on obstacles/trails)
May 26-29 – Cal4Wheel – High Desert Roundup – Stoddard Valley (Barstow)
May (tbd dates) – Cal4Wheel – Mojave Road Run
June  2-4 – Rubicon (rating 7)
June 10 – Livermore Rodeo Parade ?
July – need suggestions – Niagara Rim, Swamp Lake? Dusy? Bodie? Hellhole? High Lakes region?
Aug 10-13 – Sierra Trek (rating 8-10 for Fordyce, 2-6 for other trails)
Sept 1-4 – Cal4Wheel – High Sierra Poker Run- Swamp Lake
Sept 2-3 – Cantina for the Con
Sept 15-17 – Club Picnic ? Deer Valley (rating 5)? Gold Lake (rating 4-5)?  Signal Peak (rating 5-6)? Barney-Riley (3-4)?
Sept 29-Oct 1 – Barrett Lake (rating 7)?
Oct 13-15 – Slick Rock (rating 5-6)?
Oct 13-14 – Cal4Wheel – Operation Desert Fun _ Octotillo Wells
Nov 10-12 – Cal4Wheel – Panamint Valley Days
Nov (Thanksgiving week?) – Panamint? Calico? Death Valley/Tecopa Hot Springs?
Please also consider tossing out other suggestions for trails – also, there is nothing saying we can’t have more than 1 run in a month – we just need folks to volunteer to lead them. It would be great to get a mix of new(er) runs this next year in addition to our usual runs (Rubicon, Fordyce, etc). Particularly would be good for folks to suggest runs that are applicable to newer drivers/less equipped rigs.
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Slick Rock

I was still planning on running slick rock on Saturday. However due to reports of heavy rain and extremely high winds, canceling or postponing this run is an option. If anyone still wants to make this run for tomorrow let me know.

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October 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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Meeting audio and notes from September 2016 meeting

Audio download: http://madhatters4x4.com/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Madhatters-Sept-2016-meeting.mp3


Notes to come shortly

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Meeting audio and notes from August 2016 meeting

Audio download: http://madhatters4x4.com/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Madhatters-Aug-2016-meeting.mp3


Notes to come shortly

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Meeting audio & minutes of the July 2016 meeting

July 26, 2016

Audio download: http://madhatters4x4.com/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Madhatters-July-2016-2.mp3

Guests: Wes McBride – TJ with Rubicon Express lift, 35s, etc

Treasurers report: Overall balance: $1,976.10

Swamp Lake report – July 15-17

  • 5 rigs – Dennis, Larry, Phil, Darrel, Gary
  • Minor carnage, a few obnoxious folks in ‘yotas.
  • Lots of mosquitos
  • No good boner worthy events

Fordyce AAT sign install / cleanup run – July 7-10

  •  Art, John, Rene, Josh, Mark, Sal, Chris, Mike
  • Friends of Fordyce: Jeff Degnan, Bret Preble
  • Art’s buddies from SoCal
  • Got up to Cisco Grove Thurs evening, SoCal guys had done Signal Peak & WH1-WH2 – already a bunch of stuff broke amongst them
  • Headed up Committee to WH3 on Friday
  • At WH3, Mark tried the steep wall line and rolled off it – insuring he won the Lifetime Boner award :-). We spent about an hour cleaning it up – went thru 3 spill kits.
  • Mark tried to power his way up with his new LS3 engine, but it was a physics/geometry issue, not a HP issue
  • Mark limped back to camp with the SoCal guys, Art, Mike, and Mike White (SoCal) went up to Meadow and back thru Truckee.
  • Saturday we got the sign installed and headed back up to WH3 and cleared some trees / branches along the way, cleaned up some trash up to WH3. After playing around there for awhile, we headed back to camp. Art allegedly flopped in a bit of a v-notch on the way committee, but there were no pictures.
  • WH4-WH5-Meadow was pretty clean – no trash and the condition was pretty good. Our trail work from last year has held up well.

Mark & Danielle are moving to TN – Danielle got reassigned and they are moving in a few weeks. They carry with them the Boner award as a parting gift.

Boner Award

  • No nominations from Swamp Lake
  • Rene nominated Mark for ‘being a dumbass’ 🙂 on WH3. He gets the Perma-Boner award.

Fordyce AAT work coming up in October

  • Forest service looking to get with FoF and the AAT clubs to help re-route a section near the Carlisle Mine area. More info to come.

Rubicon AAT work

  • waiting to see how the rains are this summer to determine what additional work is required for this year

Sierra Trek

  • Deadline for registration is July 28
  • Running the whole trail Thursday morning, staying at Jones’ cabin Weds nite – will be getting out in front of the crowd again to take video
  • Running the raffle again
  • Additional runs available – whole trail Friday, River Run Fri & Saturday, ATV run, Outer Limits (Bear Valley loop) and Historic Run.
  • Art & Rene & Dave Jones going up weekend before to set up tents, help with main camp setup. Craig/Carol/Steph going up Monday, Dennis going up Tues, the rest of folks are expected Weds-Fri.

Picnic run

  • Need trail run selected (Deer Valley won’t be available), and a trail boss
  • Barney-Riley, Gold Lake, Niagara Rim were suggested
  • Sept 9-11 -> Niagara Rim – Tom Kroll will be Trailboss

Barrett Lake

  • John can’t make the original date of the run
  • Vote was taken to move the date up 1 week to Sept 23-25

October run – Slick Rock – Chris G. Trailboss

  • more info by the Sept meeting


  • Art is heading to Panamint Valley Days (Nov 11-13) and leading a couple trails (Cummins Cutoff-Defense Mine on Friday , Isham Canyon on Saturday)
  • Panamint is great in November – nice days – not face melting hot
  • Trail vary from mild up to Hammers level (Isham Canyon)

Ham radio General exam coming up – hosted by Livermore Amateur Radio Club

Christmas party – still need venue and folks to lead it up.

  • Alternative to someones house may be to reserve a local restaurant

Upcoming elections in December – taking nominations for all officers

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Rubicon AAT

Craig 9-27-16carol 9-27-16

Hi Gang,

Don’t worry I’m not asking for help. Carol & I went out yesterday and placed site markers, we also cleaned out 7 buckets of silt so our AAT duties are done this year. That being said my 2016 work crew has only been John, Art, Carol and myself twice. I was just wondering how many of you brag to your friends about having AAT’s @ Rubicon & Fordyce ? How about the club doing the raffle @ Winter Fun, Sierra Trek and Cal 4 Convention? Who’s been a trail boss or an assistant trail boss. Who’s hosted a Christmas party or a picnic? Dale said to me that I’m retired, which is true. that’s why I help the RTF &FOTR. But before I retired I did all of the above serveral times in the last 37 years. I’m just saying we are all in this club together, we need to share the work load. That’s why we keep losing our Presidents, they get too little support. So next time someone asks you to help and you can make the time, HELP!! Don’t just raise your hand in a meeting because you’re embarrassed and then bail out. Everyone knows who helps and who doesn’t . So if you’re getting a little butt hurt reading this you need to change how much you help your fellow club members. Don’t shoot the messenger . If you’re mad at me, oh well I’ll get over it.

See ya on the trail,


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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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