What a great turnout, we had 17 rigs in all …8 member rigs and 9 guest rigs. We staged at the parking lot at 4th & M Streets. Lots of people came by and talked to us and checked out our rigs. Sparky and his Hi-Lift jack saved the day for some kids and their float. We lined up single file then staggered out going down the road. We looked great! We passed 4 announcer stands, in fact one misread our “about the club” and said we were established in 1879. John looked at me and said, “that sure makes Craig old”. I had a great time and thanks to everybody who participated.
RUBICON TRAIL 2014
Thursday: Throughout the evening the majority of folks arrived to spend the night at the Loon Lake Chalet that the Madhatters reserved. It was a relaxing start to a fun filled weekend on the ‘CON.
Friday: By morning we had 10 rigs ready to hit the trail. As planned, all rigs were aired down and ready to go at 7am. After a quick driver meeting, we departed the Chalet at 7:20 and went straight to the trail. We kept up a good pace to Ellis Creek where we took a break, inspected the newly constructed bridge and made a pit stop. The good pace continued to Buck Island Lake where we stopped at 1pm for lunch. Surprisingly, we had the lake to ourselves. Back on the trail, the pace continued to Big Sluice. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, somewhere along the way a Bronco got high centered by a boulder that rolled onto the trail out of nowhere. After the use of a wheel sling and highlift jack, the Bronc was back on four hooves galloping down the trail. Big Sluice was a little slow going with a couple rigs getting high centered on diffs and such. As time went on we could see thunderstorm development overhead and by the time we were at the lower end of the Sluice it let loose with rain and hail. Tarps came out to cover gear and on we went down the trail. John’s rig experienced the only breakage of the day when his jeep slid off a wet-slickened rock and broke a shock mount off the axle housing. We made it to Rubicon Springs at 4:30 and by then the thunderstorms had moved on. 4 rigs set up camp at the slabs near the pools and 6 rigs camped at Dirty Dozen camp area.
Saturday: Jenni’s family and Matt left in the morning to exit the trail via Cadillac Hill. At camp, we kept in contact with them via HAM radio until they were safely past observation point. In Madhatter form, they helped a Toyota without lockers through Cadillac–good job guys!! The rest of the day we all did as we pleased–relaxing, GEO Caching, hiking and taking a dunk in the river. Saturday evening, friends of John & Rene limped into their camp with a rig that had a broken steering box mount. “SPARKY” sparked up his onboard welder and in true Madhatter form set off to spend much of the night making weld repairs to the rig. Icing on the cake was when shutting down his onboard welder resulted in the jeep’s alternator being fried and rendering the charging system inoperative. (I’ll let John & Rene go into details at the next meeting).
Sunday: Due to John’s jeep having to run on only battery power, 3 rigs departed camp early to be sure to not hit traffic going up the trail. They reported via radio that they had made it, uneventfully. The rest of us (5 rigs) departed camp about 9:30. There was another group of about 15 rigs ahead of us on Cadillac Hill. Surprisingly, we progressed consistently through Cadillac Hill, Squeeze Rock, Stairstep and up to Observation Point with only a few short stops. We made Observation Point at 11:15 and at 1:30 we exited the trail. At the staging area we aired up, said our good byes and headed home.
Other than a few bumps and bruises, we all made it through the ‘CON safe and sound. Thank you Craig for assuming the Trail Boss post! Your extensive Rubicon Trail experience and skillfull spotting is apppreciated. I hope everyone had as much fun as I did.
Hi all – I do agree with Craig that it was a great run! I “F*Bomber” (not Mustard) do not disagree with my really pretty blonde hair. However, the boner nomination honor should go to a bronco driver “your assistant” who obviously was not paying attention to the trail. He managed to land on the only boulder in a clear area of the trail, 100 yards past soup bowl. Other occupants on the trail who were held up by the bronco driver said he obviously fell asleep.
You guys missed a great run . Everyone made it out in one piece with very little drama. Look forward to boner talk about Rene ( Mustard ) Allen. Something about really pretty blonde hair. Maybe we have a new nickname? I tasked my excellent assistant T.B. Larry to do the trail blog so next time he can be the MAN.
Take care all,
Today I talked to Merlin. He’s one of the owners @ Spider Lake. He said a club from Nevada is going in on Friday with 32 rigs. I’ve heard from ; John ,Phillip, Larry ,Cort and Jenni. I know Larry has a list from the meeting . If you haven’t told Larry or I that you’re coming , we won’t know to wait for you.. We really need to leave the Chalet around 7 am to get ahead of this group if we want to get to the Springs at a reasonable time. If we don’t know you are coming , we can’t wait! Please drive safe and let us know .
See ya on the trail,
The meeting audio is now online here
Got a link to the new map showing the closure regions for Johnson Valley now that the Marines are claiming their new area for operations. http://www.johnsonvalley.com/JV_KioskMapSubregionRemandMapupdate.pdf
It’s time to think about the Rubicon trip. Larry asked me to fill in for Greg as trail boss. So unless Greg heels fast I guess I’m it. Larry said he was going to try to get the Chalet for Thursday like we did last year. A number of people came up early and I was thinking if enough people were able to come early we could do our adopt a trail work. If not we’ll have to think about a day latter in the month to do the work. Either way it’s time to start discussing what you guys want to. As before I’m asking you to let me know that you’re coming and when you expect to be at the Chalet @ Loon so no one is left behind. Also start thinking if you want to stop at Buck or go to the Springs. Let me know your thoughts. Now that George has Rubicon experience I expect him to be on the run to help Larry & I get through the trail. Greg if you change your mind let me know.
Hello All, hoping to make the rubicon trip coming up. Has there been any talk or plans being made? Are people going to be meeting up for caravanning up together?
If people are meeting for the drive up I’d like to tag along. Let me know… Thanks!