CalStar membership

From Ken Hower of the RTF:

I know a lot of you are members of CalStar.  For those that aren’t, I am attaching the enrollment form.

When I first started making users aware of CalStar and the benefits for your family, we had 53 members.    We now have over 150 members, which now qualifies us for $30 family rate for a one year CalStar membership.

Don’t get stuck with $40,000 helicopter bill for you or a family member in case of an injury on the Rubicon.  Spend $30 a year and know your whole family is covered from a potentially devastating medical bill.

You can also go online to and select GROUP MEMBERSHIP (not FAMILY!).    Choose the $30 option and fill in all the members of your household.  Make sure you use FOTR as your Group.  Either use myself or Jerry as the representative.

Ken Hower

Rubicon Trail Foundation



 Group App Fill In $30 rate 2013

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Rubicon Express lower control arm recall

See below safety recall from Rubicon Express. They explained that the recall covers any lower control arms for both short and long arm kits (non-JK)  made/installed between 9/12 and 11/13 – its the welds on the arms themselves, not the mounts. If you have a kit that was made/installed inside or near that window, get ahold of them and they will replace them free of charge. If 4wheel Parts installed them, you can probably get them to install them for free. Otherwise, you have to deal with yourself or your mechanic to replace them. They hadn’t yet gotten any failed parts reported to them, but I’d say you probably don’t want to be the poster child for them by not replacing them. Its not related to the bolts or welds of the centerpiece or brackets.



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Slick Rock Oct. 10-12

I will be leaving the club meeting spot or “Wendy’s on Hwy. 120 in Manteca” at 7:00 AM Friday for any members or guests planning on caravanning up Friday morning. I will be camping in the second campground (Rocky Point) at Utica Reservoir. The USFS is now charging an over night camping fee of $16 a night at Utica. As of Friday Oct. 3rd Stanislaus National Forrest lifted all fire restrictions. They only require a burn permit for camp fires, BBQ’s, and stoves.

Saturday Oct. 11 – Slick Rock Rd. trail run.
Meet time in camp is 9:00 AM. I will take a vote on how we want to run the trail and then I’ll hold a short drivers meeting.

If you are coming on this run please let me know when to expect you that way we don’t leave you behind. Thanks!

T/B Chris

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Panamint Valley

George and I are signed up to head down to Panamint Valley Days (Cal4 event) from Nov 7-9. I’ll be leading Defense Mine/Cummins and Isham Canyon trails again.

For the Thanksgiving week run to Panamint on the calendar (Nov 22-29), I can’t lead it this year. My wife’s sister died in a car accident earlier this year and she wants to do something else for Thanksgiving week as a result. If anyone else wants to go down there/lead, I can get you all the info you’ll need, maps, trails to run, etc if you haven’t explored there before.


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Sept 2014 meeting audio

Audio from the meeting can be downloaded/streamed from here:

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Sierra Trek 2014 trip report (long)

The trip report from Trek 2014 is available here

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Rubicon Adopt A Trail

Hey Gang,
As you may already know the Sept. 20 won’t be necessary due to the great help I had on Labor Day. I just wanted to thank everyone that helped in July and Sept. also the ones that were going to help on the 20th. This wasn’t that hard and it makes the club look great. El Dorado county very happy with our work. I hope you guys will have time to help again next year.
Thanks again,

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US Marines accepting comments through September 15 on Johnson Valley training plans

Access Alert from the California Association of 4WD Clubs and its partners

By John Stewart, CA4WDC Natural Resources Consultant

On September 6, the BLM and US Marines Corp conducted field visits to three sites that the USMC has proposed as company objective sites in the Shared Use Area of Johnson Valley. Two of the three proposed sites will be used for training two months each year during times that the Shared Use Area of Johnson Valley is under exclusive use by the USMC for training exercises. Each proposed site is approximately 22 acres. The proposed sites will have berms of earth constructed approximately 150 meters end-to-end.
Comments have been requested on the preferred proposed “company objective” areas. CA4WDC endorses the use of Objective Areas #1 and #2 as defined on the map. CA4WDC has submitted comments on behalf of its members; however, we are encouraging all concerned users to submit comments of their own.
We have crafted a letter that you can use to submit your comments. It will be automatically sent to Katrina Symons, the Field Manager at the Barstow BLM Field Office, and the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Public Affairs Office. To write your letter, click the Take Action button below.
For specific information about the proposed plans, please visit this website:

Take action now



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Updated club roster and other web site changes

The Madhatters web site has new updates.

  • Club Roster.  The club roster has been updated for the new members we’ve added in the past couple months.  Please let me know if you have changes for your entry (address, phones, rig picture, rig mods, etc).  Find the updated roster in the site’s Members section.  The roster is available in both PDF and XLS formats.
  • Calendar.  Removed the Fall Rubicon Adopt-A-Trail work date.  The Madhatters and guests who performed Rubicon maintenance over Labor Day weekend completed the remaining trail work for the rest of the year.  If there is heavy rain in the next couple weeks there is the unlikely chance the dissipaters may need further attention.  El Dorado County will keep Craig informed who will let us know if this is needed.
  • Photo Album.  Pictures from the July 11-13 Gold Lake and Aug 7-10 Sierra Trek club runs are uploaded to our Flickr site.  Links are available from the web site’s Photo Album page.  Thanks to Larry and Darrel for providing pictures of the events.
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Ham Radio class coming up

Ham Radio is the very best way to communicate on the Rubicon and other trails. It is literally a lifesaver!!! The class makes it easy.

This class, sponsored by Rubicon Trail Foundation, is designed to take you from zero to HAM radio operator in no time at all. It will be held in the Sacramento Valley area, in El Dorado Hills.

The dates are:

Class: October 25th, 2014, 9:00AM until 5:00PM, with a 1 hour lunch break – in this session, Barb will give you everything you need to know to pass the test…help you through the hard stuff, show you how to study the easy stuff, and where to look for info between classes. You should expect to be in class all day and you’ll learn a ton of stuff! She’ll also give you info on how to study for the test the easy way.

Test: November 8th, 2014, 9:00AM until about 2:00PM – in this session, an examiner team will meet you when you arrive. They’ll administer the test, and after you have passed, John will teach you stuff about using your radio in the practical world and give you a bunch of info about getting emergency help, setting up your radio, and using it in the Rubicon as well as general info for other areas. You’ll leave the session with all the tools you need to get started, including a radio, if you want one.

Radios: Once again we will offer a “group buy” price on the Yaesu FT-60 portable radio and/or Yaesu FT-8800 mobile radio. We don’t make any money on this, we’re just trying to get radios into the hands of OHV users. After you sign up, more info will be made available on that. These are the same radios we have offered in the past, and have proven to be durable, practical, easy to program and understand, and work very well.

Cost: The cost for the class is the $15.00 charge for your FCC license due on test day…that’s it! I will get prices for the radios as the date gets closer and will put that out via email to those that have signed up.

Book: The book you need is the ARRL Ham Radio License Manual, 3rd edition. It MUST be the most current book (question pool good through June 30, 2018, as identified on page viii). I believe they are cheapest at and fastest from Ham Radio Outlet. You MUST have the new (June 30, 2018 question pool) version of the book as you won’t be able to follow the class without it AND the questions on the test are different! ISBN: 978-1-62595-013-0

Sign up for the class by emailing me with your name, address, phone number, and preferred email address at  .

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