Official Rubicon Bypass – update

The Tahoe National Forest has been back out on the trail to look at the mud hole and the legal and illegal bypasses. Here is a note from Joe Chavez about what was discussed and decided on his latest look at the issue:

On July 29 myself, Will Harris (CA Geological Survey), Vickie and Justin from El Dorado Co. and the Tahoe NF Hydrologist (also the Forest’s Water Quality Act compliance lead and Water Quality Control Board liaison) reviewed the mudhole and bypass, among other items on Cadillac Hill.  The Tahoe NF Hydrologist recommended not reopening the mudhole routes and said that it would be better for the wet meadow wetland ecosystem adjacent to the mudhole area to keep the trail out of the wetter flat area containing weak soils and recommended that the mudholes be restored in a certain way to eventually restore the watertable dynamics negatively impacted by the deep trenches.  El Dorado Co. mentioned that their OHV Restoration Grant could be used to restore the mudholes if that was determined to be the future course of action.  The Forest Hydrologist also recommended adding some specific drainages to the bypass and to add some rock in a few spots. It was also discussed in the field that the Truckee District Ranger will be making the determination on what course of action it will take regarding which route the trail will follow in this area in the short-term, mid-term and long-term (including considering a reroute that would avoid the mudhole area altogether and avoid the potential landslide area above Miller Creek, via an El Dorado Co. OHV Planning Grant).  Carol, please correct me if I misrepresented what you said.

Bolding and italics are mine

So far we do not have a timeline for any work being done in that area. The possible major bypass is years away due to studies and paperwork.

.

Rubicon Ronin


Traffic delays to Barrett

  U.S. Forest Service  Eldorado National Forest  100 Forni Road  Placerville, CA 95667  530-303-2412 www.fs.usda.gov/eldorado News Release For Immediate Release July 30, 2020 Media Contact: Jennifer Chapman, (530) 957-9660 www.facebook.com/EldoradoNF Twitter:@EldoradoNF   Travellers’ Advisory for Wrights Lake Road in the Eldorado National Forest   PLACERVILLE, Calif. – Forest visitors are advised that traffic control will be in place on Wrights Lake Road for the next several weeks while a road improvement project is in progress. Visitors will encounter equipment, traffic control, and delays of 30 minutes or more Monday through Friday between Highway 50 and Wrights Lake.    This week, the contractor will be hauling supplies to designated stockpile locations and doing marking tasks. Following theses preparations, the work will include pothole patching, crack sealing and culvert replacement over the next several weeks.   The U.S. Forest Service will be overseeing this work which includes approximately 7.9 miles of Wrights Lake Road (11N26). Wrights Lake Road is a surfaced road that provides seasonal access to several wilderness trailheads, the Barrett Lake 4WD trail, summer home tracts, and campgrounds.   No work will take place on weekends or federal holidays. Road closures and delays will generally be up to 30 minutes. However, during culvert replacements and chip seal operations ,wait times could be up to an hour or more.   Please be patient while this work is being completed. These road improvements will make your visit to Wrights Lake more enjoyable in the future. For alternative destinations, please visit the forest website or call the Pacific and Placerville Ranger District office at 916-500-4712.   ###   The U.S.D.A Forest Service is an equal opportunity employer. The mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.

Official Rubicon Bypass

So, I’m not seeing where I posted about the large mud hole on the Tahoe Side of the Rubicon, but there was one. It was so bad, 4 of the 5 in our group the day we encountered it got stuck. We were all in well built rigs on 35’s or more.

The users created an illegal bypass but it was blocked off by ‘those in charge’. Unfortunately, ‘those in charge’ did nothing to FIX the mud hole.

Guess what? ‘Those in charge’ just created a “temporary bypass” around the mud hole until it can be properly repaired.

There has been no word on when repairs to the mud hole might take place.

.

Rubicon Ronin


Unauthorized Work

On July 8th, I received an email with four photographs. They were photos of work done on a local Tahoe trail just off the Rubicon. No explanation of the work done, who was involved, paperwork, sign-in sheets, nothing. The problem was, there was no approval for this work.

For years, this project had been discussed. That conversation even included the Forest Service. But there were always other projects to do or just not enough volunteers with the drive to get it done.

So, it seems a few of our fellow wheelers went out on their own and did this project. They never got permission from the FS and they never reached out to the local 4wd club that has adopted this trail since the early 80’s.

So, although we have a new anchor point on the Buck Lake Trail, we can’t do this people. There has never been a great relationship between the FS and OHV. That relationship has had it’s ups and downs over the years. Honestly, I think it’s getting better. But when someone goes out and does this kind of work without approval or the cooperation of others, specifically the club who has worked it for years, it’s unacceptable.

The FS is open to well thought out projects that will enhance our trails and make them safer. Do not be afraid to ask permission. Yes, there will be paperwork involved but they will help you with that.

Let’s work to improve our relationship with the FS so we can build trust and work on not just more projects in the future but the projects we want done.

.

Rubicon Ronin


Side Wall Blowout

Sooner or later it will happen to all of us. This is my third off-road flat.

This morning, I headed out on the Rubicon to try and clear a water bar on Cadillac Hill and to try to improve the mud hole on the Tahoe side.

Staging Area at 8:30; the 03-04 intersection by 9:02. but at 9:40, I blew out the sidewall of the front right tire.

This is just past the Barker Meadow OHV Route and just before the usually wet obstacle before Hummer Bend.

Double throw bottle jack underneath, rather than a Hi-Lift jack under the bumper. Tire under rig for safety.

I tried to refill it, hoping I just lost the bead long enough to flatten it, but upon closer inspection, I wasn’t going to fill it.

10:08 I was back on the trail. Not the same tread but the same size. I turned around and headed home. The maintenance will wait.

.

Rubicon Ronin