Highway 80 road work

Off topic, but not off trail…

CA DOT is planning a few MAJOR projects along highway 80 between Sacramento and Truckee.

Raise 80 map

The plan is to raise the height of nine overpasses to allow taller rigs (16′ 6″) on the highway. This could effect your travel plans to the Rubicon if you’re traveling Highway 80. The highway will be open but you will probably face delays.



Placer to start work on Monday, August 25th!

Placer County has announced that they (their contractor) will start working on the Rubicon Trail on Monday, August 25th. The report is they plan to work Monday through Friday for the first two weeks and then maybe Monday through Thursday and ten hour shifts after that.

There are several aspects to this work and the details of what is getting done and when that work is being done has not been released.

05 Bring in dirt


You’ve all seen the HUGE pile of fill dirt in the staging area. That dirt needs to be strained for large rock and then delivered to the low spots along the trail between Miller Lake and the turn at the intersection of the Rubicon and Barker Pass Road (Forest Road 03-04). This means there will be heavy equipment all along the trail. They might even be using Blackwood Canyon and Barker Pass Road (Forest Road 03-04) to access the Rubicon.

25 dump and spread

The contractor will also be creating 35 water features, rolling dips/water bars/drains, from Miller to the turn. These will need to be hardened with rock. Volunteers will be needed to place the rock on these features. The rock will be delivered by the contractor.

The contractor will be delivering rock to the Potato Patch and the old mud hole about a mile west of the intersection mentioned above. This will be done by the Mooroka tractor. That is a tracked, four yard, dump truck, on loan (lease?) from El Dorado County. Rumor has it, that operation (moving rock to fill the hole) will take a month on its own, with 3-4 trips a day.

Expect delays as the tractor above and the HUGE haul trucks will take up most of the trail. See more images in the Photojournal “Filling the Holes”. Please be patient as they work to help us keep our trail open.

22 Big trucks narrow trail

I believe that the goal is to finish the work by October 15th.

100mph Meadow

Long before I started running the Rubicon (I first drove the Tahoe side in 1985) there were a few special spots along the Tahoe side that no longer exist today. In 1984 a tremendous amount of work was done by the FS and volunteers. Mud holes were filled in (bottom dollar hole), a bridge was built over McKinney Creek (eliminating the “Car Wash”), gabions were installed (users added a “pet rock prison” sign), etc. I’m not sure when the reroute happened but “100mph Meadow” went away.

100mph Meadow cut the corner of the intersection of the Rubicon and Barker Pass Road (Forest Road 03). The story goes, that after crawling up Cadillac at one mile per hour, the Jeeps would reach the ‘meadow’, switch in to high range and open up the throttle. The meadow floor was of such a consistency that it did not develop bumps and you could really clean out the carburetors.

Here is where the trail broke out of the forest and headed across the meadow. With the current S&G100 issues, I’ve learn a little about meadows. They have a built in way to ward off other plant/tree species. So when the Jeeps stopped driving on the trail the trees moved in. They didn’t move in to the meadow, which can protect itself, they moved on to the Jeep trail that had nothing living on it, it was dirt. So, the trees grew ON the trail from seeds probably left by Jeeps.

DSCN0627 DSCN0628


Here is a shot looking across the meadow and then south to Sourdough Hill:

DSCN0629 DSCN0630


The second half of the meadow and evidence that I was on the trail, an old Jeep rim.

DSCN0631 DSCN0632


Trees growing ON the trail on the east end of the meadow and the trail disappearing in to the forest.

DSCN0634 DSCN0636


It was cool to get out and walk around and check things out. I found another old logging road that would be cool to reopen but don’t hold your breath.