So I have the honor of contradicting myself.

February 1st, I published a blog about the “snowgate” at the entrance to the Rubicon Trail on the Tahoe end of the trail. Since then, I heard a story, learned a few things and spoke with Placer and local snow removal contractors.

The story, second or third hand, told by someone who knew someone who heard something about a few guys snow wheeling on the Rubicon this winter:

Three rigs were working their way over the snowgate in order to access the Rubicon Trail for a day of legal, wheeled, motorized recreation.

A plow driver (not even sure it was a county plow) stopped and started giving the guys a bad time about driving over the snowgate. He claimed they were not allowed to drive there. That plow driver was not expressing himself in a professional manner. The guys replied in a similar unprofessional manner, expressing their belief that the trail was open year round.

The three rigs made it over the snowgate and wheeled out as far as the intersection of the Rubicon and the Richardson Lake Trail. Upon their return to the entrance of the Rubicon, the rigs encountered a sheer six foot cliff. It seems the plow driver had come back and created the cliff, knowing the rigs were still on the trail.

Thankfully, the drivers were driving responsibly and realized the cliff was there before driving off it. They broke down the edge of the cliff and exited the Rubicon safely.

I shared this story in an email to Supervisor Montgomery.

According to Placer County, their snowplow drivers are not dumping or piling snow at the entrance.  But, according to the local snow removal private contractors, Placer County is dumping and piling snow at the entrance.

I met with Supervisor Montgomery after exchanging a few emails and she confirmed that no one is allowed to dump snow on a public right of way. And that Placer County would keep an eye out for anyone attempting to dump snow at the entrance to the Rubicon.

I contacted the Rubicon Trail Foundation and asked for their help in securing year round access, which is in their mission statement. They declined to get involved and wanted to see how it played out.

Unless things change, the piling of snow at the entrance is a thing of the past.

Please enjoy your wheeling responsibly. Pack-it-in. Pack-it-out. Tread Lightly! Turn Around, don’t go around. Stay on the trail.










Reno Motorsports Show

Yesterday and today I spent talking with fellow wheelers at the Reno Motorsports show. The show has dropped in size over the years so now it’s four shows combined: Motorsports, Home, Pet and RV.

I had an unexpected guest visit my booth: Smokey Bear!

Smokey Bear (Large)

Small booth but the price was right. I’ve been having a lot of good conversations about the side trails off the Rubicon on the Tahoe side. Many long time Rubicon travelers didn’t know there were so many trails in the area.

One more day, 11-5.



New TNF Supervisor


Tom Quinn has retired and Eli Ilano has been named his replacement

Eli was deputy on the Lake Tahoe Basin from 2007 to 2009. In 2010, he became the deputy on the Tahoe National Forest. In January of 2016, he was named acting supervisor of the TNF. Just last month he was named the Supervisor for the TNF.

So, he has a lot of local knowledge. I’m hoping his close relationships with the LTBMU will bring in a new era of cooperation and communication between the TNF and the LTBMU that has not existed up to this point.


The link below takes you to the story copied below:

NEVADA CITY, Calif. – Eli Ilano has been selected as the new Forest Supervisor on the Tahoe National Forest. He has been the Deputy Forest Supervisor on the Tahoe since 2010.

Ilano brings years of natural resource and public land management experience. Before coming to the Tahoe National Forest, he was Deputy Forest Supervisor for the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit in South Lake Tahoe. His past experience also includes working for the Bureau of Land Management, United States Senate, and non-profit sector, in communities around the country, focusing on natural resource issues.

Eli earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1995, and master’s degrees in Environmental Policy and Landscape Architecture and City and Regional Planning, from the University of California at Berkeley in 2001.

“I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to lead a great team of passionate and dedicated Forest Service employees on such a beautiful forest,” said Ilano. “The Tahoe National Forest is many things to many people.”

Ilano has been the Acting Forest Supervisor for the Tahoe National Forest since January 3, 2016, when former Forest Supervisor Tom Quinn retired after 8 years with the Forest.