Traveling 03-04 early in the season

On June 12th, at 7am, I headed out from the cabin in Carnelian Bay.

It’s not a long drive around the west side of the lake, only 15-20 minutes, but it was early and there was a chill. Trips like this are why I always have my old ski jacket with gloves and a hat in the Jeep.

Although I was looking forward to the drive time alone on the Rubicon and Forest Road 03-04, it was a work trip. As a volunteer with the Tahoe National Forest (TNF), I have agreed to place trail markers along the Rubicon and on the side trails in the area of Forest Road 03-04. That’s the road from the Rubicon, past Bear Lake that goes to Barker Pass at the top of Blackwood Canyon.

Today, I had a new mileage sign for the intersection of 03-04 and the Rubicon, a no outlet sign for 03-04 (did you read my last post?) and two 03 markers for Barker Pass Road where is meets 03-04.


Using a post hole digger in the Sierra Nevada mountains is not a straight forward process. I start one hole and got about 20″ down when I hit granite. I filled that one in and started another; only got ten inches down. Started a third; eight inches. I went back to the first hole and dug it out again. I figured I’d place a bunch o0f rock around the base to make up for the short hole. I was hoping to get them down at least 24 inches. That was the mileage sign.


I moved up 03-04 to start the “No Outlet 11/6 – 6/14”, the granite rock in the hole were smaller and the center of the hole kept shifting to get around the rocks. But the sign is up.


The day before, I had driven as far north as Bear Lake with the Tahoe Donner 4wdc. Today I would go further and by myself. Yes, I’m setting a bad example. But I had food, drink, shelter, fire starter stuff and a working ham radio.


Just north of Bear Lake, in a downhill section on a northern aspect, there was a sizable snowdrift. I went down it no problem but I knew I’d have trouble on the way out, even if I wasn’t pulling a trailer like I was that day.

I drained a few puddles along the way and had to cut two trees off the trail. The snow drifts were narrow and thus fun to pop over. There were a few longer ones that posed a small challenge but weren’t a problem.


The dirt at the intersection of 03-04 and 03 was very soft for digging but didn’t pack to well after placing the posts.


As predicted, on the way out, I had trouble in the large snow drift. Let the winching scenario begin. Of course I wanted to go straight up the trail, there are no trees right in the middle of the trail. So I winched a little to the right and then a little to the left and then once more to the right. But it worked.


The plan was to turn left on 03-04-12 and place some carsonite markers as well but there was a very large drift a short distance up that trail. Maybe in a  week or two I’ll try again.






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