RTF finally puts out a newsletterPosted: October 5, 2016
For literally three years, I been asking for some kind of documentation of what RTF does: agendas for their meetings, minutes from their meetings, an outline of what was discussed or even a quarterly statement of what they’ve done, what they’re working on and what their next project will be.
Three different directors had promised to make this happen over the years but nothing ever came of it. Well, here it is…
What’s New on the Trail?
We at RTF have been threatening to put out a newsletter on a quarterly basis for a while, and this is our first edition. We hope it reminds you how much we all love the Trail, informs you about things that are going on out there, and lets you know what RTF is doing. Here we go…
Merlin Scott and John Pardi Announce Retirement
After many years serving the Foundation and the public on the trail doing educational work, Merlin and John have announced that they will both retire after this season. Merlin wants to spend more time at home and has a bucket list of travels he wants to take. John has said he wants to pay more attention to projects at home and his Land Cruiser parts business. Both have told us that they have great memories of their years of work on the trail, and that moving on was a difficult decision to make.
We will miss them both, and have a difficult time filling their shoes.
Each update we will update status on projects recently completed and those upcoming. This has been a whirlwind year. Shannon Chard, in her first year as Trail Boss, has really set a pace.
Using grant funds from the California Office of Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR), El Dorado County contracted with Siller Brothers to provide 25 hours of flight time doing work such as moving rock, hauling material in for the Rubicon Green Bridge rebuild project, and placing a bathroom at Buck Island. This all took place in May, when the weather wasn’t so great…the project was visited by rain, snow, lightning, and even a little bit of sunshine.
As many are aware, the trail at Winter Camp has been a problem for Winter Closures for several years. The rock work done by DOT in 2010 had been swallowed up by the sandy roadbed, leaving a hole that consistently has deeper water that has triggered a closure. In a carefully coordinated effort, FOTR volunteers placed chain link on the sand to form a grid that should keep the rock from sinking again. As soon as the grid was placed, approximately 60 yards of rock was put on top of it. Within a few days, Forest Hill Fourwheelers came through and spread the rock to completely cover the grid. This effort will harden the trail surface and prevent winter closures from this spot for years to come.
This project will be undertaken on October 15th. That’s late in the season, but it’s been a busy year! In the last several years, El Dorado County has embraced a philosophy of “keeping the hard line hard (and hardened) and keeping the easy line easy”. At this point, Rubicon is by no means the most difficult trail around, but it is still enjoyed for its challenges. That means we want to keep the difficult lines so that those who want to, have that challenge. At the same time, not everyone wants that much challenge, or is up to it. That’s why keeping the “easy line easy” is important; to keep folks with smaller rigs or less experience from digging holes, driving off trail, or widening the trail in order to get past hard spots. Soup is a perfect example of this philosophy. The hard line on the left is all hardened (nothing but granite) so that it doesn’t cause silt to enter the drainages, and the easy line on the right needs to be kept easy and erosion free.
That’s what this project is about. Each year the sandy area at the bottom of the easy line fills with soil, and each year it gets dug out by wheelspin by the end of the season. That soil drains toward Winter Camp and eventually into streams, rivers, and lakes. When the Water Board Cleanup and Abatement Order was rescinded, El Dorado County made a commitment to continue to recognize and mitigate problems like this, and RTF supports that effort while keeping the trail open and challenging. This project will add a concrete footing to the easy line to prevent wheelspin and erosion.
The bridge at Rubicon Springs has existed in many forms over the years. Up until 1937 it was a user constructed log bridge that washed out and had to be rebuilt often. In 1937, the County erected a proper wood bridge that washed out sometime in the mid-forties. Then in 1947, the County raised the abutments and placed the existing green steel bridge structure with a wood deck. It has been rebuilt several times, mostly by volunteers; in 1962, in 1978, in 1991 and in 1996-1997. Of late it hasn’t looked so great…the approaches were too small for modern rigs and were eroding, the stringers that hold the deck up were rotting on the ends, and the runners were all but gone.
In a cooperative effort between El Dorado County, FOTR, Jeepers Jamboree, and RTF, the bridge was stripped to the metal frame and all the wood was replaced by larger pressure treated timbers and extended wing walls were poured to improve safety on the bridge approaches and prevent further damage. This was an amazing volunteer effort that spanned months in planning and totaled up hundreds of hours of work in just a few days to get it done. Special thanks to the Hi-Landers club, and especially to Bill Eister, the wood crew leader, and Wayne Lippert, the concrete crew leader. Without their expertise and hard work, it would not have happened.
Black Tie and Boots
Save the date for Black Tie and Boots, it’s Saturday, March 11th, 2017. We hope to see you all there! If you would like to be sent an invitation or would like more information please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RTF’s 12th Annual Cantina for the ‘Con, held at the Loon Lake Spillway over Labor Day weekend was a huge success. A giant raffle, fantastic prizes, great tacos, and good times…what’s not to like! Over $40,000 was raised to support efforts on the Rubicon Trail. Thanks to all our supporters, vendors and attendees, who donated, bought tickets, and enjoyed tacos.
At our December 14th, 2016 meeting, the Rubicon Trail Foundation will hold regular elections. There will be a total of six seats available, five of which are held by sitting directors that are re-running for their seat. The remaining seat was held by an individual that has decided not to run again. Anyone who is interested in serving on the board should contact the president, Sean Russell at 530-417-0031 or sean.russell@RubiconTrailFoundation.org.
Rubicon Trail Foundation
PO Box 2188
Placerville, CA 95667
So some interesting things to note:
- None of the trail projects noted are on the Tahoe side.
- There is no mention of RTF accomplishments
- There is no mention of current RTF projects
- There is no mention of what RTF plans to take on moving forward
Not the newsletter I was hoping for, maybe they will read this and put out a better newsletter next time.