The annual FOTR meeting took place this morning at the Metal Cloak facility in Sacramento.
There was a good turn out; a couple of speakers; elections; food; etc.
Important to the Tahoe Side, Eldorado County is looking to get in to a memorandum of Understanding with Placer County to mange the Placer County portion of the trail. Vickie Sanders, with Eldorado County Parks, has always been there for the Rubicon Trail. She has now formally stepped up to help manage the Placer side.
Let’s hope that goes through.
The agreement would allow Vickie to write a single grant that would cover the entire trail. The debate of why can they do that on their side and we can’t argument would be gone as the trail would be managed by one agency. FYI, the LTBMU is onboard with the new management possibility.
The Rubicon Trail Foundation is looking for a caretaker to manage their property this coming season. I believe I heard it will only be open on weekends June through Sept. This season might bring two cabins on the property which would allow a caretaker to stay throughout the week and keep the property open seven days a week. The property swap agreement to allow a road to the property requires a caretaker in order for the property to be open to the public.
Tahoe side to do were discussed. Priorities are going to be set and volunteers will be needed. Please contact the newly re-elected Trail Boss, Shannon Chard at LaughingPlace76@yahoo.com if you would like to volunteer to work on the trail.
If you did work on the Rubicon within Placer County last year, please document your hours and get them to Shannon or Kansas with Placer County. If you do work this coming season, again, get your hours to Shannon or Placer County. Your volunteer hours count as cash for matching funds the counties need to come up with in order to get grant money.
Work on Cadillac Hill has already been scheduled at the lower Hairpin. Jeepers Jamboree is leading that project.
John Briggs has stepped down from the Tahoe Side Lead position after three years of service. FOTR is looking for someone to take over this position. John and others will be helping out who ever takes on that position.
Just an update on current conditions on the Tahoe side. 4-5-2018.
The pile of snow, curtesy of Placer County snow removal, has been over come on the right side. There not much of a climb.
Just over the berm there is a two-track heading up the trail.
There is a very wet storm headed in tomorrow, Friday, and hanging around through Saturday. Snow will melt away and what’s left will be very heavy. Great for wheeling, in the morning, but beware in the afternoon as it melts and gets very slippery.
I’m going to write this generically as I don’t want to bias anyone against any specific brand of rig based on my bad experiences.
Like most people, I started with what I could afford. Unfortunately, that got me a rig with an independent front suspension.
After some quality time off road, I realized some of the downfalls of an independent front suspension: ground clearance under flex, uneven tire wear, steering alignment, strength, complicated and thus expensive repairs, etc.
So, I finally decided to make the swap. I was going to pull out all the independent stuff and replace it with a solid axle.
Sourcing the solid axle was pretty simple. Pulling out the independent suspension was flat out going to be fun! The hard part was going to engineer the new solid axle into a rig not designed for it.
A before picture clearly showing uneven tire wear and the difficulty of keeping the steering aligned.
Off I went, out with the old, in with the new. I started by getting the rig up on jack stands for safety and all the old independent suspension parts were unceremoniously removed.
Here are the old parts next to the new solid axle that will be going in. I’m going to try and use as much of the old steering parts as possible.
The new solid axle doesn’t look much different from the side. But do note that I was able to use the old adjustable ride height system from the previous system.
But from the top you can already see the better alignment of the tires.
Underneath, where all the magic happened. It clearly shows the new solid axle and how much stronger it will be than the old independent system.
Here is an after shot after quite a bit of time getting everything just right. Measure twice, cut once. Back on all fours and ready for some off road travels.
So far the rig is night and day different. I goes straight with hands off the controls, it doesn’t pull at all when you initiate a turn. Once I get new tires for it, I expect the tires to wear evenly and last much longer.
After all was said and done, I would highly recommend this swap for anyone with an independent front suspension.