A move to the dark side…

It happened. I have stepped in the direction of the dark side, I bought a TJ.

So here’s the current fleet: the TJ, the 1984 CJ-7 and the 1985 project CJ-7.

The TJ is a 2006 Rubicon, 5″ lift (Nth Degree), 35″ tires, aftermarket bumpers, Warn winch (I had to swap over to synthetic line), rear tire carrier.

Not too much to do. I removed some of the towing equipment as it was towed behind a motorhome all of it’s life.

Better rock guards are in it’s future as are ham radio, upgraded stereo, re-painting the bumpers and tightening up the tire carrier. I hate rattles.

So now I have a year-round wheeler. The top will come off next summer. But let me tell you, cruise control and AC are really nice on a long drive to the trailhead.

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Rubicon Ronin


Steve Morris 1930-2019

It is with a heavy heart that I must report that Steve Morris has passed away.

On Saturday, July 27th, Steve Morris was in Rubicon Springs, as a property owner and working with the Jeepers Jamboree, attending his 63rd Jamboree! That morning he had given his short historical lecture to those wise enough to attend. Later that afternoon, Steve collapsed. The people around him could not revive him.

As reported before, Steve helped create the California Association of 4wd Clubs, later renamed the CA 4wd Association. He also started the Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s, the Sacramento Jeepers and I think the Joaquin Jeepers.

Thankfully, he had been aware of the honor that the Off-Road Hall of Fame had bestowed on him as one of the Class of 2019 inductees. Steve shies away from such attention. I’m sure his acceptance speech would have mentioned others’ accomplishments and downplayed his role in the four wheel drive world. Steve was a humble man, a gentleman to be sure.

Steve’s dedication over the years to the four wheel drive world will forever be a part of four-wheeling, especially in the northern Sierras, specifically on the Rubicon Trail.

Rest in Peace Steve.


Steve Morris in Hall of Fame

Steve Morris has been elected in to the Offroad Hall of Fame!

The above picture is of Steve at a recent Jeepers Jamboree. Every Saturday morning during Jamboree, he gives a history lecture in Rubicon Springs about the history of the Rubicon Trail .

Steve has been giving back to OHV since the 50’s when he helped found Cal and a local Sacramento 4wd club. In 1966 he helped found the Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s.

Steve has been on more than 60 Jamborees. He and his late wife Betty would leave Rubicon Spring late Saturday night and set up camp above the last difficult obstacle going up Cadillac Hill. He would spend all day Sunday winching people or guiding people up that section. What was once known as “The Steps” is now referred to as “Morris Rock”.

I consider it an honor having known Steve. We have had a few memorable times together that I will never forget. Here’s a picture of Steve (and I) measuring the wheelbase of the Cadillac on Cadillac Hill to make sure it’s not a LeSalle:

Looking forward to seeing him honored in Las Vegas on November 3rd.

Congratulations Steve!

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Rubicon Ronin


Almost clear

Yesterday, a group of four Jeeps and seven people headed out to do a little maintenance: Dean, John, Doug, Dean, Gary, Carlos and Don.

Our goal was a general clearing of trees and branches encroaching on the trail, draining some water, removing a large tree from the trail and shoveling down a huge snow berm.

Well, my thanks go out to whoever got out and shoveled the snow. The berm was gone by the time we got there.

We got everything else done and then headed up the Buck Lake Trail to clear more downed trees. Well, again, someone got there before us. So thanks to whoever that was.

So, for the most part, the Rubicon on the Tahoe side is clear of trees and major snow. There is still a lot of water on the trail. Please tread lightly and stay on the trail.

Thanks again to John for putting yesterday together and all of those who were there to help out on very short notice.

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Rubicon Ronin


Still snow, and it will be there for some time…

Third day in a row on the Rubicon. This time as a passenger.

So, picking up where I left off yesterday, here is the off-camber section just past the turn to Ellis Peak.

Dean went ahead a drove this as it was. For the other three rigs, I dug a trench for the high side tires. It lessens the side hill and provides a track to prevent sliding off the snow in to the mud.

Of course John did it with his tire carrier swinging. The next obstacle stopped everyone. All four rigs took a winch.

Once out of the Basin and in to the Tahoe, there was snow everywhere in various forms…

But we did make it all the way to Observation Point! It was windy, and I mean WINDY!

Of course, on the way out we came across a downed tree. As in down across the trail. It wasn’t there on the way in.

I had a hand saw but John had a chain saw.

And off we went…

Please go prepared. Turn Around, Don’t Go Around. Don’t drive off trail if you or your rig can’t handle the obstacle.

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Rubicon Ronin