Work on the Tahoe side

Although I was told earlier this season there would be no work done on the Rubicon within the Tahoe National Forest in 2021, rock has been placed in some of the low spots.

As I was driving out on Wednesday, just west of the turn for Sourdough Hill:

Just east of the turn to Sourdough Hill:

Not remembering where this was:

West of Miller Lake:

Another west of Miller.

There were two or three other spots that had new rock placed.

It’s good to see this work being done. Hopefully, it will continue.

Work on the rolling dips within the Lake Tahoe Basin will happen next year.

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Rubicon Ronin


Trailer Tailgate Rebuild

Years ago, I picked up an old highway lighting trailer. I lined it with plywood, did a spring over axle, swapped to it 5 on 5.5 and put on a universal hitch.

Over the years, I’ve repaired and replaced the hitch, rebuilt the front side of the trailer after the my Jeep’s bumper fell off and replaced the tailgate and now it’s time for tailgate 2.0.

The trailer has served me well over the years. This is a very early shot of the trail and me hauling in the kiosk for the Long Lake Trail.

Bringing the new trailhead sign in for TKS-11

Though I’ve not always treated the trailer as well as I should have…

Story to follow…

That was an empty trailer, too much speed and one tire hitting a rock. Two snatch blocks and a winch and I had it rubber side down again.

I did replace that slide down tailgate but it was time for a new tailgate. What I had laying around was a Jeep tailgate designated for my ‘project’ Jeep. Well, the trailer needed it more than the project. Out with the old, broken (again), slide in set-up.

Mocking up the brackets, yes, it is an old bedframe. Cheapest angle iron around.

In with the new Jeep tailgate.

I tried to get fancy with an adjustable bolt set-up for aligning the sides of the trailer to the tailgate. It’s just too loose. I need to weld EVERYTHING.

It’s still using the stock latch system.

Next week, off to Pick-n-Pull to get some tailgate straps, so I can hold the tailgate level when open or drop it vertical to unload rock.

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Rubicon Ronin


Forest Road 03-04 Improvements

For those of you that don’t know that road, it runs from the Rubicon over to Barker Pass. It was one of the recommended reroutes around the closed staging area last week.

It’s probably twice as far to get to Lake Tahoe than the Rubicon, but it’s twice as smooth. And it just got better.

While the staging area was getting paved, Forest Road 03-04 was getting groomed. The first mile off the Rubicon was always little rough and severely rutted. But the road got progressively better the closer you got to Barker Pass. The last few miles at Barker Pass you could drive a Honda Civic down, it’s that groomed.

Back in 2016, there was water running down the trail causing erosion, allowing sediment to get in to the water system.

Hard to see, but looking back down the trail towards the Rubicon, there is one on many new rolling dips along Forest Road 03-04, so many I lost count.

Just south of the intersection of 03-04-14, looking up the trail, 2016.

Just last week, looking down the same section of trail.

Forest Road 03-04 is classified as a ‘road’ not a ‘trail’, so it is maintained at a different level then say the Buick Lake Trail. The FS got serious with 03-04 this time around. The work done on this trail will allow emergency vehicles to access more of our forests. For the Rubicon, it means we can bring in material with very large trucks much closer to the actual trail.

There are a ton of places to camp along and just off Forest Road 03-04. The most popular is Bear Lake but it’s usually crowded. Some of the other side roads have great views and are always empty of campers. You should check them out.

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Rubicon Ronin


Finally Found Grab Handles I Like

The old saying is that you get what you pay for, well I got a really nice set of grab handles for my Rubicon.

Here’s the website photo. I went with a black pair so they would blend in and not stand out. You need to cut away the front 2-3 inches of the stock padding of the roll cage at the windshield to mount the grab handle.

I was in too much of a hurry to take pictures during the install.

Carolina Metal Masters, TJ/LJ Billet Front Grab Handles 1997 – 2006

I wanted something tucked up tight and not highly visible.

I rotated it in a little so I could move it forward as far as possible.

The photo’s not the best, sorry. I wanted to make sure it fit with the doors.

Pricey but good quality. I’m happy with my purchase.

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Rubicon Ronin


Rubicon (staging area) Paved, Reopens

This morning (June 26th), 8am, the Tahoma Staging Area reopened after being closed for a week for the paving of the staging area and repairs to the access road.

The paved area will not be striped at this time. If the users continue to be able to figure out efficient parking, it will never be paved. The current plan is to post “No Parking” signs along the outside edge of the parking/staging area. This would provide a permanent drive through turn around area for those with trailers and emergency vehicles.

The access road along side the staging area was also paved. And yes, that ever present dip at the end of the pavement was filled in! This is the first entrance to the staging area:

Here is the second entrance and where that dip used to be:

And the last entrance:

The paving went all the way to the first rolling dip and even was placed up to the leading edge of the new kiosk concrete base:

And up to the toilets:

While they were there, the paving company was contracted to do many, many repairs to the access road:

And…

There was always that right turn, coming from the lake, that had a pretty big drop. (looking back towards the lake)

That turn also got fill material to widen the turn and more corrugated pipe to lengthen the drain:

There were many more repairs to the access road.

Thanks go out to El Dorado County, Placer County, the USFS (Basin) and the contractor that did the work. Everyone worked together to fund it (CA State Parks, OHV Division grant), plan it and make it happen. The efforts to educate the public were mostly successful. There were many rigs with trailers parked in Blackwood Canyon, in many places.

There was only on instance of a Jeep driving around the road closed sign and in to the trail to the staging area, thinking he could get through. He was from Minnesota.

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Rubicon Ronin