Trailer upgrade – bear (storage) box

For those of you that are regular followers of this site, this upgrade is a direct result of the bear getting my food earlier this summer.

I picked up a trailer box from Harbor Freight, yeah I know not the best quality but I’m just going to abuse it. I have an unusually long bar for my hitch. Even with the box I can jack knife the Jeep and trailer and not hit the box.

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I just bolted and welded up a couple of piece of angel iron for support and there she sits. I’ll pull it apart and clean the edges and paint it later.

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So, as long as I have the trailer with me, I have a safe place to store my food. It’ll be good for storing tarps, tie downs and other stuff.

 

Rubicon Ronin

 


Richardson Lake Trail re-route!

Yesterday, I received an email from a forest service employee boasting some great trail work on the Richardson Lake Trail up to Sourdough Hill. The only pictures he included were those of trails demolished and covered in trees and brush. I was horrified!

The series of pictures looked like this…

 

14N39 reroute

The next morning, I was up at 5:15am and out by 6:15am to get to the trail to see what the Forest Service had done to one of my trails.

Although the Forest Service had blocked off the last climb to the summit of Sourdough Hill, they had put in a switch back and more than a quarter mile of new trail.

For those of you who’ve never been there, here is a photo of the old route. This does not give you the idea of how steep this trail was originally. The ruts show previous wheel spinning and rain runoff causing erosion.

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The old trail can be seen on the right side of the next picture, the new route goes from left to right in front of my Jeep. This reroute was warranted as the old route was a steep, loose, rocky, rutted trail that was causing erosion and was not safe as shown in the previous picture.

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A better look up the trail after the switchback…

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Here is another look up the blocked off ‘hill climb’…

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Up from the switchback…

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Back in to the trees. Note the trees cut down in order to create this new trail.

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Nearing the summit. Those familiar with the trail should know the radio hut is to your left in this picture. You used to come up to the summit with the hut on your right.

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The parking area is the same as before you just approach it from the bottom not the top.

Here is a shot of where the trail used to come up. (The radio hut to my left.)

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Poser shot at the summit! A selfie if you count the shadow.

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Views on the way down.

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Hats off to the Forest Service for the reroute but I need to talk to my contact about communicating the entire story with more pictures.

 

Rubicon Ronin

 

 


Sierra Trek 2017

Okay, it’s a little outside the normal set of trails I write about but what a trip!

In 2016 I won a free pass to Sierra Trek. I dragged my CJ-7 up and down the mountain and had a great time. So much so I signed up to do it again this year. It was the 50th anniversary of the Sierra Trek.

Three of us from the Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s got together and ran the Thursday run. We were off at 7am and got to camp a 6pm. A very slow day. No issues, just slow.

Us at the first water crossing:

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The Fordyce Trail has some interesting features, some of the trail looks like it’s been carved from the granite:

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It is a 13 mile long trail that has some very hard spots. Our group bypassed Winch Hill One but most of the trail doesn’t have bypasses:

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I think this was Winch Hill Two. My CJ-7 had this the easiest as the narrower, the better:

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Winch Hill Three:

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My Jeep looking up at Winch Hill Four:

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Friday and Saturday in camp there was a vendor show. I set up my booth and handed out maps and stickers. There were a lot of people there as there were SUV runs, historic runs and an ATV run. Something for everyone.

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It was a great weekend as no one in our group broke anything!

If you have the rig, Sierra Trek is something I highly recommend.

 

Doug

 


I finally got out on 16E16!

16E16 is the only motorcycle single track in the Rubicon area. I’ve been meaning to get my dual sport out on it for more than a year now. Well, I didn’t get the dual sport out but I did hike the trail.

Although this is an OHV trail, it’s primary users are hikers, although, I did see two mountain bikers. If you ride this trail, expect hikers around every turn, especially on weekends. Ride with caution.

The trail is about three miles long. It start at Barker Pass at the top of Forest Road 03. It ends at Ellis Peak but you need to walk/hike the last bit. There is a existing ‘trail’ that looks like you can ride to the top. Don’t! That trail is not legal. It is a loose rocky trail that is difficult and there is no place to turn around at the top! The first peak gives you a 360 degree view of Tahoe and everything west. You can hike a 1/4 mile or so to the actual Ellis Peak, just to the north, if you want to say you made the summit.

I would suggest riding this from the Rubicon end to the Barker Pass end. I started at the Barker Pass end and the trail started with a VERY steep climb. This climb had switch backs and large wood beams had been used as water bars. Tough but not impossible to negotiate on a motorcycle.

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Just a little further up the trail there is a very technical climb.

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Once past the early ugliness, the trail is really nice. Tight in places but doable. Look closely for the snow on the trail. It was August 6th.

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The views from the Barker end were awesome.

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The trail changes from wide open areas…

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To a tight in the trees experience…

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Again, I would suggest an out and back from the Rubicon or Ellis Peak end of the trail. You can get more then 3/4 of the trail covered without getting in to the tricky stuff. If you do the one-way, again, I suggest Ellis to Barker.

I’ll try to get more pictures and details on the 16E16 page of the website, after Sierra Trek.

 

Rubicon Ronin

 

 


Post Winter Hazards

It’s been a long winter. We all want to get out on our trails. Feel free to do so but travel with caution. Although the trail below looks inviting, look closer at the tree across the trail 100 yards out.

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The picture below is why I really stopped here. This is the Middle Fork Trail up Blackwood Canyon. It parallels the paved Forest road 03 to Barker Pass. I’ve actually asked the FS to close the trail until repairs can be done.

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My fear is someone not paying attention, more likely at night, might drive off the road,

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Back to the pictured tree across the trail. There is evidence that people are going off trail to get around the tree. My motto: “Turn Around, Don’t Go Around”. If you come across such an obstacle, use your winch or a strap to clear the problem. If you can’t stay on the trail and clear the obstacle, turn around.

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On upper Barker Pass Road, there is still a little snow wheeling to be done.

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I didn’t take picture of all the downed trees I came across. Most were smaller or not blocking the entire trail. On a motorcycle, it’s much easier to get around a tree in the trail without doing resource damage.

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There are plans in the works to get out to all the side trails off the Rubicon to clear the obstacles. We’ll leave the snow for you though.

 

Rubicon Ronin