Let me start by thanking my friends who are getting out on the Rubicon Trail much more than I am. They keep me informed of trail conditions and occasionally pass along a good story. Here is the latest story.
So, last week my good friend got with one of his friends and they headed out for a day of snow wheeling on the Rubicon. My friend is on 38’s with lockers front and rear. I’m sure his friend was running something similar. I do need to teach them to take pictures.
They came across another guy at the Rubicon trailhead they didn’t know who was thinking about heading out on the trail. This guy was less equipped but they dragged him along anyway.
guess it got interesting when they got to the intersection of the Rubicon and
Forest Road 03-04. That’s the road to Barker Pass. As my friend and his buddy turned
left down the Rubicon, they turned the lesser rig around and sent him back to
the staging area.
thought was not to let this guy wheel downhill as it would be too difficult to
get him back up that hill later in the day as the snow melts and gets really
My friend, and his buddy, wheeled past the narrow section that looks down on Miller Creek and then another maybe ¼ mile. It was getting late, no reason to take chances, so they both turned around.
They reached the intersection where they turned around the lesser rig and headed to the staging area. Just a few hundred yards from the intersection, there was the lesser equipped rig they had turned around. While my friend and his buddy had wheeled about a mile out and another mile back, this guy had only gone a few hundred yards.
With one rig in front, again breaking trail and occasionally using his tow strap, of the lesser rig and the other behind (not easily done in the snow), they headed out to pavement.
Near the turn for Richardson Lake, they came across a few rigs also out to play in the snow. They had no shovels, no winches, no tow straps, no gear to spend the night. And they were stuck.
should have been a quick drive out, turned into quite the exodus. Again, there
is no room to maneuver one rig around the other to be able to pull rigs through
tough spots but these guys made it happen. Five hours after my friend thought
he’d be home in his warm house, he finally got there.
The question is, how do we educate these people about the seriousness of the conditions when you go snow wheeling? The unequipped rigs did well to get in as far as they did but it’s a four mile hike out from the Richardson Lake Trail. In deep snow, with out snowshoes, if they had tried to walk out, someone might have died or lost toes or feet to frost bite.
So I have a thought. What about yet another sign…
I don’t know what it will take to get this sign out there but I’m going to try. Even if I turn one rig around who isn’t equipped, it would be worth it.
I want to start by apologizing for the course language later in this posting. But it’s not my language. I have decided to re-post a very good friend’s blog about the current fire south of Elko Nevada, in the Ruby Mountains, specifically, Lamoile Canyon.
Although this is not directly related to the Rubicon Trail, and I hope it NEVER will be, we need to keep it in mind. We’ve had some close calls with fire this summer but the Forest Service stepped up with air drops and close calls and took care of the fires very quickly. The fires I’m speaking of took place near Ellis Peak. I do not know the cause of those fires.
The blog below is in reference to using firearms outside, and inside, a local gun range. I think that along the Rubicon firearms are not really an issue. Two thoughts though: we do have the possible danger of campfires, welding or disabled vehicles starting a fire and if you read the blog below and think of some of the irresponsible things some OHV users do, it’s similar story.
Not that I am not advocating anyone of you go out and play law cop, unless you have law enforcement training and then I’m begging you to go out and play cop. I am asking that you play firefighter if you come across an abandon camp fire. That, I think we all would do. But when a fire is attended and it’s out of season, please approach cautiously and respectfully request they put the fire out, while explaining the current fire restrictions and the dangers of open fires.
The temperatures are dropping. The temptation to have a camp fire is growing. Sometime in the future the fire restrictions will be removed. I’m asking that this fall, we all abstain from having camp fires. This summer has seen a lack of rainfall, so the forests are alarmingly dry.
I’m suggesting that the risk is not worth the reward. We all have propane stoves to cook on; we all have layers of warm clothing to keep us warm; the clear skies (if they are clear) are more beautiful to look at than the fire.
Please read the blog below and pray this never happens to the Rubicon. Let’s be fire safe this fall!
Lamoille Canyon burned. This photo is from around 3:30 PM, September 30, 2018.
The canyon was sacrificed to stupidity. To people who didn’t have the common sense to put a rifle range someplace where a fire could be contained, and to close it down – or at least staff it – during extreme fire danger. To people who ignored another, smaller, fire started by shooters using the range a couple of years ago, who ignored another, smaller fire just west of the range a couple of weeks ago.
To people who ignored red flag after red flag after red flag.
The people who started the fire were the apex of a huge heap of people making stupid, selfish decisions all based on their BY GOD given rights TO SHOOT THEIR FUCKING GUNS ANYWHERE AND ANYWHEN THEY BY GOD FEEL LIKE IT. High winds and extreme fire conditions be damned. And reality be damned, too – it’s been amply demonstrated that many, many people in this area aren’t at all responsible when it comes to firearm ownership and use. People who consider themselves responsible firearm owners have a responsibility to face the FACT that a large percentage of people who own guns AREN’T responsible. DON’T make good decisions. Since our Constitution says that any Tom, Dick and Harry can buy a gun, responsible gun owners need to be responsible enough to establish and maintain boundaries that safeguard the rest of us from these asshats’ complete fucking stupidity.
The Second Amendment crowd goes on and on about onerous firearm regulation. Bullshit. I fail to see the regulation, here. Whoever started this fire likely bought their gun legally by flashing a drivers license and passing a laughable joke of a background check. There was no requirement for education, no requirement for the most rudimentary demonstration of skills and knowledge. No requirement that this idiot show that he knew enough to not be out there shooting in high wind in dry grass on a red-flag fire condition day. On a day when we hadn’t had rain in months.
Spring Creek Association posted a few rules for their rifle range, assuming these idiots would read and follow them. Well, guys, they didn’t. And that, my friends, was entirely predictable. As were the consequences.
Lamoille Canyon burned.
Road at the mouth of the canyon. The Secret-Lamoille trailhead area burned, as did the remains of the historic flume. Firefighters saved Ruby Dome Ranch… the fire burned down to the corrals where cowboys were scrambling to finish the work they’d started early in the day before the fire overwhelmed them.
Right Fork Canyon
The access point for Terminal Cancer Couloir.
Scout Camp, including the ruins of the lodge built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression.
The canyon road will be closed through November 30th. The Spring Creek Rifle Range and Campground are closed until further notice. That means access to the following trails is closed: Secret-Lamoille Trail, the Ruby Crest Trail (Lamoille Canyon trailhead), Island Lake Trail, Right Fork Trail, Thomas Canyon Trail, Hennen Canyon Trail (accessing Griswold Lake and Ruby Dome), Seitz Lake Trail.