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


Placer County is out!

Regarding maintenance of the Rubicon Trail, Placer County has taken the position that they are not responsible. They are out.

The first question that comes to mind is, then who is responsible?

Well, it falls to the property owner, who is the US Forest Service.

Thankfully, El Dorado County has stepped up and is working on paperwork that would give them the authority to perform maintenance on the Rubicon through the Tahoe National Forest and the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.

This would give one ‘government agency’ control over the entire trail. This was the dream of Del Albright when he first formed FOTR and started the drive to save the Rubicon Trail.

El Dorado County, specifically, Vickie Sanders, has been knocking it out of the park regarding maintenance since before the Clean-Up and Abatement order. Although some my not like what has been done, if it wasn’t done, the trail would have been closed years ago due to water quality issues.

Vickie has brought in millions of dollars in grant funds to harden the Rubicon Trail, prevent erosion and thus keep the trail open. Unfortunately, the way the grant cycle works, she won’t have funding for Tahoe side work until the end of the summer.

RTF has decided to step up and hire a contractor to start in on the rebuilding of the rolling dips within the LTBMU. El Dorado will do the paperwork and engineering, LTBMU will approve all work done and RTF will pay for it.

It is not know what level of volunteer work will be needed during this initial phase. Most of the work will be done with heavy equipment.

Getting back to Placer County, they still recognize the public ‘right to pass’, which I think (hope) will keep the Rubicon Trail open year round. If the FS had taken over control of every aspect of the trail, there would be a seasonal closure probably from Nov 16th through May 31st.

Rubicon Ronin


Not yet Spring

Okay, so it is officially spring but you wouldn’t know it by looking around Tahoe.

I snapped a few pictures of the Jeep trailer I left at my cabin at Tahoe.

Yeah, that’s it under the mound of snow in the back.

I’m pretty sure it will be okay as there was never that much snow on it. Only about five feet.

Spring is coming. Time to dig out our rigs (and trailers) and get them ready for the trail. Remember the trails will be very wet for a long time. Tread Lightly!

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Rubicon Ronin


LTBMU to hold open house

My apologies. I learned of this five days ago and sent emails to a few clubs but I failed to post it here.

The Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s will be attending in full force. There is a special meeting scheduled for 5pm to specifically discuss Rubicon Trail issues.

If you can’t make the meeting, please email your thoughts and concerns regarding current OHV issues in the Lake Tahoe Basin. The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit’ grant application should be available on the Ca State Parks website.

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Forest Service hosts open house for OHV grant application
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – The USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit will host an open house to provide information and seek public input on the annual California Department of Parks and Recreation, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division grant application. The OHMVR application requests funding for trail maintenance, and
operation of facilities for off-highway vehicle (OHV) access in the Lake Tahoe Basin. The open house will take place on Thursday, March 28, 2019, at the Forest Service office in South Lake Tahoe, 35 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150. There will be no formal presentation, instead the public may arrive between 4 – 7 p.m. and visit informational stations, talk with staff and ask questions. The 60-day grant application comment period began Tuesday, March 5 and ends Monday, May 6.

For requests for reasonable accommodation access to the facility or proceedings, contact Adrian Escobedo at 530-543-2758 or email aescobedo02@fs.fed.us.

For more information on the application, grant process or how to comment, contact Jacob Quinn at 530-543-2609 or email jmquinn@fs.fed.us.

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Again, my apologies for not getting this posted in a timely manner. In the future I will make a better effort to get out anything that could effect our Tahoe area OHV trails.

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Rubicon Ronin