Fire Prevention on the Rubicon Trail

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!


Rubicon Ronin

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Black is the color of my heart today

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.

Sierra Trek 2018

Sierra Trek is this week.

It’s probably too late to sign up to make any of the runs but the base camp is open to the public, no charge!

Feel free to stop by Friday or Saturday. You can check out the vendors, buy raffle tickets, enjoy the live bands or just hang out and talk OHV stuff.




North on 89 out of Truckee for 14.5 miles

Left (west) on Forest Road 07 for 9.5 miles

South on gravel road 10 miles, past White Lake, toward Meadow Lake

There should be markers at all of the turns.






Fire Restrictions on the TNF

I just found the date on the Tahoe Nationl Forest website: July 16th.

No fires, no welding, no charcoal. Gas only and you still need a permit.

Don’t be that guy.


Winch installation

So, it’s been a long time coming but the winch is finally mounted.

So this is the ‘project’ Jeep. I thought a simple project like getting the winch mounted would be quick and easy and a good motivator for the next step, replacing the leaking freeze plug.

It’s a Warn HS9500i. I got a screaming deal. Sneavy’s Off-Road was the source for the winch line. It’s mounted on a Warn winch plate with a modification. I’ll need to get out and re-wind the winch under a load to get it tight.

Winch 2

With it being a high speed winch, and looking to double the capacity of the pull, I often use a snatch block. On the current trail rig, there is a standard hook that I connect back to on the winch.

On this install, I decided to upgrade to a D-ring. I had to cut down the face of the winch plate for better access to the D-ring. I cut a 1/2″ plate to size and bought a D-ring mounting point online.

I outsourced the welding because although I can weld (sort-of), I didn’t want to have second thoughts every time I used the D-ring.


This project took WAY too long, but don’t they all. Although it looks like a stock bumper, It’s actually a 1/4″ plate bent to look stock. I cut down the bumper to 46″, that’s like 4″ off each side of a stock bumper. Then I had it powder pointed.

For those looking REALLY close at the details, yes, I still need to snug up the frame bolts.

Not sure where the front license plate will mount, if it gets mounted. Maybe just a magnet mount somewhere for to and from the trail.

Now to move on to that freeze plug.


Rubicon Ronin


Storm coming in!

Just an update on current conditions on the Tahoe side. 4-5-2018.

The pile of snow, curtesy of Placer County snow removal, has been over come on the right side.  There not much of a climb.


Just over the berm there is a two-track heading up the trail.


There is a very wet storm headed in tomorrow, Friday, and hanging around through Saturday. Snow will melt away and what’s left will be very heavy. Great for wheeling, in the morning, but beware in the afternoon as it melts and gets very slippery.

Be safe!


Rubicon Ronin