August 3rd, the Deer valley Trail officially opened for the 2017 season. The Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s jumped at the opportunity to do some trail maintenance and open the trail.
The South County Trail Riders have adopted this trail but they were extremely busy getting the Cal4 Sierra Trek set up and running smooth. My thanks to them for that because Sierra Trek went very smooth. The Motherload Rock Crawlers were also out on the trail working with the Forest Service making final plans for the maintenance scheduled for the last three weekends in Sept.
So the Hi-Lo’s went to work. This was typical of what we found, trees either on the ground or ready to fall.
We pulled out our saws and started cutting.
Once we got a system going, it went great. One team took off down the trail to deal with “THE” tree. More later. The second team would cut downed or hanging trees in to manageable lengths and would move on. The third team would clear the trail of the chopped up trees. We removed about 24 trees from the trail.
When I refer to a tree across the trail as “THE” tree, it means it was a really big tree. This tree had been driven around by those breaking the law. We try and educate to fellow users to stay on the trail but there are those who don’t care.
Our crew used the bed of a truck to safely attack the tree.
With a lot of hard work, the first section of the tree was removed.
Some of the guys wanted souvenirs. See the photo of the month.
The last section was removed and the original route was reopened.
The Hi-Lo’s returned to the trail on the 12th and removed even more trees in preparation of our Gambler’s Poker Run on the 19th of August.
The mention of future maintenance refers to three weekends in Sept: 9/10, 16/17, 23/24. The plan is to move several hundred tons of rock to prevent erosion at the two creek crossings.
Please contact the Motherload Rock Crawlers if you plan on attending. Trailers are needed but not required.
I’m posting this so we can all learn from it and prevent it from ever happening again.
We all wheel with others, right? We should all ensure that everyone in our rig and in our fellow wheelers rigs are wearing seat belts. Running Sierra Trek last week, at the drivers meeting, seat belts were very much emphasized by the committee. It might be uncomfortable at times but it would be more uncomfortable to explain to your passenger’s family why they died because you moved the rig while they were not belted in.
We shouldn’t even have to talk about drinking and driving but here we are. Again, we wheel with friends. If someone in the group has been drinking, it’s up to us to step forward and prevent them from driving. It may be an uncomfortable conversation but we’re friends, that bad conversation will be fine in the morning.
DUI suspected in fatal Jeep rollover on the Rubicon
A 49-year-old Auburn man suffered fatal injuries early Sunday after the 1986 Jeep in which he was a passenger rolled over in rugged terrain in the Rubicon wilderness area in the northeastern reaches of El Dorado County.
Dead at the scene of the 2 a.m. accident was John Gary Cawley, who was not wearing a seat belt when the Jeep driven by Kurt William Steever, 27, tumbled over as the pair traversed the treacherous landscape, according to the California Highway Patrol’s Placerville office.
Public Information Officer Andrew Brown said the driver, from Citrus Heights, suffered scratches and some cuts to his face but was not seriously injured. Steever was wearing his seat belt, according to CHP reports.
“Alcohol is believed to have been a factor” in the fatal mishap, said the PIO, who added that Cawley was ejected from the Jeep when the vehicle rolled onto its top, then rolled onto the victim, causing grievous injuries that led to his death.
CHP officers drove to Loon Lake in order to retrieve the victim’s body, along with taking custody of the suspect for booking into jail after his injuries were treated.
The area where the fatal rollover occurred is so remote that the CHP has asked the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office to try to pinpoint it more accurately, using longitude and latitude figures provided. A helicopter team has been asked to provide aerial shots of the accident location as the investigation continues.
Officer Brown said there isn’t even a side road nearby with a name that would bear mention in trying to explain where the accident happened.
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:
The Fordyce Trail has some interesting features, some of the trail looks like it’s been carved from the granite:
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:
I think this was Winch Hill Two. My CJ-7 had this the easiest as the narrower, the better:
Winch Hill Three:
My Jeep looking up at Winch Hill Four:
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.
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.
The Middle Fork Trail has been repaired and reopened by the Forest Service.
The road was partially washed out by winter/spring run-off:
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.
Just a little further up the trail there is a very technical climb.
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.
The views from the Barker end were awesome.
The trail changes from wide open areas…
To a tight in the trees experience…
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.