Paving the Rubicon -the staging area anyway

Okay, that probably got your attention.

Well there will be paving, but only the staging area. This is being done to prevent erosion.

The plan is not finalized but it looks like we might lose one or more of the trees in the center of the staging area. The strip between the Rubicon and the staging area will be thinned, hopefully giving us another parking spot or two.

Here’s an overview of the staging area. The three structures in the lower left of the staging area are the two pit toilet and the oil spill depository. The depository will probably move and the NEW kiosk will be placed in that area.


The area below the structures is a seasonal pond. And in case you’re wondering, it would be very difficult and expensive to expand the parking area.

There was talk of putting down stripes in order to bring some order to the way people park in the staging area. But by putting down stripes, the number of parking spots would probably be reduced. I think the final agreement was to not put down stripes this year and see how it goes.

There will be a handicap area painted in front of the pit toilets. And there will be a few no parking areas in front of the NEW kiosk and in other places to maintain flow through the area.

Speaking of flow, there is talk and some agreement about making the first entrance to the staging area (coming from 89) a one-way exit only, again to improve flow through the area and to encourage better parking.

Here’s a set of photos to remind you of the area. Yes, they are old photos but the area hasn’t changed much.

Wow, as I posted those pictures I realized how old they are…2009!

The old Hi-Lo’s sign is gone. The two FS kiosks have been reconstructed in to one. I sold that Cherokee years ago.

And I don’t care what day you visit the trail, you never pull in and find only one vehicle parked there.

Rubicon Ronin


Snow dangers

I’ve already told you about my buddy’s recent trip out on the Rubicon. Well I finally got a few pictures.

You might think that it’s soft snow and easy going this time of year.

The front rig is on 37″ tires.

But you really need to keep an eye out for hazards.

That’s a fallen tree with its branches sticking up, ready to puncture your tire. Remember, a flat tire is how the Glacier Girl episode started.

Rather than cut the limbs off and continue, these guys did it right and dug out the tree and winched it to the side of the trail.

I had a photo but can’t find it.

Anyway, always keep an eye out for the unexpected and be prepared for anything.

Rubicon Ronin


OHV Scores a WIN in CA!

California Huge OHV Victory

Future Secured by Bipartisan Legislation

BLUERIBBON COALITION/SHARETRAILS.ORG MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date:        September 19, 2017

Contact:   Don Amador, 925-625-6287

FUTURE OF OHV RECREATION IN GOLDEN STATE SECURED BY PASSAGE OF BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION

POCATELLO, ID (September 19, 2017) – State lawmakers in Sacramento recently passed Senate Bill 249 that permanently reauthorizes the California OHV Program. This historic vote-which also included Senate Bill 159, a companion bill that contained the funding structure for the program-had precedent setting broad support from both the conservation and OHV communities.

The BlueRibbon Coalition/Sharetrails.org (BRC) was part of a diverse OHV stakeholder group that championed the current OHV program managed by the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division (OHMVRD) that is an important member of the California State Park family.

Don Amador, Western Representative for the BlueRibbon Coalition/Sharetrails.org, stated, “As a member of the 2007 drafting team that helped create the SB 742-based current program, I believe passage of the new SB 249 legislation honors the spirit and intent of our program that has been heralded as a national model for environmentally responsible OHV recreation.”

“I believe a lot of credit goes to the thousands of OHV enthusiasts, partners such as county sheriffs, and non-profit conservation groups, who took time to write letters and/or make phone calls to legislators and the Governor stating their strong support for the current program that granted monies to maintain trails, support law enforcement, open new riding areas and trails, fund important restoration projects, and pay for valuable rider education programs,” Amador continued.

“Credit should also be given to Senator Ben Allen, author of SB 249, for listening to concerns voiced by the OHV coalition, partners, and rural communities about how changes needed to be made to the original bill as that early version was simply too costly because it imposed an unwarranted level of additional environmental studies, reviews, and reports.  The OHV Commission and State Park leadership also had key roles in helping resolve contentious issues with early versions of SB 249,” Amador concluded.

The OHV community and our conservation partners should be proud of the passage of this legislation that finally removes the sunset and makes our OHV program a permanent fixture at State Parks. We look forward to Governor Brown signing these bills in the near future.

Link to SB-249 Off-highway motor vehicle recreation


New trailer hitch

For those of you following my website, you know of my issues with off-road hitches. Here is a link to the two previous postings:

https://theotherrubicon.com/?s=hitch

The “Lock N Roll” Great Lake Forge hitch didn’t seem to like the tight turns and difficult terrain of the Rubicon Trail. I bent two of them! Though I must admit, I did roll the trailer twice with that hitch.

So I’ve moved on to the Max Coupler hitch by Kilby Enterprises:

20161017_141933_resized20161017_141945_resized

After unbolting the previous hitch, I inserted a 18″ ‘receiver’ tube and drilled two vertical 5/8″ holes to mount the receiver tube to the trailer. A third horizontal hole mounts the unit in the receiver tube and trailer.

FYI, the wheeled trailer stand gets removed before hitting the trail.

I lucked out and the first hitch configuration I used to mount the unit to the Jeep got the trailer pretty level. If I hadn’t bent the stock Jeep ball hitch, I think this would be dead level.

Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll get a chance to test the new set-up this season. Although I will be out on the trail, I don’t think I’ll be needing the trailer. I’ll post up again after I test it out.

 

Rubicon Ronin

 


Deer Valley decision by ENF

Here is the email I recently received from the ENF regarding the Deer Valley Trail:

You are receiving this email to inform you that a Draft Decision Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Deer Valley 4wd Trail Meadow Restoration and Blue Lakes/Meadow Lake Road Maintenance Project has been prepared and is available for your review. See attached cover letter.

The Draft Decision Notice and FONSI, Environmental Assessment (September 2016), and Specialist Reports can be found on the Eldorado National Forest website at: http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_project_exp.php?project=45439

This proposed decision is subject to objection pursuant to 36 CFR 218. See attached cover letter for more information on the administrative review process. The legal notice announcing the opportunity to object to the proposed decision is anticipated to be published in the Mountain Democrat on September 30, 2016.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you.

Matt Brown Botanist

 

The next step is a 45 day “objection period”. After that, Crabtree has to issue a final decision. Unfortunately, they can and will delay enough to postpone the re-opening of the trail until next season. The season officially ends Jan 1st but will most likely it will be moved up because of wet conditions.

Cover letter to object link:

coverletter_opportunitytoobject

So, next year, six weeks after the snow melts at the weather monitoring site, the trail will open. Historically, that will be mid-July although it could be as early as late June or as late as mid-August.

I have asked the ENF if we can perform trail maintenance this year on the approaches and departures to both creek crossings. This would allow the work to harden over winter, a common FS practice. The ENF has not replied to my emails.

Stay tuned