I just heard a funny story. It’s only funny because no one got hurt. The story could have had a very different outcome.
So, a guy and his wife are traveling across country in their modified Sprinter van. The wife has something to do all day and will be staying with a friend that night. So, the husband decides to camp at Tahoe for the night.
He drives up Blackwood Canyon, a paved road, and sets up camp only a half mile from the summit. It’s cloudy, it’s raining a bit but he’s in his Sprinter van that he and his wife have been living out of for weeks on the road.
It starts to rain.
He goes to sleep.
He wakes up with three feet of snow all around his van.
He’s wearing shorts and sandals.
He thinks he’s screwed.
He has one bar of cell coverage on his phone. He calls his wife. She calls the Sheriff. Placer County Search & Rescue rolls out their snow cat and goes up to rescue him. He asks about getting his Sprinter van out. They tell him it might be there until spring. They take him down the hill without his van.
He calls around and gets Nick of the Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s. Nick has a rescue service when he’s not engineering something or racing the Baja 100, literally. Nick was instrumental in recovering “Glacier Girl” which was buried under eight feet of snow some years ago.
The guy thought he was prepared. He had the traction block, tracks, boards things. The problem was that they were mounted UNDER the rig. Hard to get to with three feet of snow all around.
Nick was the hero again. It took some work. The Sprinter is only 4wd if the rear axle starts to slip. Nick had to literally pull the van DOWN the hill the snow was so thick even after it was packed down by the snow cat.
This should be a lesson to everyone. Check the weather before you travel.
Be safe, don’t be this guy.
Update, I just received word from Placer County that the scheduled MAC meeting for tonight has been cancelled due to Corona Virus fears. When the meeting does take place with the Rubicon on the agenda, I will let you know.
I just received notice (last night late) that there will be a Placer County meeting tonight that has the Rubicon on the agenda. They will be discussing the snowberm and winter use of the Rubicon Trail.
MAC meeting, 6:00 PM, Thursday, March 12, Tahoe City PUD, 221 Fairway Drive, Tahoe City, CA
On the agenda is:
Rubicon Trail Winter Usage and Trailhead Update
County staff will provide an update on Rubicon Trail winter usage and the trailhead in the McKinney Rubicon neighborhood.
Presenter: Peter Kraatz, Department of Public Works
I will try and attend to represent the interests of OHV.
Last Thursday, 2/20/20, El Dorado County held a Rubicon Oversight Comittee meeting in South Lake Tahoe. Here are my notes…
Rubicon Oversight Committee meeting
February 20, 2020 South Lake Tahoe
Vickie Sanders & Justin Williams El Dorado County Parks & Trails
Nineteen in attendance: eight users (six Hi-Lo’s & two Tahoe Donner 4-Wheelers) the rest were agency representatives
Not being a professional secretary, I’m just going to type out the notes I took:
16 segments within El Dorado County, one available for adoption, Buck Lake area
Holding off on adoptions of the Placer side until the major fixes have been completed
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
Many agencies have come together to agree to support management and maintenance of the Rubicon Trail:
El Dorado County Placer County
Eldorado National Forest Tahoe National Forest Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit CA State Parks – OHMVR Division
Vickie Sanders is THE point of contact for all things Rubicon. She will get you in touch with the right person for you question/concern.
Rubicon Trail Foundation
RTF has donated $32,000 for ten hours of helicopter fly time to fly rock in to the trail where it is needed:
Cadillac Hill (gabions to be built on site) Swamp area near Miller Creek Hardening of rolling dips
Grants are to be written as if the trail is under the management of a single agency. This year CA State Parks wanted letters from each agency but in the future the MOU will prevent that need.
Reroute & Cadillac (not the same issue)
Plans are in the works to reroute the Rubicon Trail away from the section where the trail is about to fall off in to Miller Creek. There are old logging roads that will be used for the reroute. Part of the current grant is to do the studies needed to make this happen. This year is planning, next year is approvals, maybe to be completed in 2022.
A historical analysis of the Placer County section of the trail is just one of the studies that will need to be completed before the reroute and before ANY major work on the trail.
El Dorado County’s system is to do “major” work on the trail every other year. This give the county time to plan for future major projects and to catch-up if a “major” project drags out. 2020 is a “major” year as Cadillac Hill will see “major” work.
The Staging Area
The LTBMU received a grant to pave the staging area four years ago. That grant expires in Sept of 2020 and wasn’t enough to cover the cost of paving. With the new MOU, the Basin has reached out to El Dorado to get more money to fully complete the work. This will include expanding the size of the parking area. It also means the taking down of the trees currently within the parking area.
To Do’s: El Dorado & Placer
There is a small to do list on the El Dorado County website. Anyone, any group, can sign up to complete any of those projects.
There have been talks to pave the quad rental parking/staging area. This could lead to a snow removal contract (paid for with OHV funds) to access that parking area all winter long. Just talking right now.
Placer is still working on addressing the snow berm in Tahoma.
El Dorado County is having an F550 built to be the new Poo Pumper. RTF will no longer be contracted to do poo removal. The County has a poo pumping trailer as a back-up.
The Spider Lake repeater has been down off and on for some time. Tim Green has a separate repeater on his property that uses the same frequencies.
Tim Green also runs the “Rubicon Gazette” Facebook page. That page seems to be THE place to go for updates regarding the Rubicon Trail.
Jeepers Jamboree events
Jeepers Jamboree must now permit with the Tahoe National Forest and the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit as Placer is now not managing the Rubicon. This could lead to possible closures and/or restrictions of the trail within Placer County.
Please contact Joe Chavez is you have any comments, questions or concerns about these possible restrictions.
The TNF is also looking for input about the maintenance level the Rubicon will receive. That could be in the form of what type or level of rig should the trail be maintained. As an FYI, the Fordyce Trail is maintained to a level that a competent driver, in a rig on 35” tires and one locker will face a ‘challenge’ but be passable.
Again, contact Joe is you have an opinion.
I tried to do the best I could but I’m sure I missed something or made an error. Please contact me or Vickie is you have questions or see a mistake.
El Dorado County will be holding the February Rubicon Oversight Committee (ROC) meeting on Feb 20th in South Lake Tahoe at the California Conservation office at 6:30pm. It’s located at 1949 Apache Ave.
Here’s the agenda…
I. DISCUSSION ITEMS:
• Annual Report
• Rubicon MOU
o New audit requirements
• Maintenance Activities for 2020 Season
• County Seasonal Help
• County Pumper Truck Update
• Jamboree 5 Year Parade Permit
• Upcoming events
II. AGENCY/ORGANIZATION UPDATES/NEW INFORMATION
Vickie Sanders has been trying to move the meetings around, outside of Placerville, in order to get more participation from the users.
If you have any questions about the Rubicon and how it’s maintained and/or managed, please get to the meeting.
El Dorado County will be involved with the management and maintenance of the Placer County section of the Rubicon along with the Tahoe National Forest.
Rather than re-post the minutes, I’m just going to post a link to the RTF Blog page. Check out the rest of the website while you’re there.
These meetings have been going on for years. More recently, Vickie Sanders, of El Dorado County Parks, has varied the meeting times so more people can attend. She has even moved the meeting locations so those out of the Placerville area can more easily attend.
Hopefully more meetings will be held in the South Lake Tahoe area (she’s already held some there). Tahoe City should be also be considered. This March 28th, there will be a meeting prior to the opening of the Reno Off-Road Motorsports Expo about all things Rubicon at the Reno Convention Center.