So it doesn’t really affect the Tahoe side but it’s important Rubicon news. RTF has finalized legal wheeled access to its property along the Rubicon Trail. The RTF half section is due west of the Rubicon Springs property.
News release from RTF:
RUBICON TRAIL FOUNDATION
Contact: Rusty Folena FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 1st 2016
Rubicon Trail Foundation Property Access
I would like to announce that the Rubicon Trail Foundation and Rubicon Trail Partnership have reached an agreement to access the Rubicon Trail Foundation parcel of land. We have recorded a Boundary Line Adjustment with Rubicon Trail Partnership which will give us two benefits one is access to our nearly land, and the other one is that we will own a quarter mile of land underlying the most famous trail in the world the Rubicon Trail. The Rubicon Trail Foundation would like to thank The Rubicon Trail Partnership for working with us to make this happen. There will be some great opportunities for public access to camp, explore and to enjoy he Rubicon Trail
Stay tuned for more news about what the plan is to access the property. We will have an “Open House” after the snow melts. Follow us on FaceBook and our website link to the Property Page http://www.rubicontrail.org/rtf-property.htm. Hundreds of hours of volunteer work has been done already to help with access to the property. There is more work to be done for sure. The master plan will be released soon, so please stay tuned.
The Rubicon Trail Foundation (RTF) was formed in 2004. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation dedicated to the future health of the Rubicon Trail and our mission is to enhance the future health and use of the Rubicon Trail, while ensuring responsible motorized year-round trail access. FOTR (Friends of the Rubicon) and RTF works with individuals, 4×4 clubs, organizations, and agencies to maintain and manage the trail. Our Officers and Directors represent a wide variety of Rubicon Trail OHV users, land owners, county representatives, manufacturers, and event organizers.
If you would like to help with our efforts, you may send your tax deductible donations to:
Rubicon Trail Foundation PO Box 2188 Placerville, CA 95667 Paypal donations or major credit cards by calling 888-6rubicon or by signing up for a Friends of the Rubicon work party at: http://www.friendsoftherubicon.com
More information is available at http://www.RubiconTrailFoundation.org To schedule an interview with a representative of the Rubicon Trail Foundation, please e-mail president@RubiconTrailFoundation.org
The map below is virtually the same as above but outlines the parcel west (left) of the RTF parcel, highlighted. You can only imagine that the RTP owners gave up the furthest south 1/4 mile of the Rubicon to RTF. Without any knowledge of what actually happened, I’m going to guess RTF got the trail from the split at the Old True Sluice and the Indian Slabs to the southern RTP property line. And some of the property east of the trail in order to access the RTF property.
No doubt, RTF traded some of their property to RTP for this access.
Great to see this settled.
For literally three years, I been asking for some kind of documentation of what RTF does: agendas for their meetings, minutes from their meetings, an outline of what was discussed or even a quarterly statement of what they’ve done, what they’re working on and what their next project will be.
Three different directors had promised to make this happen over the years but nothing ever came of it. Well, here it is…
What’s New on the Trail?
We at RTF have been threatening to put out a newsletter on a quarterly basis for a while, and this is our first edition. We hope it reminds you how much we all love the Trail, informs you about things that are going on out there, and lets you know what RTF is doing. Here we go…
Merlin Scott and John Pardi Announce Retirement
After many years serving the Foundation and the public on the trail doing educational work, Merlin and John have announced that they will both retire after this season. Merlin wants to spend more time at home and has a bucket list of travels he wants to take. John has said he wants to pay more attention to projects at home and his Land Cruiser parts business. Both have told us that they have great memories of their years of work on the trail, and that moving on was a difficult decision to make.
We will miss them both, and have a difficult time filling their shoes.
Each update we will update status on projects recently completed and those upcoming. This has been a whirlwind year. Shannon Chard, in her first year as Trail Boss, has really set a pace.
Using grant funds from the California Office of Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR), El Dorado County contracted with Siller Brothers to provide 25 hours of flight time doing work such as moving rock, hauling material in for the Rubicon Green Bridge rebuild project, and placing a bathroom at Buck Island. This all took place in May, when the weather wasn’t so great…the project was visited by rain, snow, lightning, and even a little bit of sunshine.
As many are aware, the trail at Winter Camp has been a problem for Winter Closures for several years. The rock work done by DOT in 2010 had been swallowed up by the sandy roadbed, leaving a hole that consistently has deeper water that has triggered a closure. In a carefully coordinated effort, FOTR volunteers placed chain link on the sand to form a grid that should keep the rock from sinking again. As soon as the grid was placed, approximately 60 yards of rock was put on top of it. Within a few days, Forest Hill Fourwheelers came through and spread the rock to completely cover the grid. This effort will harden the trail surface and prevent winter closures from this spot for years to come.
This project will be undertaken on October 15th. That’s late in the season, but it’s been a busy year! In the last several years, El Dorado County has embraced a philosophy of “keeping the hard line hard (and hardened) and keeping the easy line easy”. At this point, Rubicon is by no means the most difficult trail around, but it is still enjoyed for its challenges. That means we want to keep the difficult lines so that those who want to, have that challenge. At the same time, not everyone wants that much challenge, or is up to it. That’s why keeping the “easy line easy” is important; to keep folks with smaller rigs or less experience from digging holes, driving off trail, or widening the trail in order to get past hard spots. Soup is a perfect example of this philosophy. The hard line on the left is all hardened (nothing but granite) so that it doesn’t cause silt to enter the drainages, and the easy line on the right needs to be kept easy and erosion free.
That’s what this project is about. Each year the sandy area at the bottom of the easy line fills with soil, and each year it gets dug out by wheelspin by the end of the season. That soil drains toward Winter Camp and eventually into streams, rivers, and lakes. When the Water Board Cleanup and Abatement Order was rescinded, El Dorado County made a commitment to continue to recognize and mitigate problems like this, and RTF supports that effort while keeping the trail open and challenging. This project will add a concrete footing to the easy line to prevent wheelspin and erosion.
The bridge at Rubicon Springs has existed in many forms over the years. Up until 1937 it was a user constructed log bridge that washed out and had to be rebuilt often. In 1937, the County erected a proper wood bridge that washed out sometime in the mid-forties. Then in 1947, the County raised the abutments and placed the existing green steel bridge structure with a wood deck. It has been rebuilt several times, mostly by volunteers; in 1962, in 1978, in 1991 and in 1996-1997. Of late it hasn’t looked so great…the approaches were too small for modern rigs and were eroding, the stringers that hold the deck up were rotting on the ends, and the runners were all but gone.
In a cooperative effort between El Dorado County, FOTR, Jeepers Jamboree, and RTF, the bridge was stripped to the metal frame and all the wood was replaced by larger pressure treated timbers and extended wing walls were poured to improve safety on the bridge approaches and prevent further damage. This was an amazing volunteer effort that spanned months in planning and totaled up hundreds of hours of work in just a few days to get it done. Special thanks to the Hi-Landers club, and especially to Bill Eister, the wood crew leader, and Wayne Lippert, the concrete crew leader. Without their expertise and hard work, it would not have happened.
Black Tie and Boots
Save the date for Black Tie and Boots, it’s Saturday, March 11th, 2017. We hope to see you all there! If you would like to be sent an invitation or would like more information please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RTF’s 12th Annual Cantina for the ‘Con, held at the Loon Lake Spillway over Labor Day weekend was a huge success. A giant raffle, fantastic prizes, great tacos, and good times…what’s not to like! Over $40,000 was raised to support efforts on the Rubicon Trail. Thanks to all our supporters, vendors and attendees, who donated, bought tickets, and enjoyed tacos.
At our December 14th, 2016 meeting, the Rubicon Trail Foundation will hold regular elections. There will be a total of six seats available, five of which are held by sitting directors that are re-running for their seat. The remaining seat was held by an individual that has decided not to run again. Anyone who is interested in serving on the board should contact the president, Sean Russell at 530-417-0031 or sean.russell@RubiconTrailFoundation.org.
Rubicon Trail Foundation
PO Box 2188
Placerville, CA 95667
So some interesting things to note:
- None of the trail projects noted are on the Tahoe side.
- There is no mention of RTF accomplishments
- There is no mention of current RTF projects
- There is no mention of what RTF plans to take on moving forward
Not the newsletter I was hoping for, maybe they will read this and put out a better newsletter next time.
So, I made it down Cadillac Hill this past weekend and noticed that quite a bit of work has been done. Cadillac Hill was easier than I can ever remember.
As you all know, there are several ‘famous’ obstacles along the climb up Cadillac Hill. One of those is V-Rock. V-Rock is (was) a granite slope from above the trail down to the edge of the trail with a large boulder outcropping at the edge. The angle between the granite slope and edge of the boulder created a “V” that users needed to navigate.
So here are two before any work was done. Unfortunately, not all from the same angle. The granite slope on the right slopes up more than the photo implies.
Special nod to Randy for posting a picture of his rig the last time it was running. Note the deep “V” at his front right tire.
Some work was done over the last few years to get the condition below. The “V” still has loose rock so the depth can vary. Drive it as is if so equipped; fill in a bunch of rock if you’re lower or limping out broken.
But now, after a whole bunch of concrete and rock were placed in the “V”, the “V” is now a “U”. And it’s concrete so no chance for a difficult line.
I asked before on a public forum “Who Decides?” That thread was started about a rock on Cadillac that was drilled and split, without any formal permission. The answer was if it’s a safety issue, take care of it.
What would happen if an individual made the Soup Bowl ‘safe’?
Now there are rumors that even more rocks will be split, removed, dealt with, etc. on Cadillac Hill; during the dark of night with no formal permission or discussion. Does Placer know? FOTR? RTF? TNF?
There is a new bypass on Cadillac Hill in the ‘trees’ section. I can only assume the tight turn was too much for some drivers or some rigs so they went straight through the trees. This is an illegal users created bypass and will be blocked.
In both photos below, you can see a former bypass that was blocked on the right. In the first photo right through my rear view mirror. In the second photo far right and half way up.
Bypass straight ahead, original trail to the right:
Bypass left of the tree, original trail around to the right:
I thought people drove the Rubicon Trail for a challenge?
As was the subject of the last “Photo of the month”, the sign at the McKinney-Rubicon Springs Road has been in the need of attention for some time.
Recently, some new material was installed along with a new piece of backing plywood and a new plexi-glass cover. Additionally, the broken map box was replaced and stocked with both the RTF Rubicon Trail map and the new Rubicon Area OHV Trails map and flier. The map was covered in my last post.
Here is the new signage in all it’s glory:
The RTF map is on the left.
The agencies involved with the trail are represented across the bottom: Placer County, El Dorado County, US Forest Service, CA State Parks OHV, Friends of the Rubicon, Rubicon Trail Foundation, CA Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs, and the Blue Ribbon Coalition.
Towards the right is some educational information including ham radio frequencies, contact information for the agencies involved, how to volunteer, driving cautions and a copy of the new tri-MVUM map.
A close up of the new map box now housing the RTF Rubicon Trail map and the new tri-MVUM of Rubicon Area OHV trails:
This was a private effort. Hopefully, in the future, the agencies listed on the sign will get together with the users to decide what more signage and information is needed at the staging area and along the trail.
The LTBMU visited the staging area and decided that the sign needed a few changes. Here is a photo of the current sign. I’m working on getting FOTR to join the party and hopefully, together, we can all get the information on the sign to reflect what the users need to travel safely and enjoy the area.
They added a full Motor Vehicle Use Map for North Tahoe and a snowmobile riding area map.
Christmas came late!
John Briggs, the Placer County liaison for FOTR, just received a brand new trailer for maintenance efforts on the Tahoe side. It belongs to RTF (Trailer RTF-06), obtained through OHMVR grant funding, and is on a “permanent loan” to the Tahoe side. If it is needed on the Eldorado side, we’ll bring it over.
I got a chance to check it out today. It was made by Varozza 4×4 Outfitters (www.Varozza4x4.com) out of Diamond Springs, CA, just south of Placerville. The basics: 2/3 of a yard capacity with a built in dump feature (air/hydraulic); 360 degree “Lock N Roll” rotating hitch (all you need is a 2” receiver); two piece swing out tailgate all on 35” BFG Mud Terrain tires. Another feature is the offset axle. It is offset up about 4” between the leaf springs in order to gain more clearance.
There is a standard air chuck intake like you would find on an air tool. There is a valve on the trailer to control the lifting of the trailer. Supply air and the bed tilts up, in order to lower the bed, you need to use the orange handle to turn the release on the hydraulic jack under the trailer. There is a latch to hold down the bed. In case you are out of air, there is a manual override by using the orange handle on the side of the trailer to pump the hydraulic jack under the trailer; quite awkward.
The trailer weight is low enough that it does not require fenders, nice! And the trailer paperwork is in a holder on the front of the trailer to prove that to any officer that tries to ticket you.
- Hitch height – 24″
- Bed dimensions – 60″ long, 40″ wide, 12″ deep (16 cu. ft./0.62 yards)
- Overall width – 70″
- Wheel pattern – Toyota 6 lug (I think)
- Weight – 1100 pounds (empty)
- Electric brakes – (needs 7 prong RV connector)
The trailer now has a mounted 7 to 4 adaptor. So, you can use the 7 prong connector (if you have one) to get the benefit of trailer brakes or plug the 7 prong in to the adaptor and use the flat four connector to get lights only.
Before tilting the bed, open the dual tailgate doors and secure them with the small chains on the sides of the trailer. The trailer has a small square tube on each side to hold the chain to prevent it swinging and being noisy and chipping the paint.
To dump the trailer, you need to supply it with compressed air. Before opening the valve to supply air the trailer with air, unlatch the tilt bed from the trailer frame at the front of the trailer, if you don’t the bed won’t go up. (Trust me on this one.) The air to hydraulic pump surges, it sounds and feels like it’s giving the jack small bursts of air. Empty, the bed bounces and jerks a little bit. This operation uses quite a bit of air to operate.
There is a support brace under the trailer if you need to have the bed up for an extended period of time. Jack up the bed, reach under the bed and hold up the brace while you lower the bed on to the brace. This will provide a safer means of working on the trailer.
Speaking of working on the trailer, along with adding the electrical adaptor, I purchased and swapped out the air line from the valve to the pump. The original hose was not on all the way, so I reattached it. Then it blew, three times! I went and bought a steal braided reinforced 4000psi hydraulic line with threaded connectors on both ends. The hose will not leak or blow.
An example of how this will be used on the Tahoe side would be to finish the culvert removal project John Briggs headed up last summer. We still need to rock line the seasonal crossing to prevent any erosion and this will save some backaches, at least during unloading.
The trailer will be stored in a central location with a combination lock so arrangements can be made to let groups doing maintenance access it as needed. I’ve purchased a combination lock and John Briggs donated some chain. We’ll lock the trailer and provide the combination when someone needs it. The combination lock has a changeable combination so we’ll change the combination with each use.
This will be a huge help toward keeping the Rubicon Trail maintained and thus open for year ‘round motorized public use.
Thank you RTF for getting the grant and sending a trailer to the ‘Other’ Rubicon.