Well I just got back last night from yet another run on the Rubicon in the JK. Two weeks ago I ran with some guys from Rubicon Owners Forum this time I ran with a neighbor friend and his wife. Had a blast both trips.
The first trip we came in via Wentworth Springs and then to Buck Island Lake for the over nighter then down to Rubicon Springs for the next night that I elected to just drive out up Cadillac Hill has I was only 2.5 hours from a hot shower. This, other than the alternate entrance of Wentworth Springs is what I call the traditional Loon Lake to Tahoe direct and run.
The next trip we just completed was a little different. We came down Cadillac Hill into Rubicon Springs and set up camp behind the mechanics station on a nice grassy field. We lounged the first day and had a fantastic dinner of Bison Chili. Yum. The next day we headed for Buck Island for a picnic and to let the dogs run free in Buck Island Lake. As a bonus we got to run Big Sluice going uphill which makes a rather interesting run. Debbie shot very little video of the hill climb as she slipped and decided it was safer for her to ride than attempt to walk up the rest of the hill. I'll post pics and video a little later.
Upon reaching the top of the Big Sluice Hill climb our dog, Chase saw Buck Island and being a Lab, took off down the hillside making her own trail through the manzanita and down to Buck Island Lake. We didn't catch up to her again until we got back to Rubicon Springs where the nice people of Mark A. Smith's Jeepers Jamboree (they had Mark's signature event going on) grabbed her and tied her up at the cabin. More on this as we go along.
We decided to continue on as Chase usually tries to keep us in sight even if she never comes running. We made our lunch break at the dam and took a dip to wash off some of the Sierra's finest talc powder. After a while and not having our dog show up we decided to head back. We told everyone we ran across to watch for her as they made their way to Rubicon Springs. At the top of the hill that is the entrance to Big Sluice I ran across a former employee of mine and he had said that he saw her down at Rubicon Springs. Debbie was relieved and I was too but quickly turning to pissed but we were both happy for the most part.
We headed down Big Sluice and into Rubicon Springs where we found our dog tied to the cabin. She had become quite the celebrity over her little weekend on the 'Con as everyone knew her name. Kevin the guy staying in the cabin fed her some dog food and gave her some ice water to cool her off. However before she got to Kevin she raided the Jeep Jamboree kitchen and mooched some hot dogs and water. Now what was interesting is the amount of people that saw her during her free run on Big Sluice and in Buck Island Lake and those that knew her name. We went over to the main Rubicon Springs Campground where Mark's big shindig was going on at the urging of the local Jeep Dealer's urging after seeing my JK. Apparently those attending the nearly $2k a head event where everything is provided, including a new JK, was attended not only by a select few from around the world but also by several Jeep executives, also from around the world.
Arriving at the main camp it was pretty cool to see all conversation stop and people drop what they are doing to come over and see my JK. I fielded questions for a couple of hours as many looked in, under, out and around my JK. I probably met some influential people in the Jeep community but I didn't pay attention as the Q&A was quite the barrage and barely had time to focus on to whom I was speaking. I have to admit I had a fun time parading and showing off my JK. One guy asked me when I was going to start modifying my JK and I responded, "I want to not do too much so I can keep the warranty intact". Everyone had a good chuckle over that. Not much longer and I was asked to leave as my JK was taking away attention that Mark wanted for his dinner speech and the upcoming raffle. So I said goodbye and backed out then drove back to our camp. I have to admit, I had quite a smile on my face.
I almost forgot to add, when we came back from Big Sluice and picked up our delinquent dog, we ran across some JK's that were doing some field tests to a rack/sleeper system. This was Off Road Logic
. So I got a chance to meet the brains behind the racks as well as look at their rack system up close and personal. I like the idea of a double sleeper up top. The rack and "compartment" looks like a Thule styled box and holds the tents and your sleeping bags. Pretty cool and clever way to get you off the ground and store some bulky stuff, not inside the JK cabin. :thumbsup: Again I'll post some pics a little later.
The next day we woke to the sounds of a grand piano playing and then had a nice pancake breakfast and watched as the helicopter flew trips of taking people and equipment out as this was the last "official" weekend that the Springs would be open for the season.
Once we broke camp we headed out up Cadillac Hill and into Tahoma. We stopped at Miller Lake to let the dogs swim and I also picked up a bunch of trash that someone let fall out of their trash bags as they drove down the hill. I'd like to think that this was an accident because otherwise leaving trash on the trail like this is what gets trails closed.
After our little break we continued out the million mile bumpy road to the staging area where we would air up then drive out on asphalt and to home where the hot shower and comfy bed awaits. However we ran across the guys from Off Road Logic again and one of their rigs had severed some factory welds on the front axle and was in need of some welding help. I told the guys from Off Road Logic that this isn't an uncommon thing with the JK's and I have heard of stock vehicles breaking the less than adequate welds. So we helped weld the axle and their quickie trail repair. In the meantime I got to talk with Jim of HoodLift
who was traveling with the Off Road Logic guys and testing out the sleeper rack as well. Man that is a nice clean install and a nice way to keep your hood open without having a rod in the way of your workspace. Also this should keep the monkey at the local garage from flipping your hood all the way back onto your window frame. :thumbsup:
Well that pretty much sums up my Rubicon runs for now. I had no trail damage, other than the basic undercarriage scapes and dings to the bumpers and rocker protection as those parts did their job. I never got stuck or required a strap or winching and the JK just seemed to be at home.
Again pics and maybe a vid to follow.