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 Rubicon August 2017 pics 
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Post Re: Rubicon 2017 pics
Sweet! I love reliving the best trip I ever got to do wheeling. This will be the trip all trips will be measured against (in my head)

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December 7th, 2017, 12:28 am
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Post Re: Rubicon 2017 pics
California Monkey wrote:
Sweet! I love reliving the best trip I ever got to do wheeling. This will be the trip all trips will be measured against (in my head)

I remember when you said this about dear valley. :) times have changed!

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December 7th, 2017, 9:15 am
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Post Re: Rubicon 2017 pics
California Monkey wrote:
Sweet! I love reliving the best trip I ever got to do wheeling. This will be the trip all trips will be measured against (in my head)


As I was writing it and going back through the pictures, it really was a spectacular trip. Even the weather was amazing. But... I think we can do better!

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December 7th, 2017, 11:17 am
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Post Re: Rubicon August 2017 pics
Rubicon Day 2, Sunday August 28th 2017

We woke to beautiful weather at Buck Island and a perfectly calm lake. After some eggs and bacon (does it get any better!?) we went for a swim, casually packed up camp and hit the trail around noon. Our target was Rubicon Springs which is probably only 4 miles of trail or so, but in between us and beer was, what I think is the hardest obstacle on the trail, Big Sluice and the rock garden that follows.

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Just outside of camp there’s some cool ledges

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And then we get into the big sluice

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And then Peter wedged his diff right into this v-rock. To be fair I was spotting at the time, and not doing a great job. We tried to get him out under his own power but were afraid we’d catch the yoke on the rock and break junk

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The t-case skid was also high centered… (did I mention I was sucking at spotting in this particular instance?)

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So we did the smart thing and pulled some cable, err, rope!

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With a quick tug and some better spotting (read, not me), we were back underway.

After what’s likely considered the big sluice proper the trail makes a hard right and comes through this secondary rock garden with some nice challenges. 203 low, check, 205 low, check, clutch out, and crawl it!

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Need a little more fender trimming…

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And before we knew it, we were at the bridge over the Rubicon River, which meant we were close to camp!

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We got to camp around 2, with many hours of daylight to spare, and nothing to fix on the trucks! We set up camp, ate lunch, drank some fermented-bread-in-a-liquid-form, swam, and explored the area a bit

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The caretakers invited us to come get some firewood, and we aren’t the type to say no to that!

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The large camp / multi use area at the springs where the festivities occur during the various Jeep Jamborees

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Some cool old junk

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1 of 3 helicopter pads, for flying in supplies for aforementioned Jamborees

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We spent a fair amount of time in the water, and made sure the rope swing was in good working order through various safety tests, you know, for the sake of everyone else. You're welcome.

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View of camp from across the river

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This is probably apparent from the pictures, but just in case… The Rubicon Springs is a magical place. It’s so beautiful, nestled in between this wide canyon with tall rock cliffs on either end. The water trickles by with multiple natural waterfalls. This late in the year the water is a quite comfortable temperate and, at least this weekend, the weather was spectacular. The fact that you can pull the trucks right up to the banks and set up camp is just the icing on an already delectable cake. I could spend a lot of time here. And if that wasn't enough, at least on this weekend, we basically had the entire place to ourselves. Amazing.

With sunlight fading we got the fire going and whipped up some dinner.

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After a brilliant day of wheeling, swimming, sitting around the fire, and just generally living the good life, we went to bed around 1130. Or… Around that same time, Peter inquired if we should go swimming, I replied something to the effect of, “maybe”. Dissatisfied, Peter asked Tom, my passenger, the same question and received a much more enthusiastic, “fuck yeah”. So we aimed the Bronco at the water, fired up all the lights, blasted some tunes, and made sure the rope swing still worked. JK, definitely the former, swimming at night would be dangerous.

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the stars turn towards it."

- Confucius


December 8th, 2017, 11:31 pm
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Post Re: Rubicon August 2017 pics
I wish I could have made this one with you guys, August has become a really busy month anymore for me. Alex's B'day on the 10th, Jennies is on the 26th and our anniversary is the 4th of sept. I got the OK from Jennie to postpone the anniversary celebration this year and made the Rubicon with a bunch of great guys running early broncos. We left early Saturday morning from SoCal, and made it to North Tahoe in the evening, staying at another EB enthusiasts amazing log home for the night.
We hit the trail in reverse at about 10am and were at Buck around 3 or 4. We had no break downs and the only really tough part was the secondary rock garden you spoke of, guess its time to loose the 36s and go bigger.
We stayed the night at buck, had a nice breakfast and hit it again, made it out the other end of the trail in the mid afternoon. The rest of the group went on to do some more trails, but I had to make the trip back to SoCal and work. It was a whirlwind of a trip, but it was a good time, and the ole '91 managed to keep up with it older brothers.

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December 9th, 2017, 9:09 am
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Post Re: Rubicon August 2017 pics
Awesome, Scott! Glad to see you're getting out there! Bummer we couldn't sync up with you but looks like you had a great group and an even better time.

And yes, bigger tires will make your life much easier :) you've got the drivetrain for it.

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"He who exercises government by means of his virtue
may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place and all
the stars turn towards it."

- Confucius


December 9th, 2017, 11:46 pm
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Post Re: Rubicon August 2017 pics
Rubicon Day 3, Monday August 29, 2017

Did I mention the weather on this trip was pretty spectacular? I woke up in the middle of the night sweating, having zipped myself into my 30 degree bag. We were seriously wearing shorts and t-shirts at 9AM making breakfast. Speaking of which, bacon was involved, I promise you that. We had a casual morning, went for another swim in the springs, because why the hell wouldn’t you, and hit the trail.

From the springs, you hit Cadillac Hill pretty quickly. It has some kinda sketchy off camber sections that aim you down the cliff and its steep so its kind of a point and shoot thing, let that clutch out in low-low range and just let her creep up the hill because once you get in the groove you really don't want to stop. So in that spirit, we took very few pictures unfortunately…

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And voila, we were up Cadillac enjoying the sweet views from the appropriately named Observation Point. OK slight exaggeration, there's some tough parts, but all things considered we really did zip up it. No winching, tow straps and virtually no spotting.

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From observation point to pavement is a couple hours of obnoxious dirt roads. Never quite hard enough to be called rock crawling, in fact most are a 2wd affair, but never smooth enough to carry much speed. Just 2 hours of grinding through small rocks at < 5 MPH.

About a mile from pavement my steering feels off so I get out to see I had lost the bolt holding the hydro ram to the tie rod mount. We walk the trail a bit and find it, wipe the dirt off and give it a good torqueing. Around this same time Peter loses clutch hydraulics. Nothings leaking fortunately so he carries on, starting in gear and matching revs when shifting was required.

We soon hit the staging area and pavement

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We use the bathroom there, and get ready to hit the road. There’s a campground a few miles away that closes in an hour and we’re hoping to get there and get a couple spots, take a warm shower and sit around the camp fire. We hop in the trucks and Peter’s fails to start. Cranks hard but no sign of life at all. We do a little diagnosing and don’t hear the fuel pump. We pull the relay and jump the wires, and hear the fuel pump fire up. We try a spare relay to no avail. We try running the motor on starting fluid thinking we could isolate something in the fuel pump circuit but it doesn’t run. It’s in this moment that we realize Peter had parked feet from pavement. He was literally a trucks length from finishing the trail under his own power…

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His starter may not have liked it but he can say he made it off the trail under his own power!

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We want to get to the campground before the ranger station closes, and its about a mile down some backroads and then about a mile on the highway. We decide to go the assisted method.

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We make the campground without incident and the ranger looks at us a little funny, I guess the bright yellow tow strap isn’t exactly subtle. We get some camp spots, and importantly, tokens for the showers! We push Peters truck backwards into parking pad of our camp spot and set up camp for our last night. At this point there’s cell service which is bitter sweet. It’s nice checking in with family and such but its also pretty great being off the grid for a couple days. Between the clutch not working and the motor not running Peter concedes he’ll call AAA in the morning and get some help down the hill. This is why we all pay for the 100 mile tow package!

We sit around the campfire and recall what was truly an amazing trip. I’ve ran the whole trail I think 6 times now, and sections of it 3-4 other times, this was the smoothest one yet by a long shot. In our early years (read light budget's) we’ve had trips with catastrophic failures on the trucks where we spend all day wrenching just to get something cobbled together. Rolling into camp at midnight filthy dirty and exhausted. I’ve ran sections of the trail with no front driveshaft more than once. I sheared both 60 knuckles a few years back. We once built a half shaft for a TTB out of a tree branch to plug the hole in the diff so the truck could have 3WD. We've blown up steering boxes, hoses and ujoints more than once. Broken hubs were common in the days of 44’s up front, popped beads and even popped tires happened. We’ve learned over the years, save our pennies upgraded weak points, learned the "right" pre-trip-maintenance to do and man does it pay off. Now, I'm a realist, I understand that sometimes shit breaks on the trail, that’s part of the game, but I’d sure as hell rather roll into camp at 2PM because you built your rig right, maintained it before the trip and had a flawless day on the trail.

The next morning Peter calls AAA and gets the unfortunate news that the soonest they can get a truck out is about 3 hours. Tom and I pack up and decide to head to Emerald Bay for a quick hike down to the water while Rich and Peter wait for the tow truck. Bored, they start diagnosing the motor no-start and eventually figure out the computer relay was actually bad. With that swapped out the motor fired right up! At this point though AAA was close and he still had no clutch and it’s a windy drive down the mountain to the trailers.

Meanwhile, Tom and I had drive the ~ 10 miles to Emerald Bay, parked and were battling the crowds typical of Tahoe. Parking was tough and it was a Tuesday morning... Sure was nice not dealing with parking problems, crowds and tourists on the trail!

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We found an alternative Rubicon, gnarly hiking trail!

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We hiked down to the water and went for a quick swim. If there was a recurring theme of the trip, it was regular swimming! We swam in 3 different lakes/rivers a total of 6 different times. After a dusty day on the trail, you give me a quick dip in a lake and I don't even miss a shower!

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One of these things is not like the other…

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As a matter of great timing, just as we were getting back to the truck from the hike, Rich pulls up right next to us in traffic. Picture of me taking a picture of him and vice-versa. Because. You’re welcome.

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So we hit the road and head into south shore for lunch

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A little yelping revealed a decent taqueria (OK the 4 stars may have been generous but it was better than fast food!)

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We found some fuel and hit the road. There’s something satisfying about running a trail like the Rubicon, airing up the tires, and driving down the highway.

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And that friends is where this story ends. We got back to the trailers without issue right as Peter was arriving on the tow truck. We loaded up the rigs and fired up the AC since it was over 100 now that we had lost elevation. A couple hours on the freeway and we were all home. Again faced with the challenge of returning to the real world. Where you don’t have beer with breakfast, swim multiple times a day, hang out around camp fires with good friends, and do a few hours of rock crawling through one of the most scenic and iconic 4x4 trails in the world. Perhaps the time on the trail is actually the real world.

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"He who exercises government by means of his virtue
may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place and all
the stars turn towards it."

- Confucius


December 14th, 2017, 10:27 pm
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Post Re: Rubicon August 2017 pics
:clap: :clap:

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December 14th, 2017, 10:54 pm
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