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Latest Report

Barrett Lake
Sept 11-15

Trip Report:Hermit Valley

August 28 to August 31

By Mick Sweeney

Attendees: Eli, Chris, Ron and Sandy, Doug, his daughter Alicia, and Mick

Eli was the first to leave Thursday picking the campground that the club had in years past. Doug his daughter Alicia and I left Scotts Valley around 4pm we stopped for a bite to eat in Livermore after a few more stops we arrived around 1:30am Friday morning. At that time we did not see Eli, so we found a spot and crashed. I awoke to some movement of my RV around 8:30 thinking it was Doug, I cursed at Doug and slowly got out of bed to make coffee. I went outside to find out it was Eli and his rig was about 20ft away. Doug and I unloaded our rigs I did not see the way Doug had gone to the correct camp site, I thought he had gone through a dip and not around the road, I saw it and said to myself I can do it, well I could not do it and got the first rig stuck, except it was the motor home with the trailer. Doug said use the jacks on the MH and then put something under the wheels, it worked like a champ and I was out in a couple of minutes.


Later that morning Eli, Doug, and I went off to Slickrock road. We had a fun time on the trail it was a bit rockery that I was expecting. I had a problem with my rig overheating, I was told to turn off the air conditioner, and once I did I had no more problems after that. We got to the stair step were Eli stopped at the top and watched Doug and myself play around on it a bit. We went on through to the road and went back to camp by way of Hwy 4.
Upon getting back to camp Chris had arrived shortly after us. Chris said it took him about 5.5 Hours. Ron and Sandy arrived before it got dark and made their camp. It was an early night for most of us.


I awoke to the sound of who was up already, which was everyone else. I was getting ready to leave for 10 am trail time, while I was getting ready, Ron came by and told me there are 30 rigs getting ready to hit the trail but they will let us go in front of them if we hurry. I was the last to leave our camp site forgetting my Lunch that I had put together for the trail. I met up with the rest of the group on the trail. I was the first to have a bit of trouble with a flat tire, I put some air it and was back on the trail. Chris had some trouble getting over some rocks with some spotting from Eli he was on his way again. Chris was doing great keeping his rig moving there was 1 spot that he needed a bit of a tug. We stopped at the first river crossing for a bite to eat. The group of thirty or so rigs caught up and then we headed to the second river crossing.


The trail from the first to the second river was more than just a “fire road” I got stuck on a boulder and was given a tug by Ron to get off. We went on to the second river crossing which was a bit deeper than the first crossing. There was bunch of landcruiser’s; from what I heard it was just the beginning of them. Eli & family, Ron and Sandy, and Chris went back by the road while Doug & Alicia, and I went back by the way of the trail. Doug and I had to pull over a few times to let rigs pass going the other way. We made real good time on the way back beating everyone back to camp. Eli and Chris were the next ones back; they told us that Ron and Sandy had taken another trail on the way back that Del Albright had told him and Eli about. Ron and Sandy came back about an hour later telling us about their trek. Around the camp fire we made plans to hit Slick Rock trail at 0800 in the morning, Eli said he would let us know in the morning if he would be going with or packing up to go home in the morning. We found out that Eli would not be making the trail with us, Doug, Chris, Ron & Sandy, and I hit the road for Slick Rock just around 8am like we had planned.

Eli, Judy, & kids got ready for their trip home. Doug’s daughter Alicia and Dogs watched over camp. The trail went smooth until we got to the Ladder or play spot that’s when Doug bent his tie rod, after getting him off the trail so a repair could be made. The tie rod was bent back with the help of his winch and a jack and the handle of the Hi-Lift jack as the sleeve. Chris had trouble at the top with a dead log but a tug from Ron got him through. After putting Doug’s Jeep back together him and Chris said they wanted to go back and thought their was an easy way around and they would meet me at the bottom. Ron & Sandy were going to head home from their. Doug was leading Chris to what he thought was going to be the easy way around, when Doug was not looking the trail dropped out from under him and then Chris followed him only to get stuck on the same drop off. The drop is right in front of two or more campsites so there were plenty of eyes watching Doug and Chris. Ron had turned back to help when he heard this over the radio.


Chris, Doug, and I got back together and headed up the trail back to camp. We got back to camp about 1pm Chris packed up took a shower and headed down the road back to home. Doug, Alicia, and I took off about 3:30pm. There were a lot of people up in the mountains that day but we found a spot for 2 motor homes with trailers at Alpine Lake Lodge, we were running low of drinks and Red Bulls. We split up in Stockton I needed gas and food Doug did not. I opened the door to my home around 9:30pm on Sunday night.


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