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Barrett Lake
Sept 11-15

Trip Report: Deer Valley Trail Run

Aug 8-10, 2003
Trip report by Eli Casey

Deer Valley - Aug '03

Skip, Dan and friend Jim, Jessie and Shannon, Tom, Nora and son Joseph, Perry, Cindy and kids, Judi and I plus guest Johnny and wife Stephanie all meet in Scotts Valley at 8:00 am. Some got a quick bit to eat at McDonalds before hitting the road. While eating my breakfast I got a call from Jeff advising me that he was running a little late and to go ahead and head out without him and he would catch up with us later. All 8 vehicles headed out of the Scotts Valley Safeway parking lot at 8:20 am. Skip took up the lead and Judi and I took up the rear. We traveled over hwy 17 to 280 to 680 north and then continued on 580 east. At about 9:40 am a restroom break was called for over the radio. We all stopped in Livermore and relieved ourselves; we were back on the 580 at 10:00 am. We continued our journey to 205 onto hwy 5 north and then headed east on hwy 99 / 4. As we got off hwy 99 onto 4 Cindy was unable to make the exit without running through a semi-truck and since that would be a losing battle we all stopped and waited for her to double back and catch up with us. We were all back on the road together at 10:53 am. We decided to stop for lunch in Angel Camp at BK at 11:48. During the lunch break we discovered that we would not need to stop for a fire permit as Jessie already had one. Thank you Jessie! We were back on the road at 12:28 pm. Now with everyone’s bellies filled up we only had to make one more stop for gas before getting to the campground. It was decided that the best place to get gas would be in Arnold; we all pulled into the gas station at 12:55 and left at 1:12 with full tanks. We finally made it to the campground at 2:15pm. We arrived to find Jeff, Camille and gang (Michelle, Alex, Wesley, Dean and Brandon) already at the campground with the mobile home already leveled and enjoying some cool refreshments. It seams they had passed us at one of our stops. Everyone picked out a camp spot and setup camp.

Slick Rock Trail:
At 3:45pm the 9 vehicles headed out of the campgrounds towards the slick rock trail. We got to the trail head at 4:05 pm. We continued down the trail until it was next to a beautiful stream where we stopped for a few. Some aired down a bit, some took some pictures, the children played in the water, I think everyone was just enjoying the beautiful scenery, knowing this is what it is all about, 4-wheeling in some of the best scenery around. We got moving again at 4:45. We continued down the trail and kept moving with no problems. We came to the creek crossing and just on the other side was a nice little rock strewn incline with a couple of ledges to climb at the top. Everyone was able to get out of the vehicle and watch the others make it through. Everyone made it through with no problems. Jessie then went back down and came up what one would think was a harder line but Jessie made it look like the easier line. Everyone then headed back towards camp to make dinner and relax. We made it back to camp at 7:25 pm. We found that James and Josh had arrived while we were gone. Everyone started making dinner, socializing and partaking in there favorite refreshment. After dinner everyone who wanted some, enjoyed the smores that Eli and Judi and Cindy and Perry had brought for everyone. At about 8:30 guest’s Lance, Theresa, Nicole and Nick arrived and starting making their camp. It had been a long day and people started to hit the sack around 9:30 or so.

Everyone got up at their leisure and enjoyed a nice breakfast in the great American outdoors. I was hoping that we would leave camp at 9:00 am but not everyone was ready until 9:40 am. All 12 rigs and 3 motorcycles (Dean, Alex and Wesley) left the campgrounds and started up the trail. We were moving right along stopping every now and then to help the kids over the rocks on their motorcycles. At about 10:40 Jessie advised us over the CB that he would be turning around and heading back to camp, as they had forgotten their lunches. The group tried to talk Jessie out of it advising that everyone had enough food for him and Shannon, but Jessie advised they had forgotten other stuff as well. I also tried to get Jessie to travel back to camp with another rig just in case. Anyway Jessie and Shannon turned around and headed back to camp. The rest of the group travel on, until we came to this one little rock strewn hill climb. At this location some of the rigs required some spotting and rock stacking to make it through without taking the bypass. During this, Jessie caught back up with the group at 11:20. He must have been traveling pretty fast. Once everyone made it through we continued on as a group. At about 12:10 pm it came over the radio that Perry was having some fuel problems. At this time we came up on the Hi lows from South lake Tahoe who were running a pre-run going the other direction. Everyone pulled off the trail and we advised them that some of our group were down the trails a few hundred yards working on a fuel issue. The hi lows were able to squeeze their 15 rigs by and continue on. We waited for the fuel issue to be resolved (Ended up being as easy as loosing the gas cap) and for the rest of the group to catch up with us. We were back on the trail at 12:45 as a group. We continued on down the trail and came to the rockiest section of the trail. There was another large group pulled off to the side and they watched us all make our way to the bottom. At the bottom was the first river crossing where we all stopped for lunch at 1:15. Everyone lined up along the riverbank and enjoyed the surrounding environment while eating some lunch.

While having lunch I walked around and tried to get a feel for what people wanted to do. Go on to the next river crossing or since it was already 2:00, turn around and head back to camp. It had taken us 3 ½ hours to make it to the lunch spot and the general consensus was that we should turn around and head back the way we came, as it would be more interesting then the gravel road to pavement if we continued on to the second river crossing. I agreed J. So, at about 2:15 we all headed back up the trail, towards the campgrounds. On the way back I learned that Shannon was driving Jessie’s monster Toyota and Michelle was driving Jeff’s Jeep and both were driving like pros. We moved with no real slow downs or stops at all and ended up getting back to the campground about 4:20pm. Everyone unpacked their rigs and sat around talking and enjoying cold refreshments.

About 5:30 or so, Skip, Tom, Nora (and son Joseph), Jessie, Shannon, Judi and I walked across the street to the stream and did some fishing. Everyone was trying a different method to try and entice the fish onto the line. Although no one had any luck except for Skip, who was fly-fishing. He was able to land one 6-7” rainbow trout, which he gave to Tom and Nora to cook for Joseph. Even though the fish where not biting I believe everyone enjoyed themselves, as it is kind of hard not too in such a beautiful place. After returning to camp from fishing most were already cooking or enjoying dinner. We did the same. After dinner everyone who wanted some enjoyed some more smores, while sitting around the camp fire. About 9:15 Jeff, Josh, James, and Jessie decided to do a little night run. So off they went. I hear it was rather fun. Jeff had a close encounter and James bent a shock. The group returned back to camp at about 10:30, I believe. It was late and past my bed time so the times could be a little off.

Everyone awoke at their leisure and made some breakfast. Once done eating people started breaking down their camp and packing up their rigs. Departure times varied as people left when they were ready to go. Tom, Nora (and Joseph), Skip, Cindy, Perry (and Kids), Jessie, Shannon, Judi and I (6 rigs) left as a group at 10:00 am. We stopped in Arnold for gas at 10:55 am and were back on the road at 11:18. Tom, Nora and Skip continued south on Hwy 5 at 1:00 pm when the rest of us turned off at the 205 exit. Jessie continued on 880 to 17 to Scotts Valley and Cindy, Perry, Judi and I took 237 towards Hwy 9 to Boulder Creek. We all stopped in Alviso at this Taco hut I know about and had a late lunch at about 2:15. We were back on the road at 3:00pm and home at 4:00pm.

Over all I think everyone that was able to make this run had a great time. The weather was perfect, the scenery beautiful and the company great.


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