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Barrett Lake
Sept 11-15

Trip Report:Friends of the Rubicon Work Day

June 19 – 22 2008

By Eli Casey
Thursday 6-19
Judi, Mikayla, Cheyenne and I got to Scott’s Valley around 9:40 am and found Doug waiting for us in his camper with his Jeep in Tow. Lance Avery, wife Alisa and children Chase, Zoey and Sasha arrived a few minutes later in their H2. John Sawtell, wife Mary and children Connor and Kayleigh were planning on meeting us as well but John called me the night before to advise he had a problem with his air bags that he was going to fix in the morning and either catch up with us on the road or meet us at camp. With John towing his Jeep behind his truck carrying a double slide cab-over; he needed the air bags working properly. Mick also called me the night before to let me know he was leaving at 4:30 in the morning and would meet us at the camp ground. So a few last minute items were picked up at Safeway and then Lance, Doug and I hit the road headed towards the 680 / Mission boulevard to meet up with Howard. When we got just about to the 680 / mission boulevard exchange I called Howard and found out he was running a little behind and would catch up to us so on we continued. We stopped in Flag city (which is between Stockton and Sacramento) at 12:10 to fill up the rigs and also ourselves. While there Howard caught up with us in his 72 Bronco on 38’s. Man that is one nice Bronco he has. By 1:05 we were back on the road heading towards airport flat camp ground. Just before Placerville I got a call from Lance advising Howard had broken down and that he had stopped with Howard to assist. Lance advised since Doug was in his motor home flat towing his Jeep and I was pulling my Jeep on a trailer with my cab-over on my truck, to just continue on as he and Howard would catch up to us. So, Doug and I continued on. I called Lance back when we got to Ice House road to check status. I was advised it was the fuel pump and that while it had started working again they were at the auto parts store to get a replacement and would not be that much longer. I confirmed they knew where to go and continued on with Doug. Doug and my family arrived at the airport flat campground around 3:30 to find Mick already there with 2 really nice sites that were next to each other reserved for our group. Both Doug and I off loaded our Jeeps and picked out spots to park our campers. Doug and Mick decided to go for a little afternoon run while I decided to hang out to make sure the rest of the group found us. Around 6:00 or so I decided to start driving back down Ice House until either I found Lance and Howard or got phone service to call and find out how things were going as I had expected them at camp by then. Well, before I could get to cell service I came across Lance. He advised John had caught up with him and Howard and they were finishing installing the new fuel pump and would be there shortly. Shortly after we got back to camp Chris arrived. Doug and Mick got back from a nice afternoon run up to post pile and back. By this time I started cooking dinner. Before the trip my friends Lance, John, Howard and I decided to do the group feed for Thursday and Friday nights dinners and Friday breakfast. Sat we would do the FOTR BBQ. Thursday was my night and I cooked Boneless Chicken breast marinated with an apple, chipolata and brandy, beans, corn and dinner rolls for everyone in our camp. Right around the time that dinner was ready to eat John and family and Howard arrived. I had already set aside food for them and they were super happy to arrive and have things already to eat as it had been a long day already and the kids were hungry. Somewhere in between all of this Del and Stacey Albright showed up and asked if they could squeeze into our camp spots. I of coarse said yes, but please be aware we have allot of kids at this camp. Well that night after dinner most of us stayed up till 2:00 in the morning, enjoying our favorite adult beverage and telling war stories around the camp fire. I know I had a great time and think everyone else did as well.Friday 6-20


We all awoke and had a leisurely morning while Howard cooked up some great breakfast for all. It was a potato; onion and Chorizo (sp?) scramble with scrambled eggs on the side and tortilla’s. After we were all filled up, all 5 rigs filled up with everyone including all the kids, left camp around 10:30 to head over to the Loon lake entrance so we could take a look at the project site we worked the following day and to run as much of the trail as we could. We made it to the Loon lake spill way, air down and disconnected sway bars and headed in on the trail. We made it to the Alligator pit which was our assigned work site and I started taking a look at what needed to be done. At this time I heard that Doug’s tie rod had bent. He was able to use his winch to give it a tug back into shape. After looking and talking about the work to be done, we continued on. By the time we got to the beginning of the granite bowl. Doug’s tie rod was bent again along with the stabilizer shock shaft. I took a quick look and suggested pulling the stabilizer and the tie rod off the rig. Straighten the tie rod the best we could and then sleeve it with a high lift jack handle. And that is exactly what Doug did with Lance’s assistance. During this time a few diapers were changed, lunches were made and eaten. I believe it was shortly after 1:30 or so when we continued on. We traveled through the bowl and toward Ellis Creek . Just before the Wentworth connection before Ellis Creek , John advised something felt loose with his transfer case. We stopped to assess and found that he had lost the tyranny mount. We talked about splitting up and my family going back with John’s family to make sure he made it out and back to camp while Mick, Doug and Howard continued on with Lance’s family riding along. However in the end it was decided that we would all turn around and head back to camp as a group. I believe we got back to camp around 4:30 or so. Howard, Mick and Doug decided to go out and play some more as they did not have small children in tow. While pulling out of camp it was discovered that Howard’s steering box was ripping off the frame. Del let Howard use his on board welder and it was fixed up in no time and off they went to have some more fun. John cooked up some killer beef and Pork fajita’s with all the trimmings for everyone. Around that time Mick and Doug arrived back to camp with Howard being towed. As it turns out his fuel pump went out again. I thought I was going to save the day (and so did Howard) with my spare fuel pump, however upon inspection the pump I had did not have the right fittings for what he needed. After dinner we were talking and Howard decided to go to another camp where we saw a Bronco and see if he had a spare fuel pump. He did and it was the right on. With fuel pumped in hand to be installed in the morning we all hung around the camp fire. Doug made root beer floats for everyone and Lance made popcorn for everyone as well. I must say it was the first time I had fresh pop corn made in a dutch oven over the camp fire. Good times for sure J! Around 10:30 or so, everyone decided to hit the sack as we needed to be up early and over at the Loon lake Kiosk by 9:00 am.Saturday 6-21


Woke up and started packing up our rigs with tools to use, lunches, coolers filled with water and such. Breakfast was fend for your self although Howard did cook up food and shared with all that wanted. We left camp around 8:30 and headed towards Loon Lake . Once there we hung out and waited for the morning briefing to start. After the briefing we re group and I assigned areas to work to people. With the assignments taken care of, or at least I thought, off we went with Robert Lightfoot (member of the Rubicon Oversight Committee) to show us what has been approved by the forestry service. This is where I realized that while they said we had one project, in fact it was like 6 smaller project with a few of them being rather time consuming. By 9:30 work was being done. All of the work we did was between the fences FOTR installed last June and the beginning of the granite bowl. While they were not all that far apart, I must have walked back and forth around a half a dozen times or so. The projects ranged from digging ditches to cutting and placing logs to divert water and people, to dragging 1200 + pound rocks into places, to stop people from going off the trail. There were around 25 or so people on my crew that consisted of 2 SC4WDC members (one being me), 2 SC4WDC prospects (Doug and Chris), 3 of my friends (Lance, John and Howard), several Four Dice Club members (6 - 8 but Brandon would know for sure) and allot of people who just wanted to help. All in all it was a great work day that was very productive. We finished up around 2:30 or so. Howard and Mick went back to camp via Wentworth and Chris, Doug, John and I all headed to Robb’s resort. Chris and I took showers and then we all had a couple cold ones at the bar. We left and got back to camp around 4:00 pm. By 5:00 pm the FOTR BBQ was in full swing for all. It consisted of Hot dogs, hamburgers, French fires, macaroni salad and brownies for desert. After most the FOTR dinner crowd left back to their camps, it was back around the camp fire enjoying conversation and ones favorite adult beverage. I believe everyone had a great time and was advised by Doug and Chris that the conversation was very enlightening as with Del (FOTR trail boss and BRC ambassador), Debra (FOTR incident Commander), Bebe (Founder of Friends of Green Horn and the FOTR event Safety officer) and others all around the camp fire, allot of information was shared about current fights going on for continued motorized access to the forest. Seeing how it was a long day and allot of work was done I believe everyone hit the sack by 11:30 that evening.


 Sun 6-22
Everyone got up at when they wanted and started packing up to leave. Chris was the first to hit the road by him self as he had a business trip to prepare for Monday morning to Florida . Doug was the next person to leave and also hit the road by himself. Lance, John, Howard and I all left together around 10:45 and Mick was staying at camp for a couple more days. We traveled back to flag city, arriving about 1:30 and fueled up both our rigs and our selves. Diesel was only $4.87 a gallon and while that is way more then I want to pay it is cheaper then I can find anywhere close to home. We left flag city around 2:30 and continued on towards home. Lance’s kids were having a melt down so they decided to continue on by themselves as they were not towing and could travel fast this way. Howard, John and I continued on. Howard parted ways at the 680 / Mission boulevard exit around almost 4:00. Seeing how John lives just down the road from me we continued on towards Bounder Creek arriving home around 5:00.


 Over all it was a great trip. I know everyone I have spoken to thought so as well. I personally can not remember the last time I was hanging out around the camp fire until 2:00 in the morning having such a wonderful time. I also know as long as I have been in the club we have not done the group feeds or potlucks. However I think this really went over well and while it does take more coordination I think the bonding and camaraderie it builds is well worth the effort. Thank you to all that were able to make it, your efforts were noted by Del and others and I could not have pulled off being a crew lead for around 25 people without your assistance.


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