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Latest Report

Barrett Lake
Sept 11-15

Trip Report: Niagra Rim Trail

October 3-5, 2003.

Written By Kevin and Shannon Culbertson

October 3, 2003:
The morning started off with Eli and Judi Casey arriving at the Safeway parking lot in Scotts Valley around 8:00AM only to find that they were the only rig leaving at that time. They arrived at the Niagara Rim OHV campgrounds around 2:30PM to claim the camping spaces needed for the rest of us. The second group of rigs to leave was around 6:00 p.m. that evening.
Those who met at 6:15PM were Kevin and Shannon Culbertson, and Johnny Bryant. Unfortunately, included in that group was only two rigs – a very small turn out compared to what was expected. The second group arrived at the camp site around 11:45PM after stopping for dinner in Tracy (IN-N-OUT is always delicious!).
During our travels up Highway 108 - we had a slight detour. After looking at the map we realized that there was a slight typo in the directions to the camp site. The turn off for the Niagara Rim Trail and camp sites is actually just past mile marker 44 not 42. After coming up with the correct directions and driving other campers nuts by driving in circles, we finally arrived at our campsite about 11:45 p.m. to find Eli and Judi fast asleep. After setting up camp in the dark, we settled in for the night.

October 4, 2003:
Saturday morning started with the lovely sound of a generator and a slight chill in the air. After everyone was up and dressed (in many layers) we all gathered around the fire for some breakfast and talked about the days events.
We started off for the trail about 10:00 a.m. and luckily for us there wasn’t anyone else around. We started on the trail with no major problems. After traveling down the trail for a while, we stopped for some pictures of each rig attempting “Oh Shit” Hill. After getting one vehicle down we came across a hunter walking up the hill with his small armory to fetch his ATV. Once he retrieved his ATV he then attempted to roll his ATV down the hill while riding it. Even though this was very interesting to watch, it still gave a few of us quite a scare since he was carrying loaded weapons. After a few Kodak moments we headed for the top of Lion’s Butt for lunch. During lunch we ran into a few other people, mostly dirt bikes playing in the area. After lunch we decided that playing wasn’t a bad idea.
Shortly thereafter, we proceeded to head for the rock pile. Upon arriving, we decided that the terrain had changed quite a bit and looked a little menacing. Eli attempted a run at the rocks and almost made it to the top, but fell a little short after having a close call with almost tipping his Jeep. Eli checked his shorts and decided to play it safe and try another day. Judi was extremely thankful for this, as her nerves had had it. After Eli turned down the rocks, Johnny decided to give it a try in his stock Rubicon. With some luck and little determination, he succeeded, much to everyone’s surprise. Kevin decided that he shouldn’t attempt it since he was having issues with a fouling spark plug.
After tempting fate twice-over, we all decided to head back to camp for some dinner. Along the way we spotted some firewood just waiting for someone to snag. Apparently someone else had the same idea, because it was neatly stacked in several piles not far off the road. After the guys did the “hunting and gathering” thing, we all piled back into our rigs and drove back to camp. After a long day and a great dinner, we all settled around the campfire for some marshmallows and popcorn.

October 5, 2003:
Sunday morning began quite leisurely. Everyone crawled out of bed and stumbled to the picnic table for breakfast and a fire. After breakfast everyone agreed to pack up and head home. Along the way, the group stopped for lunch in Oakdale and discovered Kevin’s taillights and blinkers were malfunctioning on the trailer. We had a pretty uneventful trip back home. Eli and Judi parted ways with the group in Mountain View, Johnny parted in Scotts Valley, leaving us traveling to Santa Cruz.
All in all, it was a great trip even though there wasn’t a high turnout. We had beautiful scenery and a pretty quiet weekend.


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