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Barrett Lake
Sept 11-15

Trip Report: Rubicon Trail '03

Rubicon Trip: August 29 - September 1, 2003
Trip report by James Anthony

There were two groups that came together Friday night at Spider Lake. The 1st group left Thursday and met in Tahoe. That consisted of Rick Frier, Jeff Ellis, Robin Down, Brian Potter with son Dean, Terry Crawford and Steve Prinz.

The 2nd group left Safeway Friday morning about 8:30am and consisted of me (James Anthony with Josh as passenger), Amy Pereira, Eli Casey and his dad, Jesse Aguilar with the future Mrs. Aguilar (Shannon), Jesse’s friend and guest Nick and his girlfriend Becky. Kevin and Shannon Culbertson caught up with the 2nd group as we started out at Loon Lake about 4:00 pm.

Also, we met up with Brad and Sheri Dixon, in their new Rubicon and their son Bret with his girl friend just outside Spider Lake on Saturday morning.

That made a total of 14 rigs!

The trip up Friday was pretty smooth until Sacramento when Jesse felt some not so smooth vibrations from his truck. We found and replaced a bad rear driveshaft u-joint and headed on. At Loon Lake Jesse needed to make a call between 3:30 and 4:00 pm on a house offer. They made the call and will be buying a house in Ben Lomond. Congratulations!

As the group of 6 went through the first Loon Lake obstacle (Gatekeeper) we noticed that Amy’s high pressure power steering hose was leaking. It’s only 2 months old. It only leaked when turning in the rocks so we decided just to keep feeding it fluid. That worked and it made it home and only took about 2 quarts total.

We waited for Kevin for a while after the first slab section because he was blocked by someone on the trail. Without much problem we met the 1st group at Spider about 8:00 pm.

Saturday morning dawned bright and clear. We were all ready to leave about 9 when I realized Robin still needed to fix his power steering hose on his Bronco. They had a problem Friday afternoon with it leaking also. It was an OEM hose and was leaking in many places. We cut out a section and hose clamped it on. It worked for a little while, but then kept coming off. It was finally bypassed and Robin had power steering by Armstrong for the rest of the trip. (Sore arms) Note for those with old hoses: If the power steering hose on your rig is the one that came with it in the 70’s or 80’s, it’s time to replace it.

Some were going to go down the slabs to Buck Island and some wanted to go down the Old Sluice. The decision was made when we missed the turn to the Old Sluice and we all went down the slabs. About half of us made it to the lake around noon and waited for the others to catch up. Robin was working on his power steering hose and something else happened that I can’t remember. While we were waiting we went for a swim and bath in the lake.

After everyone caught up and cleaned up a bit we headed out again and had some excitement. Just after the dam at Buck Island, Brian’s Jeep broke a motor and transmission mount sending the fan into the radiator. No problem, right? Nick dove under the Jeep and chained and strapped everything back together, Jeff took out the radiator and shortened the fan spacer, I repaired the radiator and a passer by, just trying to see if we were paying attention I guess, ran over the just fixed radiator. After a little angst, I fixed the radiator a little bit more and it held water and made it back home. We all pulled into Rubicon Springs around 6:00 pm.

Sunday morning dawned cloudy and full of lightning. It started raining and we all decided with the number of rigs we had that we would go on up Cadillac, giving us some time if something happened. So we finished breakfast, packed and were on the trail by 9:30 am. There was another large group ahead of us with trailers and we had to wait awhile while they got up the rain slick rocks. We made it up without too much difficulty and were having lunch at Inspiration around 1:00 pm. Instead of dry camping up there for the afternoon and evening, we just went on out and home leaving Monday free to clean up and put things away.

This was the most vehicles the club has ever had at one time on the Rubicon Trail and all in all it went pretty well.
Can’t wait till next year.

James Anthony

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