Sunday, September 12, 1999

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You are beautiful beyond description,
Too marvelous for words;
Too wonderful for comprehension;
Like nothing ever seen or heard.

Granite Slab, Ellis Creek, Walker's Rock, Little Sluice Box & Spider Lake Camp site

Sunday morning started out early for a few. "Toyota" Joe and Jim Hunter took off before sunrise to refill our fuel cans for the trail. The rest of us were up, packed, fed, and ready to run the trail by 8:30. Joe and Jim returned to camp with fuel, ice bags, and big pancake breakfasts to share! No one but Michal Moran could eat... Oh well.

Loon Lake Camping site #6

Loon Lake Staging Area

By 9:00am we were ready for our Rubicon trail adventure. Dan Wilson volenteered to go ahead of the group and capture us on video over Loon Lake dam - Dan WIlson had plans for camping with us over the weekend, yet Saturday's trail ride was a new experience 4wheeling for him gaining a great deal of confidence with his stock '79 Bronco off-road. He'll never be the same from this day forward camping off-road with his family and the Bronco!

Traveling over Loon Lake damn with Devils Peak in foreground Our 'staging area' to lower tire pressures and mentally prepare

the infamous - Granite Bowl (Slab)

Only a short distance from our staging area at Loon Lake opens up into a wide expanse of granite. A beautiful view in all directions - especially across the granite bowl looking at the rock face of Devils Peak (Elev 7541). Once on the granite, the traction is not a problem (or maybe too much could be a problem for locked up differentials). It's like the freeway system in concrete and routes across it. Keep an eye on the path - following the oil leaks from thousands of previous vehicles and drivers.

Shortly after the granite bowl our trail leads us around the northern reaches of Loon Lake crossing over Ellis Creek and into lots of good wheeling trails before reaching Walker's Rock.

Berne moving slowly down the granite into the bowl Joe with his 'new' 75 Bronco The lineup in the granite bowl looking up towards our route

Keith in awe of the rock & granite everywhere Joe taking all that Rubicon offers ... for short wheelbase vehicles only Joe into it now

Crossing over Ellis Creek

First 2 Miles Along The Rubicon

At this point on the Rubicon trail - everything was a new experience. No "trail guide" to speak of - other then our book "4Wheeler's Guide to the Rubicon Trail" and that only detailed the major sections and obstacles. Expecting the Walker's Rock section soon, we were pleasently surprised with the trail conditions in-between.

Berne in his '79 Bronco Berne moving among the rocks in Rubicon trail Joe taking another entrance route

Joe's carb puked requiring a line to top of rock Toyota Joe making the most of this obstacle Hip with his '82 Jeep getting into it now

Jamie picks the by-pass this time Eric in his '87 4Runner Hey Eric!  No damage from Rubicon Y-E-T...

Walker's Rock

Walker's Rock (Elev 6740) is our first published obstacle on the Rubicon trail out of Loon Lake and the granite bowl. The obstacle has three sections - one after another. Starting with a very rocky trail having a tight (for Big Broncos) right corner up hill. With no breathing room the second section is upon ya - extreme trail with climbing and maneuvering over boulders closing with a left turn towards the top. Though the first two sections, a little room is available to prepare for the final section - Frame Bender. This is a sandstone area, when dry offers lots of traction - but certainly puts the body/frame into a twist!

Joe starting into Walker's Rock Hip finishes the first of three sections in Walkers Rock Berne climbing out of frame bender

Kurt making his approach on the first of three sections Kurt now setting up for the second section of extreme trail Kurt now paused for the third secton - 'frame bender'

Kurt in the 'frame bender' section of Walkers Rock Jamies approach into the first section of Walkers Rock Jamie getting some help from Joe Coppick

Rade in his '90 Bronco taking his chances. There is no by-pass here Rade making it look easy Keith carefully driving his '90 Bronco following Rade

Keith doing everything right As the stock Broncos move up into the second section of Walkers Rock Eric keeping the back moving takes his line

Rade takes on the second section Keith accomplished the second section and looking at Frame Bender Eric getting through second section and looking at Frame Bender

Eric in the last section - Frame Bender The rest and shade at top of Walkers Rock

Before Reaching Spider Lake

'Just' more of the Rubicon Trail before reaching camp Jamie getting help over 'Big Bronco Rocks' on the trail Keith now faces 'Big Bronco Rocks' with fear of damage

Ouch!  Glad to have Andy's rocker panel steel beams Keith taking a slightly easier route around some big rocks rubicon99_111tn.jpg - 8913 Bytes

Little Sluice Box, Spider Lake Camp site

Reaching our camping site - just shy of Spider Lake by 5:30pm a group of us set out to scout where and what Little Sluice Box had to offer. Our camping site provided a great deal of room and beautiful panoramic views of the terrain! An awesome spot determined by Joe Chacon to be THE SPOT for our first Rubicon day. Thank you Joe!

Toyota Joe and Hip contimplate a possible route Kurt thinks out loud - 'These rocks are bigger then I expected' Now Berne gets into the planning

Beyond the difficult section lies the 'easy' stuff Jim waving 'Hello' to his family in Chicago A warm fire and friendly talk end the first day

More ....

Monday - Little Sluice Box, the "go around" Slab, Buck Island Dam & Lake, Big Sluice Box
Tuesday - the Mud Hole, Rubicon Springs, Cadillac Hill, the "V" Rock
Miscellaneous - Lake Tahoe, Packing up

Less ....

Introduction to Rubicon - Planning, Fuel Stops, Loon Lake Campground
Saturday - Wentworth Springs, Post Pile & Granite Slab