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Story and Photos By, Dan Starc


So we were off. On one of the first slabs that we had to climb, Jeff and Danny let the kids off of the M38 for safety. As they worked their way up, the giant cooler (I nicknamed it the "2.5 torso cooler") let loose. Bottles, cans, jugs of milk (Jeff probably drinks a gallon of milk a day!), food, ice and water came pouring down. After that little accident, they ran an extra tie-down strap across the lid for the rest of the trip. Pretty soon we were up on the Slab (The Granite Bowl?) where you can get lost if you're not careful. Following stacks of small rocks and other clues, and pretty soon we were on the other side.

The Rubicon's main milestones are (starting at Loon Lake in this case): Loon Lake Chalet, Loon Lake, Loon Lake Dam, Walker'' Rock, Spider Lake, Little Sluice, Mud Lake, Old Sluice, Buck Island Lake, Big Sluice (these are also called "sluice boxes" by some), Rubicon River Bridge, Rubicon Springs, Sid's Grave, Cadillac Hill, Observation Point, Miller Lake, Lilly Lake and McKinney Lake. 14.3 miles of gorgeous 4x4-lo wheeling!!! It is actually easier (and faster) to walk to camp than to drive, BUT we like the drive, don't we?

Check the skies…doesn't look good…this is the view of Buck Island lake after leaving Spider Lake. We got heavily rained on, making the rocks quite treacherous for a while.

Careful spotting (and sheer insanity at times) got the M38 through the rough spots. Here Danny spots Jeff over some boulders between the first sluices. Notice the cooler lid half off its place. The story is even funnier: Jeff bought the cooler a couple of years back, and saved the receipt with the devious intentions of returning it after the Rubicon. Well, the poor thing got so beat up during the trip that he had no choice but to keep it!

Matt negotiates some boulders on the way to the Big Sluice. The Grand suffered only minor damage during the trip, despite its size and weight. He wasn't the only one with damage…





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