My friend Joel and I took Friday off and drove up to the Rubicon, meeting Shane Yost in his Sammy in Folsom, California. We arrived at Loon Lake at about 6:30pm with clear skies and a bit of wind. We aired down and got on the trail.
We had heard reports that the Pirates got to Spider last week and also that Paul Nasvik, Seth Markowitz, and Don Alderrou had gotten as far as Walker Hill. Shane had also made it in, but only to Ellis Creek with his trailer last weekend. From what he said the slabs were covered with snow at that point. Well, the skies were clear, so we took the doors off and got rolling.
We dropped into the trees past the Crocodile Pit and up onto the slabs, which, to our surprise, had no snow at all. Down the slabs and up the other side, we dropped down into the forest. It was a bit late and getting cold. We found a nice little area looking out over the meadow and decided to set up camp on the edge of the slabs to the east of where you drop into the forest. Clear skies and a touch of wind. Nice night. Coronas and Lime for Cinco de Mayo. We hit the beds at 11:30 and heard engines on the slabs about midnight.
We woke up Saturday at about 8 and watched a very cool Toyota and full-size Chevy with a flat bed seat a bead. We then packed up and got rolling into the forest. We passed Ellis Creek with no problem and worked our way up Walker. Right before Eellis, we ran into a nice Bronco on the way out. Seems he had rolled over a long tree branch and it had somehow poked through his shackle plates in the rear, and wrapped around his axle so that both ends of this 15-foot long branch were sticking out the back. We strapped the attacking tree off his axle and sent him on his way!
Getting close to Sluice, we passed a Toy that had lost a valve stem the night before in the forest. They had slept on the ground in sleeping bags. OUCH! The flatbed Chevy had helped them fix their tire. We got to Sluice and went up on the bypass right above the box. The Toy and Chevy were sitting there waiting for victims. We went over the bypass and up to find camp. We ended up back in the corner directly behind the slabs where you stand to heckle the sluice runners. Spider was so high it was draining out through this area, and across the slabs into the end of the box. Pretty cool.
We set up camp and drove over to Sluice. We watched the cool Toyota do it backwards, then the Chevy. I drove over the bypass again and ran the box without too much trouble. Then Shane in his Sammy practically did it without even hitting the brakes! His first time on the 'Con past Ellis!! We saw a guy in an old rusty Willys , 33's, windshield down, no cage, 2 seats, a cooler of beer, and nothing else run through it backwards in about 20 seconds. Open front and LSD rear. Good driving!
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