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Story by, Coach George
Photos by, Steve Maguire
Spell-checked by, Jake the dog.

Rubicon Media Run '99
Sponsored by the California Association of 4WD Clubs

RubiconThe climb down off the step of the dam is best taken at an angled zig so you can drop one tire at a time. It was easy for my TJ but a few others had problems. Not enough zig, I guess. Before the planned lunch spot beside Buck Island Lake is a nice slickrock wall you can try to climb. It appears the secret is...well, maybe I shouldn't I tell. Ok. Drivers close your eyes. Spotters read on. Have them put their driver's tires just a little into the crevice. This keeps the rig from wanting to walk sideways to the right.

Big Sluice, not to be confused with Old Sluice, was waiting ahead when lunch was done. Go figure, since it hasn't moved in hundreds of years. It's a rocky slice out of the earth with a somewhat nasty corner in the middle and little sweat makers along it's whole length. Seems like you spend a week traversing this sluice area.

RubiconThe Rubicon Bridge finally appears. Thankfully, I was beginning to think the walls of the Big Sluice were closing in on me. This bridge is maintained by many active clubs in the Sacramento/Tahoe valley area along with support from the CA4WDC.

Rubicon Springs is a private campground ($5?/nite) and is just around the corner and waiting for us. Just one more water crossing and we could rest. A few jokesters, not with this group, try to lead everyone into deep water and demonstrated, hilariously, the type of idiots that get trails closed. It's amazing what booze does to you. Everyone crossed fine as the jokesters and the realists battle- yelled out the best paths to take. Got to admit, though, it was entertaining.

RubiconAs each group hit the upper camping area of the springs, they split up into their own packs of clubs and friends into favorite campsites. Us few not with any of the represented clubs headed to the back for our own personal spots of peace. Dinner of pasta was as good as the previous days of the trip. Steve Sampson, of the Membership Committee of CA4WDC, and I started comparing our TJ's and tricks of the trade. Dinner conversations with him and introductions to passer -by's brought us further into the clubs and their packs so mingling that night was much more pleasant. We played cards and cracked jokes til' the wee hours of the morning. I won every hand! And, if you believe that, I know of a white CJ that is, ummm, Rubicon-ready that I can sell you for cheap. You pick it up!

Cadillac Hill was the way out the next morning. The plan was to head out at 10:00am and meet at the parking area at the trail's tail. (If the trails got a head then its gotta have a tail, right!) The story goes, that this hill, this nasty, long hill, is named Cadillac because way back yonder in the 30's a Caddy appeared over the side. Many years later when someone had the basketballs to go down to it, they discovered it wasnt a Caddy. Its a LaSalle! Once equipped with six forward gears and two reverse. Hmmm!

RubiconAnyway, all appeared somewhat worse for the weary, yet, smiling at the parking area for a quick hot dog or chili lunch. We aired up of the tires, shot the bull and prepared for the treks home. All in all, my TJ did well, suffering only a pin-hole leak in the oil pan (thanks, Cadillac Hill) and a broken pasenger's flare light (thanks, Big Sluice). Me? I had a blast, Steve was too tired to tell me, and Jake just thought he'd gone thru heaven and came out in Hell. He wanted to go back!

I'm looking forward to next year's CA4WDC Media Run and maybe the Ol' Mad Cow's driver, himself (TXJEEPER: Editor, ROCKCRAWLER), can hop thru the sky's from my old stomping grounds in Alabama to join in the fun!


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