Labor Day Weekend, 1998.
Usually, we hit the Rubicon
on this weekend. We've been doing it for years. This year, we decided
to get away from the chaotic crowds, and hit the Fordyce Creek Trail,
aka: Sierra Trek. This trail is arguably every bit as tough as the Rubicon.
I believe the scenery to exceed the Rubicon, and there is next to no
traffic thanks to the high river flows. The Fordyce Creek Trail is home
to the famous Sierra Trek. For this event, they actually turn the river
flow from Fordyce Lake down to a trickle allowing everyone to pass and
barley get their hubs deep. (There are four river crossings.)
On the other hand, the
rest of the time the river flows at a pretty considerable rate. Enough
to keep the average Joe away. This makes the trail perfect for us nuts
who could care less if we suck a few gallons of water down our intakes.
We all met at the beginning
of the trail on Friday evening, and headed in. We took our time and
enjoyed the fun wheeling before us. Our plan was to make it to the first
river crossing and camp for the night. A rig count totaled 16 rigs -
A really large turnout! The journey to the first river crossing was
amazingly smooth with no breakdowns. We knew what the river flow would
be before we got there because of our KFlow connection. They said it
would be running at 150 cubic feet per second. In comparison, they run
it at 25 cubic feet per second on Sierra Trek. 150 is actually child's
play for us Pirates, some of us have been known to cross at 410 cubic
feet per second.
The water was just a little
above my 35 x 16" Boggers. No problem. We all parked on the other
side of the river, and set up a quick camp. We had a few frozen burritos,
enjoyed some cocktails, and called it a night.
Saturday morning, we all
packed up, and headed out around 9:00am. We took our time, and had a
great time on the winch hills and 2nd and 3rd water crossings. Speaking
of winch hills, good 'ol Kelly drove my Land Cruiser up winch hill one
effortlessly. Then at the top (after the difficult stuff), she was goofing
around on about a 4' boulder and flopped her over! Too funny! She was
grinning from ear to ear, since it was her first trail flop! (the body
on the L.C. is a lost cause.)
|Here is what happens when
you let your girlfriend showboat in your rig! ;)
We arrived at the 4th
river crossing, and set up camp on the other side. The clouds were really
starting to build up, so we decided to set up a "tarp city."
Sure enough, as soon as we finished erecting the tarps, it started to
rain. No biggie though, it was still very warm. It felt as though we
were in Hawaii.
Some of the guys decided
to head up the trail in the rain, and see if they could make it to Meadow
Lake. Steve and Gary called over the C.B. and said they were en-route
to our camp, and were about 15 minutes away. Timbo, me, and a few others
decided to head across the river and meet up with them. By this time
it was raining so incredibly hard, it was amazing. There was an intense
lightning storm getting it on, and it felt as though we were driving
with a huge strobe light going! We finally intercepted Steve and Gary
just before the 3rd river crossing and turned around. A little "crash
up derby" ensued between Timbo and I, to the entertainment of everyone
else. Ahhhh not caring about your body is a great thing! ;)
Back at camp, the rest
of the gang had a huge fire burning even though it was raining so hard.
Too cool. We all hung out under the "tarp city" and partied
the night away.
Did I forget to mention
the steaks? Can't forget them! The club bought 10 HUGE Tri-Tip steaks
and all the trimmings for everyone to enjoy. Chef Lance whipped them
up for everyone to devour, and lemme tell ya - they got devoured!
All in all it was a completely
successful trip. I personally had a blast, and know that everyone else
involved to too!