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Rubicon Trail 2001
 

Here is Michael spotting Bruce over what by now seems to be an endless river of rocks.  Are they ever going to end?  Every time we got through a tough section, I would say "Well, that must be the end of Big Sluice."  Another 10 yards and a bend in the trail would put us at the start of yet another rock garden to navigate.

We even managed to find a water hole obstacle along the way.  There was no bypass around it.  I hate water because of the things it can do to the drive train components (diffs, transmissions, etc.).  Lady's tail pipe bubbled the entire way through the water.  I caught Robert wading through the water.  I know he was hoping his 3WD would not cause him to get stuck (or worse yet, break down) in the water hole.  Luck was shining on us and he made it through with no problems.

After making it through the Big Sluice Box and the water hole, we pushed on towards the bridge over the Rubicon River and finally Rubicon Springs.  We encountered four vehicles (3 Land Cruisers and a Jeep) further down the trail, just before the bridge.  They had suffered a flat tire and were just finishing the airing up of the tire.  After talking with them for a bit, we discovered that this was a tour group (ie., they rent the vehicles and have a guide).  The guide was driving a Jeep....hmmm....I wonder why?

We made it to Rubicon Springs and stopped for about 20 minutes to pay our camping fees and chat with the care taker.  Rubicon Springs is a main staging area for the big Jeep Jamboree.  We were now on private land, and thus the reason for the $10 camping fee (good for up to a 5 day stay).  We got some pointers on where the best camp spots were and hopped back into the Jeeps.  Another 20 minutes of basically easy trail put us at a great spot, right next to the little creek that flows through this area.  

Here is a picture of our "front yard" at our camp site.  Pretty hard to take, eah?  About 10 minutes after arriving in camp, all 4 of us were down in this nice cool water, washing off the trail dust.  The water was a bit on the cool side (compared to my swimming pool in Phoenix), but I was not going to complain.  It felt great after busting all of those rocks on the trail.

We made some dinner and cracked open a few well-deserved cold ones.  I scraped the pics off the digital still camera and put them onto my laptop.  With 12VDC applied to the 115 volt AC inverter, I charged the battery on the camcorder while we watched the laptop's slide how of the previous two day's pictures.  After that was done, we huddled around the camcorder's rather small LCD screen (and I do mean small) and watched some more of our day's adventures that we caught on video.

Note the bend in Robert's drag link....just to the left of the adjuster.....right in the area of the threads.  The last part of the Day 2, namely Big Sluice Box, took its toll on the hardware.  With this being the start of Day 3, all we were hoping for is that we would make it to the top of Cadillac Hill, the last major obstacle between us and Lake Tahoe (a.k.a., the end of the trail).

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