Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rubicon Trail Adventure

I just got back from five days of 4x4 action on the Rubicon Trail. We had our mobile tribe of Jeeps. The drivers were Jefe, Mark, Brent, Danny, Chris and Tom. I rode along with my cousin Mark in his classic Jeep CJ-8, pictured above. We started at Loon Lake on Thursday and ended with Cadillac Hill on Monday. The first night we camped at Buck Island and the rest of the time we were based at Rubicon Falls.

I met a lot of great folks along the way. Among others, our group included a factory worker with a Star Wars fetish, a university employee with a knack for welding, cryogenics lab (sperm bank) owners, a lawyer, an internet guy, a retired fireman, a Jeep and bicycle mechanic, a structural engineer, and a classical musician.

Offroading seems to have it's own vocabulary. Here are a few terms I learned along the way:

  • rig: another term for your vehicle. "Nice rig, is that an '82 CJ?"
  • flop: when a rig turns on it's side. "Get the winch, Brent had a flop."
  • break: some kind of failure or breakdown. "Sherman had a break. Good thing Mark was nearby with his welder."
  • stocker: someone driving a unmodified (stock) jeep. "Those stockers don't know what they're in for."
  • lockers: device to lock your differential so the wheels spin together.
  • open diff: an unlocked differential. "He couldn't make it over the rock because of the open diff."
  • comfort shovel: shovel used when you need to do your business in the woods.
  • Jethro: a hick or hillbilly type of person. Usually broken down in front of a group of rigs trying to make their way along the trail. "That Jetrhro is using a strap to hold his engine in."
The scenery is amazing and the challenges of getting vehicles through the trail keeps it interesting. There is driving skill involved but there's also an element of camaraderie that goes along with it. You need to be prepared, but you can't bring everything with you, so it's important to have a group of folks. When someone has a break or a flop, the group pulls together to help them out.

All in all we had a great time. I'm thinking I might just need to start looking around for my own Jeep.

Video of Mark making his way down Million Dollar Hill.

Brent and his flop near Buck Island. Thankfully no one was hurt.

It seems orange was the official Beguelin color for the day.