September 10-14, 2009Off Road 4wheeling Trip Report

Destination: Rubicon Trail – Lake Tahoe, California
Distance: 952 Miles
Attendees: Peter, Rich

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Our expedition began September 10th; we hit the hwy after making final adjustments and checking everything on the Toyota 4runner.  Our destination was the Rubicon Trail entrance where we planned to camp for the night.  We stopped briefly for additional supplies, gas and lunch in Eugene.  At this point we had fallen behind schedule but we were determined to camp at the Rubicon.  We drove non-stop until after midnight when we finally rolled into camp.  We setup camp in the dark and slept like a rock or was that on a rock.  :)

The next morning Friday September 11th we broke camp and loaded up the 4runner.  After doing safety and mechanical checks we discovered the rear elocker wasn’t engaging.  Who needs a rear lock for the Rubicon anyways?

I’ve never driven a trail with so many people!  It was an off road traffic jam.

Rubicon Trail 2009

Rubicon Trail 2009

The first sections of trail were fairly easy and required limited technical ability to navigate.  Our truck was fairly well equipped with 35″ BFG KM2 tires, gears, front elocker, broken rear elocker and armor.  I can imagine driving this trail with an IFS rig on 33″ tires would be intensely challenging.  About 1 mile into the trail our rear axle seal blew out.  We decided after considering our options to continue on rather than turn around.

The Rubicon Trail earns it’s difficultly rating.  The trail is a relentless non-stop rock garden.  Here in the Pacific North West our trails may have are several obstacles whereas the entire Rubicon trail is an obstacle.  Many consider it the ultimate test of a vehicle.

Rubicon Trail 2009

Rubicon Trail 2009

It was dark for the final hour of trail driving which increased the challenges drastically.  Thankfully we survived and made it to the Marlin Crawler Event camp.  We setup camp and enjoyed sleeping on a rock slab.

The next morning Saturday September 12th we ventured into camp to ask if anyone had an axle seal.  A couple campers suggested we find MarlinMarlin is an amazing guy.  He dropped everything to come look at my truck and  then proceeded to help replace the bad wheel bearing and axle seal.  He truly saved the day.  Beyond that he wouldn’t accept any payment.  Thank you Marlinwww.marlincrawler.com

Rubicon Trail 2009

Rubicon Trail 2009

We drove out of the camp via “Cadillac Hill” which is anything but smooth.  Thankfully we survived the entire Rubicon trail.  We camped out at the Tahoe Valley Campground which boasted a heated swimming pool.

The next morning Sunday September 13th we hiked the Vikingsholm Castle trail (about 2 miles).  We had a great time and enjoyed the views and beautiful sunny weather.  We stayed a second night at the Tahoe Valley Campground.

Vikingsholm Castle - Lake Tahoe California

Vikingsholm Castle - Lake Tahoe California

The next morning Monday September 14th we woke up early and began the 13 hour voyage back to Portland, Oregon.  Thankfully our return trip was uneventful.  This trip is certainly an experience that won’t be forgotten!

Sunrise over Lake Tahoe California

Sunrise over Lake Tahoe California

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