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Gateway to the Rubicon....

August would not be a good time for me either. Too many other obligations for that month. Dead Link Removed

Happy Wheelin'
Ray L. :)
97 XLT 4X4 4.0L SOHC

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Ji, even if it's only the two of us I'm positive we'll have a grat time

93XLT-5.5" Super Runner, Super Runner Steering, 1.5" Body lift,33x12.5,
Plenty of Scabs on Hands

Let's work on a date we can all get together . Are we the only one's in northern CA? Anyone know of any 4X4 in the Santa Cruz mountain area?
Kevin, I'm ready anytime ! SEE YA sun.

ThunderHourse did you get back in one piece? What's the damage .

The Jinx !

Explorer over the Rubicon

Day one July 18th

We meet at the Icehouse and introduce ourselves to the others on the run. The
planned group of 20 plus people and 10 or more vehicles has come down to 8 people
and only 5 vehicles ( 3 early broncos, 1 jeep and my '92 4dr. Explorer). Lots of last
minute cancellations, some just stay in camp.

Airing down at Loon Lake, there is lots of talk " Hey this is going to be a hard trail,
especially for that Explorer". We line up with a "strong bronco" in front of the
"weaker" jeep and Explorer and a bronco as tail gunner. The trip to Spider Lake, the
first camp site is a good test for all. The jeep hits some rocks hard enough to break
both front spring hangers. Everyone else makes it to the lake with just a few little
All vehicles except two of the broncos bypass the Little Sluice. However, both the
broncos have to turn out early and go up the slab rock because they could not make it
through the Little Sluice.
Camp is set up at Spider Lake and there is just enough daylight to weld the jeep's
spring hangers and cook dinner. (steak, shrimp, green salad, potatoes and

Day two July 19th

After breakfast, it's time to load up and hit the trail, 9:00A.M. This is where we go
wrong. After leaving Spider Lake we make a left turn (should have gone right) and
start down the trail (we found out later it is called Lost Trail--- you go down it and you
are lost). This trail proves to be the undoing for one of the, STRONGER, broncos as
he breaks big time (steering box, trans linkage, rear output shaft and finally his front
drive shaft). So, the "WEAKER", Explorer has to strap the bronco to a place where it
can be left, and the other broncos head back out through Loon Lake to get parts in

This leaves the Explorer and the Jeep on their own. Sooo, off we go down the Big
Sluice to Buck Island Lake. This takes us about 4 hours as we missed the bypass for
the Big Sluice. This is where my Explorer gets most of its Off Road Badges.

At Buck Island Lake we find that the jeep is leaking oil from the oil pan, but only
when cold. We park so it doesn't lose all its oil and make dinner (just some fruit and
Kool Aid).
SLEEP--- what a long day.

Day three July 20th

We wake up a 6:00 A.M. eat a little fruit and some crackers, break camp and hit the
trail by 7:00. The run into Rubicon Springs is uneventful as both Explorer and jeep are
doing very well. At Rubicon Springs we are able to pick up some oil (just in case it's
needed for the jeep), then on to Cadillac Hill.

Once on Cadillac Hill we run into an international group of jeepers sponsored by Jeep.
They have 22 jeeps (all stock) in their group so we have to wait a bit to get to the top.
While talking to the tail gunner of this group we find that we did miss the bypass to
the Big Sluice and followed one of the hardest parts of the trail, the stock jeeps take
the bypass. After the hill, we meet a back packer. I ask," how's it going", he says not
to well and can he have a ride. "Sure thing get in" it's a nice drive to Tahoe.

This run was a real test for my Explorer, and I am able to say that it proved to be a
very strong and capable vehicle. Also the many comments and finger pointing from
other wheelers on the trail were very rewarding, " Hey, is that an Explorer?", "All
right an Explorer on the Rubicon!", "An Explorer, that's the first one I've seen here!"

Explorer specs:
The Explorer has a 4" Super Lift, rebuilt auto trans with all strengthening upgrades,
4.56 gears, Auburn rear, Lock Rite front, manual hubs, 33 by 12/15 BFG ko tires,
custom 2"x4" bash bars under the doors, front sway bar disconnects, front tow hooks
and shackle in the rear hitch.

jerry (thunderhorse)

Allright Thunderhorse,

If Ji hadn't had unforeseable breakdowns the first day I cn assure you we would have been with you, at least for the first day. I am sorry we weren't there but I am very happy to see that you made it through there mechanically sound.

93XLT-5.5" Super Runner, Super Runner Steering, 1.5" Body lift,33x12.5,
Plenty of Scabs on Hands

Hey Everyone !
Kvo , Kevin , Ray, ect. What, no 4 Wheeling ? I've been a little busy , work and all. I broke my winch a couple week's ago . I've just been waiting for it to be repaired . Kevin do you still what to tackle that hill ? Everything still working ok ? Any one have any ideas in norhtern Ca.or NV.

Hey Jerry,
That is just TOO COOL!!! Dead Link Removed

Happy Wheelin'
Ray L.
97 XLT 4X4 4.0L SOHC

Very cool site, great vehicle. Looks like a great trip... maybe someday......


I read about the trip in the Northern CA Tahoe/Sierra area and it sounded like fun. I head up to the Sierra a couple weekends a month and explore the unpaved back roads between Blue Canyon and Truckee, North AND South of I-80 (and there are a TON of them).

There is a road I've heard about - the Soda Springs to Foresthill/Ice House - that I hope to take before the snow arrives. It's supposed to be fairly rugged with gorgeous scenery. There MAY be one shallow river crossing.

A tip: DON'T trust the deLorme topo atlas - they show roads that aren't there, or vice versa.

I'd really like to hear of other good roads in the Northern Sierra.

David in Sacramento, CA
'63 P1800, '73 Norton Commando, '93 XLT,
'95 Doberman Pinscher (ARF!)

[This message has been edited by davidk (edited 08-29-1999).]

Hi David!

We've done that trail quite a few times! It is a nice drive, but it's more fun in the snow! We spend alot of time up there durring the winter - as long as the gate is open! They kept the gate open most of the year last year. It should be a pretty easy drive this time of year. If you ever want to get together, let me know. I'd love to check out some of the other trails in the area, and Tami loves the Forresthill/Soda Springs drive. It's nice to see another "local" on the board!

Ji & Tami
& boys & dog....
(Antelope, CA)