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Sierra Treasure Hunters Annual Steak Feed, Gerle Creek / Rubicon, June 28 & 29, 2003

Trailmaster Report

Scheduled departure time for the main group was 7:30 am from the McDonalds at Cameron Park & Hwy 50. Actual departure time after last minute rush to use the last civilized facilities for the next two days was sometime after 7:30am. One last stop at Sly Park to hit the last gas station and it was on to the famous Rubicon trail!

At the trail head Jack Raudy introduced us to the video film crew and the Pulitzer Prize winning photographer from the Sacramento Bee who was freelancing for Jack’s video project.
We all aired down, loaded up and headed out to the Gate Keeper. Everyone went up to watch the free entertainment at the Gate Keeper except me. I ended up under Medfly's jeep watching the clutch linkage not work. Actually I exaggerate, it did move a very little bit. Sharon did not approve of me taking a dirt bath before we had hardly gotten started on the trail. The stars of the video shoot, the Bryant’s and the Kerley's, got to stay behind to do their thing with the video crew.

The Trail
Everything went well with most at Gate Keeper. Michael Kellogg modified his dads step on the Jeep (need to remember to take it off before sliding over large rocks). Medfly made a quite impressive run and almost made it through, even if he had no clutch and was in two-wheel drive (need to remember to engage four-wheel drive before attempting Gate Keeper). This is where our group split in two as I guided a group towards the slabs via a little easier route.
All routes for me were challenging. My jeep looked like someone had tried to stuff ten pounds of stuff into a five-pound bag. Ninety per cent of this was on the rack. Just a little top heavy. Really adds to the pucker factor in off camber situations.

Our route for the most part was really easy. The last sixty yards or so to where we ate lunch was a little more challenging. I stacked a few rocks and everyone was ready to go for it. At the entrance to the rock garden Troy decided to paint a rock with the cab and bed of his Toyota. After eye balling the freshly painted rock, Dean, Rory’s guest was a little apprehensive. I had to explain these things only happen to Toyota's and not to Jeeps. Dean made it into the rock garden with no problem but half way through came the problems, rocks shifted and Dean learned first hand what “high centered” means. He got to break in his new high lift jack.

Lunch Time
At the bottom we met up with the rest of the Treasure Hunters who had come via Gate Keeper. We had lunch and enjoyed one another's company in the cool shade of the trees.
Lunch being over it was time for more fun. Turned around to find Kim Possible parked on top of a rock. Her right front tire was nine inches in the air. Guess she didn’t see the rock? Suggested she back off the rock and try going around it ;)
Up a slab and hard right into the loose dirt and rocks troy had a little bit of trouble getting traction in a little off camber and tight squeeze situation... a little too tight so now Troy has matching rock damage on the passenger’s side of his cab and bed. Kim Possible decided that Troy was having so much fun leaving paint on the rocks that she would try it too. Time for a set of rock sliders (rocker guards) for both Troy & Kim Possible hehe!

Back To Camp
Michael & Leona decided to go home to either fix the step on Dad’s jeep or for Leona to sleep in her own bed. Doesn’t really matter since Leona left a side dish for the steak feed :) Off to Gerle Creek to set up camp for most of us. Dean and Troy and their families made it back to camp to socialize for a while but had to leave before the feed. The motor home brigade had come in Friday night and staked out our territory (The Bryant’s, Medleys, Ron Stillwell and Rick Stillwell). Matt and Kimber reinforced the brigade Saturday afternoon with a brand new motor home.
Time for the good part. The Steak Feed. All sorts of meats were cooking. The tables were loaded with side dishes. Everything was delicious. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better out came Mrs. Medley with caramel and chocolate sauce. She gave it to Matt to heat up in his new microwave. Boxes of waffle cones, whipped cream and maraschino cherries were put out on the table. Then came the ice cream. Kids that were full of steak had gone to play but came in like moths to a light. Adults got the left over's. Then it was time to adjourn to the campfire. Medfly chopped down an innocent little plant with his shovel when making a fire pit. Too bad the current owner of the Enviro Nazi Award wasn’t there to pass it on! Great time. No kids. They were all out playing together and getting along. Not a single complaint from them (need to mark this on the calendar). Mr. Medfly had brought some pomegranate wood from home. The fire was not big enough for Kim Possible so out of the dark she came hauling about three fourths of a fallen tree. I almost got a hernia just watching her carry that thing!
All had a most enjoyable evening except for one thing. Just as we had the pot luck the mosquitoes decided to have one too and we were the main course. Three cheers for the gentleman that discovered OFF!
Rory & Candice were drinking some concoction made of Red Bull and Yeagermeister. Have you ever seen someone drunk but moving in fast forward? Rory had the honor of receiving the Boo Boo Bell for his guest being high centered, the only stuck of the day. I have never seen Mr. Kerley move as fast as he did to get the bell off his jeep. When Rory went to put the bell on his Toy's tie rod he found a severe case of toe in. The tie rod was higher than the differential. Not good. Did I forget to mention that while on the trail his Toy started sounding like a Japanese garbage disposal filled with beer cans? There was a little debate over whether it was the tranny or transfer case. Hopefully not anything too major.
After a good night sleep and a trail repair using the ever-popular high lift jack handle Rory was good to go.

Sunday's Run
A few of us decided to take a guided tour around Bugle and McKinstry Lakes. Carol and Linda Bryant, Kim and Chrissy, Rick and Shannon Kerley, Rick Stillwell and grandson Taylor, and the Clements clan. What a beautiful day! Stopped for the gang to look at a bear cub up a tree. Just before we got to Bugle Lake I saw the largest deer I’ve seen since moving to California. Got to the lake and watched a red headed woodpecker playing around in a tree and jumping in and out of it’s hole in the tree. Had lunch at the lake. Time to leave. Watched Kim Possible back over a piece of tree taller than her bumper. I would suggest anything or anyone beware of Kim if you are under four foot tall!
Some parts of the trail were really rutted and off camber. Kissed quite a few tree branches. The rack on my jeep and a tree had a small run in. The rack lost. A little persuasion with a thirty-two ounce ball pein and all was well again.
Cruised by McKinstry and back to camp. On the way back “Kim Possible” lost her antenna. Brother Kevin drove right over it. So Rick Stillwell stopped to pick it up. It wasn’t until we were back at camp and while walking around her Toy looking at the damage she finally noticed what the rest of us were talking about (or maybe she didn’t hear since she was
missing something). Loaded up and time to go home.


story by: Jim “Sleepy” Clements
edited by: webmaster Rory "Rockalot"

more on this trip in the July Newsletter
 
 
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