Jim's Rubithon 2002


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staging at Ice House Resort Staging at Ice House Resort
Thursday Morning "Breakfast Run" getting ready for the trail.
Loon to Little Sluice Box Loon to Little Sluice
Loon Lake through the granite bowl to Walker Hill and on to the Little Sluice Box.
FJ40 in Little Sluice Box FJ40 in Little Sluice Box
We watched this FJ40 with a 176:1 crawl ratio take on the Little Sluice Box.
Klune-V Bronco in the Little Sluice Klune-V Bronco in Little Sluice
This Klune V equipped Bronco attempted the Little Sluice. Did he make it?
Little Sluice to Buck Island Lake
The trail from Little Sluice to Buck Island Lake.
Knuckles in Old Sluice Knuckles on Old Sluice
Knuckles takes on the Old Sluice and survives. This was the highlight of my trip.
This photo sequence is awesome!!!
Buck Island Lake Wagons Buck Island Lake Wagons
The wagons rule at Buck Island Lake.
Check out the 55s, 60s, and 80 Series wagons.
Buck Island Lake to Rubicon Springs Buck Island Lake to Rubicon Springs
Friday morning from Buck Island Lake to Rubicon Springs includes the Big Sluice.
Rubicon Springs Rubicon Springs
TLCA activities at the Rubicon Springs camp including the Marauder Bar and bonfire.
Cadillac Hill Cadillac Hill
The trip out Sunday morning. Cadillac Hill and Observation point.
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© 2002 by Jim Brantley, All rights reserved

Survived another Rubithon!

Yep, got lot's of cool pictures to sift through. I wheeled in Thursday morning behind a FZJ80, FJ55 and FJ60. No offense to the shorties, but it was awesome to look ahead and see the line of wagons moving down the trail. Plenty of long wheel base lines to watch for a change.

I always wanted to see a FZJ80 on the trail so it was great to watch Pat's FZJ80 on 37-inch MTRs. It had no problems on the trail. It was amazing to watch the big rig slip through the tight spots. Some day I must take my 80 Series through. Meantime, "Knuckles" my FJ60 did another great job getting me through the 'Con and home.

At Little Sluice we watched the Klune V boys in the box. IIRC, the FJ40 with ~176:1 crawled though without backing up. It was impressive - I NEED GEARS !!!

The trip's high point was when I joined Shipwreck for a trip down the Old Sluice. I honestly did not know what I was getting into. I had seen a few pictures and even walked part of the trail a few years ago. I didn't think it would be that bad for my long wheel based wagon. The fact was I had to kick my wheeling skills up a level to make it through this one.

I'm thankful for Craig's positive vibes and encouragement. Also the others that caught up to us at the pinch rock were very supportive too. Thanks Joe, et al. It's really great to have the support of the experienced hard core drivers in situations like this. No one ragging my ass for bringing a wagon etc. (believe me, I was starting to rag my own ass - what the Hell was I thinking?) In the end I think they were rewarded with a good show.

Afterward, I was pumped full of adrenaline and beside myself. We pulled into Buck Island Lake and found wagons everywhere. 80's, 60's and 55's it was very cool. I quickly downed a couple of beers to calm my excitment - it didn't help much. The group at Buck was fun and let us crash in their camp. Thanks.

Friday I blew out the inside sidewall on one of my MTRs. The same tires I've been bragging about - hmm. I think the heavy wagon needs a bit more pressure than 13 psi. Plus, I need take it easier on them. That was about it for my carnage, except my motor mount let go on Cadillac Hill. Not too bad, just chewed my plastic fan a little every time I torqued the motor. Also, a couple of new dents during the "easy" parts of the trail. My old LCC sliders bent up and blocked my door from opening - again. They'll be cut off soon. I'll have strong sliders next time. But, the new rear corner protection performed awesome - and I used it often.

We left about 9:00 AM on Sunday. It wasn't crowded at all. Most people left Saturday night. Going out I followed another 80 Series. Again, no problems and we were back in Pismo at 10:00 PM. It always amazes me to run the trail and drive home 350 miles with the AC and stereo blasting.

Land Cruisers + Rubicon = FUN

Jim Brantley, TLCA# 6433

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