For Part One of our Rubicon adventure click here.
The upside of turning around was that Bob’s Jeep was still drivable and we could manage an egress the way we came. The weather really changed on a dime and we went from cloudy to rainy to probably a half inch of snow and going in about two hours. While the other half of our group moved on down the Rubicon our three Jeeps made the slow trek back.
The snow was really coming down and it was taking on a legitimate sense of caution with an already technical trail made more difficult by rain and snow. Bobby did an awesome job of spotting everyone as we came back down and dropped in elevation. The drop helped as the snow gave way to wet although wet granite slabs make for an interesting drive and Rob did a great job of driving us down. On our way back we ran into a couple hikers who had parked down the hill and where looking at doing this as a single truck and as they listened to us and looked up the mountain you could tell they were not attempting the trail that day.
When we finally got back to the sagging area below Loon Lake we aired up our tires and began the drive back to find some reception to start planning the repairs. We drove down until we hit the Ice House Resort a popular stopping and staging area before hitting the trail. The guys started taking another look at Bob’s Jeep and after determining the needed parts started working on a plan to get parts and repair it. It was impressive watching them get a plan together.
They determined they needed a new steering box, contacted Northridge 4x4 and had the part overnighted after figuring out a location to get it overnighted to. This was a process but a very cool one to watch and they organized and put together a plan. We loaded back up in to the jeeps and Anne did a great job bird dogging the rooms at the same hotel we stayed at the night before.
We got back into Lake Tahoe and rolled back into the hotel and got checked in it was a long day so we basically stayed in. And by stayed in we had a bunch of great food to eat and steaks to cook. Rob not only being a master driver is also a pretty damn good camp chef so we ended up having an awesome time BBQing in the parking lot of the hotel and getting rid of some bourbon.
They were up early the next morning and in work on the steering box that had just arrived. I pretty much stayed out of the way and explored the local area while the adults where doing an awesome job of field swapping the parts. They had it squared away by the afternoon and we were off for burgers.
The next day after they got a hold of the other half of the team to make sure they had not resorted to cannibalism and found out that they both had a lot of fun and a couple very could nights we had one minor stop… Metal Cloak in Sacramento to pick up a tie rod. After being in the mountains it was a little anti climatic as we came down California traffic and found our way to Metal Cloak. The staff there was super cool and had the parts on hand for another field repair. Now you might not believe in things like rain dances but after this trip I do, no sooner where they committed on the job as it went from a cute little sprinkle to a full down pour. These guys where champs swapping everything out and I’m pretty sure at one point Rob had a mask and snorkel on, kidding aside he spent a good portion of this effort in about four inches of water, upside he got a cool new shirt from Metal Cloak.
Now why the field repairs and all this effort, well the Rubicon wasn’t the only leg of this trip and we had to be ready for the Dusy Ershim…