September 6, 2008 Attendees:

John Ruiz (trail boss) Dave and sons CJ and his better half, Darrell Mike and Renosa Rick and Carol

Many thanks to John for organizing the event, to David for leading us into the wilderness, Darrell for spotting us through all the bumps and to the entire group for their attitude and eagerness.

Most of the crew was on the road at various times early Friday morning which landed everyone in camp (Icehouse campground) by mid afternoon. The campground was nice with a great view of Icehouse Lake. Very comfortable with plenty of space. After everyone got settled we piled into vehicles and made our way into Tahoe. I got to play tourist having never been there. The group assuring me I would recognize when we crossed the border into Nevada. They were right, those casinos are perched on the state line. We had a decent meal, enjoyed some dice and some cards. A nice bonus. We rolled back into camp and got to sleep for an early morning.

In the morning the weather was great. We moved quickly out of camp for the 25 miles to the trail head. (next time we should consider staying closer to the trail head). We hit Loon Lake, over the first dam, then over the second dam and into the staging area.

We started the trail one shy, Rick had to stay back and joined us later. The first obstacle was the Gatekeeper. I understand it is now smaller than it was before it was demolished (2005), it was a great tone setting obstacle. We took our time and worked our way from the Gatekeeper to the granite bowl, to Walker Hill and to Little Sluice and Spider Lake. That took us until lunch time when Rick joined back up with us. From there we explored a little and headed back.

On the way back we had to remove one of Mike’s shocks just before he lost an airbag. He still made it back through the trail without the airbag.

Back to camp as the sun was setting for community chili and some tired fireside chat. It was a long day.

It was an amazing trip. I cant wait to do it again. Overall I thought the trail was easier than I thought it was going to be. For as much time we spent behind the wheel, we barely scratched the surface. Of the 18 miles of trail, we only covered three miles. I am ready to attach the other 15 when ever anyone else is ready.

Great group of guys. Had fun with all of them.

Thanks to John for planning the trip and “paving the way”

Thanks to Darrell for his spotting and his chili and his driving

Thanks to David and his boys for leading the pack and his patience with us

Thanks to CJ for his techo-geek and company

Thanks to Mike and Renosa for their FANTASTIC photos

(looking forward to getting on the road) dscndg01.jpg

(John and CJ working through the Gatekeeper) dscndg02.jpg

(CJ almost through the Gatekeeper) dscndg03.jpg

(David and sons nearing the granite bowl) dscndg04.jpg

(david and sons peering over the granite bowl) dscndg05.jpg

(John trying to find rocks to stack over the granite bowl) dscndg06.jpg

(Mike stuffing a tire on the journey across the granite bowl) dscndg07.jpg

(some abandoned Scrambler on the trail) dscndg08.jpg

(Spider Lake, I could have spent all day there) dscndg09.jpg

(Rick and CJ on the return trip) dscndg10.jpg