Part of the deal of my 50th year is that I get to try new things and go to new places. The Rubicon is part of that. Last year we attended Jeeper’s Jamboree, a great little camping trip, they provide three meals a day, a band, a raffle, in other words, a great party. In 2012, there were 1700 people there for an anniversary year, it had been 60 years since the first Jeeper’s trip. We were excited to attend, I had never been on the Rubicon before, but because we were traveling from Tennessee to get there, we were late getting there. It was Friday before we arrived, so we snuck in the back way, down Cadillac to find a camping spot right near the helipad. It was a great trip, but we didn’t have time to run the whole Rubicon trail. Enter 2013, we planned better and only had to come from Washington this time. On top of that, only 600 people were there, so there was a whole lot more room.
Of course, Rich still thought we were late, we ended up delayed for a day in Redmond with some repair issues, but nothing serious. We got parked at Donner Ski Ranch on Wednesday night, packed the XJ and on Thursday morning we headed in to Georgetown, California to pick up our wristbands. A quick stop in Auburn for groceries and we were on our way. The first stop after Georgetown was Uncle Tom’s. It’s a little beer joint at the end of the road, dogs are welcome, as long as they live there, people are welcome, as long as you can behave and have $3 to pay for a beer. We milled around for a bit, talked to the locals and then headed to Loon Lake, the start of the trail. Four hours later we found ourselves swimming at Buck Island, an hour after that we were pulling in to the historical Rubicon Springs. The area has been traveled for a hundred years, it has been improved, but it is not a road. Much of the area goes through National Forest, other pieces are private property, including the Springs. There are many parts of the trail that are named, some still open, some not. Little Sluice, Chappie’s Rock, Gatekeeper, Ellis Creek, Walker Hill, Soup Bowl, Thousand Dollar Hill, Indian Trail, Big Sluice. Rich pointed them out to me as we passed either through or by them.
The weekend was great, just as last year was. Lots of fun, lots of laughter, we swam in the river daily, talked with great friends, made new ones. A recommended trip for anyone. The best part for me was finally being able to check off The Rubicon Trail from my life list. This was the first time I got to go through the whole trail. If ever you are looking for a “wheeling” trip, this is one that you should consider. Jeeper’s Jamboree takes care of all the hard parts, as a participant, you just need to come with a capable rig, a great attitude and a little bit of party spirit to have a good time.