It's hard to believe that we're up to the 8th annual trip! I'm impressed every year with how good a group of guys and gals show up and make this a great weekend every time. It's my pleasure to host/lead this trip every year. As the regulars will notice we're not going in on Father's Day weekend this year. Blame it on the epic snow season that the Sierra had this year. There's no way this will be open in time, so I had to move it to mid-July. Should be about the same conditions as most years even tho we're a month later.
Last year's thread
Optional Friday run and camping again this year. The actual trails we run this year will be largely based on what happens on the pre-run the weekend before. So, when I post a map later, please don't take it as concrete (I'll update after the pre-run). The good thing is that all the trails are interesting and everyone is just happy to be out in this amazing country. Anticipated camp spots are the same as last year.
We're going to limit the trip to the first 15 rigs, so get your reservation in soon.
MEETING PLACE IS THE SAME AS LAST YEAR ALONG HWY 4, NOT ARNOLD AS IN YEARS PAST.
- Liberty Vista Point pull out on Hwy 4, on the right, 18.1 miles past the Kwik Serv gas station in Arnold (where you will fill up gas). There is a blue warning sign on the highway for the vista point. If you pass the turn off to 7N09 or the Cabbage Patch Highway Maintenance Station, you've gone about a quarter mile too far.
- 9:30am sharp
- (remember what I just said above) We'll start by running the Mt. Reba trail up by Bear Valley. The short and moderately difficult trail leads to a peak with spectacular views. In the afternoon we will run a few trails off of forest road 7N09. We'll head over to Long Gulch bypass trail and see if anyone wants to try it. This is a trail the the Esprit de Four club maintains and claims requires a highly modified rig. Alternatively, we might run the Sourgrass Road out of Sourgrass picnic area on the N. Fork of the Stanislaus River. This is a gnarly road that a few of us ran last year. Only a couple miles long, but requires spotting and advanced driving skills. Those who don't want to try it can relax in the lovely picnic area at the start of the trail.
- At 12.5 miles in on 7N09 and another 4 miles in on 7N19 and 7N76Y, we will camp in a nice spot "on top of" Calaveras Dome. With a nice short walk with your camp chair, beverage of choice, and appetizers and finger foods to share, we'll gawk at the amazing view before us while sitting on a huge dome of granite. We'll be sitting 1800 feet above the North Fork of the Mokelumne River and Salt Springs Reservoir. This is a remote camp site with no facilities (as are all the others) or water, so bring everything with you (and plan to take it all out). We'll cross Moore Creek twice on the way to camp, so if it's hot and the group is so inclined, we can stop and take a dip and clean up.
- Liberty Vista Point pull out on Hwy 4, on the right, 18.1 miles past the Kwik Serv gas station in Arnold (where you will fill up gas). There is a blue warning sign on the highway for the vista point. If you pass the turn off to 7N09 or the Cabbage Patch Highway Maintenance Station, you've gone about a quarter mile too far. Space is limited, so park close to one another. We'll either air down here or a half mile in on 7N09.
- 9:30am sharp
- We'll start by running the Mattley Ridge and Meadow trails. The short and moderately difficult trail leads through beautiful flower filled meadows. Unlike in past trips, after we come out on the "main" road (7N16) after Mattley Meadow, and after our group picture overlooking Mokelumne Peak, we're going to hang a left and travel some other back roads up on Mattley Ridge that will avoid the long dusty stretch of 7N09. In the afternoon we will head up the Corral Hollow Rd (7N11) making the usual side trips to Flagpole Point (nice view) and Jelmini Basin and cabin (for another group pic). Lastly we'll head for camp in Bear Trap Basin.
- Once again we'll camp in the spot we've used the last couple years that's a couple hundred yards up the road from the Bear Trap Basin cabin. Plenty of room for everyone, including tent campers (and Jon's hammock). We should make it into camp by 3 or 4, so plenty of time for lounging and exploring the cabin, meadows, and creek. Should be plenty of wood for a fire. There's a mix of shade and sun in this camp.
- We'll continue up the Corral Hollow trail. This is the shortest road of the trip, but the scenery is wonderful and the road is more challenging than the others. It will take us until noon or 1 to get out to Hwy 4. We'll air up, and then head down the highway to Snowshoe Brewing Co. in Arnold for lunch and brews and camaraderie (and a last group shot). We'll call ahead this time to warn the staff that a large group is coming. Hopefully one table doesn't get ignored this year.
First and foremost, fill your gas tank in Arnold BEFORE you head up to the meeting place. There are 3 gas stations in town: a Chevron and KwikServ about the same ok price, and another independent station with higher prices (go figure). The Chevron is on the left and kind of tight to get into. The KwikServ is on the right and has more room, and does take credit cards. With a full tank of gas in Arnold, we'll have more than enough to get around.
Second, please make every attempt to be on time. Don't make all the others wait for you because you had to stop for that 3rd mocha.
...What can I say that hasn't been said already. Communications are important with a group like this. This year, if you don't have your ham license and a 2m radio, you'll be delegated to the wait list. It really does make a difference. Just get your amateur radio license. I'll print a call sign cheat sheet to share for the trip. No comms = no go on the trip.
Don't forget all your gear and supplies. Bring all your water. Make sure your X is in good working order.
Bring recovery gear if you own it.
Booze: Theme: bring your favorite growler of beer (or a couple 22oz or several 12oz bottles/cans) to share. Sure, feel free to bring whatever scotch/whiskey/bourbon you desire, but there will be a table for beer tasting. Bring a cup to share. Doesn't have to be green.
Be prepared for any weather. Afternoon thunderstorms can pop up at anytime in the Sierra. Temps in the high 60's and low 70's at this point, with overnight lows in the 40's. Camp elevation on Friday is 5700'. Saturday camp is at 7200'.
Although the cabin near the proposed camp site on Saturday has an outhouse, be prepared for remote camping without one just in case it's full of bees again, full, or you don't want to make the 300yard walk. Chris usually sets up his WAG toilet and I encourage you to use it. Bring your own TP.
Firearms: There is a decent place for a range at Saturday's camp (guys have shot there before). However, my strict rule is that the range is only open before happy hour gets started. Simple. If you can't follow this rule, I don't want you on the trip.
This trip can also be done as a day trip either Saturday or Sunday if you can't make both days. You have to find your way in or out (pretty easy) on your own though (PM me if you need directions). And, don't be late if you come in on Sunday. We won't wait for you. There is lodging at Bear Valley and Arnold for those that want to join but can't or won't sleep out under the stars. Let me know if you plan on heading out for commercial lodging before the trip. Note, however, that I will give priority to participants that go both days so if the trip is full of weekenders, day trippers will have to wait until next year. Sorry, the 15 rig limit is already pushing it.
Looking forward to good times and good people again this year!
PS If folks want to post pictures from years past, please feel free!