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I'll keep chugging away on this. Trip Report Continued

Day 6


Our first full day in Cali, we rendezvoused with the rest of the gang in the morning and checked out Fordyce trail. @monflores11 also joined us. I really liked Fordyce. Great area. We did the first section of the trail and turned around after one of the water crossings. I guess the rest of the trail gets pretty difficult. Here's the story:

Airing down. So many sick Toyotas driving around out here in Cali. Saw a pair of first gen Tacos on one tons loading up on trailers.
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I love all the trees. Forests are my favorite.
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Just alot of boulders/rock gardens everywhere.
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@Firemedic831 broke another CV so he winched out of the "Winch Hill 1" obstacle and most of us took the bypass. It looked gnarly. In hindsight I should have tried this obstacle but I was still not 100% confident in my build at this point and playing it a little safe.
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Fun Runner
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@debFJVT navigating a tricky spot.
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You can see @Firemedic831 below making the final water crossing before we turned around.
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Watching the dogs play usually provides endless entertainment.
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Day 6 Continued (Fordyce)

Lil' bit of ugly in this picture. :cry: We gathered and ate lunch after the water crossing.
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I visually inspected my FJ frequently throughout the trip to make sure everything was holding together.
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Crossing the stream, headed back.
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End of day 6
 

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Day 7 (Signal Peak Trail)

The next day we gathered and did the Signal Peak Trail. This is pretty much in the same area as Fordyce but is quite a bit easier of a trail. It had 1 or 2 fun spots tho.
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Made it to the top where phone coverage was excellent. Lol
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On our way back downt the other side we may have gotten lost once or twice. Had to winch Deb back up these loose rocks after going the wrong way.
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Finally headed the right direction down to a lake.
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We skipped alot of rocks here haha.
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Day 8

The next day most of us spent a few hours rafting down the Truckee River. Nothing too extreme but alot of laughter and good times involved.
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Then the Kansas Krew checked out Lake Tahoe. Alot of Tourists in Tahoe and along the beach. We just drove quite a bit along the touristy beach area, got some ice cream. And headed back to Truckee.
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End of Day 8
 

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Day 9 (Beginning of The Rubicon Trail)

The day we've all been anticipating. The start of the Rubicon Trail! @shrdnar joined us. (I am stealing some of your pictures below, hope thats alright :) ). And the final group of 10 vehicles was assembled.
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It was quite the drive just to get to the trailhead. This was the last stop for gas. I had my 4 gal rotopax filled. (I really wish this pic turned out better lol)
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Finally made it!
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Obligatory photo.
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Lined up, airing down. I went to 10-11 psi in the rear and 12 in the front. I was shooting for 12 psi all around but my new gauge loaned to my by Deb as more accurate than the one I was used to. This is the lowest pressure I've ever gone. But these Method Trail wheels should hold the bead.
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A little group shot before leaving onto the trail.
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This was the big tire club at the back of the pack. All of us on 37's. We had a good time holding down the rear thats for sure. Really glad to have met Dustin, driver of the Lexus behind us. We are already planning a trip together to do Colorado's Blanca Peak soon.
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The start of the trail. I thought I knew what I was getting into. But nothing really prepares you for the real thing does it?
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We had to winch Shrdnar when he got a little high centered.
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Day 9 Continued (Rubicon)

Made it down to a pretty tricky section.
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I had to winch Mas backwards a little here. I wore the winch rope around my bumper hoop as a trophy for the rest of the trail hehe.
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Then I made it up without any fuss.
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A little over 1.5 miles into the trail a few of us tried the Soupbowl obstacle. As soon as I heard that obstacle called out over the CB I got pretty excited and couldn't wait for my turn. I didn't know if I would make it up but I was gonna give it a try. If it wouldn't go it wouldn't go. I wasn't gonna force anything.
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I roasted my tires on the rocks for a little bit.
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I remember @Firemedic831 saying "you're gonna make it" while spotting me and that got me excited and my blood pumping. And Deb said "this is so badass!" lol. Then I tried for a little while and didn't seem to get anywhere. Jerry stacked a rock or two (here's your credit buddy lol). Then in the end I asked to back up a little bit and give it a little bump. It totally worked and I hopped up pretty easily. It was awesome and a highlight of the trip for me. My FJ is probably the first IFS FJ to make it up this obstacle and one of the first IFS anything to do it I would guess! My low tire pressure for sure helped to get a grip and my big tires gave me the clearance. And again a huge thanks to Jeff for helping get me up this. I talked to some guys later on and they were impressed I went up it. They had never attempted it and were driving well used SFA rigs. It never even felt tippy for me. Just pretty solid.

I had yet to rub my tires on anything in the front end until this obstacle. I ripped out one of the front top plastic fender liners doing it. (it was held in with mostly zip ties though). I ended up ripping the other side out a little later but never noticed any tire rubbing on anything other than those for the entire trip! So you could say I'm very happy with how my FJ is setup currently.

The rest of the trail continues in the next post when I get around to creating it.
 

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Great Pics. And So Happy you made it up Soup Bowl . Not sure if you know this but Dustin is the one that got his GX totaled last year on Hells Gate . And 3 days before this trip it was in a Million Pieces . :ROFLMAO:
 
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Man, I wish I would've made this trip. Looks like a blast!

How are you liking your RCVs?
 
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How are you liking your RCVs?
No issues with them. Alot of people have issues with them clicking but I'm thinking thats because the suspension is not strapped correctly causing more wear on them or they just wear out over time. I know @HeisKai has talked to RCV about the +3.5" shaft being too long and limiting droop. I need to measure mine someday and possibly send them back to get rebuilt with a shorter shaft but I need another vehicle so I haven't looked into it much yet.
 

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Thank you SO much for this writeup!! A great adventure, and looks like a great deal of fun was had by everyone. Maybe next year.
 
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Day 9 Rubicon Continued

After soupbowl I finished ripping out the plastic fender liners so the tires would stop catching them and we moved on. By this point in the trip I was feeling VERY confident in the build and capabilities. The FJ would go almost anywhere. I was cruising thru the obstacles pretty much without any spotting. I was telling Mason who's 4runner was behind my FJ that it could go anywhere and he said "Yeah, I noticed!" lol.

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Then @Firemedic831 rolled a tire off the bead and broke a CV somehow.
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So we stopped and watched some rigs that were headed the opposite direction go around us while they fixed it.
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Then @MotioncontrolMike rolled a tire off the bead in a similar spot. It was fixed in the dark on a pretty tricky spot parked at an angle. I believe Jerry was watching Ferris Bueller in his fancy Lexus at this point. Lol
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Day 9 Rubicon Continued

So after fixing a few of the rigs we were able to keep going. I was not looking forward to driving on the Rubicon in the dark or arriving at camp at who knows what time. I was getting a little frustrated. We would be sitting static in our vehicles for up to 45 minutes at a time in the dark wondering what was going on ahead of us, turning off our engines each time to conserve fuel. (I would recommend bringing 4 extra gallons of gas for the Rubi). I was also pretty tired. In 13 hours we had only driven about 5 miles on the trail. Knowing the trail is 22 miles long I was feeling discouraged. But a few guys in an old 4runner and Jeep parked next to us and we partied with them for a bit because they were unable to pass us since we couldn't move and they were playing loud music. Mostly 80's ballads lol. It cheered me up.

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We finally rolled into camp at midnight on the dot. Mason scanned the area with his flashlight and we saw a bear moseying off. We must have scared him away when we arrived with our vehicles. We threw our tents on the ground and tried to get as much sleep as we could.
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Day 10 (Rubicon Trail)
We woke up and got a look at our surroundings.
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I looked at the map on my tablet and figured this day would be a shorter drive to our next campsite. I did not want another day like yesterday. I was determined to setup camp in the daylight if it came down to it. Well the group got started rolling out and I probably drove 30 feet and there was trail traffic and we waited around for quite a bit of time again. Turned off the engines and BS'd with some guys about the rigs.
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We finally made it out of the campsite and while we were waiting yet again I got bored and decided to play around with my FJ on some harder lines. I don't think I have any pics of this but I got a little stuck and needed a quick pull back from my brother's winch. I think this is the spot where I scraped my new HD driveshaft alot on the rock underneath of me. If I was a little more careful I may have avoided getting stuck but I just wanted to go for it and play around. See what the rig was made of you know?

Eventually the group started moving again and we got caught up to @shrdnar with a broken front brake line that had frayed apart. I don't think I have any good pics of this either but we managed to assist in plugging the line and get him winched over the obstacle he was attempting.
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Then mason beached his whale and needed assistance. hehe. Don't think he saw that rock.
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Here we are parked, analyzing the Decision Tree obstacle. I was a litltle nervous about this one just from seeing photos of it but my mind was made up which line to take the moment we arrived. Drive to the left of the tree. It really paid off for the vehicles on 37's and was a cake walk. We needed to winch one of the FJ's on 35's cuz I don't think we had you on the perfect line @shrdnar and the other FJ on 35's made it without much fuss I believe. I don't think I have any pics of this obstacle really as I was busy spotting.
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We made it to the famous bridge on the Rubicon but I didn't bother to stop and take pics. About this time mason told me a link on my rear sway bar was dangling. So I pulled over near/at Rubicon Springs and determined I had lost a 1/2-13 nut and decide to remove the other side of the link and toss it into the FJ for now and run swaybar-less.
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Rubicon Day 10 (continued)

After the water crossing we finally made it over to the huge Dirty Dozen campground and had the whole place to ourselves which I hear is very unusual to be empty. I loved all the big trees and shade. Another group of rigs rolled in late that night however and played music 24/7. Oh well.
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We washed up a little in the springs (the Rubicon "moon dust" gets everywhere) and we did some jumping off the rope swing into the lake in what must be a classic NorCal setting.
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Good times were had around the campfire later with some Knob Creek bourbon in my glass and talk of $500 designer clownfish from Dustin and Jerry. Those two are hilarous when they go at it, I couldn't stop laughing.
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End of Day 10
 

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Day 11 (Rubicon Trail)

We spent the following day hiking and relaxing in the water more. BTW we made tacos yesterday, and cheeseburgers today for supper. They were yummy. Saw a rattlesnake at one point along our hike and turned around haha. We got a little tour of Rubicon Springs afterward from the caretaker. More good times around the campfire that night.

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End of day 11
 

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Day 12 (Rubicon Trail - Cadillac Hill)

The last main obstacle standing between us and the exit to the Rubicon Trail was Cadillac Hill. This for me was the toughest part of the whole trail. Some may disagree but I wouldn't underestimate it. It was the most off camber and closest to a cliff we had seen yet. Not alot of line options available.
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We finally made it out and onto some flat ground.
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Caught up with the group and got the shot at the overlook. 10 rigs entered the Rubicon and 10 rigs finished.
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My thoughts on the Rubicon specifically as a trail will be posted later, down below after the trip report.

We aired up in the parking lot. Said our goodbyes to some. And started heading back, into the heart of Nevada where we would find a hotel in Elko. But not after finding the closest Taco Bell lol.

End of Day 12 (Final Day on Rubicon)
 

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Day 13

I found a nut for my sway bar in town and we continued heading home. Deb tagging along also. We made the quick detour to the Bonneville Salt flats. What a great place, glad we stopped.

We got lost on this road for a little bit first though. Had fun hitting some of the hills and bumps at speed with my LT and hydro bumps.
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We split ways with Deb in S.L.C. and we continued on to Wyoming. It was a looooong drive that never ended that day. We arrived very late. The plan was to camp but due to setbacks earlier that day we decided against setting up camp in the dark and got another hotel in Saratoga, WY.

End of Day 13
 
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