On a recent trip back to Boston, I was lucky enough to stop by the Red Lentil Cafe in Watertown. The restaurant was popular and highly rated on HappyCow so I parked on Auburn Street, and headed in for dinner.
The space was very bright, clean, and well laid out. I was happily surprised at how busy it was. The tables were set up mostly for couples which lent a nice ambiance to the place, and the bright colors complimented the friendly service.
I have always heard about this mythical place called Sand Lake, but never really wanted to go there. Maybe it’s the name. A lake of sand doesn’t necessarily sound appealing. But when I had an invite from a couple of Jeep friends to camp for the weekend, I took the chance.
Sand Lake is a recreation area just South of Tillamook on the Oregon Coast. Getting there is a cinch and it is nice to pass Brown’s Camp should the desire for another type of wheeling strike you on your way home.
I headed toward “Derrick Road” where I would eventually meet my friends and set up camp. The road ends at the camp area, a small sandy (surprise!) enclave of trees with primitive campsites, fire rings, and pit toilets. The end of the camp area is basically the entrance to the recreation area.
Once my friends arrived, we aired down and headed out to explore this expansive play area.
Everyone slowly woke to the familiar smell of coffee and the sound of hushed voices. Once caffeinated and packed up, we decided to cross the dam and take a look at the helicopter crash site.
Just days before we arrived, a chopper that was ferrying supplies for the Jamboree crashed on the shore of Buck Island Lake. Fortunately, everyone survived. It was still a very surreal scene, with bloody clothes visible and even the pilot’s headset resting in the cockpit window frame.
Once we returned to the campsite, we left Buck Island Lake, quickly encountering a fun series of ledges right out of the gate.
The Rubicon is not just an offroad trail, snaking through the Sierra wilderness of Northern California. It is also a river in Italy. More importantly, the saying “crossing the Rubicon” is a direct reference to when Caesar’s army crossed this treacherous river, knowing they could never go back. It is now a reference to a point of no return.
And, while there many points along the Rubicon trail that seem like a point of no return, the metaphor is larger than that. The Rubicon is more of a pilgrimage (pardon the oft cliche’d jeeping phrase) for people that are looking to challenge themselves and their Jeeps, spend quality time with great friends, and experience some of the most beautiful wilderness this country has to offer.
As far as the offroad community is concerned, spending time on the Rubicon Trail is a spiritual experience.
You’d be amazed how many calories you burn when wheeling. Yes, you are sitting down quite a bit. However, you are constantly climbing in and out of your Jeep to scout obstacles, running ahead for that photo, scrambling up hills with winch lines, etc etc.
On our way to the Rubicon trail this past August, I was looking for a camping spot where we could break up the drive a bit, and also enjoy some camping.
After a bit of Googling, I found out about the Gold Lake OHV trail in Plumas National Forest, in California. I plotted the coordinates into my GPS, and our small group of rag tag Jeepers soon departed from Oregon.
The trail was easy to find, after a long climb into the mountains. After following the signs, we met the trail head. We all decided to air down (even though it is a short trail) however the number of people that were passing us combined with the fact the campground can fill up quickly led us to abandon the air down and get to the campground.
If you Jeep anywhere worth Jeeping, you know the feeling: You’re stuck, and grab the hook on the end of your winch line, running it out to whatever anchor point you need to use. And you have a hook.
What the heck are you supposed to do with a hook!?
Enter the product line of winching accessories from Factor 55.
I was interested in their Prolink “thimble” that acted as a quick attachment point for the end of the winch line. After the install, I noticed it protruded out quite a bit, and I worried about that first careless person that nosed into the parking spot a little too far.
When jeeping for a long period of time, nothing is more important than a hearty breakfast. On our recent trip along the Rubicon Trail, we woke to a chilly Sierra morning and I decided to warm up with some breakfast burritos.
These are a twist of my friend Andy’s amazing breakfast burritos from Moab.
So what do you get when you merge the Rubicon with burritos? Ruburritos (thanks Jesse!)