Photos & words by: Rodney Wills
Hopefully you’ve read the pre-Rubicon Trail story “License to Adventure!” as it gives the lead-up to how this whole trip came about. If you missed it, I encourage you to read that post before reading this post: License To Adventure!
The weekend before we started our trip towards the Rubicon Trail, we first had to have the Jeep SCX10JK all nice and shiny for the Off-Road EXPO in Pomona, CA as it would be in the Maxxis Tires booth courtesy of Rebel Off-Road.
The following Monday we showed up at the Axial office to load all of our gear and slap knobbies on pavement for 10-hours to the Sierra Nevada’s. It took us longer than we expected to pack, and I got a little nervous as I wanted to be packed and gone inside of 30-minutes and that was not the case. It was a tedious game of Jumanji stacking all of the gear inside of the JeepSCX10JK. Yes, it has four doors and a spacious cargo area perfect for a family weekend getaway. But for four guys, gear, food, water jugs and the addition of R/C equipment AND camera gear, we were packed tight by the time we got everything sorted.
I finally took my first photo of the trip once we passed Los Angeles and over the Grapevine Peak on the 5FWY headed north.
This sign can mess you up if you are not paying attention to the arrows. It’s located at the 5/99 split about an hour and 45-minutes heading North from Los Angeles; practically in the middle of nowhere. So it’s kind of easy to just glance up and see the name of the area you want to go but miss the little arrow as to which side you need to be in to reach the destination of choice.
The right sign has the arrow pointing to the left and the left sign is pointing to the right. Either way will take you to Sacramento, but if you were to headed to Oakland/SF and took the 99, you would be doing some extra driving. Plus, you will find 99-ways to not drive on the 99FWY going bumpidy,bumpidy, bump… all the way! We are headed towards Sacto and we’ll turn off to head toward Lake Tahoe.
As we approach Sacramento, it’s getting close to afternoon rush hour traffic. To avoid the traffic, I start looking at the maps for small bypass roads to avoid the city altogether.
From the 5FWY we exited at County Road E13 to Twins City Road 104 into Lone, Ca. From there we took East Plymouth Highway 49 into the tiny town of Plymouth, California.
Heading north of Plymouth on HWY49, the name changes to the Golden Chain Highway and we run this up to HWY50 and on into Placerville, Ca. It’s scenic all the way and we’re busy making forward progression, but we have to stop for 10-100′s!
Did you know that South Lake Tahoe has a hobby shop? We didn’t, but we found it as we drove into town before sun down and before the store closed.
We spent some time with the hobby shop owner and made arrangements with him to leave Brian Parker’s “Red Rocket” in the parking lot as this would be where we would meet up with him and stuff his gear into our SCX10JK.
We would make a stop in town to fill up our 20-gallons of water for the trip. I hope you read my previous post that included how I determined we needed 20-gallons. If not, just jump back to the blog post and read our water, food & waste itel: axialracing.com/blog_posts/1073901855
And then the final stuffing of the SCX10JK!!!
The final gas stop before we head up Ice House Road to Loon Lake off HWY50. The station was closed but the pumps were open for late night fuel consumption.
Testing out the Rigid Industries bonus lights just before we get to our camping spot for the night.
Next post: Day-1 of the Axial SCX10 Rubicon Trail blog!