By Ken Hower

Rubicon Toilets Upgrade

Last Fall, Edio Delfino and All Coast Builders (www.allcoastbuilders.com ) and James Hardie Building Products (www.jameshardie.com), offered to El Dorado County via Rubicon Trail Foundation to donate materials and services to rehab all the Rubicon toilets with new more durable siding.

Last week, with coordination from RTF and All Coast Builders, seven of the ten Rubicon Rest Stops (trail bathrooms) were stripped and rehabilitated with new concrete siding and trim provided by James Hardie Building Products. This was a coordinated effort to move material, strip, and re-side the public bathrooms with a superior product that will last for decades and be non-combustible, resistant to sun, wind, animals, and insects.

The result is a transformation!

Rubicon Trail Foundation would like to thank El Dorado County Parks, All Coast Builders, and James Hardie Building Products for their collaboration to make this project possible. Look for the rest of the toilets to be updated and all to be painted to their former colors before season end.

Each toilet was rehabbed removing rotten wood, and woodpecker holed wood.

They were properly wrapped for the elements.

Arnold’s rock toilet was in the worst condition, given it is one of the oldest toilets on the trail. It now has decades of new life.

By Chris Cowan

Bio Response/ Spill Kits

There you are enjoying your trip and then snap, pop, creak! What is that dripping now?

El Dorado County has been providing spill kits for several years now, implemented by the El Dorado County Environmental Management Dept. and funded by a grant from the California Integrated Waste Management Board. However, the Rubicon Trail Foundation knows that you may head to different areas to explore or like to have spares in your rig or just need the Bio Response. We have the Bio Response and spill kits on our website just for YOU. If you are local (Placerville area) we can possibly meet up with you or if you need them shipped order below.

https://www.rubicontrailfoundation.org/shop/

In the Kit your will find an absorbent pad that is used to soak up oil off the ground or even water, an RTF oil rag, and there is also Bio Response in there that is friendly to the environment. Just follow the directions on the bottle on how to use. You will find Disposable bins at the trail heads for safe disposal of your used Oil Spill Kits.

One of the best ways to prevent spills is to do a simple pre- trip inspection of your rig and address any issues before you get to the Rubicon. Tighten bolts replace gaskets and such.

If everyone does their part the Rubicon will be Oil free.

By Chris Cowan

Why is having a HAM Radio license important?

What happens if you break down on the trail?

My husband(family) left and has not returned home yet?

The Rubicon Trail Foundation fields many questions about the Rubicon Trail each day especially during the summer & winter months.  This year we have noticed many more coming in with people from all over heading to the Rubicon as a lot of vacation venues are closed or cancelled due to the pandemic.

There is little to NO Cell Service on the Rubicon Trail.  HAM Radios are great because you can communicate with people all over the world if licensed and get help if needed in an emergency situation.  It is very important to pack appropriately (food and clothes/blankets) and always tell people where you are going and when you will return.

Recently RTF bought a new Daniels UHF transmitter and receiver for the ham repeater.  This $5000 commercial quality repeater will make the ham repeater very reliable for years into the future.  Frequent users of the system are aware that the radio team (Frank Yost, Ray Pledger, and John Arenz) work on the system consistently through the season.  This new repeater will be super sensitive with great audio, and will not need the constant tweaking and repair the current system does.  Best of all, it will continue to be reliable when no one is around to fix it!

How to get a HAM Radio License:

You will need a License to Operate A Ham Radio, you can contact any local amateur radio club for more info, or take Advantage of the classes that RTF sponsors. This Class is designed to take you from zero to HAM radio operator in no time at all. Its typically held in the Sacramento Valley area, in El Dorado Hills.  Due to COVID, we aren’t anticipating a class until 2021. John.Arenz@RubiconTrailFoundation.org    or http://www.arrl.org/find-an-amateur-radio-license-class

If you already have a Ham Radio License here the frequencies used on the Rubicon-

146.805 -.600 PL123.0
The KA6GWY repeater, covers the west slope of El Dorado County and the Sacramento area.

145.350 (repeater transmitter), odd split to 146.205 (repeater receiver), PL123.0 
The Tahoe Basin KA6GWY repeater, linked 24/7 to the 805 ELD repeater, coverage in the Tahoe Basin.

146.805 simplex, no PL
This is the repeater output frequency of the KA6GWY repeater. Nice to have so that you can talk to
your friends right in front of you, still listen to the repeater, but not tie it up when simplex will work just fine.

444.9875 +5.00 PL156.7 
The Rubicon repeater located near Spider Lake, coverage on all of the Rubicon Trail except east of Barker
Meadows OHV trail.

444.9875 +5.00 PL 107.2
Same as RUBI except that when using this PL it links to 805ELD and 805 TAH.

444.9875 simplex, PL107.2 
This is the repeater output frequency of the Spider repeater. Nice to have so that you can talk to your
friends right in front of you, still listen to the repeater, but not tie it up when simplex will work just fine.
Note, PL is used because some users decode PL on their handheld radios.

By Chris Cowan

Rattlesnakes on the Rubicon

The Rubicon Trail Foundation would like to remind you that there have been siting’s of rattlesnakes on the Rubicon.  Pleae be aware of your surroundings.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind/do:

  • Watch where you place your hands and feet when removing debris. Consider wearing heavy gloves, especially when working outdoors and dealing with brush, leaves, or piles of lumber. Consider wearing boots at least 10 inches high especially if working near water areas where snakes may be present.
  • Remember, snakes often bite only when threatened. If you see a snake, step back and allow it to proceed.
  • If bitten, call 911 immediately! Pay attention to the color of the snake and the shape of the snake’s head to help with treatment. Have someone take a photo, if possible.
  • Keep bite victims calm and reduce movement to slow the possible spread of venom. Lay the victim down so the bite is below the level of the heart. Cover the bite wound with a clean, dry dressing. NEVER cut the wound or attempt to suck out the venom.

The Rubicon Trail Foundation is federally recognized, non-profit organization dedicated to the future health of the Rubicon Trail.  The Rubicon Trail Foundation acts as the support for Rubicon work projects, Friends of the Rubicon, and as a liaison with local government organizations. This support can range from getting approval for projects from the appropriate agencies, to feeding the volunteers, to buying the supplies needed to maintain the trail. We also fight the efforts of others to close or restrict use of the Rubicon Trail System.  All funds raised help to enhance the future health of the Rubicon Trail, while ensuring responsible motorized year-round access.
Our Officers and Directors represent a wide variety of Rubicon Trail users and supporters.  These include trail users, land owners, county representatives, manufacturers, and Rubicon event organizers.  For more information on getting involved or supporting the Rubicon Trail Foundation please call us at 888-678-2426 or visit our website at www.rubicontrail.org.
By Chris Cowan

New RTF Sticker

Our mission is “To enhance the future health and use of the Rubicon Trail, while ensuring responsible, motorized, year- round access.”

One of the main goals for the Rubicon Trail Foundation is education.  Many people of all ages come to visit the famous Rubicon Trail and there is always an opportunity to educate the visitors of proper outdoor ethics, preserving the trail, trash removal, use of WagBags, etc.

Education can be done just about anywhere and everywhere and is done by each of the Rubicon Trail Foundation’s Directors and our Mid-Trail Staff. With this in mind we created a new sticker that represents some of the values that the Rubicon Trail holds dear to us. If you would like to get one of your own, don’t be shy, say HI to the Mid-Trail Staff on the trail and tell them where you are from. They will gladly share one with you.

We want all backgrounds to enjoy our natural surroundings and learn how to preserve them for years to come.  We are so excited that we get to engage with our next generation of users. Have a safe trip and please enjoy this time to disconnect and escape with the tranquility of the Rubicon Trail.

By Chris Cowan

Temporary Bypass Work Completed in a Collaborative Effort

For a several years the mudhole on the Tahoe side has been a real problem.  Many rigs have gotten stuck and taken damage from the deep water.  Last year          El Dorado County made an effort to fill and bridge the hole with good success, but this year it is back.

Because of legal changes on the Placer County portion of the trail, the Tahoe National Forest (TNF) is much more involved this year and Rubicon Trail Foundation (RTF) with other agencies have been able to get some emergency work done.

A couple of weeks ago Joe Chavez of the TNF went up and repaired a water bar, preventing a perennial stream from dumping water onto the trail.

Yesterday an additional temporary fix occurred…Joe asked for a small volunteer force and he and a couple of RTF directors were able to block the deep and muddy portion of the trail by winching downed trees and bypass rigs to one side of it.  

The temporary bypass keeps rigs from getting stuck and being damaged, prevents off trail travel, and it keeps the trail from being damaged further, but most importantly it prevents sediment from making its way into the water.

A more permanent fix is in the works for the fall.

Not the biggest project ever, actually pretty small, but we are excited about the opportunity to make a difference and pleased with the partnership with the Tahoe National Forest.  Thanks Joe!

 

By Chris Cowan

Happy 4th of July!

The Rubicon Trail Foundation would like to wish everyone a Happy 4th of July!

Although things feel a bit different after being sheltered in place and everyone is looking for fun things to do so please remember to stay safe.

Alway buckle up on the trail, bring out what you brought in (maybe even pick up if you notice trash left behind, and carry wag bags.)

With the nice weather finally upon us there will be many people and rigs on the trail.

Trail Etiquette-

  1. Know before you go- Do you need any permits?
  2. Tread Lightly
  3. Leave No Trace
  4. Be Prepared for all weather and conditions
  5. Let yourself be known- communicate with others on the trail how many rigs are in your party.
  6. Leave plenty of space between you and others
  7. Don’t Drink and Drive
  8. Stop to help others
  9. Leave no man behind
  10. Make sure all campfires are safely put out