Cadillac Hill Rock Flight Success
In 2018, Vickie Sanders at El Dorado County began laying the seeds with Placer County to assume control over the maintenance of the Rubicon Trail from Loon Lake through to Lake Tahoe. The Rubicon Trail has never been a high priority for Placer County, so El Dorado County began the process to get an MOU (Memorandum of Understand or Formal written agreement) in order to take control. In 2019, with the MOU secure, Vickie began planning a very important project on Cadillac Hill. At the very popular Steve Morris history of the Rubicon speech at Jeepers Jamboree, Steve stated that in his opinion, the road base at Cadillac Hill was 10 feet lower in some areas from his first visit. This erosion over the years lowering sections of the hillside needed to be addressed. However, the amount of natural rock around Cadillac Hill had been used in previous projects. It was clear that a helicopter would be required to fly rock available at the Gerle Addit, an ENF facility (Loon Lake, spillway, and tunnel rock from the ’50s) to Cadillac Hill. Vickie secured a grant from the OHV Fund to hire the Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane from Siller, but the grant required matching funds. In early 2020, the Rubicon Trail Foundation voted to provide the $32,000 of matching funds required to execute the grant. The project was on!
In April, when the weather on the trail became more clear, Siller was able to confirm availability for the weekend of May 15-17. However, any project like this requires manpower and Jeepers Jamboree, with years of experience doing work on Cadillac Hill, stepped up to provide the crew required to complete the work. Rubicon Trail Foundation provided support by feeding the volunteers, in addition to the previously approved matching funds.
On May 15, the rock began being flown to Cadillac. There were 3 RTF directors, 3 JJ directors, and 5 JJ volunteers for a total of 10 people on site for rock delivery. Rock was laid down on cyclone fence and the fence was pulled over and secured with hog rings. More rock was placed over that blanket of rock, for final securing.
Final work below V Rock
In total, 264,000 lbs of rock was flown to Cadillac Hill and a couple other locations. Overall the project was a major success and a great example of El Dorado County, State OHV Fund, Rubicon Trail Foundation donors, and trail volunteers to ensure an important project on the trail is completed.