Updated: Dec 6, 2020
No, it didn't go down in 2018, it was actually 2020 but the planning started well back in 2017 of what would be considered the book-mark to the build of @katethejeep.
It started with a whirlwind of upgrades and fixes. From new rear Chromoly axles from Yukon Gear and Axle to a rear upper mount upgrade, thanks to the help of my good friend Martin, Ripp Supercharger refresh with new coil packs thanks to the help of my buddy Josh, a cooling system refresh with Mopar thermostat, flush and hose swap to a last-minute ball joint replacement the night before.
The morning of departure I headed straight for Frontrunner Outfitters to install the quick mounts to mate my new iKamper Skycamp mini to my FR rack. Steve personally jumped in to help and got me in and out in no time flat. The idea was to be able to quickly remove the tent as needed but it ended up staying on for the duration of the trip.
As all of my trips up north so far have involved, this one was yet again supported by my close friend, Adam Pfieffer @oh_that_1_dude, and complimented with some good friends who have been out with us on previous adventures. Of them was Randy from KC Hilites and his cousin Will, Steve, and Tyler from Powertank @powertankofficial , Alfy @alfy.dtlajl from Genright with his girlfriend Leila, Adam's wife, Kayla @oh_that_1_chick and a few new friends, @Gatekeeperoffroad, Hugh @maxglad2020 and Alex.
We met up in the Tahoe area at a location called the Ice House Resorts where we stayed the night and headed out for the trail bright and early. There's not a lot to be said about this iconic trail other than you need to go prepared and with some competent friends if it's your first time. This is definitely not your meet a Prius on the fire road type of trail. To get to the various locations and campsites we stayed the night at you definitely need a high clearance 4x4 with lockers.
One of my favorite and noteworthy spots was out in Rubicon Springs where we had the opportunity to see where the main campsite was for the Jeepers Jamboree held yearly on this trail as well as take in a small part of the party that the trail can be. I gotta say, Randy, who actually rode shotgun with various people and helped snap some of these photos, fully gave into the vibe. After getting our fill of the lake we headed back to camp where we were allowed to stay at a closed group site and I made Persian chicken burritos for everyone. Once dinner was done we walked into the main camp area and partook in a group fire with jokes supplied by the onsite staff. I'm definitely looking forward to taking part in the actual Jamboree one year.
Moving on we ended our day heading up Cadillac Hill which was an unrelenting and often off-camber hill climb with seemingly no end in sight. We did manage to take in the view and I even discovered a plaque dedicated to Curt and Mark Williams, brothers, who were regulars and lovers of the trail. Past that, we moved onto Observation point which was still a pretty amazing view given that our visibility had been obscured by smoke from the crazy fires that weekend.
Once photos were done it was a straight-up race to the staging site during which I felt a sudden shift in my steering and would come to find some serious damage had taken place beyond some bent bump-stops I incurred earlier on in our trip. Thanks as usual to Steve from Powertank who always has his welding kit on standby and Randy's cousin Will who actually turns out to not only be a DJ, not only be a rave whip dancer but also a full-blown mechanic and welder.
In all, it was an epic time with old and new friends and an experience that definitely made the struggle of the past couple of years worth it. I highly recommend it to anyone who's ready to push their limits and take the adventure a little further.
Thanks to all of my partners who helped make this trip possible and hit me up with any questions you might have on my IG DMs @katethejeep.
Thanks for reading and you can hear more about this trip and everything leading up to it on the following Rigged for Dirt podcast episodes:
#42 - The Road to Rubicon
#43 - Back From the Rubicon