ELKINS FLAT OUTING REPORT: by Chas Moser
The ill-fated Elkins Flat outing, needless to say, did not go without a hitch. Even though the area is close to Sacramento, and the riding is great, only two TBSA riders showed up - Chas and Jerry Stober. To start off, Chas while attempting to park his trailer in-between several very large Forest Service-placed rocks and a few large trees, found that the turning radius was too tight. Chas figured that if the turn was too tight, he could easily back the trailer out -- well, think again dumb ass!! Every time he tried to back out, the back end of the trailer kept 'crabbing' downhill, eventually ending up completely blocked by a tree. At this point the trailer and van could be moved forward and back only about 15 feet rendering the trailer completely stranded. During this episode, the already ailing trailer was further damaged. At that point Chas just camped at that spot. Time for the repair services of RV Doctor George.
Jerry came up for a day ride on Saturday. The two enjoyed a 50-mile ride primarily around the outer perimeter trails of Elkins Flat and Gold Note. The temperatures at the lower elevations approached 90 degrees F but were much cooler up higher, and Jerry mentioned some dusty areas. Unfortunately there aren't any trailside action photos due to the fact that by the time Chas got his camera out, Jerry was already parking his bike. The two looked forward to the infamous swimming hole on the Middle Fork of the Cosumnes River for a cooling-off respite. Near the end of the ride, while resting at the PiPi campground, Chas didn't much feel like riding the rocky trail #36 back to Elkins Flat, so he talked (coerced) Jerry into riding the 3 miles of pavement back to Elkins Flat, convincing him that everybody else with green or red sticker bikes do it all the time with no untoward consequences. Well, think again. professor. Shortly after leaving the PiPi campground, the flashing red lights on a Ranger truck were noticed up one of the adjoining dirt roads, apparently while stopping another dirt bike. Thinking that the ranger didn't see us, we picked up the pace considerably and hightailed it back to Elkins Flat. The ranger must have flat flew down the road, as he met us in camp about 30 seconds after our arrival. The end result was that Jerry was cited with a $175 ticket for riding a non-street plated vehicle on a public road. Bummer. Chas should pay for at least half the fine.
Back to the stuck trailer. Saturday PM Jerry hooked up his smaller ½ ton pickup to the trailer and attempted to extricate it with his shorter vehicle, all to no avail. Very fortunately, there was one other trailer camped near Chas and the tow vehicle was a Ford 350 diesel four-wheel drive. With the aid of sturdy tow ropes and the four-wheel drive pickup pulling the rear of the trailer sideways while Jerry slowly backed the trailer up, the trailer was pulled sideways enough so that it could successfully be backed out. Kudos and many thanks to Jerry and to Mark & Genie Edwards (visiting from the San Jose area).
P.S. Kudos also go to Doctor George, the RV Doctor, for the excellent job of extensive repair work done to Chas' ailing trailer, now complete with an electric jack. George goes out of his way to provide excellent service at a reasonable cost to TBSA. Make sure to mention that you are a TBSA member when you visit him. Note that the RV Doctor has been a paying TBSA sponsor for many years and really enjoys the TBSA newsletter.
ELKINS FLAT OUTING PHOTOS: by Chas Moser
PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE: by Keith Hepler
From Sweetwater, the Heplers and the Baumgarts traveled on to a spot southeast of Bend, Oregon - specifically the East Fort Rock OHV Trails System. This place has more pine trees and hills than Sweetwater but just as much dry silty dirt with areas of volcanic rock climbs. Robin and I rode 70 miles in one day, and were glad it was a weekday and there were no other riders because the fast curves create a severe risk of head-on collision on these trails.
Then we moved on to the Tillamook State Forest, where the technical trails are very steep and the forest is dense. Although still dusty on the Saturday ride, the rain Sunday night created better conditions on Monday. Included are some pictures of how pretty the forest and trails are near Tillamook. When they say "black diamond" up here, they mean it. And when they say "double black diamond", you probably don't even want to think about it. We leave Tillamook with probably a couple more hemorrhoids from not heeding those warnings.
(Click here for Part B)