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View Full Version : EVO 1’s Final Run on the Rubicon Trail's Little Sluice



wayoflife
09-28-2012, 03:35 AM
Approximately 100 feet in length and filled with enormous boulders that offer little in the way of traction, the Little Sluice has stood for decades as being the premier obstacle on the world famous Rubicon Trail. Unfortunately, as of Friday, September 28, 2012, it will also cease to exist as weíve come to know, love, respect and fear it. In spite of significant efforts made over the last 2 years by organizations such as The Rubicon Trail Foundation and Friends of the Rubicon to prevent this from happening, El Dorado County Supervisors have decided to proceed with their plans to break up many of the boulders within the Little Sluice and level out the rest with tons of fill rock thatíll be flown in by helicopter.

With this knowledge in hand, Mel Wade of Off Road Evolution asked us to join him on the Rubicon Trail to give this iconic obstacle, one final run. And, on Saturday, September 22, 2012, thatís exactly what he did, completely unassisted and in the very same 4-door Jeep JK Wrangler that he used to conquer it 3 years before. In this short video, you will get to see raw footage of his run with limited edits and no music so that you can get the full experience of just how challenging the Little Sluice really was.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATLLYC6oKaY

If youíre unhappy about what youíre losing and want to find out how you can help prevent more alterations from being made to the Rubicon Trail or, even help prevent its potential closure in the future, I would invite you to visit the following websites:

http://www.rubiconfriends.com/
http://rubicontrail.org/

Franck
09-28-2012, 04:06 AM
first : WOW !!!!

2nd : why is this obstacle going to be wiped out ?

understand me : I'm not saying i would get in, it's wayyyyy (of life) off Cheetah's limits, but ... WHY this had to be destroyed ?

MTG
09-28-2012, 04:11 AM
I watch that video with both awe and disdain.

I consider myself a complete noob to all things offroad and view the Rubicon with the utmost respect. Although it is only about an hour from my house, it is clearly one of, if not the mecca of the community. I had hoped to run the Rubicon this summer, but could not because of a scheduling conflict (it is one of my goals for next year). Not that I operate under the guise that my rig could or would make it through little sluice, but it would have been great to at least witness others tackle this magnificent feat. Therefore, due to this unfortunate circumstance, I must now live vicariously through others who have been able to run the rubicon in its "true" form. That said, I thank you Eddie and Cindy and Mel for documenting this last run so that others, like myself, can enjoy it through you.

wayoflife
09-28-2012, 04:39 AM
first : WOW !!!!

2nd : why is this obstacle going to be wiped out ?

understand me : I'm not saying i would get in, it's wayyyyy (of life) off Cheetah's limits, but ... WHY this had to be destroyed ?

There are a variety of reasons including water quality issues, trash, human waste, injuries, caused from people being stupid out there but in the end, the powers that be have more influence than those who actually get out and enjoy this beautiful trail. There have been good people fighting it for about 2 years now and, from what I understand, this final move came as a surprise.


I watch that video with both awe and disdain.

I consider myself a complete noob to all things offroad and view the Rubicon with the utmost respect. Although it is only about an hour from my house, it is clearly one of, if not the mecca of the community. I had hoped to run the Rubicon this summer, but could not because of a scheduling conflict (it is one of my goals for next year). Not that I operate under the guise that my rig could or would make it through little sluice, but it would have been great to at least witness others tackle this magnificent feat. Therefore, due to this unfortunate circumstance, I must now live vicariously through others who have been able to run the rubicon in its "true" form. That said, I thank you Eddie and Cindy and Mel for documenting this last run so that others, like myself, can enjoy it through you.

Thanks Mike. Your words resonate loudly and really appreciate it.

StrizzyChris
09-28-2012, 04:40 AM
I'm disgusted! I would never put a vehicle of mine through that(unless I later build up a beater), but it's still a piece of history! They shut down trails and land from the communities to "preserve" them....and then they, without our knowledge or ability to contest, give themselves the right to destroy a piece of it! I am fuming! >:( :gaah:

<I am slamming these keys as I am typing this reply>

wayoflife
09-28-2012, 04:48 AM
I'm disgusted! I would never put a vehicle of mine through that(unless I later build up a beater), but it's still a piece of history! They shut down trails and land from the communities to "preserve" them....and then they, without our knowledge or ability to contest, give themselves the right to destroy a piece of it! I am fuming! >:( :gaah:

<I am slamming these keys as I am typing this reply>

It really is so frustrating. First they got rid of the Gatekeeper, then they got rid of about half a dozen other tough sections of trails that have no real name, then they totally made the Big Sluice into a super highway and made Cadillac Hill into a walk in the park, tried blocking the Soup Bowl (Mel was able to flex his way though anyway) and now, will be leveling this obstacle. Truth be told, it wasn't always like this and if memory serves me right, only started to look the way it does after someone blew up some rocks back in the early 90's. Still, it had since become an icon of the Rubicon and I think we're all sad to see it go.

Hightower
09-28-2012, 04:56 AM
I watch that video with both awe and disdain.

I consider myself a complete noob to all things offroad and view the Rubicon with the utmost respect. Although it is only about an hour from my house, it is clearly one of, if not the mecca of the community. I had hoped to run the Rubicon this summer, but could not because of a scheduling conflict (it is one of my goals for next year). Not that I operate under the guise that my rig could or would make it through little sluice, but it would have been great to at least witness others tackle this magnificent feat. Therefore, due to this unfortunate circumstance, I must now live vicariously through others who have been able to run the rubicon in its "true" form. That said, I thank you Eddie and Cindy and Mel for documenting this last run so that others, like myself, can enjoy it through you.

Well said brother you speak for many.

DManuel
09-28-2012, 04:58 AM
I watch that video with both awe and disdain.

I consider myself a complete noob to all things offroad and view the Rubicon with the utmost respect. Although it is only about an hour from my house, it is clearly one of, if not the mecca of the community. I had hoped to run the Rubicon this summer, but could not because of a scheduling conflict (it is one of my goals for next year). Not that I operate under the guise that my rig could or would make it through little sluice, but it would have been great to at least witness others tackle this magnificent feat. Therefore, due to this unfortunate circumstance, I must now live vicariously through others who have been able to run the rubicon in its "true" form. That said, I thank you Eddie and Cindy and Mel for documenting this last run so that others, like myself, can enjoy it through you.

Hey Mike, don't you live fairly close to that area? I say you run up there this weekend and conquer Little Sluice. Make sure to take the Go Pro. Post lots of pictures. :thumb:

Awesome video from Project JK!!!!! Great job Mel and Evo1!!!!!:thumb::clap2:

MTG
09-28-2012, 05:32 AM
Hey Mike, don't you live fairly close to that area? I say you run up there this weekend and conquer Little Sluice. Make sure to take the Go Pro. Post lots of pictures. :thumb:

Awesome video from Project JK!!!!! Great job Mel and Evo1!!!!!:thumb::clap2:

I'd be lying to say that a Friday run up the hill didn't cross my mind. I mean a stuck jeep in the sluice would surely halt this "progress" right? LOL! But alas, I checked a local forum and at least one person had the same foolish idea as I, and reported back that the little sluice is marked off as closed and unfortunately will cease to exist in its current state as of tomorrow. :(

wayoflife
09-28-2012, 06:15 AM
The offical word...


From: Jack Sweeney < jack.sweeney@edcgov.us>
Date: Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 11:25 AM
Subject: Rock Reduction Little Sluice Rubicon Trail
To: The BOSTHREE < bosthree@edcgov.us>

To All and please share and forward:
A few years ago, large rocks were pushed and pulled into the Little Sluice by persons that wanted to create a challenging course in spite of the fact it was on a public road. *

Usage in that area has created many problems that have had bad*effects on the environment. *Efforts to resolve those effects have included an effort to close the whole trail. *Efforts to educate users and to resolve the problem appear not to have been successful as the problems persist. *

The clean up and abatement order (CAO) issued by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board April 23, 2009 cited concerns regarding the contamination in the area and required it be*re-mediated.

On January 26, 2010 the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors held a five hour long hearing which resulted in a motion that specifically contained the direction to"reduce the rocks in Little Sluice". (See agenda item 25 legis # 10-0049). With this action and the CAO in place the Forest Service indicated a concern regarding the county's authority to undertake all but the simplest of remediation and maintenance to satisfy the CAO.

The county determined to clean up the legalities by applying for an easement from the Forest Service and that easement was granted and accepted on August 14, 2012. Part of the easement process was the settlement of the appeals filed in objection to the easement. During that process the reduction of the rocks in Little Sluice was brought as being*necessary*to obtain agreement to remove certain appeals and it was confirmed that we would fulfill the direction of January 26, 2010.

The county is not going to turn the Little Sluice into a paved trail! *We must eliminate the hazard rocks so that a nearly stock four wheel drive can*maneuver*its way through the area without being overturned and without causing environmental damage. We will be adding some of the shot rock from the adit in an effort to avoid soil disturbance.

We cannot leave the Little Sluice in its present condition and avoid closure of the Rubicon Trail!

We appreciate*everyone's*assistance and observation of good rules of the trail. *May we all try to keep this trail available to all users.
--
Thanks,

Supervisor James R. "Jack" Sweeney
Supervisor, District III
El Dorado County Board of Supervisors
530-621-5652
530-622-3645
Assistant: *Karen Feathers

I really hate to admit it but, to a degree, I can understand where they're coming from.

JKRay
09-28-2012, 08:28 AM
It's sad to see it go I just hope they stop all this and leave it as is. :(

MikeLisa
09-28-2012, 10:32 AM
Nice video:rock:Hate you'll are losing this part of the trail.

jktubby
09-28-2012, 12:52 PM
Great run, and glad mel is the last one to conquer it. I dont get why so many trails are getting close now, i think the jeep community does everything they can to make sure the trails arent damaged and that they are always cleaned. This is a blow to all the jeepers, but hopefully some sooner or later finds another trail thats just as hard as the little sluice.

daveroberts
09-28-2012, 01:42 PM
Eddie, it's weird how we talked about doing this trail just last week. It's really disappointing to see trails being closed or modified for what ever the reason. It seems to start in California and continue here to Colorado. We will all have to do what is in our capacity to keep this from happening. Thanks for the video Eddie and thanks for the show Mel!:thumb:

wayoflife
09-28-2012, 02:31 PM
It's sad to see it go I just hope they stop all this and leave it as is. :(

it is sad and unfortunately, all the others have already been changed. this was pretty much the last big one to go. :naw:


Nice video:rock:Hate you'll are losing this part of the trail.

thank you

wayoflife
09-28-2012, 02:42 PM
Great run, and glad mel is the last one to conquer it. I dont get why so many trails are getting close now, i think the jeep community does everything they can to make sure the trails arent damaged and that they are always cleaned. This is a blow to all the jeepers, but hopefully some sooner or later finds another trail thats just as hard as the little sluice.

well, technically, it isn't getting closed, just being made a lot easier. and, if you talk to the el dorado county supervisors, they would suggest that repairs are being made to damage caused to trail back in the early 1990's.


Eddie, it's weird how we talked about doing this trail just last week. It's really disappointing to see trails being closed or modified for what ever the reason. It seems to start in California and continue here to Colorado. We will all have to do what is in our capacity to keep this from happening. Thanks for the video Eddie and thanks for the show Mel!:thumb:

well, we all kinda of knew it was going to happen sooner or later as there had been a discussion about it for about 2 years now. what was a surprise was that a date was finally set, what seemed like out of the blue and, one that would come up so quickly. the whole thing is very frustrating.

we are glad that you enjoyed the video.

Linebacker
09-28-2012, 04:53 PM
I feel like we're all losing a family member. I've never wheeled the trail 'cause I run near stock iron, but that's what makes it legendary, not everyone can do it. It's a numbers game. As the trail is made capable for everybody, the greater will be the number of irresponsible knuckleheads causing incidents. Is this really a solution? I guess time will tell.

rubiwhite
09-28-2012, 05:54 PM
Another killer video! Thanks Eddie and Mel for all the hard work! I havent been to the rubicon yet, its on the list for sure!

StrizzyChris
09-28-2012, 07:25 PM
I keep thinking about this, and I canít believe the "people with power" or parts manufacturers, or Jeep themselves havenít done more to let the off-road community know this was going to happen. Again I would never take my new JK through this, but this and similar closures/trail destruction is eventually gonna truly effect the off-road community and the parts they will buy! Makes me want to reconsider spending a small fortune on parts, thatís for sure!

WOL wonít be able to film as many videos on extreme trails, EVO and other manufacturers will have less of a market for "extreme capability" parts. "Spend 20K to take your double throw down jeep on this very uneven gravel road!" Someone or some group of people that have ANY level of power or say in this community need to become organized and have a free thread or special place on every forum to inform people of whatís going on and actions everyone can take to stop this from happening.

Obviously some of what I said is out of frustration and exaggeration, but all of this is very real. I feel like I'm an 80 year old man sitting on my front porch talking about the good ole days that are long gone :banghead:

StrizzyChris
09-28-2012, 07:28 PM
^lmao I jest re-read that and I am just raging and ranting^

Serg5000
09-28-2012, 11:54 PM
Boy am I glad to have done the Rubicon pre-road work. It was an amazing trip and a challenge as well. Seems they want it more stock vehicle friendly.
Oh well. Mother Nature has a funny way of changing things as well.

Robar
09-29-2012, 03:08 AM
Great job Mel. Great video WOL. I hope to be able to see the Rubicon Trail next year. I hope that it will still have plenty of natural areas.

CALIJK
09-30-2012, 01:29 AM
Eddie,

Thanks for posting this! Man, Mel can wheel - very impressive! We saw your posts about Little Sluice closing on Facebook and Vince, Jim, and I decided to bomb up there late on Wednesday night. We got to Little Sluice a little after 0800 on Thursday morning (09.27.12), and we thought we would have a whole day to play around on the sluice box, but we were 12hours too late!

There were two El Dorado Sheriff's Deputies there and they had closed down the trail because some yahoos had been posting that they were going to Occupy Little Sluice. Both Deputies were great guys, and wheelers, but there was no way they could let us run Little Sluice. I'm pretty bummed that I did not get a (second) chance to run Little Sluice as it was, but I'm thankful that you went there and documented it - thanks!

Oh, great video by the way.

Dave

TrailBear
09-30-2012, 02:12 AM
I hope some day to conquer the rubicon, to bad it won't be the real thing.

Prime8
09-30-2012, 02:30 AM
Eddie,

Thanks for posting this! Man, Mel can wheel - very impressive! We saw your posts about Little Sluice closing on Facebook and Vince, Jim, and I decided to bomb up there late on Wednesday night. We got to Little Sluice a little after 0800 on Thursday morning (09.27.12), and we thought we would have a whole day to play around on the sluice box, but we were 12hours too late!

There were two El Dorado Sheriff's Deputies there and they had closed down the trail because some yahoos had been posting that they were going to Occupy Little Sluice. Both Deputies were great guys, and wheelers, but there was no way they could let us run Little Sluice. I'm pretty bummed that I did not get a (second) chance to run Little Sluice as it was, but I'm thankful that you went there and documented it - thanks!

Oh, great video by the way.

Dave

What a load of crap! "Closing the 28th" should mean closing the 28th! Every idea anyone's had over the past 5-10 years has been posted online. People are a lot ballsier when they can hide behind a computer. That doesn't mean we should all jump at every threat. Damn deputies... Bad enough they gave such short notice as it was, let alone closing it early. I wonder how many people went up there for one last run and got screwed over instead...

Linebacker
09-30-2012, 03:48 PM
Sigh! Well, what is done is done. This excellent video is a fitting tribute and final goodbye to The Little Sluice. Mel Wade's last drive through it, for me at least, captures the respect and skill most wheelers give to the enviornment and the sport. It is a shame more folks don't realize it.