Rubicon Trail , Rubicon Trial, Rubikon, Ceasar and the Rubicon



In 49 B.C. Caesar crossed the Rubicon, a river in northern Italy, with his army - it was the beginning of the civil war. Since then "Crossing the Rubicon" meant for the old Romans that one has gone beyond a point of no return. According to the Webster, this expression is still used today.

The situation isn't much different for us on the Rubicon/McKinney Road in California, a wildly deteriorated stage coach road, left over from the 1800s. There will be no turning back once we are on the trail. It is one of the craziest adventures you can undertake with a 4WD. Even many years from now, you'll still talk about it. Guaranteed.

We'll have an easy start in Georgetown, a quiet romantic town. We will spend our first night at the American River Inn. A boarding house during the Gold Rush days, it was later transformed into a charming, luxurious Bed & Breakfast Inn. As an alternative we could spend the night at the quieter Hilltop Motel.

The next day we'll head for the woods. Passing Uncle Tom's Cabin, a bar established in 1864, then a favorite stopping place for hunters, prospectors and cattlemen. Let's have coffee there.

Next is the Rubicon Trail. This is where the real adventure starts. Almost incomprehensible for the spoiled city slickers among us, this crazy, miserable trail is really a county road. A public road that lacks a little in maintenance. Well, to be honest it lacks a lot in maintenance. Just between us, it's almost impossible to drive on.

Almost. For us it is a perfect practicing ground. First day we won't get far , a few miles maybe. We'll camp under a star-lit sky at Spider Lake - if we make it that far. Dinner will be like in the days of the Old West: beans, steak & coffee.

After a hardy breakfast in the morning, the brave among us might go for a swim in the freezing cold lake. This will only be a mild shock compared to the shock when you see what's ahead.

It is the most terrible road one can put the wheels of a 4WD vehicle on.

The first major obstacle will be the Little Sluice Box. A rocky impudence. Past this one the Rubicon has a dozen more ambushes in reserve. That is why we, most likely, will not cover more than a few miles per day. Every overcome impediment of the trail will boost your self-confidence and improve your skills. Up to the point where you don't need advice anymore. Now driving over boulders the size of a single family home will become a breeze.

For the last week in July I have scheduled a Rubicon Trail trip that will climax with our participation in the Jeepers Jamboree.

To find out more, check the trip itinerary.

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