Landon Gipe

Trail etiquette makes a difference

This year’s Central Districts High Sierra Poker Run was a huge success this was my third year in a row of attending. The Kingsburg club does a wonderful job of hosting it each year. There was a good turnout of rigs and people, but one thing I found bothered me and many others as we went on the different trails was the lack of trail etiquette.

The old school trail rules seem to be forgotten with the new wave of drivers. So, after talking to some people this will be a list of all the forgotten trail guidelines. Don’t worry — there are just a few. These will help on the trail and keep people wanting to wheel and not feel discouraged that wheelers have lost the art of decency.

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Wine Country Rock Crawlers trek to "Hell Hole"

Our yearly weekend in July is spent at Ice House Resort. We take over the Group Campsite and enjoy the beautiful area for a few days.

I belong to the Novato Elks Lodge #2655 and am their Bartender. With that job comes the bonus to get to really know my fellow Elk. For a couple of years, several have inquired on my taking them up to see what they hear of my experiences doing the Rubicon. One particular guy has been asking me to include him on one of my adventures. So, this last trip was a perfect opportunity for me to bring Jim along for the ride.

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Common raven with California desert tortoise hatching in its beak

Raven danger: The Desert Tortoise is Just the Beginning of an Ecosystem in Jeopardy

The common raven (Corvus corax) is one of the most intelligent birds — and even one of the most intelligent animals in the world. It is protected under the Migratory Bird Act of 1918, and it was once a traveling bird that flew from Canada to Mexico following the best of the weather throughout each year.

Regrettably, this once migratory bird has become a permanent resident in the California deserts, and it has led the desert ecosystem into a great imbalance. Some ask why an entire species of bird would no longer be migratory. It is a form of classic economics. There are possible risks involved in such great travels: unsafe locations, new predators, changes in water availability, less food, and harsh weather conditions; plus, flying is tiring.

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Father/Daughter wheelin'

I grew up in the back of my family's Bronco, starting in a car seat. In September 2018, I revisited the Rubicon Trail, this time behind the wheel. My dad, Larry Stockton of the Joaquin Jeepers, is the best spotter I know and could guide me through anything day or night – which is what happened as we drove into the Rubicon Foundation property by headlights.

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Newbie says thanks for Niagara Rim Poker Run

I just got back from the Niagara Rim Poker Run and wanted to share some of the lessons this newbie learned. But first a thank you to all the blue shirts for running such a wonderful event.

If there is a social, try and make it I got there late (my bad), so missed a good chance to meet my fellow drivers.

If most people are going to camp I strongly suggest camping.  Again, a chance to socialize and allows you to relax after the run, at the socials or dinner without having to worry about driving. It also would have saved me time in the morning as I could have aired down the night before and not faced an hour’s drive. I stayed at a hotel, which had its bennies: a bed and a hot shower vs an inflatable mattress (unless Jackie decided otherwise sharp claws) and a cold shower if any. Maybe next time will investigate renting a trailer.

niagara rim poker run

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Hemet Jeep Club goes for a ladies' run

The birds were singing, the sun was shining, and we had eight brave women willing to follow me into who-knows-what-we-would-find on Saturday, April 8. Although this was a “women’s run,” we graciously allowed men to trek with us. We staged at the corner of Florida and Fairview and, after a brief drivers’ meeting, headed south: Anza or bust! We made it to Anza and didn’t bust; always a good sign. A shout-out to the Dairy Queen for opening early to those of us seeking restroom and ice cream — not necessarily in that order. Donna DeVore and Cari DeVore willingly traded off as TEC (Tail End Charlee-n)! Great job, by the way!

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hemet jeep club

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An opportunity for a quick lesson in finding township and range.

Be a trail leader

You’ve driven the trails numerous times. Have hundreds of hours of 4WD experience under your belt (some of which, of course, is spent outside of the vehicle). You’re good with people, and feel your managerial skills are top notch. You’d like to be Trail Leader for an upcoming excursion. What’s next?

First, I commend you for wanting to take on a leadership role. As a certified professional 4WD Trainer with more than 40 years of off-road experience, I know the value of a good Trail Leader. Our hobby could use more people willing to step forward and fulfill this role.

Being a Trail Leader is not an easy task. It involves skills, personality and patience. Here are my Top 10 qualities of a great Trail Leader.

driving techniques

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