Barrett Lake Trail

Carol & I drove our  Beamer right to the Barrett gate yesterday. Beautiful drive. I walked 50 feet up the trail and found this is probably not a trail for stock rigs. We picked up a map to share. It’s easy just keep going straight when you get to the stop sign @ Wrights Lake and it’s at the end of the road.

drive safe,

Craig & Carolimage

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Thanksgiving in the Desert

Its getting close to Thanksgiving week (Nov 22-28) and the plan this year for a trip to the desert is to base camp at Calico Ghost Town campground in Yermo (just outside of Barstow) and do day trips around Calico, Stoddard Valley/Wells OHV area, and maybe venture as far south as Cougar Buttes outside of Lucerne Valley. There’s also areas to do old mine exploration and target shooting if folks are interested. There are trails for all levels of drivers, including for motorcycles and side-by-sides. Info on camping at Calico can be found at:

If you want more info, let me know.



calico-082 calico-061 calico-054HammerDown

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Response from PG&E on the protest of their conservation easement

You can read their response here:

Essentially, it still leaves the Committee Trail in limbo, since its at the whim of the Bear-Yuba Land Trust folks to determine whether its in compliance with the terms of their easement and doesn’t create an formal ‘right to use’. Next steps are being explored with Cal4 and CORVA.



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Barrett Lake run SEPT 25-27

Hi all – just sent out an email to get a head count/rig count for this run. Please let me know if you are interested in joining us. Contact me if you have any questions. Rene

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club picnic/trail maintenance SEPT 12

Hi everybody – I have sent an email out to see who will be attending our annual club picnic, combined with our adopt-a-trail maintenance on the Rubicon. We will be having base camp at Airport Flat Campground. The club will be providing the meat for dinner Saturday night, please respond to the email of what side dish you plan on bringing. Please contact me if you have any questions. Rene

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Cantina help

Hi Madhatters,
This weekend is Cantina on the Con. It is held at the Loon Lake spillway. There is no need to have a 4×4. Carol and I have helped our friends at Foresthill 4×4 the last few years cook in the kitchen. We have had a great time helping them. If you would like to help us please let me know ASAP. It’s a good time and a great cause . We will be working the 9am to 1pm shift on Saturday .
Hope you all have a great weekend!

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This weekend is the Annual Fundraiser for the Rubicon Trail Foundation, Cantina for the Con … John & Rene will be heading up for the event and doing a little trail running too, maybe a night run. Please let us know if you are interested in joining us.
We will have our HAM radio on the Madhatter channel.

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August 2015 meeting audio now available

Audio transcript from the August 2015 meeting is now online here:

Meeting highlights:

  • Sierra Trek report
    • Good run on Thursday, some breakage at WH1 and below WH3, but we got to Meadow by 4:30pm
    • River run Thurs was good – only a handful of folks actually went all the way to the river
    • Historic run was interesting, got to see inside of train sheds around Truckee
    • Saturday Art & Mark helped with FoF & the Wheelers for Wounded on a river run. Vets had a blast and were a hit on a parade thru camp after the run
    • Raffle was very successful. Many thanks to Stephanie and Nikki for all the help in the booth all day Friday and Saturday. Thanks to all that helped overall. Raffle drew in almost $12K after all tickets and expenses. Silent auction went well too.
    • John wants to re-weld our sign at Meadow Lake to move the Madhatters plate to the top.
    • Our AAT section below WH5 is staying good and solid. Other sections of the trail need work.
    • Picture album:
  • September events coming up
    • Cantina for the Con – Labor Day weekend. Craig and Carol helping with the taco feed, Kurt & Terry, John/Rene & Greg, Josh, various others planning to go.
    • Club Picnic – Sept 12-13 – will be held at Airport Flat campground. We will do maintenance on the Rubicon at the Wentworth Springs entrance to clear the silt traps and then do a pot luck back in camp Saturday nite. Working on plan for the meat, everyone should bring stuff to share.
    • Barrett Lake run - rescheduled to Sept 26-27 weather permitting. Lots of interest from folks to run Barrett since its reopened for the first time in years.  Entrance gate is 86″ wide. If you can’t fit, you can’t be on the trail. Plan is to go in Saturday morning, camp at the lake and come out Sunday. Hike to the historic airplane wreck site if there is time/interest.
  • October events
    • Chris G. is leading Slick Rock Oct 10-11. Plan is to secure the group campsite area along the road by Utica Reservoir on Friday and the run the trail Saturday.  Full details at the Sept club meeting.
    • Oct 27 is last club meeting for 2015.
  • November events
    • Chris & Dustin are looking to lead a trip to Hollister Nov 7. More details at the Sept/Oct meetings.
    • Panamint Valley Days (Cal4 event) is Nov 13-15. George is going, maybe others. Details to come.
    • Thanksgiving Week in the Desert – Nov 22-29. Art is planning to have base camp at the Calico Ghost Town campground and do day trips from there around the Calico area, Stoddard Valley and maybe as far down as Lucerne Valley/Cougar Buttes. Will post info on campground shortly as folks will need to get reservations.
  • December events
    • Club Xmas party – need to settle on a venue by the Sept meeting and get plans together. John/Rene volunteered their place again if there was no other takers or solid plan for a different venue.
  • 2016 runs
    • Start thinking about runs for next year – we want to get it locked down by the October meeting.
  • Scott Hansen voted in as a new member – welcome Scott (2nd time as a Madhatter member). Nickname?
  • Scott received the Boner Award after having his from wheel come off shortly after leaving the Meadow Lake road due to a missing stub shaft.
  • Trail maintenance – some work coming up on the Fordyce (between 1st water crossing and WH1, and around WH3 – 3.5). Our area is still solid. Rubicon work party needed around Gatekeeper on Oct 10th.
  • CORVA club conservation award given to Madhatters for 2014.
  • Proposed bylaws changes presented by Darrell. Drafts of new text distributed in paper as well as email. Voting will take place at September meeting.
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Urgent letters needed for PG&E conservation easement donation around Meadow Lake/Fordyce Lake!!!

Folks, PG&E is in the last stages of a donation of property around Meadow Lake and Fordyce Lake to a conservation easement to be held by the Bear Yuba Land Trust. Most of the items in the easement plan don’t have issues with them, except for two important bits:

  • omission of the Fordyce ‘Committee Trail’ from their maps and language in the plan that do not permit off road travel on non-identified roads. The omission puts the continued use of the Committee Trail in serious jeopardy. The BYLT folks are not in the business of being in support of OHV in any form.
  • omission of camping around Fordyce Lake (which exists today and PG&E was in the process of expanding). The plan with the BYLT explicitly removes camping as a ‘beneficial public value’ as part of their conservation plan (which of course only includes ‘passive’ outdoor recreation like hiking, fishing, sightseeing,…)

They are accepting protests until Aug 31 for this plan. The BYLT folks didn’t know there was camping at Fordyce, nor did they know anything about the Committee Trail. Clearly, they haven’t really visited the area that they are getting an easement to manage.

The very large Conservation Easement plan documents are here:

Note that its in excess of 200+ pages, so its not a small document.

The other documents I reference to provide evidence of the trail/route and the camping issue are the Hydro Electric licensing environmental impact study. These are huge docs (> 1000 pages), but the important bits are:

  • FEIS Volume 2, Appendix C, page C-3 – Map displays the “Committee Trail” with an OHV symbol on it.  It also displays the proposed campground development at Fordyce Lake.
  • FEIS Volume 1
  •   Page   67 – Mentions reducing flows of Fordyce Creek to enhance OHV annual event
  •   Page 414 – OHV use in the project is recognized
  •   Page 422 – OHV use at Fordyce Lake is recognized
  •   Page 430, Table 3-211 – Indicates that OHV use is a primary activity in the Fordyce Lake area
  • Page 462-464 detailing the camping use around Fordyce Lake
  •   Page 672 – Table discusses continued management of existing trails in the Comparison of Alternatives


I’ve uploaded the letter I sent to PG&E and the CPUC to protest the omissions.


You can grab either version and add your additional comments, but please modify it in some way so it doesn’t appear like a form letter. Email & fax is good, there isn’t time to send via US mail.

Any questions, just drop me email or call me and I can explain further.

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Club picnic – Sept 12-13

With Deer Valley closed, the annual picnic run is being relocated to Airport Flat campground at the Rubicon. More details in the meeting next week from Trailboss John.

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