Strawberry Canyon October 2018

After eight years, (!!) CCMG finally returned to Strawberry Canyon. And we were victorious! Mostly . . .
The run started normally, with 14 folks showing up for breakfast at the Train Station. When Candy and I showed up, Mike and Diane , along with their friend Matt, had just arrived. Shortly thereafter, we were joined by Paul , Dale and Darlene , Kevin and Connie , guest Martin, and Mike with Grayson and Kaylie. After a great breakfast Nancy and Kevin joined the group. Because of delayed seating, the drivers’ meeting was pushed back to 9:30, but then we were off!!

Because it had been 8 years since the last Strawberry Run, the great Trailmaster had forgotten where the freeway onramp was, so, two minutes into the run we all made a U-turn and headed back to the onramp

With no further problems, we finally hit the trailhead and aired down
About a mile down the trail, the great Trailmaster decided that that gate led to private property, not to the trail, so after another U-turn . . . (Hey!! It had been EIGHT years!!)

But then we were on the trail proper. The trail was in great shape – though not too challenging. We did notice that a lot of rock had been brought in to harden the trail in spots. There were a couple of streams to cross – OK, they were more trickles than streams, but there was water! The sun was out, the weather was perfect – sunshine and mild temperature, and the trees were turning gold. Hard to ask for much more!

So we cruised on down the trail waiting for that tight spot between the tree and that big rock. And we continued to cruise along looking for it . . . Never did find that spot . . . We did eventually come to Paint Rock, that tight spot where the off-camber would throw you into the big rock if you weren’t careful. They had done some work on that section, as well. I don’t know if a full size truck would fit through there now, but none of us even had to slow down, let alone have a spotter!
We finally meandered on up to the overlook, and . . . who is that person in orange standing over there?!? It was Dana . . . and Darlene . . . and the Highlanders! So glad to see them out on the trail again. We talked with them for a little bit before they all moved on, then we had the whole overlook to ourselves

This was the first time on Strawberry for several of our members and both of our guests, so we kicked back and relaxed, and allowed everyone to bask in the beauty of the moment. We noted that there was a meteor shower that night and this would be a perfect place to watch it. Since it was supposed to drop to about 30* that night, we discussed the possibility of an overnighter next year. Most agreed that would be great idea, especially if we could make it coincide with a meteor shower
Finally we loaded up and headed out again. It was still a great trail with beautiful weather and scenery. Encountering no problems, we finally hit the Cal Trans station and started to air up.

That’s when Mike mentioned that he may have a problem . . . His front passenger wheel was several inches further back than the driver’s wheel! He had sheared the leaf spring center bolt and the axle had slid back along the springs! Using his own winch, we pulled the axle forward to where it belonged and tightened down the U-bolts – hoping this would be good enough to get home. Checking several times along Hwy 88 and Emigrant Pass Road, it was holding up just fine . . . until that last little bump in the road just before I-80. Sure enough, it moved the axle back about an inch! We broke out a strap, and eventually found a way to hold the axle in place without binding up the steering, the suspension, or risk cutting through the strap.
That proved to be the last stop of the run. Cruising back into town, everyone said/waved bye and the first Strawberry Canyon run in eight years was in the books!
And a great time was had by all!!

Jon – Outlaw

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