Barret Lakes Run August 25-27 2006

I had wanted to run the Barret Lakes trail for quite some time, but every time the run was scheduled the weekend was always booked with something else!   Finally this year, I was able to make sure that I was free to run the trail.

All pictures from the trip are here.

We left on Friday morning and headed for the trail head.  On the way up we stopped in Placerville to get some lunch and top off on gas.   This is a shot of us going down main street.

To get to the trail head., take Wrights Lake road off of Highway 50 and follow it all the way to the trail head.  From 50 its only about 8 miles.

There is a campground and a parking lot where you can leave your trailer while you are on the trail.

At the parking lot, we all aired down and did one last check before we hit the trail.

The entrance to the trail is less than a mile down the road from the parking lot.   There is a gate and two metal poles that you need to fit between to get onto the trail.   The trail is not opened until the Forest Service feels it has dried out enough.   The poles keep full size vehicles off the trail.   

There is a nice obstacle just a few feet inside the gate.   Here Donnie heads onto the trail.

Just down the trail a bit they have laid down a stretch of log road to help keep vehicles from creating a mess in the mud.

Much like the Rubicon Trail, Barret Lakes has obstacles with stretches of easy road between.  

Here Jim is working on one of the obstacles.

I make my way through the same obstacle.
Mark coming through...
Donnie lining up for his turn.
Jim slipped sideways and found this large rock under the rear of his Bronco.   After a bit of maneuvering he was on his way.
With lower tire pressure, its easier to get debris into the bead of the tire....
A few rocks have found their way in.   Not a problem, a 2 minute fix and Jim is back on the trail.
Jim followed by Mark heading into the Rock garden.   This is one of the obstacles that does not have a bypass.
Donnie getting between a set of squeeze rocks.

On the way in to the lake, Alan's Cherokee was making a loud clicking noise.  We figured out it was coming from the transfer case, most likely the chain slipping.  Once we made it to camp, the front drive line was removed and Alan was going to have to make it back to the trail head. with 2wd.  This was better than loosing the t-case!

Video of Alan's front end making bad noises.

Once at the lake we set up camp.   We then had a great dinner and desert thanks to our Coleman Propane Oven:  Papa Murphy's Take-n-Bake Pizza hot out of the oven, followed by fresh baked chocolate chip cookies with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!

On Saturday morning we decided to hike up the trail from the lake and check out an old plane crash.  The scenery along the way is great!
As we got close to the crash site, we suddenly spot the first piece of the wreckage lying along the trail.   While this landing gear strut may not look to be a large piece, it is not something that one person could pick up and carry away!
Everyone checks out the crash scene.   I am not sure what kind of plane this was, but I am going to try to find out more info and add it here.
There is a small lake next to the crash site, you can see a lone part in the picture also.
After checking out the crash, we headed back down to Barret Lake and got ready to leave.

There were a bunch of Toyota Land Cruisers there, here are a picture of some of them.

The one here on the left came in with a trailer also.

On the way out, there were a few more bumps and scrapes.   Mark got tippy in a few places.   After this picture was taken Mark came very close to rolling over on a spot farther down the trail.
He was close enough to going over that fluids came out of the hood and ran down the side of the body on his Samurai!
On the way out I busted the right front half shaft and decided to drive the last mile on 2wd.   At the last obstacle before the trail gate I slipped sideways and hit on a rock above my sliders and got this nice new dent.
Final carnage report:

Myself (taco): one CV, one dent

Mark (sami): unknown drive train noise

Alan (cherokee): t-case, minor scratches, rear diff cover

Donnie (cherokee): dent in drivers door, dent in drivers side passenger door, both rear quarter panels, bent tie rod, front end noise.

Jim (bronco): left front fender, right front fender.
A nice scenery shot heading back down the road towards highway 50.
A sign about the Wrights Fire, click the picture for a larger version that you can read.
Even with all the carnage, this was a great trip.   If you are wondering if you are ready to hit the Rubicon Trail and want a trail to test your skills on that is quite a bit shorter, this is the trail for you!   At the lake, you are only a few miles from the Rubicon, and the terrain is quite similar.
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