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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Trip report: Fordyce Lake Foray

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jefe 4x4

West Slope, Northern Sierra Nevada

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Posted: 08/15/13 11:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We live just 20 minutes from the start of the Fordyce Jeep Trail made famous almost 50 years ago by the organizers of the Sierra Trek. It is one of the oldest hard-core Jeep trails in the U.S. The Sierra Trek went down last week-end, and hundreds of jeepers of all descriptions came and went. With obstacles like, "winch hill #1, 2, 3, 4,and 5, your progress is measured not in miles (it's only 12 miles of actual trail), but rather in how many times you were stuck or had to get out the winch hook.
This report is not about the Sierra Trek, but rather an extended family, 2 over-night TC trip to the Lake that feeds the fast moving Fordyce Creek. The flow just for the Trek, is reduced down to about 20 % of normal so the 6 or so creek crossings can be made in less than 5 feet of water.
Jefe and Jean loaded up the grandkids (3), our son, Matt driving an XJ with all the stuff needed to support a 6, 9, and 10 year old and a inflatable kayak as the aquatic focus. Bro Jim and his effervescent wife Vicki made a cameo appearance during the day which meant we had wine with lunch.
Only 23 road miles from our home, it still took an hour and 50 minutes to get to camp. The last 9 miles in are very rough and rocky. Of which we were in low range 80% of the time. This road was last improved in 1914 when the Nevada Irrigation District (one of the oldest water and power facilities in the U.S.) built the dam and spillway for Fordyce Lake. O.K., only 99 years ago, but you get the idea:
[image]
We eventually settled on a little sand spit in the slowly lowering lake.
[image]
[image]
This is a view of my 3 pound 9x12 ft. tarp with backpacker recycled poles and bungie cord guy ropes. I include this because a couple of hours after this pic, a tremendous gust took it out severing a long strip along the camper. Oh, well.
back to the drawing board. The tarp was decades old ripstop nylon and kept us out of the sun, rain, and snow on one occasion.
[image]
[image]
Matt, Austin, Brooke, and Madison paddle away in the inflatable Kayak:
[image]
[image]
My Queen casting off with Matt in the inflatable:
[image]
Yet another used for those pesky orange lego blocks for leveling the camper. A foot mat for using the outside shower to rinse your tootsies. Here Vicky waits for the feet to air dry before dawning her footwear:
[image]
[image]
[image]
Below is a shot of the 'warrior' TC's front end with attendant dents and scratches from the warz: notice the lack of Lance Camper stabilizers (shocks):
[image]

None of this makes much news except for the fact that the second night, for better or for worse, we had SIX people sleeping in the TC. Jean my Queen and I were in the queen. The 9 and 10 yr. olds were on the convertable dinette. Our last grandchild, Austen was in the upper bunk which we convinced him was 'cool'. With the dinette converted, it was a stretch (or should I say squeeze) to get the bathroom door open enough in the middle of the night. What about the 6th? Matt was sleeping on the ground next to the TC but got cold feet when a few field mice started to sniff around his pillow. He retreated into the back seat of the truck for an even longer night. So VI people spent a "night in the box" to quote Strother Martin from Cool Hand Luke. I report this to dissuade anyone from trying to camp more than two people in a small hardside truck camper. Does critical mass mean anything?
The temp was idyllic and the only sad part was we went in and out of the smoke plume from a nearby forest fire. The kids had an absolutely fabulous time. For the kids, every minute was brand new, not just every day.
regards, as always, jefe

* This post was last edited 08/16/13 10:36am by jefe 4x4 *   View edit history


'01.5 Dodge 2500 4x4, CTD, Qcab, SB, NV5600, 241HD, 4.10's, Dana 70/TruTrac; Dana 80/ TruTrac, Spintec hub conversion, H.D. susp, 315/75R16's on 7.5" and 10" wide steel wheels, Vulcan big line, Warn M15K winch '98 Lance Lite 165s, 8' 6" X-cab, 200w Solar

Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli

Seattle

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Posted: 08/16/13 01:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice JEFE.


Camper Jeff and Kelli's Blog!
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dadwolf2

Henderson,NV

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Posted: 08/16/13 09:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice trip Jefe. Are you sure your camper doesn't have magical powers of expanding itself to sleep 6? Think I saw your camper in a Harry Potter movie and you were in costume.


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cewillis

Tucson, az, usa

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Posted: 08/16/13 10:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice road, Jefe. You know how to pick 'um.


Cal


bka0721

Republic of Colorado

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Posted: 08/16/13 11:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As always, your adventures are a treat, not only to the participants, but to the readers.

Many happy trails, to you, my friend.

b

sabconsulting

High Wycombe, UK

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Posted: 08/17/13 02:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks Jefe. I love those remote and quiet camping spots. Wish we had more of them over where Sally and I live.

All the best,

Steve.

ps - this will of course be added to your section of the trip reports sticky at the end of the summer.


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silversand

Montreal

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Posted: 08/17/13 04:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

....more, more, more. We want more [emoticon]

This made my morning. Love the Southwest outback!

Many thanks for these expe photos!

Cheers,
Silver-


Silver
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~DJ~

Boise, Idaho

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Posted: 08/17/13 07:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice spot!!!! Boondocking at it's finest!!!!! [emoticon]


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starcraft69

northern California(State Of Jefferson)

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Posted: 08/17/13 11:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks Jefe for the trip report and pics. I will be up there in the area next week setting trail cams for deer season. You are brave To go in with TC Good for you.
Take Care


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petenewell

Grass Valley CA

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Posted: 08/17/13 12:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Been there many times, thanks for the reminder. We did Trek last year and based our TC at Meadow for the week.

If I have my math right you should be in the area of Missouri Flat or Lupine Point off Hwy 20? Or I guess Alta or Dutch Flat if I have the wrong highway.

We are down in town, Old Auburn Rd in GV.


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