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Fordyce Creek II
(West of Truckee, California)

Our second visit to Fordyce was much more pleasant than the first, due in large part to the weather, which was just about perfect. Warm sunny days, and clear, warm summer nights. The only real problem was the bugs, which were out in force, but the flowers and pleasant weather more than made up for it.

Except for a tight spot near the top of Hamburger Hill where I ended up too far over to the right and had to back and fill a bunch of times to get over a big rock, the driving was pretty easy. I must be a better driver after doing the Rubicon and Barrett last summer. Crossing the creek was a concern, because after wading across it first, I figured I had about 6" to spare if I took the right line before water started flooding into the Jeep under the doors. We were also worried the level of the creek might rise over night (the flow is controlled by microwave, apparently, and can change at any time) but it wasn't a problem.

We had a good 4-5 mile hike (one way) from our camp near the first creek crossing up to the first winch hill, which was really ugly. I think with enough time and good spotting I could get up it, but breakage is a real possibility even with careful driving, and being up there solo was out of the question. I can't imagine what a scen it must be during Sierra Trk, when they get a couple hundred Jeeps up those winch hills in one day...

The trip back out was uneventful, except for a big rock in the middle of the trail that ended up putting a nice crease along my passenger side doors. Oh well, they still open! This trail offers great camping and fishing opportunities for those who have a well-equipped Jeep. I wouldn't try it alone without lockers, tall tires, and good armor (and even then, you're bound to mess something up). We saw very few people on the trail, but one Forerunner busted his rear control arm mount clean off the axel, and another well-built FJ-40 destroyed his rear pinion and had to be strapped out the last 4 miles. You won't see a Hyundai or a RAV up here, thank God!

[These pictures average between 40 - 60 Kb]

Coming up out of the woods
Another shot
One of the first obstacles that required a locker
A nasty little section near the top of Hamburger Hill
My spotter sent me over to the far right
And I got jammed up on a big rock and cut my front passenger tire
After a lot of work, finally made it over with a little air
Coming down Hamburger Hill
Near the bottom
Looking down Fordyce Creek from the first water crossing
Amy makin' some breakfast
A big ol' Ponderosa Pine
Posing for a stupid picture with the remote
Amy next to an old bolier near the trail, probably left over from the mining days
The first "winch hill"--believe it or not, this IS the trail, straight up
Looking down through the sluice
Amy launches into the creek to cool off
Cold, cold water!
Coming back out, fast!
Me relaxing near the creek
The creek was running pretty full
Artistic shot of water in motion
A mildly censored shot of somebody lounging in the sun
Ponderosa boughs
The author poses for another stupid picture
The view looking up Fordyce Creek from the little waterfall
The spillway
Coming back across the creek--there's a deep hole right near my front tire
I took the "horseshoe" route across--going straight across the water is much deeper
Coming back up Hamburger Hill
The tippy section near the top
Front diff. hung up on a rock on the way out

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