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SierraFest 2012 August 9-12, 2012 at Deer Valley, CA

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Old August 14th, 2012, 16:08
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TORXreport: Sierra Fest 2012

TORXreport: Sierra Fest 2012
Deer Valley, California
August 9-12, 2012

This whole adventure started for me one night during an NWC BOD meeting, when the idea of attending Sierra Fest was tossed out. Darren (goblazers_6), Eric (dellstopjeep), and I figured it would be kind of neat to check out another chapters event. With the Sierra Chapter being our friendly neighbors to the South, it was a no brainer.

Fast forward to Tuesday the week of, and we got the news from Darren that the vehicle we planned on road tripping down in was no longer an option (Exploder living up to it's name). Luckily for us Darren convinced the wife to let us borrow the Brendamobile in exchange for fixing the dryer. Fair trade.

Thursday after work I loaded up my junk, and headed out to Woodland to meet up with Darren and Eric. We immediately discovered we all had way too much stuff between the three of us to fit inside the XJ. Solution... hog out the roof rails for ratchet straps.

With some creative puzzle work fitting everything inside, we were loaded up and ready to hit the road.

Our route for the drive down.

We hit the road at 4:30, and not before long hit traffic going through Portland. We burned up a decent amount of time in the stop and go traffic. Eventually it let up, and we were able to cruise. When we reached Medford, Oregon we made a pit stop for some dinner.

Eric decided to get food along the way, so we then had to go grocery shopping at 10:30 at night. Once we got all of our errands done, we were back on the road. Hit up the weigh station for the Brendamobile. Not bad for a late model with two guys, camping gear, and 102 beers.

Once we got to California, we cut over on 89 East. This road was a deer sanctuary. Fortunately, Darren wired up a set of Lightforce 170's for the front of the Brendamobile. We were seeing road signs eight tenths of a mile in front of us.

Eric passed out in the back shortly after leaving Medford. I began dozing as the night drug on. At one point I woke up, checked my phone and discovered we had missed a turn. Darren wasn't happy with TORX at this point. It could have been worse (think Dumb and Dumber), we only had to back track 9 miles.

From that point on I forced myself to stay awake and help Darren navigate. We were only going 50mph due to the surprise deer attacks, so progress was slow but steady. Around 0330 we hit Susanville, California where we stopped for our third tank of gas (18.5mpg). We continued on, and eventually crossed over into Nevada. Darren eventually called it quits in Carson City. Even with seven hours of sleep in the back, we both didn't trust Eric to drive, so I opted to drive the last leg. Sun was just beginning to rise.

We set off on the road again, and for some reason decided to head over to Lake Tahoe. Come to find out this actually added a decent amount of time to our trip. It was pretty scenic though.

After dropping down from Tahoe, we continued on, made a few more wrong turns, and jumped a stop sign.

We started climbing in elevation pretty quick. 7000ft, 7500ft, at 8700ft we began to wonder where the hell we were actually going. After dropping down from the summit, we finally reached Hermit Valley home of Sierra Fest 2012. We pulled in a little after 8:30, making for around a 16 hour fun filled drive down.

As we pulled into the camp ground we didn't see any signs of life, just a few XJ's. That's when we were greeted by the smiling face of Travis aka djmack aka McLovin. As we started to unload, McLovin informed us there was another camp just up the road, it had been a late night for them, and they even had a love doll. At that point we through the tent back on the roof, piled back in the Brendamobile, and peeled out of the campground one tire fire style over to the other camp. Camp NWC was established.

Old August 14th, 2012, 16:33
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Re: TORXreport: Sierra Fest 2012

As we set up camp people began to rise from the dead. Around 10:00 the group was ready to hit the trail and head up Deer Valley. Eric grabbed an open seat with Josh (the_wierdo), Darren hopped in with Tim (knucklehead 61), and I opted for the open topped CJ7 with Harry. Thanks guys for offering up the open seats!

Deer Valley trail starts out with a gate keeper obstacle at the start. We all made it through without too much trouble. EricsXJ spotting.

A few optional fun lines on the way up.


Mr. Ed

I'm sad to say I never got this guys name (cencal96XJ?), but he did great on the trail.

We reached the top of the ridge (~9000ft?), and regrouped.

I was overwhelmed by the scenery. I had always heard of the Sierra's beauty, but seeing it in person was surreal.

Group shot of the day.

It was good to see Tim's Red POS on the trail after he worked his tail off trying to finish it days before.

Josh brought Tabitha along.

The trail follows the ridge line along the top for a ways until cutting over to the other side. Since the trail was closed on the other side, we turned around and ran it back down. I rode with Mr. Ed on the way down since Harry was having some drive train issues in the CJ. Mr. Ed coming through the gate keeper at the bottom.

McLovin chose an unique line on the exit. Josh pulled up behind him, and winched him off the back.
Old August 14th, 2012, 17:00
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Re: TORXreport: Sierra Fest 2012

Josh taking his turn.


On the way down I caught myself dozing a few times, then I realized I had been up for almost 36 hours. Once back at camp the NWC BOD took a power nap together. It may only have been an hour or so, but it felt great to sleep finally.

More people showed up Friday. Srmitchell aka Columbus, NorCalChris, SharkMark, and aquino#s194 to name a few. Later that evening we did a night run back up Deer Valley trail to the top, and watched the stars.

After returning to camp, we stayed up a bit, and enjoyed the camp fire for awhile. Later that night (or was it early in the morning?) JoseJalapeno and rockn94xj pulled into camp after just getting off the Rubicon Trail.

The next morning the group gathered for a morning drivers meeting for the day, and set off for Slick Rock trail. Eric rode with Josh again, Darren grabbed a seat with Rob D, and I rode with Uncle Nate.

McLovin chose to run an optional line, but realized he lacked clearance.

McLovin going up and over.

The crowd watching the show.

Slight V-notch obstacle on the trails. Skipper51 dropping down.

Continuing on.

The trail eventually opens up onto the slick rock slabs.

Nate coming through the corner onto the slab.

NorCalChris with his twin sticked XJ, featuring a front drive shaft out of the Brendamobile.


Old August 14th, 2012, 17:10
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Re: TORXreport: Sierra Fest 2012


Small creek crossing. Try this in the Northwest, with our protected streams.

Darren and Rob.

Eric and Josh.

Bryan C.

After the creek crossing is the last obstacle on the trail. Again, to be in chilling in the Sierra's was awesome.

Tim chose to run the left side line up.

He had a clean run up, and then attacked the next ledge at the top.

Bryan following suit.

He found a hole with his front passenger tire.

Got a bit tippy. Bryan seemed more than calm (I'm pretty sure this wasn't his first wheel stand), but others were quick to lend a hand.

Bryan with the strap on. After he got leveled out, he made it up pretty easy. Definitely made me wish I had my pile there.
Old August 14th, 2012, 17:22
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Re: TORXreport: Sierra Fest 2012

This seemed like a pretty popular obstacle to play on. While we were there a few groups passed, and showed up.

Columbus grounded his ship.

Eric pulling rope.

Rob in his super clean XJ making an equally clean run up.

Mr. Ed running the stair steps.

SharkMark on the cable.

Lunch time.

Josh heading up.

High five, Josh.

Chris proving even a near stock XJ can still keep up with the big dogs.



At this point quite the crowd had accumulated.

Gotta love stickies.
Old August 14th, 2012, 17:40
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Re: TORXreport: Sierra Fest 2012

Clean CJ8.

Monster 40 on 47's. Whats funny is sometimes these big rigs have just as much difficulty as the little ones.

After we had all made it up, we continued up to the slabs for a group pictures. I found an interesting looking rock.

While everyone positioned their rig, I took a little walk.

Sierra Fest 2012.

After we got our picture part of the group ran the forest road back to the highway, and the rest of us ran the trail back. It's always fun running a trail in the opposite direction, makes for a completely different trail.

On the way out Tim came up on an overheated hiker. She was in rough shape, so he gave her a lift back to her camp. After we got off the trail we stopped by Alpine Lake for a quick swim. Note to self, next year bring swim attire. Needless to say swimming in a high alpine lake after wheeling doesn't really happen... ever in the NWC.

After we returned to camp it was time for the Saturday night festivities to begin. Josh collecting the cheddar.

McLovin wishing there was a chair in the raffle.

He did win a hoodie though.

The dinner was tasty, thanks Mark for manning the grill! The raffle was great, many thanks to all the contributing vendors and people. I came out with a nice set of limiting straps, or really short tow straps depending on how you look at them.

After the raffle finished up, we all hung around the camp fire. I added some wood to the fire expecting it to take the traditional 10 minutes to catch. Obviously that rule is different in California.

Saturday night was flat out a good time. I really enjoyed visiting with everyone. Some things I remember are John Smith, Wizard Sticks, and the Spaghetti Facotry.
Old August 14th, 2012, 18:01
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Re: TORXreport: Sierra Fest 2012

Sunday came around quick. Not quite sure what happened after I went to bed though.

With a 13 hour drive in front of us, we began the pack up routine, and said our good byes.

Got the Brendamobile loaded back up, and we hit the road at 10:00.

We were going to check out the Awful Awful Burger in Reno recommended to us by Joe, but we settled on In N Out instead to save time. Next time.

Got gas in Reno.

Stopped to do a bit of AC maintenance.

Darren drove all the way to Chemult, Oregon where we got our second tank and realized we got 20mpg on the last one.

From there I drove the rest of the way. Incredibly boring straight roads.

Almost 11:00 on the dot we pulled into Woodland making for a 13 hour return trip including stops for food and gas. Not too bad.

All in all, this was an amazing trip. Huge thanks to the Sierra Chapter for the excellent hospitality. If anyone finds themselves in the Northwest post up or shoot one of us a PM. We'd love to return the favor and show you guys some trails, or point you in the direction of a good burger.
Old August 14th, 2012, 19:07
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Re: TORXreport: Sierra Fest 2012

Great trip report.
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing.
Old August 14th, 2012, 19:25
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Re: TORXreport: Sierra Fest 2012

That is a hell of a right up guys! Thanks once again for coming down. I hope to wheel with you guys up there soon.
Old August 14th, 2012, 19:38
cencal96xj cencal96xj is offline
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cool write up and pics! the names zac by the way haha
Old August 14th, 2012, 19:58
hiimmred hiimmred is offline
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Re: TORXreport: Sierra Fest 2012

Good stuff! Glad you all enjoyed your time with us.
Old August 14th, 2012, 21:37
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Re: TORXreport: Sierra Fest 2012

Great write-up. Again, thanks for making the trip down. You guys are alright.
Old August 14th, 2012, 22:06
knucklehead 61 knucklehead 61 is offline
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Re: TORXreport: Sierra Fest 2012

great pics & narration!
i'll hit you guys up on my next oregon trip (in 2 or 3 weeks) if i make it up to the tsf area.
Old August 15th, 2012, 00:22
Djmack Djmack is offline
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Re: TORXreport: Sierra Fest 2012

Don't make fun of my lines, I just enjoy a nice challenge. hopefully ill be back on 33's or 35's.
Old August 15th, 2012, 19:59
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Re: TORXreport: Sierra Fest 2012

Great trip report.

Saturday night was flat out a good time. I really enjoyed visiting with everyone. Some things I remember are John Smith, Wizard Sticks, and the Spaghetti Facotry
That reminds me...who won the John Smith bet??
Originally Posted by GordoSmasho View Post
Tim's junk is impressively beefy. TWSS

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