15th Rubicon Trail
August 11-13, 2017
Rubicon Springs, CA
Achieve Tahoe leads the way in adaptive sports and recreation for people with disabilities. With over 48 years experience, their trained staff and volunteers guide you in discovering life without limits. Their specialized adaptive equipment and teaching methods allows them to accommodate almost anyone with any disability. This 4-wheel drive adventure is led by Jason and Andrea Berger and the WeBilt 4WD Club. The trip will follow the historic Rubicon 4WD trail over three days and two nights. For more information on this event, click here.
Challenge Finalist: Jaime Bengston
Learn More About Jaime
Day 1: Monday, August 7, 2017
"This morning we woke up and had to say goodbye to Frankie and the Ladies Offroad Convention. It was also time for me to realize that my Jeep just wasn't going to make it to the Rubicon. There had been too many unusual issues during my trip up to Colorado Springs for the Convention, and it was time to call it. So, Charlene went to work and came up with Plan B. With the help of Jessy and Lexy, we unloaded my Jeep and loaded up Big Red. It's a tight squeeze but we actually had enough room for everything.
We hit the road and started our adventure. We were surprised by Yogi Bear but of course, needed to stop and take a selfie with him. We drove through a storm (or 5) that very closely resembled scenes from a horror movie but also brought an awesome lightning show. There were tunnels and bridges and mountain veiws that had me in awe. We stopped at Vic's Route 6 Grillhouse, decorated with vintage cars and memorabilia. We ate just a bit too much and then ran through the rain to get back on the road. And we finally made it into Utah.
We still have a trek in front of us but what an adventure it's already been and what an adventure it's going to be! Rubicon, here we come!! Woohoo!!!"
Day 2: Tuesday, August 8, 2017
We came into Reno and were so warmly welcomed by Barbara Rainey, giving us a home - & can you say, shower and a bed! We also borrowed her porch to go LIVE and recap the Convention, and then flipped over to our trip! (You should go watch it if you missed it.) Thank you, Barbara!
Then we went over to our Reno Ladies Offroad Social at the Cantina Los Tres Hombres during Hot August Nights! I had no idea what I was in for! So many amazing vehicles. Cars, trucks, Jeeps, hot rods, etc. And I loved seeing so many female drivers. After Charlene pulled me away from the cruising cars, we found our seats and had a great dinner. Thank you, to everyone who came out to chat with us! It's so cool to meet new people!"
Day 3: Wednesday, August 9, 2017
"We started off today in the Palace de Rainey. It was awesome to sleep in fluffy beds and take nice hot showers after our 27 hour drive. Barbara had a beautiful breakfast spread ready to spoil us. She showered us with love and support for our upcoming adventure to with Achieve Tahoe.
We met up with Achieve Tahoe's Ally, and Jason and Andrea Berger. We started out at the local WinCo and then went to Costco. What a sight we were - 5 shopping carts, food, drinks, supplies and of course laughter. I'm not sure everyone else shopping was as amused as we were!
We followed everyone out to the Berger's home and started prepping food for the trip. Charlene and I filled lunches and wrapped food while Jason, Andrea, and Ally organized and setup coolers and bins. We went LIVE (have you watched it?) to help people better understand Achieve Tahoe and to show just a touch of the work that happens behind the scenes. I cannot describe how awesome it is to be helping with this event.
We left the Bergers and made our way out towards Lake Tahoe. We took a slight detour to surprise Charlene's family who were in town! It was so cool to meet her aunt, uncle, cousins and second cousins and chat and laugh. I was truly honored to be introduced to such awesome people.
Charlene then took me to South Lake Tahoe. And wow. Just wow! It was gorgeous. We made it in time to catch the sunset at Emerald Bay- one of my absolute favorite outdoor sights! It's so hard to describe everything we saw, or the beauty of being out there. Oh, and the smell of pine trees and campfire! So relaxing!
We're finishing out our night at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Lake Tahoe!! I've never stayed in one before! It's so cool!! Charlene certainly knows how to make a girl feel spoiled! I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us tomorrow!"
Preparing for the Trail
Day 4: Thursday, August 10, 2017
"Today was absolutely nothing short of an adventure! We started our day by leaving the Hard Rock Hotel and heading out to get coffee. Then we hit the road.
Charlene knew there was so much for me to see than just the Rubicon Trail and she was determined to show it all to me! Even looking back on the day, I cannot believe the history and community that we have has Offroaders.
The Ice House looked like a plain red building from the outside, but once we stepped inside - I quickly realized there was much more to it. It has a quaint little store, a cozy restaurant, and kicking bar! I'd never seen so many $1 bills hanging from every which way! Bras, shorts, hats... all signed, dated and hanging everywhere!
I stepped foot on the actual Rubicon Trail! We took pictures like tourists at the spearhead sign and the placard. Hiked our way up the slab and took more pictures! We saw film crews filming a Jeep commercial (and Charlene may have spotted one of the rental camera trucks)! Talk about being on cloud 9!!! And here was the beginning of me meeting so many amazing off-roaders and friends of Charlene's - Jim with Jeep Jamboree spotted her and came to say "hi".
We left the Rubicon and went to Loon Lake. Of course, we had to put our toes in the water! The temperature was awesome and the sound of the water hitting the bridge was soothing. But we had to push on!
Uncle Tom's Cabin was probably one of my favorite stops today. A tiny little bar with huge personality written on the walls. Bob and Paula Roggie greeting us with huge smiles as we walked in! More friends of Charlene's! We signed the visitor's book, and listened to stories about the bar.
Entering Georgetown was like entering a scene from an old western movie! Cute little stores, bars, restaurants. We started at Black Sheep Offroad, crashing their garage. We went to Jeepers Jamboree and hung out with Lacy and her girls! Bob even called and Charlene stole the phone to chat with him. We ate lunch at the Georgetown Hotel, and toured the haunted hotel rooms.
Our next stop was Jeep Jamboree and so many people! Woohoo!! Tyler with Black Forest, Cory with Metalcloak, JT and Stephanie with JW Speakers, and of course Pierce with Jeep Jamboree. We got to chat with Participants, and handed out LON cards to the Ladies we found!
Next, we were off the Sierra Trek! What a drive that was! We met Carol along the way, and she is totally one of us Ladies! I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. When we finally hit the Meadow, I was in compete awe of all of the rigs! We met up with so many people - Amy, Cory, Steve, Oly, Sherie, Donna.
Our last stop of the night was to pick up Shelby's jeep! She was so sweet and even signed an autograph for a friend of mine! It was so great to get to meet her and chat for a few minutes!
Thank you, Barbara for giving us comfy beds and hot showers before we head out!
Today was incredible - Its so hard to fit it all into a single post! And how awesome it was to see so many people welcome Charlene with open arms at each of these locations! And I was blessed to be a part of each of them and to meet so many people who support Ladies Offroading."
Late Night Drive
Day 5: Friday, August 11, 2017
"Jaime and I are ready to hit the Rubicon Trail with the Achieve Tahoe group where they give disabled folks an opportunity to get into the Rubicon Springs through Open Access. Huge thank you to Jason and Andrea Berger for their commitment to this trip for the last 15 years!
Thanks to Rod Hall Drive for answering my call for help this week. I'm looking forward to driving this week - open, open!!
Let's do this!!! We will check back in on Sunday."
Days 6 & 7: Saturday & Sunday, August 12-13, 2017
"What an amazing weekend. There is so much to say about this weekend - I don't think it will fit in a Facebook post - guess I'll have to write a full story for the Ladies Offroad Network website.
First, I have to thank Shelby Hall again for sharing her Jeep with us! You really saved the day, girl!! "Little Jeep" was awesome! Thank you so much!
Now, let me say - Achieve Tahoe really knows how to put on a event. Huge kudos to Jason and Andrea, Allie, We Built, and all of the volunteers - new and old, who came out and worked this weekend. I met so many amazing people. I shared stories with people - they shared stories with me. We laughed together, we cried, and we wheeled! I feel truly blessed to have been a part of all of this, and I hope I can be again!
The Rubicon Trail is wicked. I absolutely loved every minute of it! It was great to sit and watch some seriously amazing wheelers - Charlene, especially - do their thing! Maneuvering obstacles, explaining what they were doing, what was coming up, what was happening - all so their participant was comfortable with everything going on. They even took the time to share tips and pointers with me! How cool is that?? And watching their rigs climb and crawl and twist and flex, such a cool sight!
This whole experience was intense and inspiring. I'm typically not one to be left without words, but it's hard to describe with a weekend like this feels like. Combining the historical Rubicon Trail with a camp like Achieve Tahoe is absolutely brilliant, adding in wonderful people with huge hearts just throws it all over the top. It's opened my eyes to so many different things. I cannot wait to get home and share my story with everyone!"
Fresh Off the Trail
Day 8: Monday, August 14, 2017
"Not so bright, but certainly early we left Barbara's house in Reno, Nevada and left for Corona, California. We left a bit earlier than we needed to in hopes of getting pedicures at some point along the route! We've been talking about them since last Monday.
The drive down to Corona was fun. We laughed and joked around, talked some shop, even debated some things. It's always cool to sit and chat with Charlene, and we were certainly sitting for a while.
We made a very important pit stop in Bishop, CA. We went through the Starbucks drive thru and then met up with Barbara Rainey for a quick hug and a final goodbye. Thank you again for everything, Barbara!
Along the way we found a camping area with a super cute backdrop of an old western town and decided to do our final videos for our adventure. Charlene explained they are putting together a 30 minute video to really express what we did during this trip. Apparently, I felt the need to give her enough material for an 80 minute video! ? In all seriousness, I got a taste for what goes on behind the scenes in creating these amazing videos - and it's hard. Don't move. Keep still. Hands down. Talk faster. But even as hard as it was, it was great to tell the story! And I can't wait for you all to see it!
At one point, we decided we were so motivated to get pedicures, we would skip lunch and drove straight through. Our feet could certainly use some pampering!
But man, was it all worth it! We pulled into the Corona Depot at 5pm (an hour early, mind you) and the SoCal Ladies started pulling in! It was so great to meet so many of you, finally putting faces to names. I also got to spend some time with Kristin, who I've missed terribly since our Top 10 weekend together! And Christy totally spoiled us with her Vixen swag! Thank you, girlie! I can't wait to sport it back home in New Mexico! And thank you to everyone who came out tonight. It was so great to see so many amazing woman, and spend time getting to know you. I know that many of you drove quite a ways, too! I appreciate it so much!
So that was our day... and now, here we are, driving all night to Albuquerque... and still haven't gotten a pedicure..."
MEET & GREET #2 – CORONA, CA
Day 9: Tuesday, August 15, 2017
"Wow. What a Challenge, what an adventure! It's so bittersweet to be wrapping it up! I'm back home with my husband, kids, and pups. I was welcomed home by Jeep New Mexico Group in true Jeeper fashion. Thank you all so much for coming out and supporting me. Thank you everyone who followed us, participated in the Live videos, and kept cheering us on the whole way!
This was certainly an adventure. There was some serious hard work, but it was great to able to laugh and enjoy it at the same time. As I look back over the past week+, I have to laugh at the things we came across and some of the things we did...
- Watching a semi pulling a semi tow truck - think about that one.
- Pulling over on I-40 just to get a sunflower. ?
- Watching out for jumping deer, "big cows" and moose - or were they elk?
- Making our ransom list: pedicures, manicures, chiropractor, masseuse, showers, fluffy bed, fluffy pillows. Which, of course, no one met these demands but we laughed at how girlie they sounded!
- Witnessing all the pine trees, the various mountains, experiencing the high desert, overly full lakes, so many rocks, snow capped mountains, rolling hills, canyons, miles of construction, quaint mountain towns, cute mining towns, and chatting with awesome people along the way.
- Driving through absolutely crazy weather, with eerie horror film like fog, lightning shows to make photographers drool, and thunder that even found a way to shake Big Red.
- Oh! The varying speed limits, so slow on single lanes - and is, finally cheering, when we came up to actual passing zones!
- Silly jokes about names - like Inyo County, which turns into "In Yo'".
- So many different state lines, and so many we crossed back and forth over many times. (CA / NV I think we passed 5 times!)
- Truck stops for sleep and finally a truck stop for a shower.
- Drive thrus for food and drive thrus for Starbucks. We should have gone live but it wasn't the same without the van. ?
- Going live from Ralph the rental car, "Little Jeep", and finally Big Red.
And the laughter... so much laughter and joy. Thank you, Charlene, for such an amazing experience. It's one I will never forget. I learned so much. I experienced so much. It was worth every second of missed sleep! With a quiet Jeep ride home, I hand the updates and storytelling back to you."
See all the action from Event #1:
Day 1 - Photos: http://bit.ly/2uYV3uQ
Day 2 - Live from NV: http://bit.ly/2i3NJgg
Day 2 - Photos: http://bit.ly/2wMZ7Am
Day 3 - Trail Prep: http://bit.ly/2vAYXxL
Day 3 - Photos: http://bit.ly/2wMxUOd
Day 4 - Late Night Driving: http://bit.ly/2uLHorD
Day 4 - Photos: http://bit.ly/2x1u8zU
Day 5 - Photos: http://bit.ly/2vFzd1t
Day 6 & 7 - Photos: http://bit.ly/2x1m9mm
Day 7 - Fresh Off the Trail: http://bit.ly/2uLProA
Day 8 - Meet & Greet #2: http://bit.ly/2uLUBAK
Day 8 - Photos: http://bit.ly/2fHLleu
Day 9 - On the Road Again: http://bit.ly/2i2PPx6
Day 9 - Meet & Greet #3: http://bit.ly/2i6a0Kv
Day 9 - Photos: http://bit.ly/2vJz3Gj