Eastern Sierra ATV Jamboree Vacation Day 3 of 3

Saturday morning, our last day of riding in the ATV Jamboree, and the last day staying at the Topaz Lodge. We started our morning by packing up our luggage and putting it in the truck, checking out, then again headed to the Fire House for breakfast at 7AM. Today our ride is the Nugent Cabin or Quaint Little Cabin in the Woods. After breakfast everybody went to their Quads that were parked behind the signs of the rides that they were going to go on. Tim Fesko called for a meeting with our group and shared with us that Eli, the Editor for ATV Rider Magazine, wanted to go and try to make it all the way to Lobdell Lake. He wanted to recruit riders that would want to go to Nugent Cabin and then leave and try to successfully make it to Lobdell Lake through the snow drifts, Mud and other obstacles that were on the way. This would combine both trips and would have to be run at a fast pace because of the length of the ride. So Tim asked if anybody was up for this ride to come over and stand with Eli.  Cherilyn and I talked for a moment about how we missed the end of our Lobdell Lake trip (even though they didn’t make it to the lake) the day before and we really wanted to see the lake. We decided to go and then stepped into the volunteer group with others and Eli and I’ll tell you I am glad we did.


Our group then got together and headed on out earlier than the rest of the group that was only going to Nugent Cabin. We drove our quads north on Eastside Lane up the Antelope Valley then east on Risue Canyon Rd. through the Sweetwater Mountains and down into the valley and turn south and rode on a few different roads until we hit ( nf 069 )and then up into the Sweetwater Canyon. On the way we crossed Sweetwater Creek which was fun and I even got the seat of my pants and pant leg wet doing it. Along the way up the Sweetwater Canyon we stopped for a short time to take in the views and Let Eli catch up and take the lead.


Cherilyn taking in the view on her Red Quad.                      And Eli in his Polaris 4 Seat Side by side catching up.

We made it up to Nugent’s Cabin and it was a beautiful area with pines and aspens and the creeks water running high down the canyon. We saw the old Nugent Cabin which people can stay there anytime. I guess the cabin is a first come first serve kind of a thing if you want to stay there.


It also has an outhouse behind the Cabin and a shower that was made down by the creek.

There is also an old log cabin (below right)to look at that is in ruin up aways from Nugents Cabin. We stayed in the area and had our lunch, took in the views, and waited until the rest of the group that wasn’t going to Lobdell arrived then we took off on our way to makeit to Lobdell Lake.

We then made our way back down into the valley and worked our way back to Risue Canyon Rd. We then headed west until we got to Jack Ass Creek Trail ( NF 065 ) and took that south all the way to that (challenging but fun) Big Hill that we climbed the day before and now were climbing the hill again. Then we traveled the ridge lines until we made it to where we got to the meadow the day before and had to turn around and come back.

This is where it really began to get fun. We went from the meadow and traveled to the road that runs up the most upper end of Desert Creek to the Dam of Lobdell Lake.  We traveled that road through some mud which we made with no problems and got to a wooded area that had a snow drift that was covering the road. Eli, form ATV Rider Magazine, in his Polaris four Seat Side by side started to make lunges through the snow drift. He tried time and time again but was only getting high centered in the snow. As he was making his attempts I was looking over the situation. It was hard to tell which direction the road went beyond the snow drift. After I spotted which direction the road went beyond the drift I examined the snow and decided to try a section that wasn’t as deep that was off to the side and between two trees.  I put my Suzuki King quad into low 4WD and off I went and I made it with no sweat. I then drove up to a creek crossing where Eli took the lead with his 4 set side by side. The creek crossing was a little tricky because you had to go through the water and then a hard right through a small snow drift that was just at the edge of the water on the other side. So Eli took the Polaris through the water and powered his way through the snow drift making it easier for the rest of us. We then headed up the road with the creek to the right side of us until we came to another creek crossing. One by one we went through the creek crossing with this time the creek was a little bit narrower so the water was a little bit deeper. I think a few of us got our behinds wet from the water splashing up onto our seats (I know I did). After that creek crossing we went up the road a little and there it was, Lake Lobdell. This is where we took a nice break and enjoyed the scenery and our moment of triumph.




The trail guides during this time decided, instead of going back the way we came, to go on and continue the loop and travel down (NF 067) to ( NF 031).  This was to prove difficult as there ended up to be more snow drifts going this way than the way we came.  As we left Lobdell Lake we came to a creek crossing and a snow drift that we all made it with no problem. The only thing is about this crossing is that when Eli and his buddy came across the creek the fish in the creek scattered  and one of the fish jump out of the water and onto the creek bank and that’s where his buddy jumped of his quad and caught the fish with his hands. Can you believe this; it was about a 17 inch long trout. Eli took pictures and then his friend release the fish back into the creek. I didn’t see this personally happen but my wife and I heard about it from several people at the Closing Ceremony dinner that night and saw the pictures that Eli took. It should be published in the November/December issue of ATV Rider Magazine that is out in October. We then had to make it through several more snow drifts. Some made it through with no problem and some got stuck and people helped to get them out. We all helped and did what it took to keep going on.



We came to a long snow drift that was sloping downhill.  I definitely knew that if we made it through this drift that if we came across one we could not make it through we just might be stuck in-between them and not be able to make it out. Riders started to head out and down across the drift and making it. So everybody went and we all made it and back on the road and continuing on our trek. But we now came face to face with the biggest drift of them all and it was further than any we went across yet and deeper too. At that time we knew there was no going back and we had been dropping in altitude so chances were getting better all the time of making it. The snow was tough but we made it through. From then on out it was a couple small snow piles and off we went with no more delay all the way down to NF031 and there we took a break for riders to catch up. And then back to the Fire House.


All and all this was the most exciting and beautiful ride of the trip. The people that took this trip were all gung-ho and helpful all the way. We were truly in it to win it. This was a once in a lifetime ride and I don’t see it happening again. The late winter conditions made this trip out of the usual for the Jamboree and without having Eli from the ATV Rider Magazine there this run might not have happened.  At the Closing Ceremony Dinner that evening there were seats reserved for the people who went on this ride and were recognized for being the first people to make it to Lake Lobdell this year. That evening they served a scrumptious Italian dinner with a no host bar. They thanked all the people who helped to make it happen and had the raffle in which I won a prize.




After that we packed ourselves in the truck and started home reliving some of the newly made memories in our heads.

You should check out ATV Rider MagazineIt has some good reading and some great pictures. We had a great time riding with Eli and his friend and they are such nice guys and fun to have along. Hope to see them again sometime.

Eli put a picture of Cherilyn and I in the Magazine. (See below)

This is the hill we climbed on the way to Lobdell Lake.


Happy Riding

Harvey Bolton   @ ONEwithQUAD.com