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SCTC The Whole Bernardino 09/11-13-09

The Southern California Tacoma Club’s The Whole Bernardino was one of the most fun runs the club has done this close to home. Spanning the entire San Bernardino Mountain Range from the Cleghorn to Old Woman Springs near Johnson Valley, the group ran every major open trail in San Bernardino National Forest. Two rigs completed every trail and many participants completed most of the trails and took part in at least two of the three days of the run.

The trip started at the Cleghorn exit on I-15 where Jeremy (leading), Sal with Julia and Dennis started the trip west early on Friday morning. Taking many of the ‘bypasses’ to harder parts of the trail to keep this easy trail interesting the group made it though very quickly. They moved on to 2N17X and Pilot Rock (2N33). 2N17X offered its main challenge, a loose, dusty and steep hill climb which everyone climbed without issue with a bit of skinny pedal. At the end of Pilot rock, the group headed north a few miles to hook up with the Willow Creek Trail which was taken to get to Dishpan Springs on the other side of Lake Arrowhead. The notorious Dishpan Springs Trail (Deep Creek) has long been one of our favorites. This would be the most difficult trail of the day and the location of the group’s lunch stop just before the dry fall. After a fun assent of the fall, and terrible noises from Dennis’s rig as what later turned out to be motor mount issues that caused his engine to hit the hood, the group headed across 3N16 to beautiful and historic Holcomb Valley to make camp. Well, Dennis didn’t camp, preferring on this trip to stay in relative opulence at Big Bear Lake, and suffering the expected ribbing because of it.

Day two added Nick with Cortney and Jose with his son Johnny to the group. Jose was our leader for the day with Sal as tailgunner. The group continued east on 3N16 down to Baldwin Lake and then around to the south end of Gold Mountain. Gold Mountain was harder this year than in the past, and that meant more fun. The group completed the trail and the optional talus slope before heading to the infamous John Bull! John Bull proved to be interesting to say the least, a group of Jeeps blocked part of the trail at the last main obstacle. One had a burned up clutch. As we took the other side, Jose’s ‘square’ front drive shaft fell out at one point. Sal’s rig had fuel flow problems. Everyone worked as a team and made it up to the top for lunch! But the day was not over. Completing John Bull the group headed west again, but for Sal and Julia who went back to camp. The group headed to White Mountain and ran it, mostly in the dark for some fun night wheeling before running 3N16 east again back to camp.

Day three, the last day, and Dennis wife Ruby joined the fun to keep him from too many u-turns! With the group slightly beaten and only a little battered, with Dennis in the lead and Jose as tailgunner the group again headed east on 3N16 to Jacoby Canyon. This easy but beautiful trail descends a tree lined canyon down to Highway 18. Highway 18 then took the group to Baldwin Lake and 2N02 (with the help of two local women how pointed us away from their ranches and to the trail). This is the Burns Canyon Trail, the 3N16 of the Eastern San Bernardino Mountains. The group headed past the Rose Mine area and toward Heartbreak Ridge (Pontiac Sluice) and took this trail with its many fun obstacles to the top of the mountain for lunch. Departing with full stomachs the intrepid band descended back to 2N02 and then east to the top of Rattlesnake Canyon where the group turned north and headed down the canyon toward Old Woman Springs. It was here along highway 247 the group aired up, having made it to the end of the end of The Whole Bernardino and headed home.

In the end two participants made it through all of the trails, and one all but one. The rest of the group participated in Saturday and Sundays fun. Along the way there was considerable discussion of doing The Whole Bernardino II as the club’s Big Bear event traditionally held in June with participants doing the parts and days they’d like.

A big Thank You to all who showed up and to those who lead and tailgunned and to everyone who helped all day long and made this a great team effort as well as a fun and successful event for the club!


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