Kawasaki Trip Reports

Disabled Sports USA Run on the Rubicon – August 2014

Disabled Sports USA Far West
12th Annual Rubicon Adventure

Camping on the Rubicon Trail
12th Annual Rubicon Adventure

By Jacquelyne “Bebe” Theisen

AnotherDisabled Sports USA Far West Rubicon Adventure is in the books. This annual event takes individuals with various disabilities – mental and physical, on a 3 day camping and off roading excursion to the World Famous Rubicon Trail in Northern California.

Disabled Sports USA Far West
Typical participants use full-sized 4×4’s

Jason and Andrea Berger, the founders of this event, have teamed up with the WeBilt 4×4 Club, and some very close friends, to create an extreme outback experience for participants that otherwise would not be able to experience such incredible beauty. With the use of extreme 4 wheel drive vehicles, a group of incredibly dedicated volunteers, caretakers and camp cooks, they ensure participants will have an off-road memory that will last a lifetime.

Every year I try to take some type of Ultra4 or Rock Racing Buggy, usually borrowed from one of our local racers. This year however, the vehicle I was planning on bringing fell through at the last minute. I sent a message to Jon Crowley ofUTVGuide.net, and asked if he had a “spare” vehicle that he would let me use for the event.

Kawasaki Teryx
Kawasaki Teryx on the trail

He graciously said yes, and introduced me to his 2014 Kawasaki Teryx. Having frequented the trail in my own Polaris RZR XP 900, I was looking forward to the comparison. Needless to say – I was very impressed. Not only was it comfortable, it crawled the rugged Rubicon Trail with a low range that was comparable to a competition rock crawler. The Participants were likewise impressed with this years loaner, they loved the bright green color, and it’s very aggressive ‘monster’ looks.

Polaris RZR XP 900
WeBilt 4×4 Club is a huge part of the success of this endeavor

The event begins on Friday morning with a trip down the famous Cadillac Hill, and ends at our base camp, Dirty Dozen Campground which is graciously donated to the group for the entire weekend by Jeep Jamboree USA. It was hardly even a challenge the Teryx going down Cadillac Hill, which can be just as nerve racking as going up .When we arrived in camp we set up the Kitchen, our tents, and then headed to the springs for a swim. Dinner is prepared on WeBilt’s specialized Off Road Barbeque made specifically for this event. The food is always top notch camp food.

Rubicon Springs
Bridge into Rubicon Springs

Saturday morning starts with a camp breakfast, and then the big trip up the Big Sluice box to Buck Island Lake for Lunch, an afternoon swim and yes – Home made Ice Cream. I was again surprised with the agility, and calm nature of the Teryx. With the right amount to throttle control, it glided up some of the toughest trail I have seen in a long time. By this time – I had grown very comfortable with the Teryx. It became so predictable it was like I had been driving it for years.

Kawasaki Teryx
Getting ready to cross the river and head back up Cadillac HIll

Sunday morning the group breaks camp and heads up Cadillac Hill, to rendezvous with parents and loved ones at the Tahoe Staging area. The Jeep Jamboree USA Rock-rollers who wait for our group to ascend the most difficult section, were applauding and complimenting the Teryx for making the “S” turn and the water falls look effortless. Continuing up the trail, we stopped for lunch at Observation point, to pose for our annual group photo.

Observation Point on the Rubicon Trail

The last couple of miles back to the staging area start to turn a bit somber. At this point we start realizing that this years trip is coming to a close. It’s always hard to say goodbye to both our new friends and old. We fight back the tears, and give lots of goodbye hugs. For those that are committed to return, we begin to look forward to seeing each other again next year.

Thank you again Jon for the use of your rock crawler. My participant loved it (and so did I).

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