everyone! Had a little easter snow today, not much, but enough to
coat everything for a few hours. Then a few peaks of the late March
sun did it's thing and melted it all away. We have actually been
seeing a lot of the March sun lately. The big old lake has actually
prevented cloud formation and while areas of the southern UP, northern
MN and even far northern WI have seen clouds and even some snow showers,
we have been in mostly sunny skies. It has been nice, but also taking
it's toll on the snow. I did not ride the trails much, but a few
peaks at them has reveled some wet spots and I am positive that there are
probably even a few bare spots. Still tons of snow in the bush and
I will have some pictures to share with you in a bit to prove that point.
I do have lots of pictures
to share with you today. Brian came back into town on Wednesday and
immediately went for a ride Thursday. I was not able to hook up with
him as he was leaving pretty early in the morning, but I was able to do
the next best thing. I lent him my camera so he could take some shots
of his trip. I really wish I could have gone because he was headed
off to an area that I have always wanted to ride, the Huron Mountains between
L'Anse and Big Bay. I have heard that it is some very pretty country
and they even have some neat trails. Double
wide. Wish they were like that here, it would be a lot safer
and I might even right them more. Of course, we have problems keeping
the single ones flat, I can't imagine them trying to keep twice as many
They came across an
area of wide open land called the Yellow
Dog Plains. I have seen these mentioned on the maps, but never
been there. I'll have to take Burt and my yellow dog Baileys there.
Here is a shot of the rest
of the crew for that ride. I don't know any of them, so I cannot
introduce you. Another problem of having Brian drop off the camera
with pictures he took in a place I was not at, is that I am left with shots
like this. Looks like a shot of the woods to me, I have been
staring at it for a minute or two, trying to figure out if there is any
other important subject matter and am stumped. Guess it is just a
pretty shot of the woods.
Brian was riding with
someone familiar with the area and they did do a little off
trail riding. Looks like there is still plenty of snow there.
Here's another shot showing how
much snow is still down out there. Looks like about 3-4 feet.
Where we went yesterday, there was still 3-4 feet down too. Of course,
off trail riding + plenty of snow = getting
stuck. Had plenty of those yesterday too. In this next
shot, I am not sure if he is showing the trail, or just some road they
were taking through the bush, but it looked like fun. They even came
across a frozen waterfall.
Here's another shot.
This is a shot of
the trail, notice the snow bank between the two trails?
So that does it for
Brian's ride through the Huron Mountains. He said that there were
a ton of trails to go off any play on, but time was limited and he did
not know the area so he stuck to the main trail for the most part.
I will get over there one of these seasons! As mentioned, the Lake
Linden crew did take a ride yesterday. We trailered up to Gratiot
Lake and played in areas up north. We were going to just ride up
there, but decided it would be best to trailer, that way we could get in
more play time up there and would not have to worry about riding back all
exhausted. The majority of the riding was pure bush riding, but we
were on the trails a bit and even took in some pretty sights. Here
is a shot of Bete
Gris Bay, from on top of the Keweenaw.
The main objective
of the ride was to go play in the hills all within about 10-20 miles of
Gratiot Lake. This time of the year, the snow is all compressed and
it makes for great hill climbing through the trees, as Brian
demonstrates here. Now the thin that might be missing from that
last shot is the fact that it had to be set up. Someone had to climb
the hill ahead of Brian so that the shot of him could be taken while he
was riding up. That job was left up to me and one reason why I was
able to get the camera out to take the shot of Brian is that I got
stuck. I did not hit the tree, but was heading right for it,
so I had to back off the throttle a bit, get the skis back down on the
snow and shift my weight too the right to steer clear of the tree.
I was able to get to the right of the tree, but the act of backing off
the throttle caused me to loose my momentum and thus my trip up the hill
came to an end.
Here's a shot of Al
putting his Mountain Cat 900 through the paces. The hills we were
on were no problem for that sled, he could just about idle up them!
Although it takes about all he has to throw it around. As he says,
you throw your body over to one side and ask the sled if it would like
to follow and hope it says yes. I don't know if I would like that
too much. I am really getting used to being able to throw my sled
around. Sure it would be nice to have some more cc's under the hood
and a few more inches of track to push me along, but I am pretty happy
with what I have. For now anyway. Of course, it would have
been nice to have that 900 with a 151" track for this
hill. Another rider was Kenny and here's a shot of him trying
to get his MXZ up
the hill. Here's another shot
of me and here is one
The snow was plenty
out there, about 3-4 feet deep, so we could be riding in those areas
for another week or two. I know I would not mind heading out again
before it all goes away. If not, this has still been a great year
of riding for me. I am closing in on 2000 miles for the season.
I wonder how many dig outs? Maybe next year I'll keep track of that
Good night from the Keweenaw.
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Still do not
have much to talk about, but I figure I better stay on top of things, or
before I know it, it could be a week between entries. I guess I can
start out by saying the trip to Marquette to see the vet was a success.
Both my buddies got a good bill of health. I was a little worried
about Burt, he had a lump under his fur near his chest. It seemed
like it was in the skin, so that was a little relieving, but I wanted to
make sure. I ended up being a sebaceous cyst and not much to worry
about, but I will keep an eye on it. I've had a few of those myself.
Other than that, we changed the oil, rotated the tires and checked the
plugs and then headed back home. Of course, what would a trip to
Marquette be without a stop to Menards? I did pretty well there though.
I have been known to spend a lot of money at that place, since it is 2
hours away, but yesterday I just picked up a few things and did not lighten
up my wallet too much.
Speaking of good health,
I was able to kick my little illness by Tuesday. I am still not sure
what it was. I did not have any respiratory problems, just lots of
aches and fatigue, so I wonder if it was the flu or not. There is
a "flu alert" going on up here. The hospitals are asking that only
immediate relatives come to visit people in the hospital and also asking
anyone who has the flu to stay away unless they are coming in to be treated,
so maybe it was the flu. At any rate, it is all water under the bridge
The past two days have
provided a bit of spring. Temps were only in the upper 20's to low
30's, but with the late March sun, it felt more like 50 out. Today
I cleared the snow off the bushes where the protector broke and I was out
working without a jacket. Just a sweatshirt was all I needed.
I think my face even got a little sun, it has a little glow to it.
The snow is holding up pretty well. All the roads are clear, but
still plenty in the woods. The sections of trails I have seen are
all flat and white. I have not actually been out riding for a week,
but have talked to some folks who have been all over the region and they
all said things were great. For those of you who have not heard,
the DNR gave the region permission to keep grooming past March 31st this
year. They supposedly will be able to groom until conditions will
no longer permit. It will be interesting to see how long that goes.
No major thaws look to take shape and there is even a little bit of light
snow possible, so maybe the will be grooming through next weekend as well.
I do have two pictures
to share with you. Nothing too earth shattering, but maybe pretty.
The hounds and I took a walk up by the north shore. With the snow
starting to melt a little and the slightly warmer temps, the creeks have
opened up again. Still lots of snow in the woods too, so it makes
for a very pretty
scene. We have not gone for a ski since Saturday, but it looks
like we will be able to for at least another 10-14 days, with maybe even
3 weeks left. Well, 3 weeks might be a bit of a stretch, but we'll
see. The other pic is of the road
we were walking along. No cars, no others, just the hounds and
I strolling along to the sound of the wind through the trees and an occasional
bird call. I keep reading and watching stories about how stress can
lower your life span more than anything else. If that is true, I
think I have lengthened by life span by many years in the past 3 years.
If not, I sure have heightened the quality.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
This will be
a short one I am sure of that. For one, I do not have any pictures
to share, secondly I do not have any real interesting stories to share
with you and third, I have gotten my first flu bug of the season.
It is not a real bad one. I actually do not have anything more than
lots of aches and pains. No cough, sore throat or stomach problems,
well, actually I do have a little cough, but not bad. It hit me yesterday.
I woke up feeling pretty good, had breakfast, took the hounds for a morning
walk and then felt really tired. I had a very sugary breakfast (doughnuts)
and thought that maybe I was just falling off a sugar high or something.
I ended up taking a little nap from about 11 am till noon, but still did
not feel very energetic. I was not even hungry, which is very unusual
for me. I did force myself to eat a little lunch, then took the hounds
for a ski. Getting outside did seem to help a bit, but I still did
not feel 100%, so we cut the ski a little short. Usually our trip
through the school forest is 2 miles. Yesterday's trip was more like
a mile an a half. Got home, took another little nap, then did some
work around the house and made dinner. Again, I was not that hungry,
but knew I should eat something. Not having an appetite for dinner
really told me something is up. I am not one that can go without
food for too long. I have always been envious of people that can
skip breakfast or work through lunch. Me, I need food fairly regularly,
or I get really really tired. After dinner, I relaxed some more,
got up to take care of some stuff at about 8 pm and was so tired and achy
that it actually hurt to breathe. So I crawled into bed and slept
for 12 hours. This morning I felt a little better, but have been
dragging, so something is bothering my system.
If this is as bad as
it gets, I will consider myself very lucky. I have yet to be sick
this year and there have been some doosy of flu bugs going around.
One up here was really bad for the stomach and digestive tract. Not
a pretty thing, so I will not describe it any further. I usually
do not get too sick as I work out of my home and have limited exposure
to all the bugs out there. Plus, I do love sleep and usually get
8 hours every night.
Before getting sick,
I was very productive. I was able to get my taxes all done, or at
least prepared enough to send to my accountant. I could probably
do it myself, but I get a great deal and he usually finds something I missed
and ends up saving me more than I pay him, so it is a good deal.
Plus, I am assured that everything was done right. The other activity
that has keep me busy is that I have gotten a major bug to do some woodworking.
I mentioned about a year and a half ago that I like to build custom furniture.
I have many items in my house that I built and have about a dozen pieces
scattered about the Chicagoland area that I was commissioned to build while
I lived down there. I was even going to have a piece or two for sale
at a gallery called Sawbridge Studios, but ended up moving up here and
ever since, I have just never got going on things. The shop was setup
soon after I moved up here, but only to a level that I could build something
if I had to. Since getting the bug a few weeks ago, I have been slowly
getting things better organized and soon it will be in full production
shape. Nothing like a well organized workshop. I have about
3 or 4 pieces I want to build in the next couple of months, plus have some
interior trim work to do on the house.
Spring is coming, the
hounds have told me. A few days ago, they started to shed and I can
now pull handfuls of fur out of Baileys if I want. Burt does not
shed as bad, but Baileys sure does. I am very intrigued at how they
know that it is time to start shedding their winter coats. The weather
up here has been very winterlike, with highs only in the teens and low
20's. Maybe it has something to do with the amount of sunlight or
sun angle. Pretty neat anyway, but there is yellow and white hair
all over the place. Only about 2 months and she will be done with
Guess that gets you
caught up on things. I have not gone for a ride since last Wednesday
and with my little flu bug I am not sure when I will get back out.
Plus I have to take the dogs to the vet in Marquette Tuesday for their
annual checkup and shots, so that shoots that day. I can almost guarantee
that I will ride a few more times before things melt. Still some
gas in the tank and lots of snow in the woods.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
cold out! But as I like to say, it may be cold out, but at least
it's windy! Ok, I know, don't loose my day job. Feels more
like January 21st than March 21st. Almost too cold for a ride, almost.
I did not ride today, but did go yesterday evening. Chris and I took
another dinner ride yesterday and because so many restaurants are going
to off season schedules, we are fairly limited in our choices. Of
course we could ride down to Houghton and Hancock and have ton of choices,
but that would not be as much fun. We could also ride to Copper Harbor
and did think about it, but decided that the ride back might not be as
enjoyable as the ride up, so we went to Eagle Harbor once again.
The trails were in good to excellent shape for the most part, especially
down in my neck of the woods. My hat really comes off for the groomers
operating the groomer out of Tamarack City. They run that thing lots,
I even came across it just heading out at about 10 pm last night.
Here is a shot of
the trail near my house, before the groomer even went out. I
also encountered it this Monday in the afternoon. The trails around
my house were mint.
Things were not that
bad in other areas, but I know for sure that the trail from Eagle River
to Eagle Harbor had not been groomed in over a week. We took that
same trail last week and about 2/3rds of the way to Eagle Harbor from Eagle
River there was a tree down across half of the trail. Not a huge
tree, but enough that it could not be moved, it had to be cut and also
big enough that if someone hit it they could cause some damage to their
sled. I did not even think to mention it to the groomers because
I thought that they would be down the trail the next day. Wrong.
That same tree was still there yesterday. There is enough room to
sneak the groomer around the tree, but that would have been apparent by
the bank opposite the tree being widened as the groomer went around the
tree. So that is proof that that trail had not been groomed in over
a week. We did come across the sheriff on our way back and told him
and he would take care of it. I don't know if that meant he would
clear the tree himself or he would notify the groomer driver and make sure
they took care of it. At any rate, I am going to let the DNR know
that that trail had not been groomed in over a week. No reason why
it could not have been and I would not put it past the two operators in
that area to say they had been down that trail so that they would get paid.
Those two are really the whole problem up here. Just unbelievable
that that can go on. Hopefully not for long.
That trail was not
a disaster by any means. Traffic has been so light up here that there
were only a few moguls, especially in the corners. Just makes me
mad to think that these to guys are getting paid to do such a pathetic
job. The trail would have been perfect if it had been groomed once
or twice in the past week. Won't have to worry about it next week,
the Eagle Harbor Inn is going to weekends only starting this Monday.
That leaves the Mariner in the harbor or ride down to Houghton and Hancock
- decisions, decisions.
I did take one other
shot during yesterday's ride. Here is Chris
and the sleds at the point where the trail crosses HWY. 41 near Phoenix.
It was another great night for a ride. A little different conditions,
colder and snowier, but still great. At one point on our way home,
it was coming down so hard we could only ride about 30 mph. There
was about 3" of fresh snow on the trail up by Delaware. When we stopped
to talk to the sheriff, about 1/2 inch of snow fell in the 20 minutes we
were talking to him. I was actually a little thankful that it lightened
up a little, otherwise it would have been a long, slow ride home, and I
need all the beauty sleep I can get.
It looks like my riding
may be drawing to a close. Brian got the call back to work today
and headed down to Green Bay to work on Green Bay's stadium. He's
an iron worker and usually is laid off in the winter, that's how he can
ride every day if he wants. Anyway, he was my main off trail riding
companion during the week and Al only has a few hours on the weekends when
he is free. We may still go for a ride Saturday, but Al is thinking
about racing in the Delaware Days being held this Saturday. He has
the itch to see what his new sled can do. I'm hoping he decides to
play instead of race. If not, then I can get some work done around
the house, or even just relax with the hounds.
Believe it or not,
I am actually looking forward to the warm season. That is not to
say I am sick of the snow, but it will be nice to go and hit the links,
take the hounds for a walk and swim at the beach and a hike in the woods.
However, based on how deep the snow is in the woods and the forecast for
the next week to ten days, it looks like we will be able to ski in the
woods for another 2-3 weeks. I'm sure that the gang will be taking
one last ride in a few weeks too. It is a tradition to get that one
last ride of the year in. Last year it was around the 20th of April,
wonder when it will be this year.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
I had a chance
to take some pictures today so I figured I would get out a quick journal.
I had a first for the season occur on my street today. The Sno-Go
came down. It was a little late this year, we could have used it
a few weeks ago. I am not complaining mind you, I was able to get
up and down the roads in my neighborhood just fine. I am just used
to them getting that thing out more often. Last year it came at least
twice and the year before I believe it came in January or early February.
I must be a little strange, because I really get a kick out of watching
that thing work. The driver can really manipulate where he puts the
snow and he does a great job of not putting it where it is not wanted.
When he got to my side of the street, he actually shot
it across the street, rather than filling up my yard.. In a matter
of seconds, there was a pile of dense, compacted snow about 3 feet deep,
3 feet wide and 30 feet long. In less than 10 seconds, he could put
enough snow on my driveway that it would take me at least a half hour to
clear it out. In the "downtown" area of the village, they really
do not have any places to throw it, so they drive a truck along side of
it or just in front of it and throw the snow in those trucks. They
then haul it off to a dumping area. Usually by the time most folks
are heading off to work, the main streets and all the sidewalks through
the main section of the village do not have any snow on them. Pretty
impressive if you ask me. The same thing goes on in most of the cities,
towns and villages up here every morning after a snow. Moving snow
is an art form and an industry up here.
A little after noon
today I was finishing up some work when the phone rang. It was Brian
and he said he and Kenny were getting ready to go for a ride and wanted
to know if I wanted to come along. I could not leave right away,
I needed to be around for another hour or so to make sure that I could
be available to my customers while the markets are open, plus I had visions
of taking the hounds for a ski. However, the draw of riding was too
much, so I forwarded my phone to my cell phone and took the hounds for
a walk around the neighborhood. We put in a good 30 minute walk around
hood and then it was time to ride. Brian was not exactly sure where
they were going, so I headed down the trail towards his house and gave
him a call on his cell phone. The first time I called, he must have
hit the button on his phone by accident because all I heard were to snowmobile
engines roaring in the background. I drove down the trail a little bit
more then gave him another try and got in touch with him. It turned
out I was only about a half mile away from them and was able to hook up
with them quickly.
We did not ride for
too long, he had to be back to meet his son when the bus dropped him off,
but we still managed to get in some great riding and get into some trouble
all in less than 2 hours. Here is Brian
checking out a potential trouble spot. If memory serves me correct,
we did not decide to go there, but we did find another place to play.
Here is a shot of Kenny
stuck on the left and Brian climbing the hill on the right to help
him out. When Brian neared the top, he broke off to the left to help
Kenny, I decided to head up the right side as well, but decided to go to
the top. Once at the top, I was given a little surprise. The
hill ended quicker than it started. I was thankful that I did not
go racing up the hill, but when I got to the top, I had to hit the breaks
quickly. I did stop in time, but my skis were hanging over the edge
of about a 30 foot drop. I figured it would be more work to pull
the sled back and then turn it around, and the way down looked fairly safe,
so I gave it enough gas to get me all the way over the hump and rode
down the other side.
I was not about try
and get up the way I came down, so had to circle around. By the time
I got there, they had gotten Kenny's sled off the hill and Brian
was giving another hill a try. He almost made it. Then
decided to give it a try and did not get as far as Brian. He
did not make it on his second try, here is a shot of Brian
giving Kenny a hand. After a few more tries, both Brian and Kenny
made it up, but then the hill was all packed down and not much of a challenge,
so I passed on it. Not trying to brag here, but it is just not as
much fun if you know for sure you will make it. We found a few more
places to play, then it was time for Brian to get home, so we rode to Brian's
and then Kenny and I headed back towards Lake Linden. All in all,
it was a great 2 hours of riding and I was again very thankful for living
here. The hounds did not seem to mind a walk in the hood to a ski
in the woods and I was able to sneak in another late season ride.
I plan to take at least one more evening ride with Chris this week, maybe
two, then Brian and I, possibly more are planning on going back to our
last Saturday's play spot. The weather looks to cooperate, with cold
temps and some fresh snow. In another month an a half, I'll be talking
about golfing. Life is good.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
Have lots of
pictures to share with you. I wanted to get a journal out sooner,
but have been busy. As most of you know we got hit pretty hard last
Thursday night/Friday morning. 13-14" all told. Some areas
not too far picked up 2 feet. Set a new depth record for the season
at 44. The snow was very light and fluffy and has already compacted
down in the 6:1 ratio. The snowcover is now at about 35". We
may have set a new snow depth record for this season, but the all time
of 63" is safe for now. In Marquette, they set their all time seasonal
snowfall record. 276.8 inches have fallen for the season so far.
That is 4.6 inches over the previous seasonal record of 272.2 inches set
during the winter of 1996-1997. Their normal snowfall through March 15th
is 144.3 inches. I am a little tight for time, so I did not total
up what I have picked up for the season, but the snow is deep up here.
Good old yooper deep.
That was a shot of some of the snowbankd up here. Here is another
The hounds and I took
to the school forest for an afternoon ski Friday. The first round
of pictures is from that ski. Here is a shot of the red
pine stand. We were breaking trail, but the snow had already
settled some and with a good base underneath it was not too hard to get
through. Here is a shot looking back at the trail
we broke and some frosted pines. The trail takes us through a
of balsam fir. It is a very unique place, the cover is so thick,
that it is actually quite dark in the stand and on sunny day's it is also
about 5-10 degrees cooler. Smells pretty good too. After the
stand of balsam, we break out into a stand of mixed
hardwoods. After that it's back into a stand of red
pine before getting back to the starting point. I must say that
I was a little surprised to see an unplowed road up here at 3:30 in the
afternoon, but the Mud
Lake Road had not yet been plowed. Thankfully some trucks had
been down the road and the mighty Honda got the hounds and I through.
The other feature to
the past few days was "Chicken Hawks" ride in. Chicken Hawk is the
nick name of a local up here and he has a big end of the season party.
I was able to make his party two years ago, but last year was laid up with
my leg. It has really grown to be the social event of the spring
for our group of friends. There had to be 50-75 people out there
on Saturday. Most of us trailer up there and then spend the afternoon
riding, then chow down on all of the good grub provided and brought by
attendees. It usually has a reputation for providing some rather
crazy stunts while riding, so I was preparing myself to do a little restraining
to keep from getting in too much trouble. As it was, things were
pretty mellow. We did a little ride when we first got there, then
hung around a chatted, then Brian and I started to get a little anxious
to go riding again, so we rounded up another to ride with us and headed
off. I did manage to take a few shots from the first ride.
Here is Al and his
stuck sled. Now usually that would not be a very noteworthy event,
but Al has a new ride. It is a Arctic Cat Mountain Cat 900 with a
151" track. So getting that thing stuck is a little newsworthy.
It does take some deep snow to get it stuck and it was deep. Here's
a shot of me standing in the snow about to help Al out of his hole.
The snow was almost up to my shoulders. We did get him unstuck and
continued on our little ride.
The second ride turned
out to be the event of the day for Brian, Todd and I. We spend hours
logging roads. We found some areas that I think no one has yet
to get to this year. Why do I think that we were the first ones out
there all year? Well, Brian had never been in these areas in his
life and they were off the beaten path and none of the other locals had
been on them or even knew of them, so I think we found some trails that
only the loggers who cut them knew about. It really did not matter
if we were the first out there or not. There was not a sign of another
sled and we were cutting through untracked powder. That's all that
really matters. After playing on the logging roads, we found some
great play spots in the form of hills and trees. The area had been
logged not too long ago, so there was endless ways of picking your way
to the top. Here is a shot of Brian
climbing to the top.
The snow was about
4-5 feet deep out there. Anything that could be out there to get
into trouble with was buried under a few feet of snow. The snow itself
was pretty settled, so it provided an almost perfect environment to ride
on. I say almost perfect because it was still very possible to get
good and suck, as I demonstrated here.
Guess that section of the hill was just a little too steep for my short
track. None the less, that was probably the best place to do that
type of riding that I have been on yet. Brian thought so as well
and we have plans to head back out there next weekend. Here is an
eye view of the terrain. Here's a shot of some of our tracks
through the trees. Those shots were taken while up on a little
hill and here's a shot of Brian
reaching the top of the hill.
Here's a shot of me
getting ready to climb a little skidder trail. Skidder trails
are narrow paths cut through the woods by the equipment used to harvest
the trees. They are usually about 6 feet wide, perfect for riding
on. Sometimes it's fun to jump off the skidder trail and just pick
your way through the trees. The place we were at yesterday was perfect
for that, in fact sometimes it was hard to tell where the skidder track
went. On one of my climbs, I got stuck and went to go swing the sled
around 180 degrees to get it pointed downhill so that I could ride it down
and have another go at it. I grabbed my left ski and gave it a tug
to swing the front of the sled around and, snap, the bold at the end of
the tie rod broke. So here we were, out in the middle of the bush,
with no easy out and me with a sled that had only one ski that could be
controlled. I thought that as long as I was following in their tracks
that the loose ski would just track in the ruts in the snow. We called
and got in touch with someone at the party that would borrow the piece
I broke from another sled so that I could get my back and on the trailer.
The idea of my ski tracking in the run turned out to be the case for the
most part, but our plan to get back to a logging road and take that out
to a road where we could get the piece did not. All the logging roads
we took either came to a dead end or to too large of a ravine for my sled
to get through without incident. So the only way out was to climb
the hill, through the trees and up to a trail we knew would get us to the
The hill climb became very interesting as at times both skis were off the
ground. On one of the times, the skis came off the snow, the broken
one decided to swing out at a 90 degree angle, which had it sticking straight
out. There was not enough room for the sled to make it through two
trees and I was about to hit the brakes to avoid the ski hitting the tree
when I remembered that it would not be broken, that it was already broken.
So I kept up on the throttle and let the ski hit the tree. It swung
around and was pointed 180 degrees in the wrong direction, but I was able
to get to the top of the hill. Brian and Todd were able to see the
whole thing and gave me a little applause when I got to the top.
Brian even thought it deserved a picture,
the left hand ski. We made it to the road to get the replacement
part and were back at it for a while and then decided to head back down
to the party.
That broken bolt is
the first thing that has broken on my sled since I got it three years ago.
That says a lot I think, especially what I have put it through. My
sled is about the only one of our group that has not either blown up, or
had some other form of serious mechanical problems. I suppose that
maybe I have just been lucky, but I think that the good old XLT with over
10,000 miles on it deserves a bit of special recognition. So thank
you my little old faithful. We have had quite a year of riding and
it does not look to be over too soon. The week ahead looks to provide
some snow. Even a rare late March lake effect event. Yep, it
looks as though by later Wednesday and into Thursday and Friday, a late
season arctic intrusion will bring a rare late March lake effect snow event.
Not sure how much we will get, but just the fact that it will be cold and
we will get some fresh snow is a great thing. It looks like riding
should be able to be done through the rest of the month without too much
challenge and if things do not warm up too much too fast, the last ride
of the season may happen sometime in the middle of April. Skiing
should be able to be done for another 3 weeks at least. The snow
that is down is deep and very firm. How firm? Well, I let Burt
Good night from the Keweenaw.
Well, the last
time I got an early start, things worked out pretty good, so I am going
to repeat the process today. I have to run down to Houghton to do
some shopping and it was a toss up as to if I should do that before dinner
or a journal. I figured that it would be better to do a journal first,
then when I am brain dead do the shopping. Looks like we are on the
threshold of another significant snow storm. The models started out
a few days ago with the heavier snow band down across central WI and have
been moving it in our direction ever since. The latest round still
had the heavies snow passing off to our south by about 40 miles, but looking
at the latest satellite and radar trends, that last 40 mile push might
be in the making. Not that we need any more snow mind you, but what
the heck, as long as it is going to snow, we may as well get more than
a foot right? Actually, the first flakes have already begun to fall.
They are very small and will not lead to more than a dusting, but that
is a good sign. Snow early can many times mean more snow. We'll
It's funny, my memory
of last year was of tons of snow in December, February and March, with
deep snow well into March. The other night I spent some time reading
last years March journal and was reminded that the first part of March
was very snowy, with the deepest depth of the season being set March 13th.
But then we started to thaw and by the end of the month had lost almost
half of our depth. By the third week of the month, the trails were
pretty well cooked too. So far this season might just surpass last
season as far as rideable snow into the season. We'll see, but there
does not look to be any major thaws shaping up and actually a couple of
more snows may be on the way in the next week to ten days. That would
be just fine with me. It's gonna melt, I know that. The best
scenario for me is to shorten to mud time as much as possible. Let
it snow right up to the end of March, then melt it all away in the first
two weeks of April and get on with summer after that. Of course,
summer really does not arrive until the end of May or beginning of june
around here, but 50's and 60's are fine as long as there is not a ton of
mud and the hounds and I can get out into the woods to play. It's
the down time that gets to us. The hounds have not begun to shed
yet, maybe that is a good sign too.
The new snow will be
very welcomed as I have a big ride planned for Saturday. There is
an "end of the season" ride and party I am going to. It has become
a traditional thing and I went 2 years ago, but had to sit last years out
as I was still recovering from my broken leg. Lots of fun, lots of
craziness and I'm sure lots of photo opps.
Speaking of photo opps,
I do have some to share with you. I took the sled to the school forest
on Tuesday to do a little grooming of the ski trails. Things have
been rather quiet out there recently and on Friday there was no tracks
at all, so we were not able to ski too far. It was really a lot of
fun to break trail through
the woods. In a way I felt kind of guilty, riding my noisy snowmobile
through an area I have only known in the silent world of skiing and hiking.
However, there have been other sleds out there packing down a trail and
it did need it, so the guilt did pass! I took the Dreamland trail
down to the school forest as it passes right by the road into it.
There had not been too many sleds down it since the storms either.
The trail was in good shape and also provided some picturesque
views. The snow is still plenty deep and also very dense.
Burt has been walking around on the snow in the backyard. It is actually
firm enough to support him. Every once in a while a paw will break
through and sinks all the way down, but he seems to get a kick about being
able to stand on top of the snow.
Yesterday I took the
longest trail ride I have taken in well over a year. They are in
such great shape and so empty that they are even fun for a dedicated bush
rider like me. I ended up riding with Chris from the White House,
the two of us rode up to Eagle Harbor for dinner. Pretty cool to
be able to just hop on the sled and head off for somewhere to eat on such
awesome trails, and I do mean awesome.
They were flat, white and rock hard. As long as it stays cold, they
will hold up just great. I actually wonder of the fresh snow would
make them worse, as it will cause a layer of softer snow on top of the
hard base. One thing I know for sure is that it would be awesome
to be the first tracks on it tomorrow morning after the snow. I have
to work, so no such luck.
I kept anticipating
to encounter a section that was bumpy, but did not in the whole 70 miles
or so we put on yesterday evening. Even a stretch that is almost
always bumped up or nasty was
perfect. That was the section of trail that is just south of
Copper City, between Calumet and Mohawk. How many of you have had
your kidneys pulverized on that stretch? My only regret was having
to go home. Starting work at 5 am meant that I could not be out all
night, but I wished I could have. I would easily have gone over the
whole trail system, taking in a few refreshments in Copper Harbor, Lac
La Belle, Phoenix, Copper City, Gay. I've yet to get to the harbor
(Copper Harbor) this year and will not likely make it. Well, maybe
not. If the trails are like this next week, I bet I can convince
Chris to ride to the Mariner to have dinner. Another neat thing about
last night was it was clear out and the stars were just magnificent.
Up in the Keweenaw, there are almost no lights to obscure your view and
last night, looking up we saw millions of them. It would have been
cool to see the northern lights too. Don't know if they were out
dancing last night or not. I went to sleep before they usually come
out. Man was that a great ride last night.
So if you have plans
to come up soon, you should be in great shape. If you are here, you
are even luckier. We did past about 5 sleds last night. 5 sleds
- 70 miles, sounds like the old days up here. I guess if there is
a lesson to be learned here, that is to try and plan a trip up here in
the first 2 weeks of March. Of course if we have an early thaw or
something, then conditions would not be as good, but I know that last year
at this time they were awesome and I have been told that the first two
weeks of March are the best time to come and ride the trails up here and
I am beginning to be convinced of that. So store that in your memory
banks for next year. Of course if you only have one trip you can
make, then Jan or Feb would likely be a safer bet, but if you like flat,
uncrowded trails, then come up in March, then go home and golf!
Good night from the Keweenaw.
Getting an early
start on this one (before dinner actually). I can feel that this
is going to be an early night for me. Actually last night was too,
but I bet my eyes will start to droop at about 8 pm. I am almost
embarrassed to say that I fell asleep at about 7:30 last night, but Saturday
night I did not get in until about 1 am and then was awake at about 6.
Plus we had some very energetic riding we did on Sunday (more on that in
a bit). But what a storm eh? Monitoring things a little over
the weekend I could see that we were not alone in our storminess.
Lots of places with sustained winds of 50 mph and gusts to 60-70.
The highest up here was actually out in the lake at one of the measuring
devices where gusts hit 73 mph, that's rockin'. The power did go
out in places up here late Saturday with all the wind. I was down
in Houghton and across the Portage (when you could see that far) it was
all dark. The power went out sometime in the evening. It was
actually snowing so hard that for most of the night you could not see across
the Portage Lake (canal) and at times you could not even see the bridge!
That means that the visibility dropped to less than a few hundred yards,
just with the falling snow. The blowing snow cut the visibility to
less than 30 feet at times. Drifts blocked most of the roads up the
Traprock Valley and I heard that some plows even got stuck Sunday morning
trying to clear them. In a way it was good that we got that freezing
rain and rain Saturday morning, otherwise, most of the snow would have
blow away into Keweenaw Bay.
I was glad that the
power did not go out here at my house for long at all. Actually I
think that the only time it went off was when they had to cut power to
fix things. It went off at about 10 am Sunday for about 20-30 minutes.
I was all ready to fire up the fireplace and keep the house warm, but then
in an instant, all the electrical equipment started buzzing again and the
furnace kicked into gear. Amazing how dependent on electricity we
have become. Life could almost not go on without it. I know
one thing, when I build my dream house out in the sticks somewhere, I will
have a backup generator that is for sure. I have heard of places
being without power for more than a day up here.
When I last left you
I was talking about a secret play spot that some friends and I were going
to go to on Sunday. We did go there and it did live up to my expectations.
It was a little strange though. As we got there, none of us had ridden
there before, so we did not really know right were to go to have the most
fun, we were just sort of feeling our way around the area. I had
been out there before the snow, so I knew where to go and not to go.
There are stumps and automobile sized boulders sticking half out of the
ground and hitting anyone of them would most likely mean a totaled sled
and maybe a ride to the hospital. I had my one ride to the hospital
last season so we all stayed right where we should. That did not
mean that some of us did not get into
a bit of trouble from time to time. That was (from left to right)
Mark, Brian and Kenny standing near Kenny's sled after taking it a bit
too easy coming off a jump. The place we went to has about 20 of
these 8-10 foot cliffs to jump off of and try and climb up and a few 20
footers. None of us jumped off the 20 footers, but Brian did try
and climb one and ended up rolling his sled. He stayed right with
the sled as it rolled over on him and then ended up right side up, still
running. He just brushed off the snow from his face and came on down
laughing. You can do that when there is 4-5 feet of untouched powder
to cushion the roll. Here is Brian showing the proper
way to come off a cliff like Kenny's. I took that at the same
spot, but was right up next to the cliff. I was waiting for Brian
to come off, thought that he changed his mind and the next thing you know,
he almost landed right on me. No zooming done on that shot!
After watching how it was done, Kenny climbed right back up on the horse
and gave it another
try. It looked like fun, so I gave Brian the camera and asked
him to take a shot of me. He decided to take a shot of me
getting ready, just in case it was the last time I was seen alive.
Just kidding, actually Brian went a little hog wild with the camera.
When I got home, there was 38 images on it. Some were not really
any good, but all told, I do have 22 to share with you tonight. Here's
catching a little air, look Mom, no broken bones!
Not all of the jumping
was found off the cliffs, some of it was done while getting to the top,
Kenny demonstrates here, and I demonstrate
here. Here's Mark
trying his luck off a hill. It was a very
big area, with lots
of places to play. Once we wore out one spot, then we just moved
on to another. That was yours truly placing a three point landing.
Of course, with all
that deep snow and hills, there were more than a few digouts. Here
is one I got of Kenny. The only thing showing of his sled was
the windshield and very top of his hood. Looks like he was checking
to make sure the rest of the sled was still there. Here I am getting
ready to launch
off another hill, and there
I go, and then Kenny.
Here is a shot of me
busting a little pile of powder. Here's one of the guy's digging
out a sled, deep eh? Here is Mark
showing off his handiwork.
We did not go off any
of the 20-25 footers, we'll need a few more feet of fresh powder out there
for that. The snow was a little crusty, but still plenty of softer
snow underneath. However, we did manage to launch
off a few 15 footers. I did not know my old XLT could fly that
well. Here is a shot of Brian,
Kenny and Chris (I think that was his name) flying off the 15 footer.
After about 2 hours
of horse play in that spot we decided we had used up about all of our luck
for one day. Nothing broke, but plenty of bruises. Drying off
after my shower this morning, I think I counted about 3 or 4 new ones.
They were well worth it though. Actually, with the crew we had out
there and the elements we were in, it is quite amazing that no sleds were
broke. Chances are pretty high that anytime you gather more than
3 of us for a ride, one is bound to break something. We must be getting
better, or luckier.
Leaving the play spot,
did not automatically mean that we were home free from trouble. We
found a whole boatload of new trails to ride, most of them never ridden
down all season. We came up to a rather large gully. There
was an easy way around to the left, but Brian thought we should all go
the hard way. So we let him go first. This
was the result. The rest of us went around the left. I
took this shot
as they had is sled about halfway out of the gully. The cameraman
sometimes gets to miss the digout.
So it looks like I
have used up all 22 shots in this journal entry. I am out of things
to say. Winter is still here. Picked up about a half inch of
snow this morning and a little more looks to be on the way for later tomorrow,
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday... you get the picture.
Winter has decided to stick around the Keweenaw for a bit longer.
Why not come up and play in it one last time?
Good night from the Keweenaw.
Well, I had
all the intentions on updating this journal last night, but played a little
too hard in our fresh snow and ended up running out of steam before I could
get to it. Had a nice snow storm Thursday night and Friday morning.
We ended up with 15". However, it was a different type of snow. They
say the Eskimos have 100 different words to describe snow and living here
I am learning many of them. Our 15" of snow all came with temps in
the teens, which meant that it was powdery. However, the flakes were
very small as they were falling, so we ended up with a very compacted 15"
of dry snow. Usually our snow up here is so light and fluffy that
if we were to get 15" it would eventually compact down to about 2 1/2".
The 15" from the other night compacted down to about 14", even with the
freezing rain and rain we had overnight last night. So I would have
to say that the snow we got Thursday night and early Friday was the equivalent
to at least 75" of LES, maybe more. That snowfall also gave me my
deepest depth of the season so far, with 36". After the settling
and liquid precip my snowcover this AM was still 35" and it is now snowing
pretty good and is back up to about 36".
I did have plans to
ride this afternoon, but things were so messy due to the freezing rain
and rain overnight and this morning that we opted to postpone things until
tomorrow. We must have picked up about a half inch of sleet and snow
last night from about midnight to 2-3 am, then a quarter of an inch of
freezing rain after that and then about 8 am just plain old rain.
Too bad it was not all snow, I think that it could have been another 6-8"
at least. Not that we need a whole lot more, but I'd sure rather
have snow than rain or freezing rain, that is for sure. Things sure
were messy this morning, lots of slush on the roads and even some big puddles.
The temps have dropped about 19 degrees in the past 2 hours and now everything
It was a different
story yesterday morning
as the storm was tapering off. That was the look down my block.
The snowbanks are the typical yooper size now, about 6-8 feet high.
Makes for some interesting driving when you get to an intersection.
You cannot even see around the corner to see if another car is coming,
so I just ease my way out and hope for the best. I am also very careful
as I drive through one when I have the right of way, just in case someone
rolls out. A few close calls, but no contact yet.
The storm really caught
a lot by surprise. The forecast was calling for a winter storm warning,
with the potential of 8-12" of snow, but after a few winter storm warnings
that did not pan out, I think the general population had become disbelievers.
Plus, the majority of the 15" of snow fell from about midnight until 5-6
am. The net result was that a lot of the plow operators were not
able to get out of their own driveway and that resulted in the plows getting
a late start in clearing the snow. Usually the village guys have
the streets perfect by about 6 or 7 in the morning. Friday, they
finally got down my street at about 9:30. Luckily I did not have
to go anywhere, but my neighbors were snowed in until the grader came down.
Because the snow was so dense, it took me about an hour to clear my driveway
and pathway's. Usually that is about a 15-20 minute process.
I was sure grateful for my 8 hp Toro. Threw that snow perfectly.
Even cut through the 2 1/2 foot deep plow bank with little trouble.
On Thursday, I ended
up getting a new pair of cross country skis to replace the ones I got about
a month ago. The month old pair did not work out like I thought they
would. They were shorter and wider and were suppose to be good for
back country skiing. Turns out who ever engineered them must not
have taken them into the back country, or at least in deep snow in the
back country. They ended up sinking into the snow so deep that they
were nearly impossible to maneuver. So I ended up with getting longer
ski, but still a bit shorter than a regular classic cross country ski.
Tried them out at the school
forest in the 15" of untracked snow and they did great. It was
a real workout, but I could tell that they were still way better than the
other pair. Plus I was able to trade my month old pair for getting
the 2-3 feet of snow off my roof, so all worked out well. Here is
demonstrating how deep the snow was. She was standing.
By looking at the untracked
snow in the forest, you would never think that it was as deep as it
was. Here is a shot of Baileys
and the rump of Burt in the trench we were carving through the snow.
Needless to say we did not go too far in those conditions. Maybe
a half mile or so. The way back was much easier, but still a bit
of a workout. Towards the end of the storm the other night, the winds
started to blow pretty hard. That knocked off the snow on most of
the trees, however, I was able to find some that still had some flocking
After the ski, I decided
to go and bust some powder on my sled. I did not want to venture
into the woods too deep, for fear of getting good and stuck and not getting
out until spring, so I just headed out into the old stamp sand area near
the village. Acres and acres of untracked
2 foot deep powder. As fun as that sounds it is just not as much
fun as when I am riding with someone, so I called up Chris and Marlo from
the White House Motel and convinced them that they needed to come down
and play. It did not take too much convincing and soon we were digging
Chris out of a hole. Yep, that snow was past his waist and he
is about 6'2", and he was not standing on the ground. We spent about
an hour out there and had a total blast. I think I spent more time
with the sled at a
45 degree angle than with it in the snow. Here's another
shot, and another.
Not sure if there is anything more fun to do on a sled then lay it down
in a deep powder turn.
Based on the forecast
for the next week to ten days I looks as though I may get several more
opportunities to lay it down. Right now it is snowing at the rate
of about an inch an hour and looks to snow at a pretty good clip for the
next 12-14 hours. Maybe not this heavy, but I would suspect that
we will pick up about 5-10" new by tomorrow mid-morning. Then a brief
break before some more snow arrives Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and then
later Thursday and into Friday. Even beyond that the forecast looks
to bring us snow. I'd have to say that if the forecast pans out,
we will have good riding until the last week of March at least, maybe beyond.
This has been my best riding season up here so far. I have about
1500 miles on, which may not sound like a lot, but multiply that about
4-5 to come up with the equivalent of trail riding. The sled is showing
some battle scars. The seat has developed several rips in it and
some of the reflectors on the side have been taken off by the bush riding.
The seat I will get a new cover for this spring or summer and the reflectors
I will not worry about. Tomorrow we are going to another secret place
to play. I discovered it back before the snow started to fly.
However it needed about 3 feet on the ground before it would be safe.
Now that we have that 3 feet, it is time to give it a whirl. Hope
to have some pictures from our adventure in the next journal. Until
Good night from the Keweenaw.
I have just
one word to describe things up here - Saweeeeet! As I went to bed
last night, I did one last quick check of the weather and it looked like
we were set up for a few inches of lake effect snow. The NWS was
calling for 1-2" overnight, with another 1-2 this morning and I could not
find anything wrong with that thinking. At 2:30 pm, Baileys woke
me up to tell me she had to go outside and go pee, so I climbed out of
a nice warm bed and walked to the door to let her out. When I looked
outside, it was a white out. Baileys was outside just about 60 seconds,
but in that time, she came back coated with a layer of snow. I looked
over at the snow station and it had about 2" on it. Even in my middle
of the night grog, I could comprehend that something was up. When
I awoke at about 4:45 to get ready for work, it was still coming down and
the snow station had 6" on it. Something was definitely up.
After a few minutes of accessing what was going on, the best I could decipher
was that we were experiencing something I have been dying to experience
since moving up here - The Bayfield Bomber. I gave that specific
lake effect setup that name back in 1998 when I first saw it occur in December.
Back then it occurred for over a day and places between Twin Lakes and
Phoenix saw over 2 feet of snow. The LES actually continued for about
4 weeks straight and they picked up about 120" in that time period.
Almost half the snow for the whole season from a week before Christmas
through the 2nd week of Jan.
I call it the Bayfield
Bomber because what happens is a convergence band sets up beginning just
off the peninsula that Bayfield Wisconsin sits on and extends almost straight
east to the Keweenaw peninsula. I think I talked about a convergence
band in a journal last week, but basically it is an area where the surface
winds converge. This convergence causes additional lift and that
additional lift enhances the snow. It is not uncommon to have snowfall
rates of 1-3"/hr in these convergence band. This morning's averaged
about 1"/hr for 8 hours. So it was a nice surprise. Not predicted,
but I'll take that type of botched forecast to the other type. Maybe
mother nature was just trying to make up for the snow we were suppose to
get this weekend. We were about the only area in the UP that the
forecast did not verify and were about the only area in the UP to get the
snow this morning. Hmmmm.
So it feels and looks
like January around here. Funny, January felt and looked a lot like
March this year. I took the camera with me on the afternoon walk
with the hounds, hoping to share with you some of the sights. This
first shot is of the
plow banks, which are getting pretty big. About 5-6 feet tall
and they extend back off the road about 10 feet. I wonder if we will
see the snow-go this year in my end of town. I see that they have
already run it in other spots where there is not as much room to push the
snow. Last year it came into my end of town twice. This year
it has yet to show. Here is a shot of the snow
piling up at my neighbors house. Looks like their bush protection
system is going strong. I can not even see my bushes that are unprotected
now. I should really get some of that snow off. I guess that
was it for the neighborhood tour. I did take two other pictures but
the did not come out.
I did go for a ride
today. Bryan the DJ and Brian the KSE guide were my riding partners.
Note the different spelling of the two so that we can tell them apart.
Anyway, in the AL Cam highlights I said the trails were like pool tables.
Here's the proof.
Actually we passed the groomer on the way up, but I can say that before
we got to the groomer, the trails were also flat. Even some powder
on them. That's how quiet things are up here. 5 hours after
the snow ended, there were still fresh spots on the DNR trails! After
getting to Brian's we headed off to track up some of the fresh in the bush.
I won the first stuck
of the day award. Not sure why I got stuck there, no hills or
any real reason, other than lots of deep snow. Actually, I just remembered,
I was watching Brian head off towards the tree line and decided to stop
and see if he would find a way to get through before I headed into a region
where I might reach a dead end. When I decided to go again, the sled
had other ideas. Brian thought the way I was plowing snow, I could
get a job with the county. Here's another shot of me
and my snowplow.
Once we got into the
woods, it did not take Bryan too long to get his Mountain
Max stuck. Here's a shot of the trail
we were taking through the woods. No saplings to run down!
After getting stuck in the woods a few times, we decided to head for a
field and try our luck there, so Brian took us off to Phil's fields.
A lot more snow in them than the last time we were there. Enough
to bury the Mountain
Max again. The hills and gullies had plenty of snow to play in,
here is a shot of Brian
climbing one of them. It looked like fun, so I had a go at it.
is the result. Guess I could have used a few more inches on my
track and a few more horses under the hood. I wasn't about to let
the hill get the best of me so I went
at it again. Did not quite make it that time either. Here
is a shot of me sitting
on my stuck sled, watching Brian and his Powder Special make the hill,
again. I think he was rubbing it in. That drift was deep,
at least 7-8 feet deep. Here's one more shot of Brian
busting the hill. I did end up making it, but not the same after
tries or whatever it was.
The final task of the
day was to climb Phil's rock. It is a rock outcropping that is about
50 feet high and about 65 degrees in slope. After my 3 stucks on
the smaller hill, I decided to sit this one out, but here is Brian
giving it a whirl. He almost made it, but when he got to the
top, it was all wind blown and his track slipped on the rock under the
2-3" of snow. The only way to get the sled down was to pull it back
down the way he came. Not too hard, just gave it a tug and down she
So our winter seems
to not want to go away. The forecast looks pretty promising.
My only concern continues to be the period later Friday and early Saturday
when some liquid precip may fall, but snow looks to fall out ahead of any
rain and also behind it. Plus there are some growing indications
that we may not see any liquid precip at all. At any rate, it looks
like the season will go into the second week of March at least. I
do not want to get too carried away. I have seen the snow go away
very quickly this time of the year. But this extended winter will
make spring that much shorter. That is a good thing too. Spring
is not very pretty up here. Lots of melting snow and all the nasties
that were buried in the snow start to appear. Plus the colder and
snowier it stays, the more ready for summer I will be. Not ready
yet, but I can start to feel the desire to go chase that small white ball
around the course or take the hounds for a stroll down the beach grow.
Two last tidbits; the
contest to guess when the Laurium Glacier will melt is in the Ask John
and I keep forgetting to say that my new helmet/goggles setup works awesome.
I have not had things fog up on me yet and have had plenty of opportunities.
I will give you some tips if you are thinking of going this route.
First, make sure you get double lenses goggles. Single lens are cheaper,
but will fog. I also got the goggles with the quick release strap
and blue tint. Nice features, as you can unbuckle them easily, but
keep one side attached to the helmet so you don't loose them. The
blue tint cuts the glare in sunshine, but also polarizes the light, so
you can see the details in the snow much better, even in low light cases.
Secondly, you will need a breath deflector. I got the model from
"No Fog". It is neoprene and works great. They say that you
cannot use a head sock or baklava, but I have found that you can, but you
have to pull the bottom of the baklava down around your chin so that it
does not cause your goggles to fog. I rode on Sunday when the temps
were near zero and was not cold at all. I am very happy with this
setup and would recommend it to anyone wanting to not have to deal with
fogging. Guess that's it.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
Not sure how
long this one will be, as I am a tired pup. Lots of riding in the
past 3 days, actually for that matter, the past week. The only days
that I did not ride were last Monday and Thursday. Lots of digging
out too. Now don't get me wrong, I am not complaining at all, just
stating a fact and the reason why I hope to be asleep in about an hour.
We sure have picked up a lot of snow in the past week - 30 inches at my
house and more than that in some areas. We got missed by the big
storm this weekend. Seems like we were about the only place in the
UP that did. Not sure why, I was riding all day yesterday and when
I got home, I was too tired to really take a look at things and see if
I could figure out why we got missed, but we did. It looked good
at the onset. The snow started to fall at about 6-7 am and was really
coming down for a while, then at about 11 am it became more showery in
nature and by the late afternoon it had stopped completely and we were
flirting with breaks of sunshine. It did start to snow again overnight
and has snowed pretty much all day today, all told it looks like about
5" new. I am not that disappointed we were missed by the bigger snows.
It would have been great, but I am happy with they way things are going.
They way things were just 2 weeks ago, another 2-3 warm days with sunshine
and we could have been down to some bare spots. Now we have 2-4 feet
down. The deepest snow is in the higher elevations in the woods,
the least is in my backyard!
For the amount of riding
I have been doing, I do not have a lot of pictures to share. I forgot
the camera on Friday and today's ride and Saturday it just seemed like
we were too busy playing for me to stop and get a shot. I did manage
to get a group photo
of our KSE ride Saturday. A good time was had by all and by the
end of the day all were very glad to be back, including me. Not that
we were afraid we would not make it back, but were actually glad to be
done for the day. Lots of riding + digging out = sore muscles.
We were out there a long time too. Left at 10 am and did not pull
back into Lake Linden until about 7 pm. Usually the full day rides
end at about 5 or 6, but we found one last play spot on our way back and
had fun out there for about an hour. Dave, one of the KSE guides,
could not help showing off by climbing
a stack of logs. Kids, don't try this at home.
Today's ride was a
little more laid back, still lots of fresh powder and some good jumping
spots. No broken bones or even any broken sleds. I had to bug
out a bit early to get home to take care of some work, but I believe that
in the past week I have put on 700 miles. Not too shabby seeing as
though they were just about all bush miles. As anyone that has ridden
with us on a KSE ride can attest, a bush mile is equal to about 3-5 miles
on the trail.
Speaking of the trails,
I spent about 5 miles on them this weekend and they trails I was on were
mint. I also heard that most of the system was great. It was
not too busy up here and with the fresh snow and cold temps, we finally
had all the conditions working in our favor. Figures, it is almost
the end of the season. Oh well, if you still have some time off to
ride, come on up, things are in as good a shape as they have been in all
The forecast for this
week looks pretty good. One clipper system later tomorrow and into
Tuesday, then another for later Wednesday and Wednesday night and then
possibly a regular old storm Friday and Saturday. The Fri/Sat storm
has me concerned a bit as the rain/snow line looks to get pretty close.
In any case, I will have to try and plan some more rides in the coming
week. Running out of time.
Good night from the Keweenaw.