March 8, 2012

Good Rides, Bad Rides



Steve's Blog March 8th

Good Rides, Bad Rides

            Last week I experienced different ends of the snowmobiling experience—good snow and bad snow. And this came from back-to-back rides from the same trailhead.

 
          
The difference between the rides was simple: On Friday I head to the higher elevations. On Saturday I decided to explore the riding in the lower elevations. Friday’s ride was in deep fluffy powder. Saturday’s ride was in crusty baseless snow.


           
Actually, Saturday’s ride wouldn’t have been so bad if Friday’s ride hadn’t been so good. It’s hard to top a 75 mile day of boondocking in fresh snow.

 
          
Everything about Friday was perfect. The sun was out, the weather was calm. The snow was deep. I wasn’t sitting in an office pounding on a keyboard. My riding group included five very good riders on new machines. We kept moving and we kept together.


           
As for Saturday, things started off bad when three miles before the trailhead we noticed vehicles turning back and/or parking on the side of the road. Then some guy said the road was drifted in and a bunch of trailers were all stuck in a drift.


           
So we pulled over and unloaded, necessitating a three-mile ride along the edge of the road to the trailhead. (And for the record, there were no vehicles stuck on the road and the largest drift wasn’t big enough to slow a truck and trailer in even adequate tires.)


           
Choosing a lower elevation ride in March can be risky. Since we had been riding all week in great snow, we carelessly assumed all snow would be good. But once we got into the trees and broke through the crust, the snow was all crystalized and provided no compaction for base.


           
For those wondering, higher elevation means between 7,500-8,500 feet and lower elevation is between 6,000-7,000 feet in this particular riding area.

 
          
However, I don’t want to leave anyone with the wrong impression—Saturday’s ride, by itself, would have been a great day because we were out snowmobiling. It just merely had the misfortune of following an epic day.


           
After all, a bad day of riding is still better than a good day at work.


SJ








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