There've been better winters. No, this one wasn't necessarily a bad one . it just wasn't necessarily a good one either. On one hand, I was riding the best snowmobiles ever. But on the other hand, the snow was mostly less than average.
Now, I'm not one to complain. I'm grateful for every opportunity I have to snowmobile. But over the past 30-plus years one tends to recognize good snow from not so good snow. And this year it was the latter.
Some may point toward global warming. I don't accept that premise because I believe in natural climate change-the kind that isn't affected by what man does, but tends to follow natural cycles. And the natural cycle for the past few years has been somewhat dry.
This year it was dry when it was cold, and wet when it was warm. In other words, the moisture we got came often in liquid form rather than the nice white fluffy form that can be measured in feet.
The good news was that there were a few more days with blue skies and sunshine for snowmobiling. The bad news was that the snow wasn't very deep and sometimes it took a couple of weeks just to cover up the tracks from a day's ride. For some of us, there is something urgent in riding on clean untracked snow. Tracks leave you with the impression that you're bellying up to a buffet after the fat people have already eaten-it's slim pickings and the best stuff is gone.
Now this time of year there usually are a few great rides just waiting to happen. But after a long winter of searching for snow, it's kind of hard to create the desire to leave the warmth in the valleys to go up to the mountains looking for winter.
But as long as Mother Nature keeps refreshing the higher elevations with a layer of snow, some of us will just leave our lawn mowers in winter storage and continue to do our best to beat the fat people to the buffet.
There've been better winters. But we'll still try to make the most out of the one we still have.