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Preparing For Winter

Published online: Dec 04, 2013 White Out & Wide Open—The Blog Steve Janes
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Looking out the window this past Monday morning one would think that the heavens were preparing to unload a winter storm destined to get us all out on our sleds by the weekend. The wind was pounding, the clouds were dark gray, yet the snow still seemed a bit elusive.

A quick look at the SnoTel site shows that in the higher elevations we're beginning to see an adequate amount of accumulation . but we still need that one "knock out" blow from Old Man Winter to put us on our way to a great riding season.

About 10 days ago Lane Lindstrom and I were able to slip over to Pinedale, WY, and log about 40 miles on our snowmobiles. We were able to unload at the Sherman parking lot (about 7,800 feet elevation) and ride west toward Blind Bull. (Last year our first ride wasn't until a week in December.)

The nice part about the ride was that we didn't have to climb much to get into a couple of feet of snow. The main trail in was still being used by hunters so the road was somewhat rutted. But off the road the snow was about as good as what we experienced for most of last season in similar terrain.

As we climbed higher and got into some of the north-facing slopes shaded with pine trees, we managed to get into over three feet of snow, making for a good test for our fat, out-of-shape bodies.

So looking forward, if November offered as good of riding as last February, then there's no way we can do worse. And for all reasonable expectations, we are bound to see much better in the days to come, especially if these fast-moving storms continue to drop a couple inches here and six inches there . with an occasional down pour of 12-18 inches.

I've been accused of being the eternal optimist when it comes to predicting snow . but I really do expect a banner year for riding-to the point to where rather than spending my time now lounging in my Lazy Boy and watching football, I'm getting into riding shape by lounging in my Lazy Boy while watching aerobic exercise programs on TV. (Physically I may still be an overweight couch potato . but mentally, I'm a lean mean sidehilling machine.)

But one thing is certain: I have my sleds fueled and loaded in the trailer ready to go at a drop of a snowflake.

Let's ride.

-SJ