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Fake Grass In January

Published online: Jan 29, 2014 White Out & Wide Open—The Blog Steve Janes
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White Out & Wide Open-The Blog

            It's a beautiful January weekend in Idaho. With a crystal blue sky, it's the kind of weekend you dream about for snowmobiling. Only on this day rather than being out riding or wrenching on a snowmobile, I'm wandering around my shop working on a putting green.

            Saturdays in January are traditionally set aside to snowmobile with my buddies. My wife knows better that to plan anything that would prevent me from riding. I keep my travel schedule clear for my personal time. This is sacred time. It's for snowmobiling.

            So why was I working on a putting green? Well, with two straight weeks of blue skies and dry weather, the snow conditions in the mountains have gotten fairly stale. I'm not saying snowmobiling is bad . it's just that there's been nothing to cover the tracks we've made during the previous three or four rides.

            Believe me, there's nothing worse than having a bluebird day in January when I have time to ride . but no desire. And I shouldn't say I have no desire . in fact, I have my trailer loaded and sleds fueled. But I keep waiting for a storm to roll through to create a soft cushion of fluff for the next great ride.

            Right now I'm in a bad spot: I know how good riding can be if we just had another good storm move through the area . but I also know that winter is on a time clock and each day I pass up is one less day I get to ride. And watching the weather channel is sort of like watching a pot of water on a stove . it never boils while you're looking at it.

Usually this time of year if I'm not out riding I at least have a sled inside the shop and I'm doing some repairs or something. Sadly, I don't have anything that needs fixed. So I keep on tinkering with imitation grass carpet and three-quarter inch plywood with a hole in it.

            So this past weekend was rather frustrating. It's like I'm behind in a basketball game but I'm the one running out the clock. For crying out loud, working on a putting green? Even my wife was mocking me.

            Then to make matters worse, a good friend and snowmobiling buddy sent me a text photo of him on a golf course in Arizona. So here I am-too cold to golf, no snow to ride and friends rubbing it in while they're on vacation.

            Now I haven't given up on winter yet. I still think all it takes is one big storm to bust through the high pressure system and send a series of snow flurries from west to east that would reload our mountain slopes with the much needed moisture. But I have to tell you, January was almost a total bust . and that's traditionally one of our wettest months. And it looks bleak for the rest of the month.

Unless February picks up, I will be spending less time working on two strokes and more time working on my putting stroke.


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