Then There Was Four (Snowmobiles)

Bever PondWe’ve managed to make it up north for three absolutely gorgeous weekends. This weekend was no exception. We went riding on Saturday and the sky was an incredibly clear blue without a cloud in sight. We took a ride up Littl Blue Mountain and again the view was better than the last time. White Face Mountain was perfectly visible as well as some other mountains in the same range and beyond.

Broken Down SledAfter a quick snack we headed off to Sevey’s Corner and beyond. Once we crossed route 3 the trails were even better. Freshly groomed with few sleds having been down them. Everything was going great until we were waiting for my uncle Wes and a few other sleds came by and told us we had a broken down sled. We went back a few miles and it wasn’t good. The supports holding his suspension up broke and his snowmobile was literally sitting on the ground. We towed it back to route 3 and my cousin Donald headed back to the truck while Uncle Jerry, Dad and I headed out to finish the days ride. Only four of the five sleds we ran with this season made it out alive.

Looking Back On 2007-08 Snowmobiling Season

Looking back this year we’ve had a fantastic season. We put on over 520 miles in three weekends. All the riding we did was on perfect trails. I’ve never seen better snow conditions than the past two weekends and the days we went out the sky was so blue it was amazing.

Mayor Duffy Drinks Beer!

Rohrbachs Downtown BreweryThursday RohrBachs opened their new brewery downtown with a bang. They had a grand opening that included free beer and free food! The food was great and I will definitely be picking up some pierogies from The Pierogie Guy. The beer was, of course, excellent. One of my favorites is always the RohrBachs Scotch Ale which is what we had on tap at our wedding but they had many other excellent choices available such as Nate’s Pale Ale and their Vanilla Porter.

Mayor Bob DuffyTo christen the new downtown brewery Mayor Bob Duffy spoke at the event. It was surprising to see him there as there is trouble with passing the New York Budget this year because of all the scandal surrounding the governor. However; Duffy is taking the renovation of Rochester seriously and he took the reopening of a downtown Rohrbachs brewery personal. That he’s neighbors with the owner of Rohrbachs obviously has nothing to do with it.

Final Snow

Street Light in Fairport

Today we got what is probably our last snow accumulation of the year. We woke up to one of the prettiest snowy scenes from the entire season. About 4 inches of wet sticky snow came down overnight. I took an extra long walk to the bus just so I could enjoy the scenery and take a few pictures.

Snowmobile Tickets and Skylines

White Face MountainToday was bright and sunny too. They sky was so clear we had to go up Littl Blue Mountain(edit: the previous link was wrong and linked to little blue not littl blue) again. We did and there were actually other people at the top! Some guys were fiddling with a broken down 2007 Yamaha and I had to snicker. Give me a Polaris any day. Mine is a 2006 but my parents have a 1979, 1995 and 1997 which are all still running solid and they’ve never had to do much to any of them.

From the top of Littl Blue we could see White Face Mountain crystal clear almost 70 miles away. The picture doesn’t come close to doing it justice but it’s the best I could do. Just the shear vastness of the space you can see up in the mountains like this is always impressive. I created the panorama to demonstrate.

View From Little Blue Mountain - Panorama

We had our snacks on Littl Blue and then headed down for some scenic riding. Along one of the main trails we hit a snowmobile traffic stop. Yes, on easter sunday the cops have nothing better to do than look for snowmobilers riding without insurance and with expired registrations. We were all valid and were just about to go when the cop noticed my insurance paper had expired a few weeks earlier. Great. I explained to him that it definately is still covered I just had forgotton to grab the new paperwork. “We have no way to tell” he said as he issued me a ticket. Awesome, now I have to deal with getting that dropped when I get home. This crap irritates me for lots of reasons but I’m not going to complain about it here.

Ice Formation on North Side of the HillAfter getting delayed by the traffic cops we headed on to horseshoe lake. The trail had been cleaned up since we were there a few days ago and it was a much better ride. It’s a good thing because I was tired of bouncing up and down on moguls.

The sun was a lot warmer today. It was just warm enough to melt some of the snow on the south side of the hills. The air was still cold however; that when the water ran down and started to drip it would freeze instantly creating some very neat ice formations.

Cheney Takes Visa

North Branch of The Grass RiverWe got an earlier start today and were on the trails by 10am. After hearing that Easter dinner would be ready when we got back we had to make sure we put on the miles early and were back in time for the feast. We put on roughly 100 miles again and made it back by 6pm.

First stop today was Camp. Along the way we crossed the North branch of the Grasse River as well as a branch of the Oswegatchie. The scenery was beautiful as were the trails. We certainly hit this trip perfect. In most sections there was several feet of hard packed snow and ice. Step off the hard packed groomed trail though and you were likely to sink up to your waist.

Cheney’s CampIf you need a place to stay out on the trail just stop by Cheney’s Camp. Apparently they take visa or MasterCard so you should be good to go. Fortunately no friends were shot in the face while filming this cabin.

The sleds were running great today and yesterday with the cold weather and hard packed trails. If you punched it you’d lift the skis right off the ground which makes for tricky cornering. We hit 75mph on a few of the straightaways without even pushing it.

Cranberry LakeThe last stop of the day was The Pinecone at the southern end of Cranberry Lake in Wanakena. Once we got on the Setback Trail to Wanakena the trail got pretty rough. You can definitely tell the difference between groomed trails and not. The setback trail was miles of moguls and switchbacks. Eventually it let you out in Wanakena and we were able to take a quick rest at The Pinecone before heading home.

It’s amazing the amount of scenery you can see up here while riding the snowmobiles. It would take you months on skis to see what we’ve seen in two days. That’s easily the best part of riding. You are in remote locations that are often inaccessible any other time of the year. 4-wheelers are not always allowed on the same trails which makes it difficult to cover a lot of the ground. I would love to take a snowmobile trip into remote sections of Canada. Maybe next year we’ll take a week and head up to the big country.

Littl Blue and Horseshoe

View From Little Blue MountainAfter the battle of the skags and a great hearty breakfast by my aunt Pauline we headed out for the day at about 11am. We got lucky lucky with fresh groomed trails and absolutely beautiful snowmobiling conditions. First stop for the day was Littl Blue Mountain which is a short mile or so jaunt up a steep non groomed trail filled with switchbacks. The Scenery was stunningly beautiful from the top. It was such a clear day we could see all the way to White Face Mountain and Big Tupper’s Ski trails.

Horseshoe LakeFor our next stop we headed on to the most southern point in the St Lawrence County Snowmobile trail system, Horseshoe Lake. The last 5-10 miles of the trail to Horseshoe is on state land and the 4 big storms from this year have put their toll on the trail. Unfortunately because it’s on the ‘forever wild’ state land the trees criss crossing the trail can’t be cut until approval is given from the state. This made for a rough few miles getting to Horseshoe but the view is always worth it. The Lake is still frozen and a few people have ventured out on it. We were not among them. We had a quick snack in the blistering cold wind and then headed for home.

Overall we had a great ride today. We covered approximately 100 miles and met about 15 sleds. That’s what its always like up here. Beautiful and practically void of people.

Alaska in 1999

I let everyone know a while ago that my parents took a trip to Alaska last summer. What I didn’t tell you is my dad was already there. Back in 1999 on our way to Mount Rushmore, my father decided to take a little detour and ended up in Alaska. Kind of a long detour, especially since it was a road trip. Good thing it was only the Alaska section of the parking lot for the Mall of America. Does this mean there are 50 Mall of America’s parking sections? Found the photographic proof.

Dad in Alaska