400+ Miles and Itchin for more!

I had some vacation time I needed to burn up before the new year so I took last week as through Monday (New Years Eve, the wife’s birthday) off. With the new found time off of work my dad, brother, and myself took a 3 day trip to northern Wisconsin for a little snowmobile adventure.

We ended up chasing a snow storm that hit bayfeild county, that had dumped nearly 3+ feet of snow in 2 1/2 days. We got a hotel in Ashland for Wednesday night, Thursday night, and Friday night. We had a late start Wednesday morning and didn’t get onto the road until damn near noon, so by the time we got up to Ashland it was already 4pm and getting dark. We checked in, found our room, unpacked, and headed into town for gas, booze, trail stickers, and a trail map.

We found out there was no easy trail access from the hotel (which btw sucked ass) so we figured instead of driving around at night in an unfamiliar place we would just get dinner and call it an early night. Luckily the hotel had a restaurant within walking distance (crawling if need be) and when we got back, put the booze on ice, and headed next door for dinner.

The restaurant was nice, log cabin style good food, and very good looking wait staff, our waitress was hot as hell and I think my brother had the hots for her, even though he wouldn’t admit it. Any ways we had out dinner, few beers, and called it a night, called the front desk for a 6am wake up call and we were out.

6am rolls around, breakfast is done and we were out the door heading to down town Ashland to the gas station where there was easy trail access. We gassed up our sleds, unloaded and headed out of town, west towards bayfeild peninsula. We rode the Tri County Corridor which is an old rail road bed turned 4 wheeler/Snowmobile trail, so basically your riding a straight, wide open, trail that combined with no speed limit is a fun place to “sew your oats” and let the speed demon out.

So the day was starting out to be a great day, lots of snow, well groomed trails, great scenery. We finally get to the trail head to that leads us into the peninsula and into the abyss that is bayfeild county. We rode good and hard right off the bat, you couldn’t ask for better conditions, the trails we pure bliss. The entire day we only came across 9 sleds, and 2 groomers, we basically had the trails to our selves.

The only down side of the day was the lack of good trail signs, but other than the occasional stop to find our way, it was probably one of the best, if not the best snowmobile trips I have had to date. Also we did have a little issue trying to find gas. We were at the very northern tip and running low on gas, so we consulted the map and headed to a town called cornucopia (Corny for short), once we got there we quickly found out the gas station was closed and the closest town (by trail) was 18 miles away. So other than lack of good directions and lack of gas in Corny the day was awesome.

That first day we put on over 175 miles and it was probably the best 175 miles I’ve ever done! Day two started out a little slower than day one, we didn’t getup at the ass crack of dawn, but instead got up at 9am and didn’t head out until 11am to ride. Day two instead of trailering to Ashland we went west and trailered to a small town called Ino, where there is a cool little bar with the most friendly people around. They let us dump our sleds and park our vehicles there and head up from there. We stopped and had a beer before we left and stopped and had a few more on the way back. Needless to say we didn’t ride all day like we did the previous day but we still managed to put on another 90 – 100 miles of good riding.

Day two we didn’t head as far north, and made more pit stops to take pictures and look at the sights. We also stopped at the Valhalla Pub and Grub. Was a great pit stop, nice bar, had snowmobiling videos going, and was packed with everyone talking about how great the conditions were. It was just a great atmosphere, I’ll definitely be going back that way again soon.

So after day two ended, we packed up our gear, headed back to the hotel, had dinner, did the hot tub thing, and went to bed. We got up around 7am, head breakfast, and headed on the road which was a great thing because the number of sleds going up north were mind blowing. I think everyone and their mothers, mothers, were heading up north that weekend. The trails were getting a little “snirty” (snow dirt) and getting tore up pretty well on Friday, so I couldn’t imagine how the trials would be after a weekend of all those sleds being up that way. I am just glad we went when we did as the conditions were pure epic!

Here are some more pictures of our weekend up in Ashland/Bayfeild…. enjoy!

Snowmobiling Wisconsin 2007

So we get back home Saturday afternoon, and my dumb ass packs right back up and turns around and heads back up north to my In Laws home for the remainder of the holiday/new years weekend. Sunday rolls around and I get up and go out for a ride. I rode from the In Laws to Mille Lacs Lake, through to Isle, MN where Red Top OHV/ATV trails are. In the winter they use Red Top for snowmobiles and it makes for a great trip. So Sunday I put on another 125 – 150 miles on the sled.

Monday rolls around and Jody and I head over to her cousin’s place and we go out for another ride. We rode from Hillman/Lake Sullivan area, west into harding and then south south west into Lastrup and made a loop back into Hillman. Was a good little trip, trails weren’t in the greatest condition but it was still fun to see Jody back out on a sled. Total we put on maybe 50 miles but only because the trails weren’t in that great of condition but still riding is riding.

All in all last week/weekend was a great time off, getting to go out snowmobiling and not having to worry about a thing. I need to to these kind of trips more often, makes for a great stress reliever.

- Josh

First Turns of the Season

As Richard pointed out turns are turns, and that’s just what they were on Saturday. This past Saturday was probably one of the earliest times I’ve gotten out skiing since the 1991 Halloween Blizzard. The day after that Blizzard I was up at Wild Mountain enjoying one of the biggest powder days I’ve ever seen in Minnesota to date. Between the man made stuff and the fresh powder I was skiing on over 4 feet of snow that weekend. It was pure bliss.

Anyways this past Saturday marked another year of my 23 years of skiing, yes that’s right I’ve been skiing going on 23 years now. Its hard to believe that since I was the age of 4 I’ve been going year in, year out to Wild Mountain, Trollhaugen, and company for that many years. Granted some years (specially the early years) I maybe got out skiing only a few times a season, but once I got into middle school I was skiing on Average about 50+ days a winter, then in high school I was averaging almost 110+ days of skiing a season, not including my week long trips out west to Colorado during spring break.

Saturday I met up with Richard, Adam, their co-worker Nate and enjoyed a free day of skiing thanks to the demo days going on at Wild. I “pretended” I was with Richard and Dave who work at Continental Ski and Bike in Duluth, MN. So Ski shop reps got to ski for free and got to partake in the ski demo for free. Hell I even got a free dinner thanks to the Elan rep. So even though there were an ass load of people at Wild, I got a free day of skiing, free demo and a free meal to top it off.

The Snow was shitty, the single run that was open, was crowded, and the lift line was long, but I was still enjoying myself. No matter how shitty the conditions are, or how bad of a day I am having, If I am outside, on the snow, either Skiing or Snowmobiling I am happy as a clam, and being out there with friends like Richard and Dave just makes it that much better.

So on top of it being the first turns of the season, I was able to test out quite a few pair of ski’s. Pretty much all the major brands (Elan, Atomic, Rossignol, K2, ect…) had their reps out there pimpin their latest and greatest ski. A few ski’s caught my attention, and intrigued me. Lately I’ve been trying to find a ski that I can use out west but still use here on the off chance we actually get a powder day in the Midwest. Last year in Utah I was riding Dave’s Seth Pistol’s so one of the first ski’s I demo’d was this years Seth’s, which I was a little iffy about because of the mini rocker they put on the tips of the ski now. Granted I still loved the way they ski’d but the mini rocker took away the some of the stiffness in the tip which caused the tips to chatter on the crud on the hill, and that chatter just annoys the hell out of me.

Next ski I really liked were the Elan 888′s. The Trip 8′s were a great ski, nice and wide, good side cut, and solid. I love a solid stiff ski. Which the trip 8′s were. Even though I was on a shorter ski than I wanted to ride, they still were a blast to ski, and I could only imagine how they would be out west it better snow conditions.

The last ski that I liked, the ones that Richard has been telling me to get for a while now, the Rossignol Scratch Brigades. They are a close match to the Seth’s in almost every way, wide, stiff, twin tip, ect…. I rode those for quite a while Saturday, I loved them and hated them at the same time, I loved how light they were, and how stiff they were but they didn’t ski for me light I thought they would, probably the snow conditions, but still I wasn’t too excited to ski them like I was when I first rode the Blizzard X-Cross’s.

So now really it’s a hard choice to figure out what ski I want. For now I’ll wait till later on when it gets closer to the time frame for the out west trip and then I will figure out what I want, till then I’ll keep looking and go from there.

- Josh