Today was our first ride of the 2009-2010 season. As you can see from the prior year blog posts, we got a late start this year (mostly due to how the holidays fell). We had an eventful morning which is somewhat expected for the first ride of the season. After spending last night starting up all the sleds, changing plugs, filling the oil tanks, checking the chain case oil, etc we thought we were good to go. WRONG! About 2 miles from the cabin my cousin stopped to tell me there was a problem with the sled he was riding. He has sleds of his own and knew something didn’t feel right. While walking back to talk to him, I saw flames through the vents in the hood! I started yelling FIRE, FIRE, FIRE and told him to shut it down! We popped the hood and started throwing snow on the flames. It ended up being a small fire and went out quickly, but that will get your heart racing quickly! The only damage was our pull rope was burned a little, so we cut off the burned part and then tied a new knot. The fire was started by the brake disk, it got cherry red hot. We think the pads were rubbing on the disk and not releasing which created a ton of heat and ignited something. After we got that all taken care of we took that machine back to the cabin and swapped it for another.
We finally got on the trail with some solid machines and headed out. Trail 6E into Presque Isle was fairly choppy and I’d rate it a 7 (typical for this time of year). We gassed up and went north on trail 1 to Michigan. Through the woods it got a little better, but still a lot of rocks and branches in the typical locations. After we hit trail 2 into Marenisco things improved dramatically. This trail was a 9.5! We hooked back up with trail 1 and rode that all the way to Fishtales Pub N Grub for lunch. Trail 1 was in fantastic shape the entire ride. While eating lunch, we noticed some VERY large ice heaves that were in the first 200-300 yards from shore. If you are riding on the western shore of lake Gogebic, USE CAUTION! If you hit one of those, it won’t be pretty for you or your machine! After lunch we headed into Bergland for gas and then continued around the lake on trail 13 south.
Normally trail 13 is pretty beat up from all the traffic, but today it was unusually good! Plenty of snow and the groomers have done a fantastic job keeping the trail up.
We got on trail 2 again and took that East to Rogers Bar. We stopped in there and had a pizza and a couple drinks and then headed for home. On the way back home trail 2 was pretty rutted up and that only took 2 hours to happen. We took trail 1 back to Presque Isle and then trail 6 West out of P.I. The worst trails we saw all day were on the Wisconsin side. Once you crossed that state line, there was no comparison. If you are close enough to make it to Michigan, I highly recommend making the trip up there. The trail passes went up another $10 this year ($35 per machine) but it’s well worth it and you’ll probably save that in wear and tear on your machine from the bumps in WI.
Overall Trail Rating: 8 out of 10
Season Total: 135