The Last Ride
While I was content for the snow to hold up until Saturday, March 14th, Mike would have preferred it to last just a couple of days longer. He was asked to take some writers from the North American Snowsports Journalists Association(NASJA) snowmobiling. They were in Minnesota to attend a Conference in Lutsen.
On Monday morning he drove down to Lutsen with his snowmobile in tow. After a weekend of beautiful weather with temperatures in the high 40’s the snowmobile trails didn’t look too pretty. None of the people who were going had much snowmobiling experience so Mike was in for an adventure, a slow one at that.
The itinerary for Monday was to snowmobile from Lutsen to Gunflint Lake. They traveled the State Trail at a leisurely pace and stopped in at Trail Center for a late lunch. Then they made there way up to Gunflint Lake and headed for Gunflint Pines for gas.
Mike got to shore and noticed only two of the snowmobilers were still with him. He knew they had just been right behind him so he turned around and went back to find them waiting in front of some water on top of the ice. This was the area that had been plowed for the start of Mush for a Cure and while Mike knew there was a good 3-4 feet of ice beneath the six inches of water the others weren’t so sure. Even though they had just passed a truck parked out on the ice they were still a bit hesitant to snowmobile through the water but agreed to follow him to shore.
They were more confident on their way back to Gunflint Lodge where they were to spend the evening. Mike joined them for dinner and breakfast the next morning before they started the journey back to Lutsen. When we go snowmobiling with friends it usually takes us 6-7 hours to go 150 miles but it took Mike’s group that many hours to travel half of the distance.
Mike enjoyed the two days of snowmobiling regardless of the less than perfect snow conditions. He loves to introduce people to our area and show them how enjoyable our backyard is. The temperatures were very warm for snowmobiling so there wasn’t any complaining about being cold, that’s always a good thing. The bad news for Mike is today is the first day of spring and my guess is that was his last snowmobile ride of the season.
To read about the experience from the viewpoint of one of the riders check out his blog.