Friday January 15th, 2010

Greetings and welcome!


So far so good today.. it hasn’t been much past 30 and we have a good overcast. If there is going to be any melting this week it looks like it is down to tomorrow. It hasn’t happened yet and Sunday should be cooler and possibly cloudier.

Morning Report

I skipped out of work yesterday afternoon and went for a ride. The lure of flat trails and the comfort of riding at 28-30F were too much to pass up on.

My ride yesterday took me down to Lakewood and back around via Riverside. My memory isn’t great, but I think it was F & F2 on the way there and the 1 & 2 trails on the way back. I didn’t take any shortcuts and ended up riding Chickadee twice.

Most of my ride was on flat trails with good base and coverage. It is rare for me to ride with my feet forward instead of underneath me, but yesterday I could give my old knees a break probably 70% of the time.

Considering that we haven’t had a big storm in a few weeks conditions were very good. The 30ish temps seemed to soften the very top of the hard base, and I was not wanting for loose snow for lube and cooling. Chickadee was actually better than last week in that respect.

The ride to Lakewood was on well cared for trails with good coverage. There were some snirty spots and spots where the groomer had caught an edge and kicked up some leaves, but those were incidental. The worst parts on the way there was the stretch between Landing 11 & Chickadee (thin & snirty in places) and the roads around Wheeler Lake (road trails plowed deep into the ditches and well sanded). Other than that it was smooth sailing.

The burgers at Sandtrap are still yummy, and the BP in Lakewood has a sign on the pump that the premium has no ethanol in it. Having established that, I headed back down the RR grade (nice shape) to the trail east.

I am pretty sure that it was the 1 or the 1-2 trail that I took out of Lakewood. It had loops to Riverside, Mountain, and Crooked Lake before heading back this way. That trail was flat and not even remotely in danger of melting down. It had a good base on top of ice when I kicked a heel down on a break.

Other than being poorly marked at intersections, that trail was a dream. It was fast, flat, scenic, remote, and the devastation from the Riverview tornado is amazing every time that you see it. I ran that from Lakewood all of the way back up to Chickadee and back to the shack. There were plenty of ways that I could have shortcut home on forest roads, but with flat trails, 28 degrees, and a full tank of gas that wasn’t going to happen.

One surprise that I had was the lack of contrast at one point. When I was going across the golf course in Lakewood at about 3pm, there was a very heavy overcast. It reduced the contrast sort of like it does at dusk, and suddenly the whole ground was white. It was hard to see the trail, and especially the bumps. Lake runners know what I am talking about. It was NBD, but it caught me by surprise.

There was some discussion over lunch about the vulnerability of the trails with the warmer temps. It wasn’t really valid in reference to Wednesday or Thursday, the trails did not suffer at all. What will happen over the weekend we don’t know. If it stays like the last two days, no sweat at all.

It is my opinion that if the trails had 3-6 of fresh stuff on top of what I rode Thursday, they would be as good as it gets. I had a great time.

One thing that didn’t go so good was the plan to do trail pictures. It looks like my old trail camera gave up the ghost yesterday morning. After 9 years of rafting and snowmobiling and 70,000 or so pictures, it was a trusted friend. It sure did go on a lot of adventures with me.

Well, in between writing the last paragraph and this one, I went and bought another one just like it on E-Bay. It chokes me a little that my first one was $900 and the second was $45, but my focus is on hoping that it gets to go on as many adventures and take as many of your pictures as the last one did. I should be back in a trail camera in a week or so.

The weather outlook has not changed much. The NWS is looking at 30-34 today and mid-30s over the weekend, with partly cloudy skies all three days. The various forecast models are consistent with that. New this morning, the NWS boosted Saturday temps to 37-40.

In events over the weekend.. There is a fishing derby on White Potato Lake by Wouters. There is a brat fry with the Wausaukee Lions Club at the Northwoods Bar. It is also the weekend of that Eagle River thingie.

That is about it from here. Have a good weekend and thank you for visiting.