Thursday April 4th, 2013

Greetings and welcome!

I wouldn’t do any riding right around here, but the word on the street is that they are still riding decent conditions north of Hwy 8 on the Dun-Good and neighboring trail systems.

Around Silver Cliff and near High Falls & Caldron Falls Flowages there is still a lot of trail base to melt down, but there is a lot that already has, mostly because of the sun. The biggest problem is the lack of fresh snow. Even where there is still ample base, it is a brick of ice from the daily thaw and freeze cycle. If we could get 4-6″ of snow I’d be right back out there. Right now it is either mud or ice.

As un-pretty as it is getting around here, you can still get a late season ride in a little north of here. The Dun-Good Riders were still grooming as of Tuesday. Check their reports.

Just like we are a very different climate for snow than Crivitz 30 miles southeast, another 20 miles north makes a huge difference too. Even the 10 miles between here and Benson Lake Road or Goodman Park makes a huge difference in some storms and at meltdown time.

This winter will go down in history as one of the best ever for trails, the season stretching into late March with very good conditions, and now for them extending the season. I don’t recall the trails ever being open past March 31 in the decade plus that I have lived here. Marinette Co is open until Monday April 8th, though trails south of Hwy C are closed on the Iron Snowshoe.

It was only a few weeks ago that I was talking to the Polaris dealer about how we had ridden on March 31st years ago. This year we could be talking about April 7th. This is as unusual as last March’s 80 degree weather.

It has been a heck of a season. We got to ride over the Christmas to New Years holiday stretch for a change. Our first ice base was in place, and a late week snow made it all come together. A lot of people were pretty happy about that.

January wasn’t much fun, but February and March were fantastic. I counted something like five or six different rain storms that soaked into the snow on the trails and made that unreal ice base. Each was followed by a dose of snow to bring it all together. Only one of those soakers came on a Saturday, and that came late afternoon.

I heard the words excellent and best ever a lot this winter in reference to trail conditions. Until the March sun started getting them, even plowed paved road trails were pretty nice.

The clubs and groomers did an excellent job this year, and the trails were fantastic as a result. They were out at the right time when the ice base started building, giving us a sturdy flat foundation, and they did a great job of keeping it that way.

I am not going to single out any clubs because it was outstanding pretty much system-wide. Every trail that I rode was in great shape, the best that it could be with what they had to work with, or only beat from that day’s traffic. I don’t recall riding a trail that I thought was neglected or hadn’t been groomed in the last day or two.

For me last winter was a disaster that took all summer to recover from. This winter went very differently. There was ample work, your generous donations kept me on the trail through an extended season, and one generous benefactor even blessed me with a really nice 95 RXL. Coming out of winter almost even, with the most trail miles since I have lived here, and a really nice RXL, I’d have to go ahead and call this my best winter since I moved here in ’99. Thank you all very much!

I really liked the part about working weekends at Rapids Resort and getting to meet so many happy riders. I only work the weekends when snowmobilers will be around, and I got a lot of weekends in this year. It was great meeting hundreds and hundreds of riders, and they were enjoying great conditions and good times. I liked that part a lot.

I am coming away from this winter feeling very blessed. I have a lot of great friends and a lot of you were very generous. Thank you all very much!

Normally by now I have abandoned the Big Snow page for spring and have started updating the Northern Destinations side. Whitewater rafting usually opens this weekend, and I would be talking about that. That will come after another update or three.

You see.. we aren’t done here yet.

There is a storm possible for about Friday night/Saturday morning that bears watching. It is a moderate strength storm that could bring 4-6+ inches of snow if it lines up just right. The GFS forecast model has been pretty consistent about putting the rain/snow line between here and Green Bay, but it is one of those storms where a 100 mile swing can make a huge difference in precip type, so we won’t know until the last minute. That could bring a Sunday April 7th ride.

After that the weather starts to look a lot like spring. There are a couple of big rain storms possible and some warmer days ahead too.  It is going to be a heck of a spring for whitewater when it all does start thawing out.

Thank you to all of the people that made this such a great winter!

Have a good Thursday and thank you for visiting!