Thursday March 14th, 2013

Greetings and welcome!

Yesterday was a sunny day. Thanks to temperatures in the low 30 for most of the day it didn’t get too far out of hand with the melting. There was a dusting of snow from Wednesday night’s snow showers, and that helped for a while.

Yesterday was supposed to be all about snowmobiles, but it ended up all about work. I managed to get about a half hour in on the snowmobiles. About sunset I had enough of that and saddled up for a ride.

Riding alone after dark I was limited in where I would travel. That put me on my typical route around the flowages. The trails were in very good shape. There were a few icy spots where the sun had melted the snow and it refroze, and a couple of icy corners. Other than that the trails were nice and flat and I was making good time.

On the way back I stopped in a remote area for a break. I turned off the sled, popped off my helmet, and was immediately met with a shooting star in the sky, and a coyote about 1/4 mile away yipping. It was a good stop.

I didn’t linger long because the temperature was dropping. When I left it was 29, when I got back it was in single digits.

In general the trails were in great shape. There is a big ice base and 1-3″ of hard packed snow on top. It wasn’t loose, but there was enough free snow for slides and cooling.

The plowed roads on the other hand were as bare as they get in sunny spots. Crossing the bridge between High Falls and Caldron Falls Flowages was 1/4 mile of bare road and only a little snowbank to teeter on.

One of the more interesting moments of the night came when I hopped a new snow bank to get onto the road. The bank was a three footer plus and pretty vertical, so I had to smash it to get over it. What I wasn’t counting on was the skis coming down on the bare road and planting firmly. That lead to a somewhat acrobatic moment with the heels in the air, but I rode it out. It was an interesting surprise.

As far as riding this weekend I’d give it two thumbs up. If the well traveled trails around the flowages were in that good of shape I’d expect that the remote areas of the system are great. Plowed roads with sunny spots will be bare, there will be a few sunny or icy spots on the trail, but otherwise we are looking at full coverage with a nice flat base.

Friday and Friday night we are expecting a little snow. The NWS is looking at 1-2 each for a total of 2-4 by Friday night. Saturday and Sunday look to be in the mid to upper 20s with partly to mostly cloudy skies.

That snow will come in handy after today. Right now it is 39 and sunny. Looking outside there are some sweaty spots getting a little slushy on top, but no large scale melting is apparent as of 2pm. The bad news here is that the sun doesn’t set for five more hours. We are up to 11:51 of daylight, with the sun rising and setting at about 7.

In late March the sun gets pretty wicked, so I’d ride while you can. I fully expect that remote and sheltered places to ride will still be there next week and weekend, but I’d be surprised if we have system-wide riding next weekend. The weather looks like cold and snow, but we are also looking at twelve hours of daylight with the sun at 45ยบ high in the sky. Eventually it will win.

Next Wednesday is the Spring Equinox and the first day of Spring. It is halfway between the shortest day of the year around Dec 20th, and the longest, around June 20th.

One of my little things is to flip the calendar over and say where would we be going into Winter instead of coming out of it. In this case the Fall equinox would be September 22nd and we wouldn’t be expecting a lot of snow.

Get it while you can.

Have a good Thursday and thank you for visiting!