Wednesday March 3rd, 2010

Greetings and welcome!

So much for a last ride… Yesterday I woke up a little later than expected, and it was already a mashed potatoes and light jacket day. The 44 & sunny day got the melting going pretty good and it was obviously no place for a warm blooded sled on one last ride. (Curses, foiled agagin) I ended up going for a walk.

What about the storms that we have been watching for weeks on the GFS? The last four GFS runs have shown them doing a variety of stuff, but none of it involves snow for us. Unless that changes we are very done for the year. There probably are still riding opportunities around here by trailering to that secluded pocket of sheltered snow or maybe on the lakes, but otherwise it is looking like the end. The forecast through the weekend is for more sun, more melting, and a good chance of picking up another 5-10 degrees late week and for the weekend.

Another sign that it is over is out on Craig’s list. Not only is my stuff not moving, there are deals out there that make me crazy. I wish that I had 10-20G to invest. There are some pretty silly prices as people try to offload winter gear. If you are looking for a super deal, it is now.

It was not a good winter for us, but it could have been worse. Like last year, I never saw a full foot of snow out of one storm. I had hopes that the various teleconnections like ENSO, the PDO, and the AO would line up our way and make El Nino Modoki better than a regular El Nino. Silly rabbit.  The arctic opened up and pushed all of the cold air to the deep south, and left us with a mild winter. I am not complaining about missing the -30 nights and a high of -5 for weeks, but even a couple of more snows would have made the predominant 25 degree days a delight.

It was crazy watching our storms go and snow on the deep south and east coast while we couldn’t buy a 3-6 inch storm. Silly thoughts turned to buying a snow shack where it does snow and starting a club. I was thinking that the Birmingham Yankee Drift Busters would be a good name, right up there with the Atlanta Trail-Cats, or Orlando Sno-Wizards.

A big project sucked up all of my time in November and December and left me way behind on my sleds when the snow did come. I eventually caught up, and am watching the meltwater run past three running sleds.

The new leadership of the River Road Riders surprised me and left me with a nifty crapped-on feeling when I was shown the door and replaced by someone charging thousands for what is worth hundreds, and I did for free, but they continue to have my support because I have so many friends in that club. The Bear Point Sno-Cruisers got off to a great start and has a promising future.

The best part of the winter was that we did have pretty many good weekends, and a lot of you got a lot of good miles in. It didn’t hurt that it started good in December. I am also very appreciative for all of the people that supported me here, came to visit at the Rapids, and sent in hard earned dollars to keep the wheels turning.

I am probably going to take a few days off other than watching the storm, then I have plans on coming back with a photo gallery of pictures from this year. Beyond that I will be moving back over to the Silvercliff site with my blogging after a little time off. All of this melting will eventually end up going to our various whitewater rivers, and hopefully the spring rafting brings a good season. Our watershed is up by Crandon, and they had a pretty normal year. With any storms at all hitting us, the river should roar.

I found my way to this area originally because of the whitewater, and it was such a nice area and set of rivers that I stayed. Now I do the pictures and videos at Kosirs. If you want to play in the snow one more time, spring rafting starts the first weekend in April.

Plans for next year involve mostly trying to do what I do here better. Health and finances willing, hopefully I will get to report on great trails and get in a lot of miles. Retirement is not in the plan or on the list. Current forecasts do NOT expect an El Nino next year, Modoki or otherwise. We shall see.

In the meantime, I will be back if the storms start coming our way again. It could still happen, but with the sunny and mid-40s over the next 4-5 days probably hitting 50 a time or three, maybe it is time to raise a toast our friends, thank you for a great season, and wish you health and prosperity in the days ahead. This Bud’s for you.

Thank you for visiting!