We got up at the crack of yesterday (aka 5:00 a.m.!) and were out the door within an hour. Temp when we left was 37 degrees, and as we drove, it kept getting WARMER. This wasn't boding well... We continued on our way over Grafton and Dixville Notches. Finally, as we crested Dixville Notch and headed down towards The Balsams, it started to snow. Yippee!
The weather changed again heading into Colebrook, where there was no snow. In fact, there was no snow all the way through downtown Pittsburgh. As we went further north, and started climbing though, we started to see the white gold everywhere. Of course, we WERE almost in Canada ;-). We pulled into the parking lot and were unloaded and ready to ride just after 8:00.
The trails were a little thin in places (ok, in some places you could hear your skis hitting rocks), but some of the trails were in excellent shape, with about 6 inches or more of snow cover. We could tell by seeing how far down the moose tracks went ;-). We saw lots of tracks today, but no moose. Only one wildlife encounter.
The jays up there have no fear, and will land right on you looking for food. This one wasn't happy when it landed on Mike to find there was no food, and we felt a little bit guilty. Next time, I will pack a ziploc of bird seed in the bag.
We saw a number of riders, including five game wardens - they were out ensuring we all adhered to the 45 mph speed limit, and that we had registrations. We saw them writing tickets to at least one group of sledders.
After about 87 miles, we headed back to the parking lot to call it a day. Apparently a lot of people were looking to ride, 'cause not only were the lots full, but people were parked up and down the road as well! It was amazing to see trucks and trailers everywhere.
And, while we were out, the temps dropped from 32 to 23, and there had been rain, making the roads a literal skating rink. The drive back down into Pittsburg for lunch was treacherous and a little nerve wracking.
Ok, so we DROVE 200 miles to ride 87, but for the first ride on my brand new sled (which, I'll have you know, is one of the cleanest and most fuel-efficient available), I would do it again in a heartbeat. Let's hope that Mother Nature starts dumping some more snow SOON!
Saturday, January 13, 2007
In Search of ... Snow!
Well, it took some work, but we FINALLY got out to ride in the snow today!