Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Stuck and Unstuck

With the Valentine's Day blizzard behind us, it was time to finally be able to ride our sleds directly from the house in Maine (for the first time in 2 years!). It was, however, A LOT of work... You see, with the large amount of snow that fell, and then the wind causing huge wind drifts, the sleds were easily sucked into the snow - they are 500 (+/-) pounds, and tend to sink into the fluffy white powder... And, let's tell the truth, it was ME who tended to get stuck, not Mike ;-).

On Thursday, we set out from the house, and I immediately got stuck getting out of the driveway - UGH! That set the tone, as I managed to get stuck two more times within 1/4 mile of the house. After much digging (and some cursing), we set out onto trails that had been packed by another sled, making the going a little bit easier. We didn't do a big ride, but without traffic packing down the snow, we couldn't manage to get much further. We managed to ride about 27 miles before heading in for the day.

On Friday, we decided that by now, people would have been out on the trails, and we would try again. The plan was to head from our place, over to Gorham and on from there to Twin Mountain. Close to town, the riding was fairly good - the trails had been groomed/packed, and there was very little traffic. We got to a point, however, where the drifts were fairly significant and no one had yet been through. Mike decided to go ahead, and of course, I got stuck...

We made it out to the gas line along the Androscoggin River, and were breaking trail through the powder. After I finally figured out how to surf the sled ON TOP of the snow, we actually had a great time (although, there were still places where I managed to get stuck!). We made it through to Gilead where we had to turn around - the going had been tough already, and any place we needed to cross the road was like jumping the sleds off a take-off ramp, landing flat into roads and fields (the plows had winged the banks up to about 3.5 feet or more at the road crossings). Heading home was a little easier since we had already broken the trail, and we ended the day with 57 miles.

After two tough days of riding powder, we decided we wanted to try and ride some groomed trails and get in some miles on the sleds on Saturday. Our friend, Rob, picked us up at 7:00 am, and we trailered to Newry to hit the trails, and head towards Rangeley, ME. The trails were awesome most of the morning, and we were able to move right along. Unfortunately for Rob, this meant missing a corner at one point, and getting COMPLETELY stuck (at least it was him this time, and not me!). We passed a couple of clubs out packing and grooming the trails - they were doing a great job with what they had, but by the afternoon, that work was really for not - the entire ride back from Rangeley was riddled with VW Bug-sized bumps. You can see how exhausting this can be in the pic of Mike - he gave up and decided to have a nap (instead of helping to dig Rob out - AGAIN)... We ended up with 175 miles for the day, but it was ANOTHER hard ride. My muscles will need a week to recover.

I was super excited that I was actually able to get myself unstuck on the trail twice while we were out on Saturday! It's a good thing, too, since the guys were off in front. I guess I had enough practice over the previous two days, that I actually learned something - of course, it would have been better if I had actually learned how NOT to get stuck in the first place...

1 comment:

claudia said...

Look at all that snow! Missed you guys at Jaime's on Sat.