It was 20 degrees with clear skies and a brisk northeast wind when Tim & I checked out of the Calumet AmericInn, loaded our gear in the car, and took off on our last day of riding in the Keweenaw Peninsula. Yesterday we discussed options for our last day in the U.P., and after talking to several people at the Mosquito Inn, we decided to stay north to ride instead of trailering south and riding down that way before heading home. We had ridden every trail north of Hancock (and some south, too) in the previous day and a half, but we decided to revisit some of our favorites today instead of venturing south into marginal conditions. We made the right choice.
We headed north out of Calumet on a freshly groomed 17 trail, then further north on a freshly groomed 3 trail. Last night’s snow was clinging to the trees, making for a very scenic ride down the rail bed trail up to Phoenix, where we turned left on the 130 trail and ran into a groomer on the twisting, hilly trail north and east. We enjoyed freshly groomed conditions as we passed by Eagle River and Eagle Harbor on a loop back to the 3 trail. The 3 was flat, smooth, and hard packed as we rode east, then north up Brockway Mountain.
Today visibility was much better, and we enjoyed views of the mountains and forests as well as views of Lake Superior from atop the Brockway Mountain trail. It was very windy up top, and we took some quick photos before pulling our gloves back on and heading down the mountain trail to Copper Harbor. We stopped and Tim topped off his tank, and we headed out of town on the 134/135 trail, which was groomed a day of two ago but still in decent shape. We took the 135 trail right down to the 134, which was freshly groomed to High Rock Point, where we stopped for a few photos of the waves crashing into the icy shorelines.
From there we doubled back on the freshly groomed 134 trail west to the 132, where we dropped down on a freshly groomed trail to Lac La Belle where we stopped for lunch at Bear Belly’s Bar & Grill at Lac La Belle Lodge. We enjoyed Wacky Wing Wednesday with some homemade chili, along with good conversation with two riders from New Richmond, WI. One was riding a brand new SkiDoo MXZ Blizzard- just like the one I bought this week. The only difference was that his sled was on the trail, and mine is still in the crate at the dealer!
After lunch we took the 132 south to the 133 trail, which was pretty rough and bumpy for the first couple miles, then smoothed out for the rest of the ride down to Gay. Remembering the poor service and indifferent attitudes we experienced there the other day, we bypassed the Gay Bar and continued down the trail- taking the freshly groomed 124 north. This twisting, winding trail was a very enjoyable ride north to the 3 trail, where we took a left and rode a flat white ribbon back west. The trail had a few rough and cocoa colored sections along the way near Mohawk and Copper City, but smoothed out again and the 17 was nice and flat all the way back to our SnoCap at the AmericInn. We ended our journey today with 136 awesome miles of near perfect trails and 421 total for our three day trip. We trailered up and made the 3 ½ hour drive back to Chute Pond.
Our 3 day experience in the Keweenaw saw the trails go from decent on Monday to good on Tuesday to very good+ today. The scenery was beautiful, the history was interesting, the places we went were nice, the food and drink were well above average, and the people were very friendly. It’s a place worth visiting again- maybe even not on a snowmobile some time.
Warm weather is heading our way once again, possibly bringing an end to our snowmobile season in Wisconsin. It snowed a little here at Chute Pond yesterday, but even thought the trails are open and we saw a few sled tracks on them along the highway yesterday, there can’t be much trail left.
If you ride- please be smart. Ride sober, ride safe- ride for life.
Dan & Dylan