It was 23 degrees and sunny at 10:30 am when Sherri and I left Chute Pond via Bonita Creek. We pretty much figured today may be the last time this season we get to ride from home, since the trails around here are fading fast. We made our way south on the NST to Bonita Rd and headed west. I had the scratchers down, but in some spots my slides were grabbing and the engine temps went up a little. I stayed to the edge of the trail and in loose snow when possible, and things smoothed out as we made our way west through the tunnel.
We crossed Hwy W and went up and over the hill, which was in pretty rough shape, but there was enough snow to get by. We made it down the plowed road and to the Big Y, hanging left to Four Corners. Most of the trail was in decent shape, with a few rough and bare spots along the way. We went straight at Four Corners and headed into the tornado zone. This section was pretty rough in spots, but we made it through to Hwy 64. We passed by Animal’s, since he wasn’t open yet, and headed north into Red Arrow trails.
The Bob Kroll Memorial trail was groomed 2 days ago and in good condition today- flat and smooth with plenty of loose snow for cooling and lubrication. We cruised down Eichoff Rd to Saul Springs Rd where we took a right and headed north. This trail was also flat and smooth and soon we were back on the wooded, winding Bob Kroll heading north. This section of trail was in overall good condition as we made our way to the top and turned east. The trail to Hwy 32 was flat and smooth all the way to The Valley Inn, where we stopped for lunch. We enjoy the food here- Sherri having wings, and me a chicken pot pie, and as we ate we talked snowmobiling with the other patrons and Jim.
After lunch we crossed Hwy 32 and headed north on the NST, then east on the Wildwood Trail. This trail was flat and smooth with plenty of loose snow as we headed east, then south into Paul Bunyan trails. The Lakewood trails were a little thinner and had a few more rough and bare spots, but were in overall fair to good condition through the airport, past the ski hill, and back into town. We turned left onto the NST and found some pretty sloppy conditions the rest of the way back home. The sun and high temperatures are eating up the trails- and this will continue all weekend. Our thermometer read 41 degrees when we got back home- and there was very little snow left on the RR grade when we turned off at Bonita Creek. We ended with a 58 mile ride today.
I think riding from home is over for the year, no matter what happens from here on out. This weekend’s sun and heat will be the dagger in our local trails’ heart. I do, however, believe that we will be able to trailer north to Wabeno or Laona after it cools back down, and ride from there. No scientific reasoning here- it’s just my thought and hope.
I hope you got out and rode and enjoyed the trails while they lasted. February 17 is way too early for things to end around here in my opinion. Wherever you ride next, please be careful and use common sense. We just had our 14th snowmobiling fatality up in Florence County this week. Ride sober, ride safe- ride for life.
Not sure when…but we’ll see you on the trails.
Dan & Dylan