Sunday, February 7, 2010

257 Miles of Snowmobile Trails Near Us!

Our vacationland area is both summer and winter!  With the good snow base we have this year and the snowfall we continue to get makes this a great year for snowmobiling.  There are 257 miles of groomed trails in a two county area.  A groomed trail runs along the front of our property, (we have 80 acres) and we have been fortunate enough to have had a good experience with snowmobilers and 4 wheelers running along our property.  Only a few have gone out into the pasture area.  The problem can be when they see a track, all other snowmobiliers think it's okey to follow that track, even if it's off the groomed trail.

Some property owners complain so much about their driveways getting tore up by the 4 wheelers and also snowmobile tracks.  I think those owners are the ones that have somewhat of a raised driveway, a good ditch, and that gives the riders a good jump to go over, thus digging up the snow/dirt away from the culverts, and tearing up their driveway edges.

The tractors that pull the groomers are big, and make a lot of noise!  They go past our property sometimes during the day, but I've heard them very late at night too.  The tractor pulls a big heavy flat  bardge type groomer that leaves a nice flat wide trail.  No teeth marks are left from the track of the tractor.  When fallen tree branches from too heavy snow lay across the trail, the driver has to get it out of the way.  That has been a problem this year with all the wet heavy snow we've had.   There are three of these large groomers that take care of the 257 miles in our county and the county next to us.  They are out on the trails Mondays through Thursdays getting the trails ready for the weekend riders.  Our area brings in snowmobile riders from southern MN, North and South Dakota.  This year southern MN has more snow than we do in northern MN; and there is also wonderful snowmobile riding up the in the Duluth area, what they call the Arrowhead Region of MN.   They get the "lake effect" snow off of Lake Superior, and I hear the snowmobiling up there is great this year.

Years ago we snowmobiled!  Back in the 70's.  It was so fun and with our group of friends, we'd ride sometimes almost all night long!  Nothing is as pretty as riding under a full moon, through the snow laden trees, with branches heavy with snow making a tunnel to ride through.  Sometimes on Sundays, we all take our kids, pulling sleds behind, with the little ones all bundled up with blankets.  We'd ride to one of our friends deer hunting area, and dig a big hole; start some coals to burning, and as the coals get red we'd lay in pork roasts all double wrapped in foil, and then cover up the hole.  We'd go riding some more and then when we'd get back, the meat would be done, and we'd also then do weiners, etc. and eat, eat, and eat.   My favorite ride was going north up into Itasca State Park.  This is where the Mississippi River starts it awesome winding trail to the Gulf, where it exits out at New Orleans!  A great State Park to visit both in the winter and especially the summer and fall months.  Only 25 miles from our home.  We are so lucky to be near such a beautiful state park.

Every New Years's we'd ride to an area resort lodge, eat out and ride home.  Some times it would be 20 degrees below zero!  Oh those were cold rides, but being dressed warm and with helmets and all our gear on, we'd stay warm.  Then we'd usually come home and play a few hours of cards.  The only thing bad about that, is depending on whose house we went too, some would then have to get dressed back up again to ride a few miles home.  I always liked it when we were already home.

The sleds sure are different now!  This is our 1973 model Polaris!  Now you'd call that a "vintage" sled!!!!
This is over at our daughter Leah's.  There sure is a difference in ride between the old and new.  Your ride on the newer sleds is a lot smoother than those of old!    Years ago you could tell the make of the snowmobile by the color - not so any more.  Gone are the white Polaris sleds, black of Artic Cat, red of Yamaha, yellow of Ski-Doo and green of the Johnsons.  There also were others back then, but now I can't identify any of the snowmobiles. It might be fun to go to a "Vintage Ride and Show" to see all the old sleds.  Maybe if we were more into snowmobiling now we'd still be able to identify the make of the newer ones, but we'll leave that and the riding to those younger than us!  I just have a lot of fun memories!


~Tonya said...

We use to own a snowmobile...not anymore. Living in Mn, I suppose we should. LOL Yes, we have received quite a bit of snow (more then I like). You have a lot of groomed trails around you.

There are a lot of "happy campers" in our area (Southern Mn), I see them riding all the time.

The snowmobiles have changed so much, but so has the price tag on them ;) I can't ride on account of an accident when I was 19 (bad back), a lady ran a stop sign and there went all the fun.

Have a wonderful Sunday and stay warm.

Rae said...

Sounds like an a lot of fun. What a great way to get out and enjoy winter instead of being stuck indoors. We don't have nice trails like that around here. This was a really nice post and I enjoyed reading about your adventures.

Growing Up A Country Girl said...

The trails are awesome - Sat. 118 miles - and yes I can still walk today! Today (Sun) to the snowmobile radar runs and then a little ride when we got home --- see my post in a few days! And it is snowing - winter wonderland!

Country Whispers said...

Oh this sounds so fun. We never have any great amount of snow so a snowmobile would be out. But we love to ride 4 wheelers during the summer.
Your winter wonderland pictures are beautiful too!

Growing Up A Country Girl said...

Your new header is beautiful - I'm having a lot of fun in this snow.... don't you love that crazy cajun son in law- it was a lot of fun!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Love the old long ago. We had an old snowmobile too..older than that must be an antique by now. Snowmobiling can be great fun..if they just stay on the trails and away from the trees..big and small:)