First Ride

Greetings my friends! Another week in the bag and another week ahead of us. Hope you week was well, mine was. Spent quite a bit of time updating the website, working on the cabinets and checking in on the new build. Unlike the last few weeks, there weren’t any new or huge strides made on the house. The finished the insulation and also finished the drywall in the house. The garage still needs drywall and then all the drywall needs to be finished, but a subcontractor will be doing that work.

The house also has heat now, as does the garage. So it’s a whole lot nicer in there for the workers and with the drywall all up and the heat on, it is starting to feel a bit more like a home, rather than a construction zone. I didn’t take any pictures, as there really was nothing new to show. I believe they might get started on the siding the week, so perhaps there will be some picture worthy things to share next time.

I did get all the parts for the cabinets made and the cases assembled this week. The two smaller ones are the uppers and will go on either side of the interactive screen I use for Snow Church. The four larger ones are the base cabinets and will go underneath, with a top made of hard maple. I still need to put the drawer boxes together, as well as the drawer fronts. Some sanding needs to be done and then the cases and drawer fronts and doors will get two coats of primer and a top coat and then the drawers will get installed, top made and finally the install.

Looking at my schedule this week, it looks like I will not have a lot of time to work on them, but with two out of the 5 days this week, plus a bit of time next weekend and then quiet a bit of free time next week, I hope that by the end of next week, the assembly and priming will be done and can do the painting and install the final week of March. We’ll see, but I really need to finish this project up so I can move on to the cabinets for the new kitchen! That will not be as big a project as the kitchen in Mohawk, it will have 8 base and 7 upper for the wall cabinets, plus an island with 5 bases in it. The design will be a bit more complicated though, but still, without having to dedicate the entire morning to the website, I should be able to get those done in a few weeks.

So as the title to this entry states, I took my first ride of the season yesterday. It was actually 100% on the trails and on a rental sled. I got invited to ride with some friends who have made a March trail ride an annual event. I have decided that I am going to pretty much stick to the trails for the rest of my riding carer.

I will be selling the Riot I have now and probably go a season or so without a sled, just renting when I have a chance to ride with friends. I hope to then get a nice comfortable cruiser, with all the creature comforts, including power steering, and make that my long term or perhaps forever sled. With a little luck, I can pick up a nice enclosed trailer and take some trips around the country and into Canada to explore other areas. My main reason for riding has always been to explore, to go where I have not been before and see things for the first time. That is why I enjoyed backcountry riding so much.

Since my health just will not allow me to do the physical exertion needed for off-trail riding, the next best option is to ride new areas. I am not a fast rider, nor am I into riding hours on end without either a warm pitstop or even just pulling off the trail and stopping to chat for a bit. Of course all of these plans are in pencil, as one never knows what life will bring, but that is what is in the works for now and the selling of the Riot is pretty much written down in ink.

The sleds we were all on yesterday were rentals from M&M Powersports in Hancock. They were Polaris 650 SP’s. A fun sled that really had some get up and go. I never once had it wide open, as mentioned, I am not much into going really fast, although one of the mapping apps on my phone did say my top speed at one point was 65mph.

After leaving Hancock, we shot up the trail to Calumet, and then on up to Mohawk and Phoenix. After that, we jumped on the Eagles loop and took that down towards Eagle River, but did not take the spur trail to that hamlet. We instead continued on the Eagles Loop to Eagle Harbor, again bypassing the spur to the village and rode up to connect with the main trail to the Brockway Mountain Trail. Up and over Brockway, where we stopped for a quick view of things (where the pic of the sleds was taken too) and down into Copper Harbor for lunch at the Mariner. Then back out onto the snow and a look at the trial to High Rock. It was pretty bumped up, so we gave it a pass and headed up the trail to the tiny Fish Cove loop. We did stop to take in the views at Fish Cove, my first time there via sled!

After Fish Cove, a ride down to Lac La Belle for some fuel and then quickly back on the trail to Gay. In all the years that 133, the trail from Lac La Belle to Gay, has been in existence, that was only the second time in my life being on it. I had rode the backcountry in the vicinity of it many times, but to take it’s entirety between LLB and Gay, only once before yesterday! At Gay we stopped for some refreshments and to warm up a bit, although it was not a cold day, with temps in the upper 20’s. Then from Gay down to Lake Linden, up the hill to Calumet and then back down to Hancock. I would have taken more pictures, but we did not stop that much!

All in all, the trails were in pretty good shape. The snow was kinda old, so not the best to be trying to keep perfectly flat by grooming, although there was no stretch where the moguls were so bad that I wished we were not riding on that particular stretch. Most of the trails were flat. A bit soft, but flat. It’s March riding, so there were some bare spots, mainly in the towns. The stretch in Hancock that runs from M&M to the outskirts of the city was pretty much bare and so was the riding once out of the woods in Copper Harbor, although they do not use the little alleyway anymore, rather you ride the side of the road from Brockway into town, so no surprise to have to run some pavement there.

Trail 122 was just recently opened up, it was being used for some logging and the section where they had plowed the snow for the logging was bare too. We hit that and traveled a few hundred yards and stopped, wondering how far the trail had no snow on it. We decided to venture on and in less than a quarter of a mile, we were back on decent snow and the rest of 122 into Lake Linden was in good shape.

Looking at the forecast, I’d say there is a pretty good chance that the riding will be similar to what I experienced yesterday. It is currently snowing and I have picked up around 2-3″ and I suspect the higher terrain has picked up a bit more. Tomorrow and Tuesday will remain below freezing for highs and then things get a little ugly for Wednesday and Thursday, with a high around 40 on Wednesday and a chance for some light rain on Thursday with a weak system. There are ideas of a big storm for Friday and Saturday and if it comes in as advertised, even the boondockers will be up here to make one last play in UP powder. Long way out in the forecast, so I’m not betting on it just yet.

That about covers it for this one, except I have one last picture. Nora and I have started to do daily walks. Nothing too big right now, we want to get the muscles in our legs stretched out and in slightly better shape before we start doing multiple miles, but we are going around a half mile to a bit more. We take the dogs along with us and the other day it was a little brisk, so Nora decided to put a little jacket on Kashi. Honestly, I’m not sure she needed it, as she is a husky! but once it was on her, she did not seem to mind in the least. Here is a shot of the little girl with her jacket on, taking a walk with us.

Good Night from the Keweenaw..