First off, I need a mod to somehow add in 2011 to the title, so as to not fuck things up too badly for those that want to find and review this thread.
Here's day one from my standpoint.
Er...Actually...my adventure started before day one. For me, getting ready and loading and packing and shit always ends up being an adventure in and of itself. Beings as I have never actually hauled a zoomerbile with the flyin' Alero before (behold the power of the 2.2 liter ECOTEC!!!).
This was my biggest concern. How the fuck was a little shit car like that going to pull my sled all the way (430-450 miles) to the UP?? Gerbil's ultimate hauler pictures actually did make that decision for me. If his ass dart could pull his bigass braaper through the mountains, I sure as shit could make it through the pine filled drive to Michigan...Right??
I put bits and pieces of plans together throughout the weekend, but I didn't really get much done physically except for clean the house and garage. Monday rolled around, and I ended up having to work. Nothing got done on that day except more procrastination and some attempted planning. At some point, I finally planned on having everyone just magically fix my sled in the parking lot. That would make for a good time, right?
At work, I worked my ass off and gained Tuesday off, since I caught up on all my pressure testing like a little mofo. Then the prep actually began. I packed and loaded and cleaned like a little mofo again. Funny shit was that neither of my parents believed that I was leaving, until I showed them some printed out maps, and started cleaning my sled up. Cleaning my sled actually meant a trip to Grand Forks to buy some snow goggles and some oil and some spark plugs. The dipshit at the stealer gave me the wrong plugs...but I didn't know any better.
I am stoked about my Oakley snow goggles. They were on clearance, and never iced or fogged up until the very very last push home when it was somewhere's near 32 degrees, and Gerbil kicked up a shitload of snow dust that iced over my lenses on the final push back home (the peppermill).
When it came to be tuesday night, around 12:30, (after midnight) I started loading up. This ended up meaning that I got to drag my fucking trailer through 10 inches of snow at 2 or 3 am with temps right around 33 below zero. There was a 6mph breeze, which made for a very very miserable time. I regretted every second of procrastination. It's a bitch for sure! Once the trailer was inside my sweet ass heated garage, I spent an hour looking for ratchet straps, and another hour looking for a particular driver to take off the wheel chock that I had installed to haul my summer braapers. DOH! Since it was that cold, my bitchin' car wouldn't start either, so that meant no sled loading until the heater block did it's thing, which would take a few hours.
After much prep, and even more pains in the ass, I finally set myself off for a 1.5 hour nap at 4:30AM.
At 6am, I got up and raged with some more packing, then went to start the sled loading process.
Here, I encountered a major delay: The dad.
"It's really cold out."
"Yes, I know, but I have to get that sled on the trailer prettymuch now. I want to leave in two hours or less. I'll just back up to a the edge of where you snowblowed, and it'll drive right on."
"You're actually going!?!"
"No you're not! Your sled isn't even loaded! You can't take that sled and ride in the mountains anyways!"
I actually did do one of those face-palm things. Turns out he figured I was on my way out to Idaho or something like that. After clearing this little excommunication up, he agreed to help me load shit up.
"We'll lift it on the trailer right here in the garage."
I don't pretend anything. My sled weighs more than what I can lift. But, it was quicker to spend the 45 minutes dinking around with the tie down straps and eye bolts in the ceiling of my garage than to argue with the dad for the 45 minutes and still load the sled his way. I have no idea why he wanted to do it this way, other than the fact that it would be warm. The end result was this:
Tag for pic
That is my poor sled dangling awkwardly in the air, just inches from that gayassed Pacifica. It looked about as comfortable as a cat hanging by it's tail.
Then we just rolled the trailer under shit, and proceeded to chip the nice smooth heated floor by letting said braaper drop like a rock onto the trailer, which caused some major trailer tongue slammage. Then I used all of the tie down straps in the world to ensure that things would move no more than a millimeter. I figured shit was good and solid, but the dad rigged one more additional strap on the front bumper. I left it there just for humor's sake. Now we fast forward an hour. I was ready to go, and the dad left for work, but took my ID and cash with him so that I'd be forced stop by the shop for sure. I wasn't allowed my belongings back until I had all trailer lights wired up, and wheel bearings packed with grease. Somewhere in there, we also found out I was missing a brake light, and managed to cut down the foot grips that Rock sent me.
I left town at about a quarter to noon. This meant I was damnnear 4 hours behind schedule.
Despite all hauling of ass, and doing one fifth of a dollar over the speed limit, I didn't make it before dark. The trip was pretty uneventful, except for seeing one fatass Indian running down the road behind a tiny junky car full of other assorted fatasses. He was wearing full music hookup, and it looked like he was having some serious wind resistance issues since he wasn't making good time on that car (which wasn't moving).
I finally (after getting guidance from Gerbil) pulled into Bruce Crossing for beer, and finally made the Peppermill house. I put back as many beers as I could hold, and some of Rubi's pizza, and joined the late night vigil for Dirty Harry. When he finally showed, it was late as hell. How late? I have no idea, but we BS'd about guns for a few hours (that was kickass by the way) and some other non humping related stuff that I don't remember, then hit the hay. Despite him being in the next room, Harry still snores like a gigantic mofo.
Ride Day #1
Since there was no communication prior to this morning, no one had a fucking clue what was going on. For that reason, all unloading procedures were done this morning. I had help yanking my sled off my trailer (thanks dudes!), and after doing some other preps, I began the starting procedure that usually fires my little braaper right up. Despite a SHITLOAD of yanking, the Wolfsled did not start. Some dumbass (myself) didn't know where the fuel shutoff was, so I trailered 450 miles, give or take, with the fuel on and flooded the living life out of my sled. Rubi produced some iridium plugs (after I cleared shit out) and this fixed everything except the fact that I was still running richer than a boggy swamp.
Sometime later, we raged out for gas, trail stickers, and hit Mass City to hook up with the rest of the Nutz. I wasn't really impressed with the beat trails, and how well my sled wasn't handling. Things were darting back and forth quite wickedly. Otherwise, that portion of the trip went okay. I was especially glad not to be riding bitch to that cement loving bitch Mookie Brown (from last year's ride). I was even more glad to not try clinging to Rubi's pack like a baby koala. In fact, I think I was just especially glad to be out riding.
It was pretty good to see almost all the guys from last year again, Danger, NJD, Andy, Cuzzi,...Etc. (And IBS, who didn't show up last year). The group was quite a lot smaller, but we were still rocking numbers somewhere around 13. Danger prettymuch walked up so close to say "Hi" that I all but tipped over trying to look him in the face. That was good shit.
I forget the exact numbers, but when I stand next to the bars on his sled, they are over my shoulder. It was a hell of a lot easier to greet NJD, who is a lot closer to my size than Danger.
IBS directed me to stay mid pack, and with that, we raged.
The Wolfsled continued to be two handfuls on the trail. It wasn't anything crazy, but I had to keep half a mind's eye on things so as not to fly off one of those gigantic-assed-tree-covered dropoffs that happen to be everywhere. One of the first places I remember stopping was near some mining area that was supposed to be the perfect hill to challenge Bryan. After watching Jay the skidon't guy bounce off a shitload of rocks, on multiple attempts, I decided that I was better off trying another way around. My faithful hubby was in full agreement. Rocks suck. My sled is cheap and pretty replaceable, but I'm not about to drive it over rocks (big rocks) on purpose.
Eventually, the majority of the group raged up that hill, and IBS, myself, Harry, and a few others hit up a trail to rage up there via an easier route. About 20 yards back down the trail, I noticed a gentle-er looking slope off to my left that appeared to go up to that same area where the group was waiting.
"There's even two bitchin' lines for the Wolfsled! Fuckin' sweet!"
I didn't exactly have enough momentum to make it up on my first try. I dug it in kinda deeper than what I could just drag around. Fagsex has a picture of Rubi, Danger and Harry all coming to my rescue. This was my first good stuck, even if it was fairly lame. Rubi dished out some good hints, and my next attempt (the other line) was a success. Everyone else showed up, but we had somehow lost IBS and the skidon't dude Jay...Then we found them somewhere. I maybe didn't realize who we'd lost, and that we had even lost anyone in the first place.
The next stop was Clusterstuck Hill (a hill followed shortly by a vertical wall) where Cuzzi and Mud started duking it out for top props in hillclimbing in the UPlympics. Jay took a couple runs and stucked it, Mud did too, then Cuzzi took a couple runs. IBS stuck it good at the very bottom, and Harry followed suit. About the same time, Jay stuffed it in good up top, and Gerbil threw himself in the clusterstuck as well. This went on for a good long while, and was entertaining as all getout. Mud finally got in a really good run and made a sweetass highmark. Cuzzi flung himself over those rocks unrelentlessly in a damn fine attempt to beat out Mud's tracks, but in the end Jay topped them all.
Gerbil and Rubi conned me into trying my first attempt at sidehilling on the Wolfsled, but I tardedly stood on the wrong running board, and made a whopping four feet of climb before sinking things in good Wolfie fashion. I can at least say that I made the attempt.
Thanks Gerbil for the rescue on that one. In some other mean time, Jay scouted out a sweet assed jump. I decided to hit that up too. Unfortunately, there were some 8" bolts sticking out of the cement thingy, and I really chickened out at seeing them. I didn't really want to rape the Wolfsled's bottom on those ugly thick bastards.
When we left that area, we tried to hit up a fenced off road/trail, but Sir Trenchsalot (cuzzi) dug himself a good one, and in the process of trying to have it not be an official "stuck" in his book, shoveled a good truckload of dirt and rocks across the trail. That particular M8, especially with Cuzzi in control, could be the best running earthmover known to man in the northern winter lands. In fact, that pile of dirt was still there two days later after a little snow and much traffic had passed in that direction!
Then came some powerlines. This is where the Wolfsled actually shined in comparison to some other places. I maybe had to hold things pinned and pray, but I managed most every hill along the powerlines that I tried. I was pretty proud of that despite staying completely in everyone else's tracks. This may not be impressive for my sled, but it is for the rider. Where I come from, there are no elevation changes, and all the ditches are full up and even with the roads. Despite putting a few miles on previous to this ride, I had no idea what I was doing on these gigantic assed slopes (maybe small to most of you), and it was scarey fun. I learned a shitload about weight transfer.
Andy wasn't too great at giving hand gestures that meant anything to me, but eventually, I figured out (after we shut the sleds down and he just yelled from the next hill) that some of the peaks required a full stop in order to avoid disaster. I thought he was kidding, but the ass-sides of a couple hills make me squeak and nearly pee my pants a little. It's both exciting and scarey as fuck to feel yourself teeter past the edge of no return. The whine of the track speeding up prettymuch matched my heartrate increase as we raged down those inclines. Damn that was cool!
We finally raged to a spot of no return. Harry stucked it good on the back side of one hill, I never saw, but I guess he was on his back a lot. Gerbil was there too, and reports were that he was on top, with no word on what Cuzzi was doing. Finally Gerbil's sled, complete with said The Gerbil in command, raged to the top of the hill and stopped. As he hopped off and wandered over to watch the action that none of the rest of us could see, NJD (or was it Danger?) commented that "Y'know, that looks like a bad spot for The Gerbil's sled right there." This same thought had crossed my mind too.
In about the next moment, we heard the almighty Skidmark go WOT. It crested magnificently, skis off the ground. Harry didn't look quite so magnificent hanging off the back for dear life, but I'll give him mad props for maintaining a grip on that beast. In the next split second, Skidmark dove straight into the ass of Gerbil's sled like a horny gay man trying to show some respect.
We figured for sure that Gerbil's sled was about to tumble end over end into a creek and some trees, but it didn't. I'll chalk that one up to Divine Intervention. Harry was so relieved at 1) being alive? or 2) not killing Gerbil? or 3) making it up the hill? that instead of immediately trying to separate Skidmark from the Dragon, he gave Gerbil a huge ribcrushing hug. Nevermind the sleds in peril, it was time for some manlove I guess.
There was prettymuch no damage to either sled, by the way.
We went on to try hit up Oak Bluff, but Gerbil had a "thumping noise" and was limping his sled along the trail. Turns out nothing was wrong except his track was trying to pitch off a lug that was broken/sliced off and flopping against the tunnel/bulkhead dealy. Rubi headed for home thanks to blowing a hyfax. By the time that was all figured out, there was no time for Oak Bluff before dark. We moved on to a gigantic assed field that was full of powder. I think this was the legendary "Harry's carving field" so highly spoken of on the group ride two years prior to this one. This was maybe my favorite part of the day. I fell off a shitload of times just trying to get a decent carve. Once I managed a couple, I felt all kinds of badass. A few of the frathouse members took off for beer, but as for the rest of us, we played there until it was getting damnnear dark.
Carving a sled, even poorly, can fix prettymuch any problem that life throws at you. I was prettymuch the happiest broad in the world out there. What a kickass time!