Well, we got a mild dumping 2-4", with a slight breeze, which made for almost perfect riding conditions! The plan was to leave the yard at 10:30am, and make about a hundred mile loop on the local trails. Rumor had it that my brother, an engineer was going to make an appearance and try some sledding for the first time in about 10 years. Rumor also had it that the Keebler elf had his sled almost done, and would also join in the potential fun.
I dragged myself out of a 13 hour sleeping session at 10:15am to find the house completely empty. The yard was also empty of vehicles and full of sleds, meaning that Sparky and the Medic had gone to town for supplies...or something.
I cleaned myself up and stumbled out of the house to blinding bluebird conditions, and several fresh inches of snow piled on the deck. There was a fairly nice assortment of fluffy drifts criss-crossing the yard! The air temps were about -1, but with the sun pounding the shit out of everything, it felt like it was at least 32 degrees out! It gave me a little hope that my poor sled just might start and run nicely.
This wondrous feeling lasted about 12 seconds, until one of the younger dogs came flying towards me from behind. Not having very good traction on the ice underneath all the snow, he skidded all of his 60 pounds into me. It was enough to buckle my knees and make me land face first in the snow.
He stomped all over me in apology and set a slimey set of deer vertebrae on the back of my neck.
It kinda crushed my optimistic view of the day. It was extremely cold, and I decided that my sled probably wouldn't start until pull 5,001. Good news is I was wrong and my sled started on the 5th pull. It even idled while I did my best to lift it free of the snow and ice where it'd been sitting!
I made it about 14 inches forward before I sank it.
Everyone else showed up about 10 minutes later, and it took about 145 pulls to start my sled again. It ran like poop, but we got it unstucked and it moved under it's own power, so I figured I'd ride it and wrench on it later.
Did we get ready to go? Nah, we all had some shit that needed wrenching on, so the next 2 hours were spent tearing things apart and putting them back together again!
I got my windshield on, and the Medic re-fixed hers with some of my go-fast flaming duct tape!
(insert pic here)
With that, and some other wrenching, we left the yard, and made it as far as back yard. IT WAS DEEP BACK THERE!!! AND THERE WAS A PERFECT BASE!!! It would've been a shame to not leave at least one track, so I carved my sputtering machine across it, and found a ridge to jump on my way back.
These sweet moves caught the attention of the rest of the group, who have never been introduced to the off-trail past riding circles around the farmstead and jumping crossings along the trail.
"SWEET!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!!?!? IT LOOKS COOL!!!"
I don't know why they never noticed it before, because anytime we ride, I am usually slowing them down by pulling off to do any jumps I can.
I also got the 2nd stuck of the day.
Everyone took a couple more laps before diamond pounding into town to fuel up. We took a detour on the way back to check on the Keebler elf, since his ZR440 was sitting without the skid in it.
We threw the skid in, and rolled it out of the shed. It also got started for the first time in 6 or 8 years. It needed some detail tuning, so we left him to his own to put on a few miles before the daylight left.
I directed us back towards the back yard, beings as there was so much untouched soft snow. I also did a 40' jump in a field by accident...that was kinda crazy. By the time our 15 miles of diamond pounding was over, the Wolfsled was running pretty well again, and I demonstrated the theory of carving.
The Engineer and Sparky picked up on it very quickly, and soon the two green Cougar sleds were carving and jumping the shit out of everything. The medic found a roll of barbed wire on her Indy Classic, and then tried to run over a wire fence. That resulted in a pretty spectacular stuck which remained undocumented.
About that time, a strange howling noise approached from a great distance, and miracle of all miracles, the keebler elf appeared on his resurrected ZR!!!
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Overall we put on about 35 miles. 15 on the trails, and 20 in the back yard! The only areas left trackless were barbed wire fences, trees, and a few wide berths around culverts.