Sunday, March 18, 2012

What a Difference a year makes

Greetings to any and all that still check here. This is the second post today, because I did not realize I had one blog update waiting to be finished for several months. This past year has been filled with so much, between our  oldest boy getting married, our youngest boy graduating high school and going out on his own to college. The winter of 2011-2012 will definitely go into the books and the winter that never got started. Snow was extremely hard to come by for some reason this year, so riding was limited mostly due to that, and partly due to health issues. I broke my hip socket some 20 years ago in a motorcycle accident, and they warned me I would be looking at a replacement someday. This day is coming very soon, tentatively in July. The wear and tear has been too much so its time for some replacement parts.

If you look at the right first you will see my left hip, relatively intact with a well defined ball and socket. On the left side of the picture is my right hip, looking more like mush. It has gotten to the point where it needs to be replaced, even if I can never ride again (don't count on that), but more so a quality of life-I am too young to have this hold me back as much as it has recently. Not sure if all the miles last year exacerbated the condition or if it was just time.

Well on to more happy things. We did get a single ride this year, in the end of January. This was right around the time of our clubs annual fundraiser, which we always try and get up to support. We took an extra day, going up Thursday, because this was also the weekend there was free riding in New Hampshire and Maine. But alas it wasn't meant to be. We arrived, and it almost immediately started raining. The driveway turned to a sheet of ice. We heard rumors it was better over in Pittsburg, New Hampshire, so I worked on getting the sleds loaded on the trailer. During the load out, our neighbor stopped by, and told us we would be wasting time. A call to a hotel in the area confirmed this. Their snow coverage was no better than ours and it was raining there as well.

The next day, it rained for several hours, so we did a little vehicle exploring. Late in the day a cold front came in and the rain eventually turned back to snow, blanketing us with a fresh 6-8 inches by Saturday morning. We decided we would ride to the fund raiser. Pulling out the iron beasts, we turned the keys, the engines roared to life, and that sweet smell of two-stroke oil filled the air. Seems like too long since we were able to ride. Off we went down the trail, and this year I had a new toy. I got a Go-Pro Camera for Christmas, and was dying to try it out. Turning it on as we left, I filmed a nice ride from our house, down the rail bed, and up to the lookout. Since this was my first video, its a little rough, but I have been getting better with editing (Watch for my Key West blog coming soon)

Snowmobile Ride

Stopping at the lookout, we took a few pictures, and the views were very nice. And if you look carefully, you can see the camera mounted on my helmet.

We headed back down the trail with our goal the Danville School. The school is an all inclusive school from kindergarten to high school. As we arrived in the parking lot the groomer was parked in the upper lot, after smoothing out the trails leading to the spaghetti dinner.

We had a nice lunch, bought some raffle tickets,(I ended up winning a club sweatshirt!) and after a little digestion, we headed back out on the trails, looking for more snow. It wasn't too hard to find. The trail we chose went down the rail bed, and up into the hills, in the direction of Coles Pond, and the lookout. Snow was clinging to the ranches and trees, and at one point we had someone in a bigger rush pass us to get to the deep powder first.

We passed through the Coles Pond area, and came across a new addition to the trail this year. The group that covers this section of the trail-The Coles Pond Sledders, just finished setting up a "Rest Stop" on the trail. We stopped to chat for a bit and learned they were going to open on the weekends starting next week, and offer a few hot dishes, beverages and company for the snow travelers to take advantage of.

After some good conversation, we mounted back up and took off in the direction of the lookout. I was clearing up now and the sun was working through the clouds and trees, providing some interesting views

 Finally we reached the pinnacle of our quest. The lookout on Stannard Mountain is a great place to view the White Mountains of New Hampshire on a clear day, and today did not disappoint. We could see over there pretty easily, and it was amazing to see all the snow caked on the trees.

Heading back down, we decided (well my hip decided) there wasn't too much riding left before my day was at its end. We changed up trails, heading back toward Danville, and come out on the new bridge that was built this year to allowing crossing of an area that flooded out pretty badly with the heavy rains this spring. One of the teenagers in town, who is also a snowmobiler and active in the club, helped lead the project for the bridge replacement. And what a great job was done!

So that was the winter that was for this year. We are looking forward to better things next year, both in the weather department as well as the health department. The doctor tells me as long as I am reasonable about my riding, it shouldn't be a problem to ride. Since I am not a motocross rider I should be good. But of course I will have to let my body tell me what I can handle, but count on some better statistics next year, so don't forget to tune in :-)

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