The winter of 2013-14 has come to a close- the grant-in-aid trail portion of it at least (grant-in-aid trails close April 1st regardless of snow conditions). The far northern reaches of the state are still expecting a ton of snow this week making for some extended saddle time. As for me, my riding is pretty much done- I’ll tell you why in a moment.
Although this winter’s length was somewhat normal compared to the past two awful winters we have had, it was still anything but a normal year. It all started with a massive 28 inch snowfall the first week of December laying down what would prove to be a fantastic base. Snowmobilers all across Minnesota were rejoicing- finally a winter with snow! But then the cold set in… for four months straight. All through Northern Minnesota records fell like dominos: most days in a row below zero, most days with below zero temperatures, numerous daily low temperature records, coldest December, coldest January, coldest February, coldest start to a winter, coldest start to a year, the list goes on and on. Although the cold and snow gave us some of the greatest and most consistent trail conditions I have ever seen, the cold kept many of the less hardy snowmobilers from enjoying them. My wife and daughter, both avid sowmobilers, bailed out on me several times because of the cold. As for me I’ll ride through pretty much anything, but lets face it- it is a lot more fun to ride when it is 20 above zero than it is to ride when it is 20 below zero. Despite the cold I would still take a winter like this one over the past few winters any day.
Then came last week- an end of week snowstorm dumped another eight inches on us and the staffers went out for one of our famous late night rides. The conditions were amazing and I can honestly say it was one of the best rides I had had all year long. We were on the final stretch heading toward home and BAM! my old Indy rolled to a dead stop. Yes ladies and gentlemen, after 7720 miles my Indy was no more. Ironically this was going to be its last year anyway as I was planning on upgrading in the fall but still you hate to see your sled go out that way.
Just because winter is over doesn’t mean that things aren’t still happening at There are still a few more blogs coming your way and we will be making more improvements to the site over the summer so stop by and check out our progress. Next year we have a full slate of articles for you. Starting in October we will be ding a heavy dose of trail in focus and destination articles to get you primed for winter.¬†¬†Also on tap will be our new vintage sled feature which will be starting within the next few weeks- all of that and trail updates and ride recaps and of course some snowmobile history lessons too, not to mention the regular old blogs that come up when I have to vent about something. Stay tuned- we’ve got a lot of stuff coming up for you next winter ad even a few tidbits this spring and summer. Until next week- if you still have snow- USE IT!