The new 2012 Polaris snowmobiles were just announced and I couldn’t be less disappointed. I’d love to trade in or sell my 2006 Supersport so I could get a liquid cooled two-up trail machine that gets good mileage but it’s not gonna happen.
The new sleds are just plain ridiculous. They’re either one-person snow-cross machines with no protection or they’re giant behemoths with all the amenities of a Cadillac. Almost every model is $10k or more and the trail cruisers are all but gone. The new machines have almost no resemblance to the sleds of old, like the 1974 colts my parents bought and rode all over the adirondacks and to camp miles into the back country (pictured).
Our family has always stuck with Polaris and they’ve always been beautiful machines. That might need to change now. There’s no way I’m spending $10k on a snowmobile. Skidoo makes a nice 600 with a two-up seat, a larger windshield and better mileage for about $7k and even that seems ridiculous.
Ran into a strange site while snowmobiling last weekend. The Lone Grave of Benj Miller. At least that’s what I’m calling it…
It’s a single grave surrounded by a chain link fence on the top of a small hill along route 56. The snowmobile trail goes right by it (2 ft away). There’s a small GAR flag symbol and grave posted next to the gravestone so we know he was a (cavalry) soldier in the Union army during the Civil War.
I’ve done some digging on the net and the best I’ve been able to locate is some others who found the grave and were interested as well. According to one of the sites I found there might be some more info in The Story of a Cavalry Regiment but I couldn’t find it.
The gravestone reads:
Co B 11 NY CAV
Died About 1870
Age About 23 Yrs
I might contact the town to see if there’s any more info. If it happens to intrigue you, and you find any more info than I have, please leave a comment and let me know.
The Pinecone is one of those places that is incredibly seasonal. It services mostly boaters and snowmobilers. It’s in Wanakena at the opposite end of Cranberry lake from Cranberry Lake Lodge and there’s only 2 ways to get there on snowmobile: the alice brook trail (a narrow windy mess I don’t recommend) or the river.
This time of year the river is your best bet as long as you’ve got the equipment (a snowmobile and lots of warm wind proof clothing). Just make sure you’re off the lake by dark, and you’re not caught out there in a blizzard. Lots of hazards out there on the ice and it’s a longggggg lake. Just about 10 miles from end to end. If you can’t see the other end, it’s awfully hard to know where you’re going.
The food at the Pinecone is pretty darn good. They’ve got a 1/2 lb burger that worked wonders for my appetite. Their hot chocolate hit the spot too after being out on the lake for that long, although I’m fairly certain it’s just your standard store bought hot chocolate.
Anyway, not a bad place to visit as long as the ice conditions are good (which they were, best I’ve ever seen) or you have a boat. You can doc your boat and eat there in the summer.
Check it out, if you dare.
Delayed Post: written 2/14/2010
I don’t know what the Inuit word is for this type of snow (yes I know that myth isn’t really true) but I know mine: Perfect. It’s nice and grainy, packs just a little, blows just a little, isn’t wet (until it melts). Just perfect. We haven’t had a ton of snow up here lately, nothing like what they just got down south. But the stuff we do have is just right.
We ran into a nice couple at the intersection of 81 and the (new?) trail towards Degrasse. A few minutes of discussion informed us of a big bonfire being put on by the Cranberry Lake Snowmobile Club just down the trail from our original destination (the Windfall). Cheap lunch and supporting the club? Sounds good. We said thanks and headed on out towards the bonfire.
Whoa! Talk about fire! And the hot chocolate and hot dogs were free to boot! Met a nice guy named Randy Paige (sp?) who told us about a new 4-wheeler association which is going to make most of the trails we snowmobile on accessible by 4-wheeler this summer. Sweet!
They had 2 groomers there open to let people climb in and check them out. About. 100 sleds, tons of raffle tickets for a gun, a 50/50, and the state raffle tickets for new snowmobiles. Was a good time, put some money in for the 50/50 but they were out of gun raffle tickets. Ahh well, one thing we probably don’t need more of anyway.
After the (free) lunch we headed for the open trail and made our way home.
Miles on the sled this season: 336
63.5″ is a lot of snow. I don’t care where you are or where you’re from. It’s not unheard of in the north country but for the southern areas which are getting slammed right now, it’s a ton. Some of these cities only see 12″ of snow for a whole season, others only see a few inches occasionally. to get almost 70″ in one week… wow. The biggest problem is their lack of equipment.
Take a look at the satellite aftermath of the storm:
Looks like a scene from The Day After Tomorrow.
Either way, I’m headed right into the middle of snow country this weekend. Spending a long weekend at camp snowmobiling and otherwise enjoying the winter weather and beautiful scenery.
60″ sounds like nothing but fun to me. If you live in this area of the country, you need to have outdoor winter hobbies.
I’ll see you from the top of littl blue!
Man I love it up here!
There’s three ways into Horseshoe Lake but I can only recommend one of them in good conscience. Riding the railroad tracks is no fun. Not unless they’re groomed. The first few miles from Conifer to Horseshoe were groomed and beautiful. 55mph was nothing. Then the groomer turned around and holy cow, forget it! We toughed it out but I almost wished we’d turned around right there. Washboard the whole way.
If you want to go to Horseshoe I recommend taking 7A right to the front door.
On our way back up 7A (the way we should have come in) we met Wes and Donald. Kinda funny meeting someone you know miles and miles in the middle of nowhere. We stopped and said hello for a few minutes and then went our separate ways. Back to Diamond by way of
Not sure what I think about possibly taking the railroad to Tupper Lake to get us to Lake Placid for that trip… we’ll see. might have to wait for a day with some fresh snow and hope for a groomer.
A good day of riding, around 100 miles. Horseshoe is a pretty little lake, but I’d stay off the railroads to get there if I were you.
Miles on the sled this season: 198
Dad and I got up late today, had a nice ham and egg breakfast and then headed out on the trails with no specific destination in mind.
As is often the case in our neck of the Adirondacks, we ended up only a few miles from The Backwoods Inn (previously known as Ham’s Inn) around lunchtime.
It’s an awesome little local bar/restaurant. The top of the bar has pictures of the locals embedded in a clear coat of some kind. There’s a Newfoundland that likes to wander around inside and out and greets every snowmobiler that comes through the door.
The menu is just typical American food: subs, wings, burgers etc but the food is excellent and their portions are insanely huge. They have a multiple-pound-burger that’s free if you eat it all. Even their normal sized burger is too big for most people. Dad had a regular burger and could only finish half of it. I had a grilled ham and cheese and couldn’t even come close to finishing the fries.
Its located on route 56 in Parishville right near the route 3 intersection. Filled with local flair and great food. If you’re looking for it from the snowmobile trails it’s on 73 on the eastern most section of 7A right along route 56.
Eat there if you get the chance!
Well, I did it again. I forgot my boots!
Normally I’m a stickler for the right gear. When Rachel and I go mountain climbing we carry day packs and wear zip-offs and fast drying active-wear clothes because I think it’s important. Our packs are filled with matches, filters, fire starters, emergency warmers, first aid kits and pretty much everything else we’d need in case we get stranded and need to spend a night or two in the woods. All because I believe in the right equipment.
Twice this year Ive forgotten my boots. The first time I had to buy a pair on the way up because I was going to be spending extended time periods standing in the woods (hunting). This time I’ll be snowmobiling which for those of you who don’t do it might sound cold, but it’s not too bad while you’re riding. When you stop it might be an issue but I don’t do a lot of that.
I’m gonna try it with my Goretex semi-insulated L.L. bean shoes and a heavy pair of wool socks. we’ll see…
UPDATE: just as expected it was plenty warm while riding. Stepping off the trail into snow banks is another story however. It’ll be good enough to get me through the weekend. I won’t forget my boots again though.
Snowmobiling season has begun, and with a frenzy. The Adirondacks have been good to us this year. The snow came a bit later than usual but there hasn’t been a major thaw yet which makes for some ideal conditions, with a good solid frozen base and constant snow.
Mile zero started right where it should, the Toy Shed. Didn’t put on a whole lot of miles today, just 25 around the diamond property, but the riding was phenomenal and it felt good to be out again.
Having the shed will make things a lot nicer. Now that we can properly store at least 4 sleds we can leave them up here all season. Needless to say, I’m prepared for a lot of riding this year.
Plans are in the works to make a (snowmobile) trip to Whiteface Mountain from camp. It’ll be a long ride, but very beautiful I’m sure.
Cant wait for tomorrow’s ride, wherever it takes us.
Miles on the sled this season: 25
I’m not sure how this happened but I don’t believe I’ve mentioned my parents new haven here yet. A few years back we lost our second camp (also not mentioned her as of yet) to a leasing issue and my parents decided they’d had enough. Next time, they’d buy one. For about two years, my family had been on the market. They hadn’t been actively looking, but things had cropped up here and there without anything very enticing.
Last summer things changed. My father heard about this little camp on a somewhat large privately owned club that was up for sale. I’m not sure what it was exactly but something caught his eye so he high-tailed it up there to check it out and liked it so much that he brought my mother up a few days later.
They had actually seen the ad for the same camp the previous fall but thought it was overpriced. After a winter of not selling the price fell and after seeing the ad for the second time they are now the proud new owners of their own little slice of the Adirondack Pie.
A little over a year later and the camp has given us many new friends, one nice Buck, a new four-wheeler, a few thousand miles on the snowmobiles, 2 tired puppies, and too many feasts to count.
As the second year of ownership begins, we’re (almost) done with first major camp project. A nice big Toy Shed to keep everything dry. Now it’s time to relax, shoot some bucks, enjoy the camp over the winter and prep for next year.
The camp is perfect size for two people, but when you add another two (or three) and some huskies, it gets a little cramped. Next year we plan to more than double the size, two new bed rooms and a larger living space later and we should be all set.
Can’t wait. I love spending time up there almost as much as my father does.