Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Snowmobiles Are Almost As Much Fun As ATVs

OK, they're just as much fun as ATVs anyway, a lot more work though. My shoulders feel like I used a few muscles that I never knew I had, and I only got stuck twice. I hate to think what kind of shape I'll be in after a day in the powder. The temp hovered near 40 degrees yesterday so the snow was pretty crusty. If I leaned on the throttle a little too hard without enough momentum, I'd break through to the snow underneath which had the basic consistency of sugar, then sink like a rock. I only did it twice luckily, once by going too slow, and once trying to climb a big damn hill reserved for those machines with a little more meat in the track department than mine. Overall, it was a good day, and I'm looking forward to doing it again.

We went up to the Bighorn Mountains outside Lovell, Wyoming. The weather was kind of icky for photography so we didn't get many cool scenery pics. I was hoping that the sun would come out but it never did. Later in the afternoon it started snowing and got really dark so all I could see was white, white, and more white. That's about all my camera could see as well. There's an awesome view from the top, but it just doesn't come across in pictures without sunlight. Here's a few of the pics that did come out anyway.

Brian's sled, he got the engine back in and it ran great all day. It's a good bit faster than mine and the 151" track makes it a little harder to get stuck, but for the most part I kept up with him.

Here's me, on my old Wildcat. Who says powersports have to be expensive? I've got less invested in my sled, my boat, and both of my ATVs than a lot of people have invested in their ski equipment, and we're not even going to talk about golf clubs. Good tools are expensive, but if you know how to use them they pay for themselves in the long run.

Here I am going up a hill with Brian in the lead. This was the bunny slope. I didn't get any pics of the big hill, the one I got stuck on. I did make it up the big one once, but then tried a different route and sunk trying to turn around when I figured out I wasn't going to make it.

This is Brian's wife's sled, a 583 Longtrack Ski Doo. It's a lot newer, and it looks nicer, but it has similar capabilities to mine. A lot cushier suspension though, I took it for a ride and it almost spoiled me.

This is an old 294 Polaris Charger. It was given to me by a friend of mine, he found it in the back yard after he bought his house. It'd been sitting for years but whoever put it there drained everything, so I got it running within ten minutes of bringing it home. Brian took it home and fixed it up the rest of the way so the kids would have something to ride. I think that between the two of us we've got the grand total of 5 bucks invested in this thing, but the fun the kids have had with it is priceless.

We did spend our fair share of time monkeying with it. It didn't like the high altitude since it's jetted to run in Columbus. It was running way too rich so it kept loading up with the kids putting around on it. We would've just rejetted it but we didn't have any spare jets that fit. Here we're loosening the driven clutch spring so the engine will wind up a little higher and clear itself out. It worked good enough to extend playtime a little longer.

Somebody told me, on this very blog, that there's a high correlation between snowmobiling and alcohol consumption. I have no idea where they could've gotten that idea. ;)

Is it just me or do I look goofy without my beard? I let that thing grow for two months, and it drove me nuts the whole time. It finally had to go, and so do I. The future will hold many more sled trips I have a feeling. Be good and stay out of trouble all.


The Dixie Drifter said...

Great pictures Justin and you do look different without the beard.

Justin said...

I'm really looking forward to a sunny day when I can get some good pictures. All of these look kind of dreary, it didn't look any better being there. There's not a lot of things that are more spectacular than the trees loaded with fresh snow and the sun glistening off of them. When it gets cold in the high country the air goes completely clear, no haze at all, you can see for nearly a hundred miles from some of my favorite mountain tops. Thanks for the visit Drifter, always a pleasure.

Chuck said...

It looks like a lot of fun. The scenery looks beautiful. But...I despise the cold and I'd have to get around that. ;)

Justin said...

Howdy Chuck, the cold isn't that bad really. I hate the cold too but if you get too cold all you have to do is get stuck, you aren't cold for long. It was between 35 and 40 degrees all day, practically T-shirt weather.

Joe Visionary said...

I'd tell you that you look more like Bob and Doug Mackenzie's (Take off, ya hoser) older brother, given the toque, jac-shirt and beer.

Glad to hear you're getting out - the sun may yet co-operate.

I tried to respond to your comments in my blog. It took forever.

Happy New Year!

Justin said...

Joe, long time no see. How's it goin' eh? (Bob and Doug humor)

I was beginning to think that you froze to death up there in the Great White North. Good to see you're still kicking.

Marla aka shared_dreams said...

I like you better with out the beard.. :O) But i don't think i better tell you why hehehehe is good tho

Justin said...

Marla, do I want to know? Probably not. ;) One guy at work was dissapointed, he said I didn't look like Jack Black anymore. I don't remember trying to look like Jack Black, I was going for more of a Grizzly Adams thing.

Chuck said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR to Justin and the family!!!

Dave Budge said...

Hey Justin, for New Years you better treat yourself to a new gun.

Happy New Year to you and yours.

Justin said...

Happy New Year to all! Sorry I haven't had time to properly distribute my well wishing, it's been a heck of a week.

Table Mountains said...

gave up my snomobile.just can't get the time for it anymore.my younger brother is really into it. you guys skim?here's a pic i made of my brother skimming.he uses it for wallpaper on his pc.


Justin said...

Howdy Wayne, I've seen guys do that before, well, I've seen pictures and video of guys doing that before, I've never had the nads to try it myself though, neither have any of my friends to my knowledge. It does look cool though. Have you ever seen a Snow Hawk? It looks like a cross between a dirt bike and a snowmobile, anyway if you go to their website there's a video of a guy skimming on one and he's riding it around on this pond like a Jet-Ski, turning corners and everything, it's pretty cool. I don't remember the address but I found it by Googling Snow Hawk. I think the biggest reason none of us have tried it yet is because there isn't any water where we ride. We're all pretty crazy so I'm sure if we ever found a puddle somebody would have to give it a whirl. Looks to me like a good way to sink a sled if you didn't know what you were doing, but at least in your brother's case it would be one of those ugly new Ski Doos, I just hope there's somebody there with an Arctic Cat to haul him back someplace warm before he freezes to death. ;) Thanks for the link Wayne, that's a cool pic, and I'm just joshing about the Ski Doo.

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