Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A Groomer Night Ride

Last night it was Steve's turn to groom the Chippewa Snow Chasers snowmobile trails and I got to ride along! It was a beautiful night, no stars, just lazy falling snowflakes.

First off, the groomer follows a trail to the east into Rudyard, then turns around and comes back on the same trail to do the other side. Same with the trail to the west into Trout Lake where the groomer turns around and comes back on the same trail then parks at the Rudyard Chippewa Snow Chaser groomer barn.

Here I'll show you...

On the trail above we are going east (sometimes south, then east again) through and around farmer fields and pasture.

Now we are going back west (and sometimes north) heading back to the place it all started.

The first leg of the journey you see hay bales and smell the cows but you can't see them.

But oh, you sure can smell them.

It kind of reminded me of early spring.

The second leg of the trip is past the groomer barn, past our house and into the beautiful Hiawatha National Forest. There are so many lights on the groomer they swirl all around us into the trees, bouncing off the trail. You can see the glow in the upper right hand corner of this picture.

More glow on the left. Soft snow continued to fall silently, I'm assuming, since you can't hear much over the hum of the engine or the country music spilling from the radio.

On our way west through the pines...

We must have hit a small bump and I shook when I took this photo, but I was able to get the reflection on the tree from one of the flashing lights.

Sometimes it seems we are surrounded by cops...must be my guilty conscience. Ha. The groomer only goes about 12 mph.

Perhaps I'm singing too loud? Disturbing the peace?

On our way back doing the other side of the trail.

Just surreal...

Note: This particular trip took way longer than normal. The groomer blew an engine fan and we had to limp the groomer back to the barn with the aide of the President of the snowmobile club following us in his truck in case we didn't make it. The ride turned out to be 9 hours long into the wee hours of the night. It was 10 degrees F and we weren't thrilled wondering if we would have to walk home. But we were dressed for it. 

Steve says ALWAYS dress for it! (He made me put on long johns before we left.) 

Today Steve is at the groomer barn with other Chippewa Snow Chaser Members working on the groomer.

And it is still lightly snowing!

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