I fully admit that I was terrified of the red beast on the trailer. Today, my grace period for getting used to the idea of riding the snowmobile ran out.
After I briefly entertained the idea of refusing to go, ever, I was persuaded to give it a shot. Then I had to eat my words because the whole thing was less than scary right from the start. I managed to make my way up to the top of the hill just fine (although every time I thought I was going fast, I’d look down and the speedometer needle hadn’t even moved Forrest just informed me that my speedometer is broken).
At the top, I couldn’t figure out where everyone had gone and slowed down trying to figure out which way to go. Of course, I went the wrong way. I cruised along in the powder and then my sled veered off to the right…the edge of the road…
I bailed. And then my sled proceeded to drop over the edge and glide quite nicely into the trees. (Forrest note: 200ft down!) I didn’t get to witness it, but Jimmy’s face pretty much illustrated it all for me. The first day out and I crashed my sled.
I headed down the hill to turn the sled off (“Still purring like a kitty cat,” Jimmy observed) while Jimmy went to look for reinforcements. I made it down to the sled (I only buried myself up to my waist once!) and shut it off. It was wedged next to a tree and I couldn’t move it by myself so I flopped down in the snow and tried not to cry.
Before long, our friend Andrew, pulled up at the top of the bank. He paused for a minute then rode his sled down the bank to just above where I was waiting. (“I didn’t want to hike back up” was his excuse. We worked to get his sled unstuck and were mostly unsuccessful, then moved on to mine. After we pried it away from the tree and I saw there was really very little damage (just a few scratches and minor dents to the plastic) I was able to relax, I didn’t ruin my sled…just created a bunch of work to get it back up onto the road.
Forrest, Jimmy, and Randy made their way down to join the party. After discussing the situation, it was remembered that there was another road just below where the sled was stuck; Forrest investigated and sure enough, the way out was down and not up (at least for the little Phazer). Before tackling my sled, we extracted Andrew’s sled and watched as his much more powerful sled (and much higher riding skill level) took him right up the slope back to the main road.
Jimmy piloted the little red Phazer through the trees and down onto the secondary road. Andrew tried blazing a trail back up to the main road for Jimmy to follow on the sled which didn’t work so well. And Bruce made a valiant attempt to sidehill it back up, getting within 5 feet of the road. Luckily, Greg was around on his Commander and winched it up the last bit. Everyone was in such good humor that I told everyone thanks for helping and moved on with the day; hurray for small victories.
After all the excitement, we headed up to the snow shelter and sat around the fire talking and eating bear sausage. (P.S. Hot Christmas gift idea for Team 3Up: a Muff Pot or HotDogger…I have to ask again which one is “better.”)Eventually, we headed out of the shelter for an uneventful ride back down to the cars and trailers. Amazingly, after my little debacle, I’m much less afraid of the sled than I was before.