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Trail Conditions Straight from the guys who groom them!

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Old 03-25-2014, 07:35 PM   #1
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Default Trail Conditions 3-25-14

It is the last full week of March, and the trail 'official' close in less then a week. As I look back, we have had one of the best snowmobiling winters in recent memory, certainly in the last 5 years. Trails in the Straits system 90% of the time were in excellent to fantastic shape. Yes we did have some issues as groomer after groomer went down and we struggled to keep things all done with 1 machine in lat January/February. Overall though very very complaints and lots and lots of smiles.

So where do we stand now? Trails have not seen much new snow in almost a month, typically this would spell disaster, but not this year. Trails have a very heavy thick ice base with several inches of workable ice-snow on top of them. The RR Grade is running at 1.5-2.5 foot deep base, and in the woods it is even deeper then that. Off trail your thing? We still have knee, to waist deep 'powder' out there! There is so much base on the trails, the groomer still must stay in the center of the trails, or risk getting stuck in the deep side powder. Heck the ice bridge to Mackinac Island is even still being used with no open water visible!

Now it is late March, and the sun does get warm during the day, which melts the roads off. Good for cars, bad for sleds. Consequently, the town trail will have a couple hundred feet of pavement for you to get down to gas, or head to Mackinac Island. The US-2 trail, coming from the Mackinac Bridge will have about 3 blocks of road riding that won't be too much fun, but you can get through.

Is there any serious problems you need to watch for on our system? Not really, here is everything that I know is wrong with our trails:
Watch out for some big rollers on the RR Grade 4 miles of Iggy, just South of #473, and also North of Moran. They are fairly big and serious ice and we just can't get them out at this point. And I think they are again logging on the Caffey trail heading to Rexton, be on the lookout for plowed road, and we will groom up what we can.

So what will the weekend bring? Well the forecast for Thursday and Friday is jumping around some, but it looks like we will be getting a late March storm. Best guess is we should get a fresh 3-5" of new snow, which will just top things right off. Can you go from Excellent into dreamland condition? Temps look to cooperate into next week, and then only slightly warm up to near normal range.
Quote:
Wednesday Partly sunny, with a high near 21. Wind chill values as low as -6. Light southwest wind increasing to 5 to 10 mph in the afternoon.
Wednesday Night Snow, mainly after 1am. Steady temperature around 20. South wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.
Thursday Snow. High near 34. South wind around 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%.
Thursday Night Snow before 9pm, then rain and snow between 9pm and 3am, then snow after 3am. Low around 25. South wind around 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%.
Friday Snow, mainly before 9am. High near 32. Chance of precipitation is 90%.
Friday Night Partly cloudy, with a low around 16.
Saturday Partly sunny, with a high near 32.
Saturday Night Partly cloudy, with a low around 19.
Sunday Partly sunny, with a high near 37.
Sunday Night A chance of rain and snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 30.
Monday A chance of rain and snow. Cloudy, with a high near 38.
People have called or emailed to ask me if the trails were still ridable?! People doubted me weeks ago, and I am still telling you there will be very good riding on April 15th! In fact we are tentatively planning on sucking up the cost and doing a grooming run on April 11th if it is necessary.

So where does all that leave us? Fantastic riding - as good as any midseason trip you will make. The groomers are going to be running from now until their official last paid run on Monday March 31st. The trails will be in excellent condition, and I invite everyone to come up for one last official hurrah and tear them apart!

After next Monday, can you ride the trails with a sled? You certainly can on all of the Straits system. We do not have any private land owners to worry about on our system, so you can ride as long as snow is there. You may be planning an Easter weekend trip this year! Unless we get some seriously hot weather and lots of rain, there will be snow in the woods that long for sure.

So, how about some early week trail candy? Everything shown was taken recently on our system and it shows just how good things are looking.
Enjoy, and if there is a bunch of sledders coming up this weekend, there may be an informal get-together at a local tavern to celebrate a good year.
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:52 PM   #2
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 3-25-14

Floyd and I will be there for sure. Not certain about the young lad yet!
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:08 AM   #3
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 3-25-14

I'm hoping to sneak in a ride Sunday/Monday with AllSeason and Skeet.
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 3-25-14

We may also have a guest appearance from the sledless Griz (aka "ROCKY")!!!!!
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Old 03-26-2014, 07:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 3-25-14

So should we designate Saturday night as the informal get together?
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 3-25-14

Sounds good to me.
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Old 03-27-2014, 10:19 AM   #7
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 3-25-14

Quick update: It is snowing hard right now, expecting 3-5". As of last night on the US-2 Mackinac Bridge connector, there is 1 block of pavement riding, 2 more of snow/gravel, otherwise it is snow-covered. I am not going to groom the town trail so it will be bumpy this weekend, but it really is tolerable.

Though I would post up a an interesting pic. This is my cargo trailer taken this morning right in St. Ignace. I have not cleaned it off all winter, so you can see the snow we have built up.
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:19 AM   #8
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 3-25-14

Can you make a smooth trail to the Super 8 for me and Floyd?????
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Old 03-27-2014, 05:43 PM   #9
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 3-25-14

Sure would love to come up one more time. But moneys short and one sled is down and out.
Have fun guys.
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Old 03-28-2014, 09:34 AM   #10
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 3-25-14

Heading UP tonight for the grand finale of a phenomenal season of riding. Rocky won't be joining in on the "informal get together", so we will have to suck it up without him. Hoping to be able to ride out of town from the Super Duper 8, but will evaluate the situation when we roll into town.
Looking forward to the last ride, and having some refreshments with anyone that finds their way to the local establishment.
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:14 AM   #11
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 3-25-14

Quick Friday update:
We got 3-5" yesterday followed by a little rain which settled the new snow and made it very sticky. Groomer is out now and smoothing and packing things for the start of a fantastic weekend.
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:19 PM   #12
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 3-25-14

Afternoon Groomer update:

a fresh 6" on the Burma Grade. Need I say more?
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Old 03-28-2014, 06:21 PM   #13
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 3-25-14

Sweet Neil!!! Hope to ride this Sunday and Monday!!!
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Old 03-28-2014, 06:49 PM   #14
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 3-25-14

Trails are gonna get TORE UP on Sunday, they changed the forecast and upped the temps quite a bit:

Quote:
Tonight Mostly cloudy, with a low around 19. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph.
Saturday Partly sunny, with a high near 31. East wind around 5 mph.
Saturday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 12. Northeast wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.
Sunday Mostly sunny, with a high near 41. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph.
Sunday Night Mostly cloudy, with a low around 26. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph.
Monday A 30 percent chance of rain after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 41.
Monday Night A 50 percent chance of rain. Cloudy, with a low around 36.
Tuesday A chance of rain and snow. Cloudy, with a high near 39.
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Old 03-28-2014, 09:27 PM   #15
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 3-25-14

So the informal get together will be Sat night 9 pm at the Casino Bar. Just a few guys getting together, anyone is welcome. I will wear my Club Hat.
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