Ride to Powley Road 2/8/14

Mattie and I got to Cal’s house by 8:30AM this morning to capitalize on the great conditions early on. Indian Lake village trails were newly groomed and flat out awesome. Sabael trail was also very nice, save for a few rock tops to clank carbide on.

Indian Lake was a cold, windswept sunny run from end to end. Looks like someone is grooming the Indian Lake/Lewey Lake campsites, what a difference that makes. 2 Miles of Hell was half-way decent, getting better at the top end as we approached Perking Clearing.

Perkins Clearing Road was AWESOME down to HM6. We hung a right onto Jessup River Road, which was more outstanding riding. From HM116 we took a chance on the Big Brook trail. That was actually a pretty decent ride down to HM7 (Outhouse).

Willis Mountain trail was in great shape down to Piseco Lake. We encountered a couple of Skandic groomers along the way. Toward Piseco, we started to encounter some traffic, which is always “fun” on that single sled-width trail with the turns camouflaged by snow-covered evergreens. Every turn becomes a “white knuckler” for the leader, which happened to be ME.

Piseco Lake had scads of wind packed powder and we even encountered a plane landing on the lake. I caught that with my GO-PRO, so that might be showing up in a movie really soon.

We took S88/Piseco Lodge trail which was in really nice shape. Even with all of the deep snow, we still clanked on a few rock tops.

Powley Road was the ultimate prize of the day. As good as Perkins Clearing was, Powley Road was in its own league when we hit it late morning. Board flat, groomed wide and hardly a ripple to be found. It was a 10 out of 10.

After we gabbed a bit and the end of Powley Road, we doubled back to Piseco. On the way, I lead them on a loop on C4/C4A into Morehouse thence over to Evergreen Lake. There didn’t seem to be anything funky with Evergreen Lake, but it wasn’t the smoothest crossing. The trail past the trailer park back to Piseco Lodge had some rollers.

After zipping back across Piseco Lake, we cut over to Oxbow Lake. That trail had some rollers and some spots scuffed down to snirt, but it wasn’t that terrible for an early Saturday afternoon. After seeing scores of snowmobiles at the Oxbow Inn, we decided to grab lunch at the Mountain Market in Speculator.

At the east end of Oxbow Lake we saw snowmobiles dumping onto the lake like hornets out of a nest. Just one after another, after another, after another.

Not surprisingly, the Fish Mountain/Oxbow trail was pounded down to snirty bumps in the woods. There were a couple of icy corners and rocks that you wouldn’t want to hit at speed. Sacandaga Lake had good snow on it. LP1/Page Street was pounded down to snirt and icy corners, but was pretty flat overall. Lake Pleasant had good snow on it.

The Speculator village trails ranged from flat to soft small bumps. The corners were pounded down to snirt and icy corners. After getting gas and lunch at the Mountain Market, we made our escape back to home base. LP3 was well worn, but pretty flat. C4/Melody Lodge trail was grounded down to snirty chop with icy corners almost all the way back up to Route 30. Southern exposures were getting a tad bony, pretty remarkable in light of the fresh 14 inches of snow that Speculator got only a few days ago.

The southern end of Perkins Clearing was still great in the late afternoon, because the Lake Pleasant groomers were still working it. At HM110, we embarked on S41/Mud Lake Road. That was another superb ride. After a rest stop at HM115, Cal was going to lead us home. But he was a bit confused and headed the WRONG WAY…down toward Piseco/Oxbow instead of Indian Lake. Never a dull moment with Crazy Cal. 😉

Mattie and I were kind of stunned about it, so Cal got a pretty good head start on us. We just sat there, waiting for Cal to realize his gaffe and come back. When that didn’t happen after a few minutes, Mattie chased him down. I had to be back in town for a date with Mrs ilsnow, so I just took off for home. Yes, Cal is home safe…after adding to his legend as a consummate snowmobile entertainer. 🙂 To be perfectly fair, Cal doesn’t ride to the back side of Perkins Clearing very often so I can see how the confusion occurred. But it was just so funny to watch him do the U-turn and head the wrong way. Priceless…

On my way back home, the north end of Perkins Clearing was starting to show some lumps. 2 Miles of Hell was the standard “stand up on the runner boards and surf the bumps.” Indian Lake village trails were getting scuffed up was I got back into town, a far cry from their early Saturday splendor.

I rolled back to the compound with 132 miles spun off for the day. This was one of the best weekend long rides I’ve done. Temperatures were perfect for keeping the trails in half-way decent shape for a Saturday afternoon. I can’t wait to get back on the trails midweek once the groomers get to piece Humpty Dumpty back together again!

Darrin @ ilsnow.com

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