Indian Lake to Old Forge: Update 2/3/15

I didn’t make a deal with the devil or blow off work today. I live here and this happened to be my day off.

Was going to start at the crack of dawn. Umm…minus 15*F changes that strategy pretty quick. So I waited until 9:40AM to get underway, to give the groomers a head start. 😉

When I saw this, I just knew today would be magic:

C8/Bear Trap Swamp

C8/Bear Trap Swamp

I don’t know whether it was electricity or an endorphin cascade. Whatever it was, I was feeling it! So I just followed the fresh groomer highway C8 out of Indian Lake to Cedar River Headquarters.

It was crazy. I was following two groomers working in tandem. It was smooth and silky all the way out past the Deer Valley parking lot. The only significant blemishes were two large slushy spots in the Forest Preserve section.

Eventually, I overcame the groomer tandem and got to play in the powder chowder: a fresh 8-12 inches of snow on top of a nearly flat surface. Just had to share that with the ilsnow nation on Facebook:

At this point, I was pretty much in ecstasy. Couldn’t believe I got to hit powder like this on a trail…for miles!

I was almost disappointed to see the fresh groomer track resume a couple miles before I got to Cedar River Headquarters. Notice I said: ALMOST…

The Indian Lake Piston Bully groomer was doing its battle against the leftover weekend bumps. Plenty of snow throughout, hardly even scratched carbides on the notorious S-turns before Silver Run.

Silver Run to Big-T was gorgeous. Big T to Red River T was also in nice shape; even the turns through there didn’t have much scratch.

Red River T to Inlet was good with just a hint of snirt as I drew closer to Inlet. I encountered an Inlet groomer performing its good work.

Saw the fresh groomer tracks spilling out from the Inlet loop trails, so I ran 7th Lake Mountain trail over the top then made my way to the Ole Barn. All great, save for some snirt and a bit of scratch as I got closer to Limekiln Road.

Ole Barn to Gilbert Road was somewhat snirty, but was flat and didn’t have much scratch. Inlet village was the usual thin scratch. Stopped at the Inlet Information Center to say hello. Talked with Tourism Director Adele Burnett and Inlet Trail Boss Shawn Hansen for a bit. Then it was back out into the cold!

Sidewalk trail out of Inlet was groomed and a nice ride out to Eagle Bay.

Trail 5 from Eagle Bay to Daikers was a fast and flat ride. But it was a snirt fest from Daikers to Rondaxe Road. I’m constantly amazed that trail can get nearly a foot of fresh snow and be snirty the next day. But it wasn’t quite cinders and ashes yet.

My usual playbook to attack Old Forge is hit Trail 9, because it’s usually awesome. And it was! Then I found fresh groomer marks going into Trail 29:

Trail 29, Old Forge

Trail 29, Old Forge

Followed that goodness up to Trail 2 and eventually overcame another groomer. I hooked a left onto Trail 1 to make the run down to Thendara.

Trail 1 had a lot of scratch to it, even with the new snow. I was happy to jump on the Pipeline and Trail 8 for more scratch-free fun. I make it over to Trail 7 to make the approach to Elsie Lookout, which seldom disappoints:

Elsie Lookout

Elsie Lookout

In the short time I had been at the Elsie Lookout, the groomer had laid down ribbon on Trail 7, which I followed down to Trail 6 to see the train station. On the way back up, I hit Trail 7A, which had some hill climbing scuff.  

Then it was back up Trail 7, hooked over to Trail 1 (where I encountered a groomer, again!) and down North Street into Old Forge.

I stopped at the Town of Webb information center and had a nice chat with Tourism Director Mike Farmer. Then I hit Slickers for a late lunch. If you like char-grilled burgers, Slickers makes a great one! It sure hit the spot for me.

Then I started back toward home. Trail 5 had fresh groom marks coming out of Old Forge which veered onto Trail 4. I was tempted to make a run at Pete’s Peak, but didn’t. Probably should have…

Anyway, the rest of Trail 5 going back toward Eagle Bay had considerable snirt and some chop. To save a bit of time, I hit 4th Lake at Daikers and romped in the deep powder all the way back to Inlet.

After hitting the Inlet loop trails again, I ran back over 7th Lake Mountain and back down to Moose River Plains. Some of the usual thin spots and corners near Inlet were starting to show up again, but the rest of it was great to Silver Run.

Tuesday afternoon’s traffic had churned Silver Run to Cedar River Headquarters into a sea of long-wave, low amplitude rollers.

C8 from Headquarters back to Indian Lake was well ridden and no longer the heaven on earth that I rode this morning. But it was a plush and comfortable ride with just the occasional light corner scuff.

Of course, I did the victory lap around village loop when I got back. All great stuff. Lake Adirondack was a powder blast! S85/Ski Hut trail was especially mint. Rolled back to the compound just shy of dark with 135 miles for the day. Can’t shake a stick at that!

You can see the rest of my pictures from today:

Hey, what can I tell you? It was an awesome day for riding! Catching a powder day like this was seeing a rainbow or hitting that killer wave. It’s there for a moment, then washes away. You have to be right there when it happens.

Midweek Outlook:

Yeah, the new snow was powder and not the best base booster. But 8-12 inches of snow fills in lots of divots! Groomers will continue to make their rounds to assimilate the new snow into the base. Nothing but cold and snow in the forecast. Don’t hate me because I live here. Just come and get it!

For the ilsnow nation,


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