Speculator Powder Heaven Ride! Update 2/8/18

After I got my snow removal chores done Wednesday evening, it was time to RIDE!

Heading out

Indian Lake town trails were all powdered up when I headed out of town this morning. Indian Lake and Lewey Lake were sweet powder bowls, with the snow getting deeper further south I got.

2 Miles from Hell was in great shape and I was the second track to touch the powder. Perkins Clearing Road was a huge bowl of powder chowder. Even the Southern Perkins Bypass trail was a nice ride.

Ran C4/LP3 into Speculator which had some lumps, but was a fun romp into the village. Got to Village Motorsports and waited for Darrin Jr to show up, so we could rent him a sled for the day.

Perkins Clearing Powder Chowder, and a surprise!

Decided to get back up to Perkins Clearing from the back side. Business-Access-Trail was a beautiful ride. Then we hit Lake Pleasant and Sacandaga Lake, which both had steep and deep powder throughout. LP1/Page Street trail was excellent. Fawn Lake and Big Brook trails were like riding a cloud and difficult to steer.

By the time we got up to Perkins Clearing, I was hoping that nobody had hit Carpenter Hill Road. And sure enough, nobody had done it yet. So we smashed through a foot of fresh pow-pow all the way through LP9/Nichol Vly trail.

Darrin Jr had spotted a huge moose off Carpenter Hill Road and tried to point it out. But I missed it.

So we decided to run LP9 back to Carpenter Hill Road to smash the untouched powder on the other side. And perhaps… Just maybe…we’d see the moose again.

And we certainly did!

I couldn’t get much closer than that for a picture before the moose sauntered off. That is the third time in my life that I’ve seen a moose. It’s always something awesome to behold. 🙂

We looped back over Old Military Road then hit the side trail by the Perkins-T that people like fly by. Glad we didn’t:


That was another great serving of powder chowder! I think Darrin Jr was having a pretty fair time of it:



We even had a bit of fun with the phone camera to shot this little clip. Wait a bit, then watch the blur go by:


On to Speculator Tree Farm…

We ran the “Whittaker Lake” trail down to Wolf Hill Road, which was a nice, plush ride. S41/Silver Hill was lumpy, but was a fun slalom down into the bowels of the Tree Farm. C4/Cave Hill Road was lumpy, but fun with the fresh powder.

We tried running LP4A back up into Speculator. But it was still a little “green” with the highway plow bank pushed over the trail. After a couple of decent stucks and near stucks, we turned tail and headed back to Cave Hill Road. C4 heading back to the River was bumpy, but the fresh stuff kept it reasonably fun. Read More…

More snow! Update 2/7/18

We ended up with 8 inches of new snow here in Indian Lake from Wednesday’s storm.

It wasn’t the double-digit snowfall I was expecting. But we didn’t get rain and we certainly didn’t get skunked.

Snow is nice and deep around these parts now and the snow banks on the back roads have gotten high! Snowpack is 1-2+ feet around Indian Lake, increasing to the 30-40 inch range as you traverse into the snow bowls in the southwestern Adirondacks.

My, how times have changed in a week. 🙂

Strange day for me: Happy because we were getting good snow, frustrated because my internet was hardly working.  And I had a headache like something was trying to jack-hammer its way out of my skull. But two ibuprofen and a two hour tour of snowblower duty cleared my head up nicely. 🙂

Back on the saddle…

Before the Wednesday’s new snow, I got back on the saddle for my first real ride in almost 3 weeks. It almost felt strange at first, but I got the hang of it. 😉

Weekend Outlook

Umm… We’ve got snow! But it’s all powder and grooming probably won’t hold up especially well vs. heavy weekend traffic.

But does that really matter at this point? After we’ve been snow-starved for WEEKS?! Just get here early Saturday or mid-week if you can to maximize the best riding, then let the chips fall where they may.

After perhaps several inches of new snow Friday night, temperatures will peek into the 30s over the weekend. But I don’t foresee any significant or damaging rainfall.

Extended Outlook

I don’t have time to diagram it now, but the notion of bottom-less cold that I had indicated as possible for mid-late February is rubbish.

Instead, we’ll be in a push-and-pull, tug-of-war between brutally cold air to our north and mild air to the south. However, it may not be quite the same up-and-down ride we had for the final 2-3 weeks of January. Very active and fast flow will make long term weather forecasting more difficult than usual.

More of the story: Grab today’s snow because we’re not promised tomorrow. But…always be ready to hit new snow as we get it. I don’t think winter is done yet. Phil the Groundhog said 6 more weeks of winter, right? 😉

One more thing…

10th Annual Purple Ribbon Cancer Ride is Saturday, February 10th. Ride will start at the Boars Nest 9AM and return by 4PM for dinner. Click here for details. Looks like they won’t need to trailer to ilsnow land for the ride this year. This is a great event for a great cause, sponsored in part by Progressive Motorsports and Sportline, who are two longtime supporters of ilsnow.com

For the ilsnow nation,


This report is brought to you by Steet Ponte Auto Group. Many of the vehicles here in Indian Lake are bought from the Steet Ponte. Co-owner Joe Steet is a huge fan and booster of ilsnow.com. If you’re looking for a new truck, give Steet Ponte a good look.


We’re Baaaack! Update 2/4/18

Sunday’s storm delivered the goods for ilsnow land, although in some places WAY more than others.

Indian Lake steady-eddied its way in the struggle to clear 6 inches, while Speculator/Route 8 corridor got crushed with upwards of 18 inches to nearly 2 feet! 

With the deep, moist southwesterly flow, a semi-stationary orographically-enhanced band of heavy snow sat over the southern third of Hamilton County for much of Sunday’s storm. Here was a picture of that snow band late Sunday afternoon:

The Meso-NAM and ECMWF did a good job of forecasting upwards of 12 inches or more of snow for southern Hamilton County, but failed to fully grasp the full magnitude of snowfall within the heart of that heavy snow band.

Every once in a blue moon, these things happen. And we get to happily accept the unexpected bounty for Speculator this time around. 🙂

Midweek Outlook

Umm… Ride! 🙂 Conditions should become quite good in most places as the groomers assimilate the new snow into the trail base.

Another storm storm appears likely on the docket for Wednesday with a solid hit for ilsnow land:

Bottom line

Our long snow drought finally appears over! So if you got some mid-week sick time stowed away, drop a dime on it – especially if you want to nail the southern flank of ilsnow land.

For the ilsnow nation,


This report is brought to you by Pilot Knob Marina in Lake George. Just get off Northway I-87 Exit 20, then follow NY Route 149 East until you hit the junction of NY Route 149 and Bay Road. Pilot Knob Marina features a wide selection of new and pre-owned Arctic Cat snowmobiles & ATVs. If you see Nick Barber, tell him that Darrin @ ilsnow.com sent ya!