Roslyn to Mineral Springs Jan. 6, 2008 Ride Report,
as led by the joint efforts of DeAnn and Fred.
This ride was made one day late due to weather reports that indicated poor conditions on Saturday. On Sunday the weather at ride time was in the mid 20s, the sky was partially cloudy and there was no wind. We left Roslyn at 9:06 as close to the scheduled time as any of my recent rides have been. There were eleven riders at the start, one on a Yamaha, four on Ski doos, and six on Polaris. With no Arctic Cats, we anticipated a good day. Over half the sleds were 600s or smaller and the age range of the riders was 12 to 70. A real family ride.
The normally groomed trail to the top of the hill had been groomed on Friday and was still in pretty good condition. There had been at least three or more new inches of snow on the trails we rode. At the top of the hill, 5 miles out, we left the groomed system and started cross country. Fifteen year old Axel Johnson hit a log, fell off his sled and bumped his elbow, causing enough discomfort that he elected to go back to the truck where his mom picked him up. It turned out he had just a bad bruise. After this delay, the ten remaining riders led by Deann, taking a cross country route, rode on fresh snow that had obliterated any sign of our tracks from our check out ride over a week ago. We successfully crossed the West Fork of the Teanaway River at “Pats” crossing and continued cross country. After crossing the Teanaway bridge, Fred took over the lead and followed a cross country route that was on his GPS of a compilation of several prior trips. Thanks to Jim Johnson’s cross country trail breaking skills, we were able to reach our goal. We climbed the trail to Red Top, dropping off to play on the hills and bowls on the way up to the top in lots of new fresh snow with a good base. Although we only had to dig out a few times, there were several steaming, helmetless heads.
We arrived at Mineral Springs at 1:45, had a nice warm lunch, gassed those sleds that needed fuel and were back on the trail at 2:50, taking the rather bumpy trail to Twenty-Nine Pines. We were early for getting back before dark and the weather was still nice so it was decided to go to Teanaway Butte, a one mile diversion from the trail home. On arriving at the look out it was discovered that Darrell and Pete were missing. Deann assured us that Darrell was at the “Y”. Rod back tracked to the original trail “Y”, and the rest of us rode the ridge to the original trail, again with Jim breaking trail. Neither Darrell or Pete were at the “Y”. At this point I realized that, although I knew most of the riders, I had not gone over the rules of the road and, having ridden with Darrell for almost 20 years had expected him to know and follow them. It turned out that he and Pete were not together and both, thinking we were ahead of them, continued past many intersections without stopping compounding our ability to find them. We followed what we believed were their tracks until they were obliterated by a group of riders coming the other way. The trail they were following would have taken them to Starlight. At an intersection, over 15 miles from where we last saw Darrell, we found him and two other lost riders on rental sleds trying to read the map that told them where they were. He can tell his story, but he and Deann led the lost rental sled riders to their destination while the rest of the riders went looking for Pete. He was not at Starlight, so we decided to go to the rigs. I met two riders on the ridge who stopped and told me that they had found Pete and had taken him to his rig. We were all back at the rigs at 6:06, nine hours from the start, with somewhere between 85 and 100 plus miles on our sleds on a planned trip that should have had about 75 miles and should have been back before dark. At lunch Pete told me this was the best ride he had ever been on. I didn’t ask how he felt after getting back to the truck, but I’m sure he created a memory.