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Tug Hill - Friday 1.10.14
While we are reeling over the thaw, sit back and enjoy our story of riding from Friday 1/10.
Upstate Snow Jr. and I had planned to go up to the Tug Thursday PM and evening which would have been spectacular with the sunset and all, but it wasn't meant to be. The old Doo needed help, the trailer wasn't ready with the new tracks and time just ran out. All was set Thursday night and we set out Friday AM early after my morning show.
We fought through the snow up to Lowville, had breakfast there, then set down at our friend's place off the C5B trail on the hill between Lowville and Montague. I wanted my son to experience the hill but not be totally overwhelmed with the volume of riders that hit the hill, especially on a Friday with a well advertised thaw coming. We set out for Montague right away. I've been there many times before and I wanted him to see the BIG BALL that hovers over the Inn... The NWS Doppler Radar that covers a good chunk of Central and Northern NY. That's where we set out first. Upon arriving we ran into a sea of sledders. Dozens and the place wasn't even open yet! Upon hanging out we ran into several folks who knew us including the crew from the Pink Ribbon Riders!
NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK
Kyle Stephens, a long time fan of ours, wanted to try an meet up with us and had planned to ride the same areas we were. He texted a short time before and said they were riding out of C'ville and would try to head up our way. I figured... no way we'd meet up. Next think I know he shows up with his dad, John. They met me and my son, we stopped for a picture and a short chat. It was so awesome to see father/son riding together and sharing the experience just as I do with my son. For me, that made the day.
After visiting the nice folks at the Montague Inn and grabbing some extra oil for the Old Doo, we headed back eastbound instead of heading for Barnes Corners like we thought we would... We stopped and talked with many on the trail back to Windmills and I love how the guys were encouraging of us as father/son riding. Breaking into the windmills we got out of the thick snow and back into thin stuff, especially on the seasonal roads that were in the open. It's amazing how after 36-48" of snow, the wind just bulldozed it like a shovel. We headed off the hill to Ridge View and met a bunch more nice riders from all over the Northeast and Canada while topping off on petrol and checking mileage.
We then headed back up to the hill and decided to try the trail down towards Copenhagen and Carthage where we knew there was a lot of snow. After clanking carbide on the windswept hill in the windmills, and seeing a lot less riders, we figured it was blown out below us. As we found out later in the day, we stopped just yards from the promise land of deep snow and freshly groomed trails below our elevation not subject to the wind. We then decided to head back across the top of the hill and check out the trail towards Lowville.
We then took it all the way down into the village and Stewarts for a late lunch. As it was getting later and wanting to meet our friends at the end of the day, we double backed up the hill then just sprinted back and forth on the flats along Gardner Road and C5B. It was so much fun and I was impressed how grown up Upstate Snow Jr. handled the traffic, oncoming sleds and the trail challenges. So proud of him applying what he learned in the youth safety course!
After spinning off 75 miles, we called it a day, loaded up the trailer and started home. Yes we could have done well over 100 but we were happy staying out on the open trails and away from heaviest traffic.
We were bummed about the thaw but we look forward to more rides in more places. Lots of the hill left to ride together, we still have our Adirondack rides and our rides with Darrin at ilsnow.com, not to mention our local rides in CNY. We just need snow now. Argh! We only report the weather, we don't control it :-)
Be safe out there and represent the sport well in all you do and say, young and old.
Rich @ Upstate Snow