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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On Saturday a group of us went for a snowmobile ride.

The morning started out by letting the dog out of the house. She slipped and fell down the stairs that were glare ice from the rain that had come overnight. Since the roads were ice-covered, too, we decided to take gravel roads to the interstate. Well, gravel roads and wimpy trailer tires don't get along too well, so after changing a flat one, we stopped in Fargo to buy another spare, just in case. It rained all the way to Detroit Lakes, and was raining when we unloaded the snowmobiles. It wasn't exactly ideal snowmobiling weather.

We met my brother and two friends at Okeson's Offtrail Sales, which served as our trailhead. The five of us agreed that, yes, we were going to ride in the rain. But, hopefully we would ride out of it, going north.

We rode across a couple lakes and hit the 300 Trail north to Tulaby Lake. The trail had been recently groomed, and had seen very little traffic. After crossing the lake, we were in the White Earth State Forest, where the trails were equally as good.

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About 30 miles into our ride, my brother's '95 XLT Special turned over 10,000 miles.

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We rode up to Pinehurst Resort, where they were holding snowmobile drag races. It was a zoo, and there was a lot of bare pavement, so we headed down the trail, winding up at the Height of Land fire tower.

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This was a re-visit for my wife and I, but the others had never been there before. The Cat rider decided that he needed to climb the tower, which required skinnying up the structure to the ladder, which starts about 15 feet off the ground.

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Then, we made our way to Hoot Owl Resort for lunch. It was still raining, but we hung our clothes out inside the lodge while we ate.

From Hoot Owl, my memory gets a little foggy, because we took a few wrong turns, and backtracked a little bit. But, we eventually found our way to the Elbow Lake Store for fuel. It was still raining, so we decided to go in to dry out and have a Coke.

Rain on our snowmobiles:

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And rain dripping off the roof:

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As we were about to leave the Elbow Lake Store, I was studying the trail map when a guy walked in and said something like, "Don't trust that map. You can't get there from here." Without looking up, I recognized the voice, and when I saw his face, it confirmed that I had met this stranger before. A few years ago, on the same weekend, my wife and I ran across some people that happened to be going the same direction we were. Only, we ended up getting lost and this guy, Jim, ran out of gas. We siphoned from my wife's snowmobile and had lunch with them at the same Elbow Lake Store. We had a good quick chat, and he remembered my wife's old Indy 440.

Our next destination was Two Inlets, where there is a combination general store/gas station/bar. We got to the store there about dusk, which was premature, due to the clouds and rain. The locals at the store couldn't believe it when we said the trails have been simply awesome. There had been almost no traffic on the freshly groomed trails. They all had a chuckle at our wet butts.

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We spun through the trails of the Two Inlets State Forest and then back east to Ice Cracking Lodge for supper. If you're wondering, it was still raining. We ordered and received our food without a problem. Thunder Burger was the meal of choice. But, during our meal, the power went out inside the restaurant. The emergency lights came on.

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But, no worries. The slot machines still work when the power goes out.

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And we had our burger baskets by candlelight.

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We made our way back to, and across, Little Bemidji Lake. Then back down the 300 Trail, across the lakes that began our day, and back to the trailers. We ended up with 200 miles for the day.

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On our way home, our 1998 Chevrolet K1500 pickup turned over 300,000 miles.

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Overall, it was the most fun I've ever had snowmobiling in the rain.
 

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Wow you are way more dedicated than me. I showed the wife this, all she said was " no F'in way, don't even ask about it". I personally hate riding in the rain. But hey gotta ride when ya can.
 

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Fog ridding sucks too lol. I'd rather be in rain than fog. The fogs moisture just coats the goggles and freezes from the speed after it gets on your goggles. We ended up taking the goggles off and riding slow. Haha looks like you had fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We all had full-face helmets with shields. My brother debated wearing his motocross-syle helmet, but figured he'd be screwed if the goggles iced over. Our shields were water-spotted all day, but the only trouble we had with icing was for the first 10 miles or so, when the temperature was hovering around 32F. The gal that was riding the Ski-Doo had ice all over the chest of her jacket at first, too.

I generally don't make a habit of riding in the rain. When we started out I was thinking that it might be a short day. But, the riding was so good, and everybody was having fun, and not getting cold or too too wet, so we just kept going.

There was a little fog in the low areas for the last 30 miles or so. But it never got too thick. It really could have put a damper on the fun factor if it had been much worse.

flatlander, we'll definitely make something work.
 

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Any day on the trails is a good day. Rain or no rain you got to put 200 miles on the sled. Which, after all, is the most important thing. Right????
 

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readytoride said:
Any day on the trails is a good day. Rain or no rain you got to put 200 miles on the sled. Which, after all, is the most important thing. Right????[/color=red]


not always...

GREAT REPORT!!!
 

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gotta ride whenever you can, rain or shine.

i remember when my dads 98 ZR600 turned 10k miles....that was a 250 mile day on destroyed trails. haha

did your brother put all of the 10k miles on that 95 XLT?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Fun riding, on good trails, with good company pretty much made us forget about the rain.

My uncle bought that XLT new, then my dad bought it, and then my brother bought it.

It was probably the last weekend of riding in that area, so I wasn't going to throw in the towel just because of a little rain.
 

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Looks like a blast!! Yes, the snow is crap here now too, last weekend was the last for me as well, time to put the sleds away and get the quads running!
 

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Looks like you had a good time despite the rain. I am hoping to get out for one last ride this weekend, its been raining her for a few days.

Kind of sucks, but at the same time im ready to get the golf clubs out and get out to the river on the boat.
 

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Great report!

It's been a few years since I've been to Hoot Owl, we stayed there one fall when we went 4wheeling on the forest roads. Are Bill & Shirley still running that place?
 

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The full shields were probably the much better idea. Lol I'm sure rain is better with goggles than thick fog though... in thawing weather. Mabey I should invest in afx heated goggles that plug into the sled!

I would have loved to keep ridding this year right to the end. But with a blown apart track its not worth fixing for one last ride after this great year! At least it happend last week at the end of the season.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I learned that Reissa material is NOT waterproof. Highly water resistant, I'd say. For some reason both my wife and I got wet on the inside of our elbows. And my brother learned that 15-year-old Gore-Tex is not waterproof, either.



brian126 said:
It's been a few years since I've been to Hoot Owl, we stayed there one fall when we went 4wheeling on the forest roads. Are Bill & Shirley still running that place?
That was the first time I've stopped at Hoot Owl. I didn't ask their names, but it's the same owners that have been there a long time. They have a pug dog. We had a good visit about the local trails and landowner issues, since a few of the trails around there have recently been closed. He grooms a lot of the trails right around that area. I'd stop there again. I don't know why, but I always get turned around on those trails. There's so many trails there and some are marked and groomed, some are marked and not groomed, and some are groomed and not marked. Plus, the Pickerel Lake Road was plowed down to the dirt because of some logging.
 
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