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I am a true diehard snowmobiler, living in Midland, Mi. As I also watched the storm lining itself up on Wednesday, I made the decision to to give it a shot and head to the UP, Polaris in tow. I called all of my riding buddies, and they said I was nuts. But I thought, "When will I have another chance to ride in October???" So off I went, having never been farther west in the UP than Munising or Escanaba.

The company I work for has an office in Gaylord, so Thursday morning found me leaving the office in Saginaw, heading for the Gaylord office. The Polaris was at my place in Tawas, so the trip to Gaylord was via Tawas. I picked up the sled, which hadn't been touched since March. She started right up, just like we rode last weekend. I checked the carbides, looked over the hyfax, and loaded her up. After stopping at the office in Gaylord (which had no snow), I was off. Destination unknown, just chasing a storm, looking for snow. Just north of Gaylord Thursday night found the first significant snow, and ice. I-75 was slick, and after slipping a couple times, I slowed down to 40 mph. By the time I arrived in Mackinaw City, it was a full blown winter storm.

Crossing the bridge was, by far,was the worst crossing ever. The uprights could not be seen until appx 300 yards away, and you could not see one from the other. After crossing into the UP, I headed for M-123. The Dodge now was in 4WD, and I was set for a long ride. I thought to myself that the way the storm was going, that Munising was the choice ticket. I was having dreams of a burger at the Bear Trap in Melstrand, and riding some trails I was familiar with. Before I got to Trout Lake, the snow was gone. I could not believe what I was seeing. The farther I went, I became disheartened. I thought I should turn back, to where the snow was heavy. I dropped the Dodge out of 4WD and leaned on it.

By the time I got to Newberry, I knew I was on a mission. I saw a UPS driver at the BP station. I pulled up and asked him which way he had been. He said he came from the west, and there was no snow in Seney. I looked at the clock, it was 9:30 pm. Off I went, heading west. I called my sister in Texas, and had her looking at your site, and weather.com. She said what I was thinking, the Keweenaw was the place. I stopped in Munising to get gas, again, not believing there wasn't any snow. I figured that Marquette was the stopping point for the night. I arrived at the Days Inn around midnight.

The bizarre thing about this storm I noticed, that it had an eye, and an eye wall. This deep low pressure system was amazing. Just before the snow ended before Trout Lake, I had been in the heaviest snow and wind yet. Then it all ended. As I was driving, I kept looking into the sky. There were stars out.

After waking up Friday morning around 6:00 am, the first thing I did was look outside. I could not believe it. NO SNOW!!!. I flipped on the TV, and checked the web on the laptop. The web cams looked to show the most snow in Calumet, so again, it was on for the Keweenaw. Just west of Marquette, it was full blown winter storm again. With a smile on my face, I knew I would be riding today. My sister in Texas had seen the Weather Channel report in Houghton. She was calling, saying head there. When I got to Baraga, the snow subsided. When I arrived in Houghton, I figured as much I'd went too far. I continued on up towards Calumet. The farther north, the less the snow. I hung a hard right for Copper City, and came back down through Lake Linden.



After doing the detour through down town, I knew that Baraga was the ticket. I had been listening to XM radio for the trip, so I switched to a local station. They reported that the areas west of Marquette could see an additional foot of snow on Friday. I thought to myself as I was passing through Lake Linden, "Do I go and find John Dee??" The desire to ride overtook my desire to meet him some day, and I continued south. It was 9:30 am.

I arrived back in Baraga, and stopped for gas. I continued south, and the snow was coming heavy. I was driving and looking at the map for a place to go and park. As I was driving south of town, I saw a sign that said "ORV trails" pointing west. I turned onto Baraga Plains Rd, and continued on. I got down to the end of the road, which tees into Plains Rd. I turned right and saw where the snow plow had turned around. I then realized I had found the place. I parked and got
dressed.

The wind was howling, and the snow was heavy. My smile could not have been bigger, as I pulled away from the truck and trailer, riding my snowmobile, on the 13th of October 2006.

Being by myself, which I realize was not the safest thing to do, I decided to stay close to the truck. I gave myself a 5 mile radius, and checked out all there was to see in that area. I figured if I got stuck, I could walk that far. I also had the cell phone, which had service. I called my riding buddy, told him where I was, and listened to him whine about not being there. That was awesome!! Breaking trail in 16-20 inches of snow was an experience.
I also rode around the perimeter of the old landing strip out there in the Baraga Plains.
After an hour and a half, I was soaked. The snow was so wet and heavy, I could not keep it off my visor or wind shield. I was cold, wet, happy, and satisfied.
I had put 40 miles on the Polaris in October. I went back to the truck, loaded up, and headed back for Tawas. I left the Baraga Plains just before 2:00 pm, and arrived back in Tawas at 9:30 pm.

Conclusion..... I am nuts. But guess what, after 1200 miles of driving, $250 in gas in the Dodge, a hotel room, and some junk food, I rode my sled in October!!!!!
 

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there is no possible way your crazy, if i had the opritunity to do something like that i would. your so lucky
 

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Very good story, I thought for sure it was going to end with a sled that would not start.[:D]

Man I am happy these days if I can ride in December around my area. We head to the U.P. every New Year and it is usually the first ride of the season.
 

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That was a really awesome storm, except for the part where all the snow was melted away in just a few days[:(] and my sled was at home 260mi away from me. But it was a very encouraging sign to see that much snow that early......hope we get more here soon[:D]
 

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That story right there is the best example of what a snowmobile fanatic really is! Glad to hear that everything turned out okay for you.
 
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