April 7-11, 2005 Roddickton Sled Trip: (76 Photos)
76. Some say the West Coast is the best coast for snowmobiling in Newfoundland, having only picked up the sport a couple years ago I was eager to see what it was all about.
75. The 2005 snowmobiling season ended on a very high note for me as I set out on my first snowmobile trip to the West Coast of our fair province.
74. Dad and I were invited to join some of his Indian Bay cabin buddies on an awesome snowmobile adventure in Roddickton, NL which is located near the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula.
73. We left St. John's early Wednesday morning with my Skidoo in tow and had perfect driving weather all the way across the island. We saw some absolutely beautiful scenery especially as we drove through Gros Morne National Park on the Northern Peninsula Highway.
68. We arrived at the May Flower Inn in Roddickton in approximately 12 hours.
67. After packing away our belongings in the lodge we took advantage of the longer April daylight hours to go on an early evening ride. With experienced rider Bruce Hunt leading the way we picked up the groomed trail behind the lodge. We soon ended up at a gazebo with a beautiful vantage point overlooking the picturesque community of Englee.
65. We arrived back at the Inn shortly after dark just in time for our first wonderful home cooked supper.
64. The next morning we geared up for our first day's ride. Bruce with his 2005 Skidoo Expedition v1000 and I were the only ones who brought our own machines, the rest of the group were riding rental units supplied by the Inn.
63. These machines included another Expedition v1000, an Expedition 600HO, a ZX Chassis Summit 600, a Yamaha Venture 600, and a Polaris 550 fan. It was overcast and foggy due to the mild temperatures, not uncommon Spring riding conditions.
62. The May Flower Inn also arranged a local tour guide for our trip who led us to great destinations each day. His Yamaha VK540 was outfitted for just about any occurrence that could happen on our adventures.
61. We left the lodge heading due South. Following our guide we crossed the road and landed on the frozen bay where we headed out the sea ice nearly to the waters edge. Here we accessed a tight woods trail and made a steep accent up into the hills, eventually reaching the top of the Tabletop Mountains.
60. This was a great run, it was not all one straight climb, but a series of climbs comprised of twisty wooded trails and open country. The snow was hard packed, but loosened by the mild temperatures so traction was great and stuck machines rare. The only unnerving aspect of today's ride was the lack of contrast between snow and overcast sky, which was only made worse by thickening fog.
59. I didn't have my own GPS at this time, so I have no idea of the exact route we took, nor the names of hills, ponds, & rivers traversed, but we travelled across country stopping at a wilderness camp for lunch.
58. That afternoon we continued our loop travelling open country and wooded trails alike. At one point, I was the second machine behind our guide when he suddenly dropped out of sight!
56. The overcast sky obscured my view of the drop directly ahead, the decent was rapid and steep but perfectly safe.
54. We paused our ride at this point while some of the group and I played in the area climbing the steepest facades of the hill.
53. Coming out of the country I broke through the soft snow on what turned out to be a river running into a small gully sticking my sled pretty good. Our guide hooked a strap to his VK540 and pulled me out with ease.
51. We returned to the Lodge via the frozen bay ice just in time for supper.
50. Our 2nd day of riding brought sunny skies as we headed back across the bay ice and back into the Tabletop Mountains taking a different trail than the previous day up into the hills.
49. This accent was a little more relaxed and we eventually reached the wide open country at the top of these mountains.
46. There were no noticeable landmarks for miles, we followed our guide across this moonscape like expanse stopping for pictures at a barren mountaintop (cant remember the name) and continuing on towards our lunch stop.
40. We stopped for lunch at another backwoods hunting camp. Some of the boys dropped a few ice fishing lines while I took the opportunity to burn some gas on a few little climbs and drifts in the area.
32. After our break we continued our decent out of the mountains following a twisty trail canopied in tall spruce trees which led to a river that was showing signs of the impending spring break up.
27. This run down river crossing rushing torrents of water on bridges of ice was my favourite part of the trip. It was twisty, beautiful and had an element of danger if you weren't careful.
26. One of the boys managed to sink his Polaris rental sled in a slobby part of the river run, he didn't understand the very important snowmobiling mantra of pin it to win it!
25. Once again our guide came to the rescue with his trusty Yamaha VK and towed the sled out of the slob.
15. The river run eventually met the frozen salt water, this route back to the lodge passed many beautiful summer homes. The day ended around supper time just in time for another first class meal in the dining hall of the Inn.
14. Our 3rd and last day of riding again brought beautiful sunny skies and took us North of the lodge in opposite direction of our first 2 days of adventures.
12. We spent the day riding sections of the Groomed Trail Network, woods roads, and large expanses of open country completing a loop back to the lodge. Once again, I have no idea of the names to places we visited, but it was an excellent day's ride.
6. Bruce's 2005 Skidoo Expedition V-1000 is powered by a 1000cc V-twin four stroke power plant which has a very unique sound, lots of power and is decently fuel efficient.
5. Overall there wasn't a whole lot of carnage throughout this adventure. The belt on my machine was a little worse for wear after the first day's ride so I picked up a replacement at a nearby gas bar/parts store. I installed the new belt to ensure maximum power and reliability for the last 2 days of our trip. On day two Dad clinked a rock on his Grand Touring 600 rental, which bent an ADSA front suspension arm. That evening the crew at the lodge made a quick, temporary repair and the sled was ready to ride again the following morning. The Polaris rental unit never worked right from day one, as it had a brutal hesitation in acceleration. We traced the problem to a partially seized secondary clutch probably caused by a bad bushing, the lodge replaced the sled with another rental unit, a 600 Skidoo Summit.
4. Our last day of riding (Sunday) was a little short as we loaded up to head home. We left the Mayflower Inn after supper driving to Deer Lake where we spent the night.
1. Our experience at the Mayflower Inn was great. We were very pleased with the accommodations, the service from the staff, our guide, and the food served was absolutely fantastic. It was a bucket list adventure for me and one that I will not soon forget!
Copyright © 2011 Michael Smith