February 12-15, 2004 Annual Winter Trip: (29 Photos)


29.   The 2004 Annual Winter Trip to the Sooley family cabin near Whitbourne was a milestone in many respects. It was far from being the first annual cabin trip as we've been doing this now since 1998.



28.   However this was the first year that most of the crew had snowmobiles! On previous winter trips only Sooley and Bill had sleds, last year Maffer purchased a used '94 Scandic 503 & I had a loan of a Scandic 377. In previous years I'd bring my ATV or dad's ARGO 6x6.



27.   Earlier this year French purchased a brand new Yamaha Venture 700 and I bought a used 1997 Skidoo Grand Touring 500. Long had a rental Skidoo MXZ 700, and Adam showed up with a rental Polaris 500. Todd was rounded out the group arriving with his 2004 Yamaha RX-1.



26.   This is also the first year that the trip was captured with digital cameras which eventually lead to the creation of this website. T there are very few traditional photographs left from previous trips.



25.   As usual, this trip started out a little tangly. Bill was still in town that first night due to work commitments but one of the boys towed his '97 V-Max 700 to the cabin for him. After unloading the sled that evening, Maffer took it for a run up the pond following the rest of the crew. Starting off from a stop half way up a big hill on the pole line, the primary clutch on the V-Max exploded into a hundreds of pieces causing quite a bang! I believe Maffer's exact words were "I turned my shorts into a pudding bag", whatever that meant it didn't sound good.

We towed the sled back to the cabin and broke the news to Bill by phone. Parts had to be ordered for his V-Max but he was able to get a loaner sled from a friend, a brand new Yamaha RX-warrior - a long track version of Todd's sled and Bill's first taste of the new 4 stroke Yamaha snowmobiles.



24.    Friday was our first full day riding and we spent it playing and fooling around in the ample powder. 2004 was an awesome year for snow, there were lot of drifts and tons of snow everywhere just begging to be carved up.



23.   We took a run to high waters and the less experienced riders such as myself began our steep learning curve climbing hills, getting stuck, getting unstuck, and jumping our sleds.



22.   Long who was riding his Yellow MXZ 700 rental and Bill on the Silver/Red RX-Warrior were the only ones with any real amount of experience boondocking, but the rest of us were quickly getting the hang of it!















15.   French's Silver Yamaha Venture was powered by latest version of Yamaha's epic 700 triple cylinder 2 stroke which featured power valves to optimize performance.



14.   We did manage to make a few small distance runs that weekend, one took us to Whitbourne and a little further West on the old train track near Ocean Pond.



13.   Like every other cabin trip we took some time to plant a few ice fishing lines while we carved up the surrounding hills.



12.   Even Dad made it up for an afternoon ice fishing while cruising on his old Yellow Skidoo Cheyenne.



11.   Along with buying my Skidoo Grand Touring 500, I also acquired a 1980 Kawasaki Invader 440 from my uncle late last fall. I spent some time fixing it up and getting it running and decided to take it to the annual cabin trip for a test ride. It ran pretty well but had a nasty hesitation/bog off idle that went away with speed. I managed to snap off a bracket in the rear suspension, but now I knew I had something decent I could work with and continue the restoration.





9.   Ronnie left earlier then the rest of us taking Adam's rental sled back to the cabin, but he didn't know the way quite as well as the rest of us. Speeding along, Ronnie missed the opening in the last neck of the pond by Sooley's cabin and cleared a path straight through the trees, effectively jumping the neck and breaking back out onto the pond. Amazingly he managed to only mow down small trees missing 2 large ones only by inches! It was funny for us, but Ronnie wasn't laughing at the time!







6.   With a large crew on hand it can sometimes be tight quarters for sleeping arrangements, but we always manage to fit everyone in.







3.   On the last day of the trip Maffer had an itch to do something cool. We were all standing around at the back of the cabin chatting when we heard him rev up the old Scandic 503. Our view was obstructed by trees but we seen him at the last minute making a final approach for the roof of the potato cellar, which was about a 7 foot drop! The Yellow Banana Scandic plummeted quickly, landed flat, and skidded sideways to a stop inches away from one of the guy's snowmobile! It was absolutely wicked, but no one had a camera or camcorder rolling at the time!





1.   This cabin trip was another awesome adventure, learning how to handle our new machines made it very rewarding and a lot of fun. Unfortunately for my wallet I joined the crew in becoming completely hooked on snowmobiling!

Cheers, MIKE

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