March 5, 2005 Sooley's Paradise Ride: (1 Photo)
As recalled by Sledsooley, written by Mike Smith
This past week we were dumped upon once again, the guys went out Saturday playing in the powder but I decided to opt out. The guys said that the Powder conditions were awesome, they made first tacks in the Goulds fields and tore up all the fresh powder they could find. I finished clearing up the driveway and realised it was a beautiful sunny day for a ride so I suited up, fired up the Mach1-ton and ventured up the street towards Bill and Heather's house to access a path to Adam's Pond. With the street rapidly being built up, this was really the only way to access the pond and get a little ride in.
Bill's backyard drops off rather steeply in two tiers so gravity worked well pulling myself and the sled down over the embankment to the pond. I played on the pond for awhile having a great time cutting, leaning, and boondocking. Next I decided to follow a set of skidoo tracks across the pond to a barely beaten path where a combination of too much speed, lack of braking, and an immense amount of powder found me wedged between a Birch and a Spruce tree with one ski hooked over a stump. NOTE: I didn't come off the machine! After about a half hour of sweat and shortness of breath I was back on the pond. In the ruckus I took my goggles off and laid them on the dash of the sled, when I came down the bump back to the pond they fell off. I noticed this a few seconds later and started my turn to retrieve them, but slowing down, loose snow and slippery ice don't mix well so I got stuck again! I walked back to pick up my Goggles, returned to the sled, kicked some snow away from the belly of the machine, lifted the track up on some powder, and I was free once again. I decided I had enough fun lifting, huffing and cursing on the sled and headed for home.
Remember the steep ass embankment behind Bill's house?!?! Gravity works great when going downhill, not so much trying to get back up. On my first attempt I got stuck on the bottom part of the incline (which at this point felt like a mountain). I slugged, sweat, and handy cried the machine out, and headed back to the pond. I beat the path down and made another run for it, this time I made it over the first tier! Unfortunately the top of this tier was exposed gravel, the spinning track grabbed a bunch of traction and shot the sled headlong into the snowdrift at the bottom of the second tier! The whole front of the sled, handle bars forward, was buried into the huge drift. (I ALMOST came off the machine this time). An afternoon of Solo stucks and standing back looking at a Mach1 seat sticking out of a snowdrift started to get my spirits down. (a few Oaths may have been shouted!!). I dug and slugged the back of the sled around, pulled the machine out of it's snow cocoon, and started it back up. The next task was getting around the wall of snow which was the last obstacle blocking my path home. I turned around to get as much of a run at the hill as I could and got about 15 feet into another drift. By this time I was beat (luckily I didn't have a pack of matches!), so I headed on foot back to the house, which was the longest short walk home I have ever had! I got in the door and sat down in the basement for about a half hour to catch my breath and ponder the situation my poor sled was in. With a plan in mind I jumped in the car and headed to Coastal Marine to find myself a new best buddy.
With my new found friend "Blocky" in hand, I trudged back to the scene of the mess. God love Newfoundland Power for having poles planted every 40 feet behind Bills house as they proved an ideal anchor for my new block and tackle. After an hour of Block and Tackle pulling and readjusting I pulled the machine back enough to giver again. This time chose a better line and punched the throttle handy through the bar and had all three cylinders of 700cc fury rocket me up over the last embankment. I was never so happy to see pavement on a skidoo before in my life, I parked the machine in the shed and closed the door on a way too eventful expedition.
Moral: ALWAYS SKIDOO WITH A GOOD BUDDY LIKE BLOCKY!
Or for the 'byes: Don't let Sooley sled alone!
Copyright © 2011 Michael Smith