Feb 20, 2010 St. John's to Witless Bay Run: (3 Photos)
3. Its been nearly a month since our last run, an unseasonably warm winter has made snowmobiling on the East Coast pretty miserable this year. Even now at the end of February we still have barely enough snow to get around, and the ponds are barely safe at best.
However, Joe & Captain H were having a worse time in Southern Harbour where there was no snow to get out for a run, so they loaded up and came in town for a run this past weekend. Saturday morning we headed to Northern Pond road to join the 100 or so other trucks unloading sleds that day. Arriving early, we managed to get decent parking spots.
2. We unloaded the sleds, suited up and headed in Northern Pond road, taking a side trail west towards the Foxtrap pasture lands. We then rode out Pasture Land Road and hopped on the pole line headed west towards the Witless Bay Line. All in all, the conditions were decent on the pole line, even in the more open areas. You had to be wary of rocks, and we never hesitated on any water crossing but we arrived at the Witless Bay line without incident. We then headed South across the open country, and by using Joe's GPS and keeping line of site with the road we met up with the old witless bay line cabin road. We followed this trail to Crane's North Atlantic Station on the Southern Shore Highway where we gassed up and had a lunch.
1. Leaving Cranes we decided to head back to town via Joyce's trail and found the path quite rough. Along the way a guy waved us down so we stopped to see what the problem was. He said that his sled was stuck in a bog hole about a 1/2 hours walk away on a side trail. We gave him a lift back to his sled and in no time had it freed from its muddy grave. This guy knew the backcountry of 1000 Acre Marsh really well and offered to guide us around for the afternoon to which we readily agreed, not wanting to take that rough ol' "groomed" trail back to town.
Our afternoon's ride was awesome, the open country was smooth as silk and made for excellent fast riding. We stopped at Tucker's cabin along the way and eventually came back out on the Pasture Lands, where we headed across country again towards Big Northern Pond, meeting up with Northern Pond Road in that vicinity. I really wish I had my own GPS with me that day to log the routes we took, hopefully I can meet up with someone familiar with this area again to log some of these awesome trails.
Mechanically, the only trouble I suffered was a crapped out rear shock. The gas leaked out, and was replaced by water which subsequently froze solid, leaving me with little to no rear suspension travel. I suffered out the afternoon riding, but I missed out on the next day's ride with Joe and Captain H who explored more of 1000 Acre Marsh on Sunday.
Copyright © 2011 Michael Smith