March 20, 2011 Sooley Cabin Day Trip: (9 Photos)
9. Its been at least 3 years since I can remember riding a snowmobile this late into March here on the east coast. Unlike our fortunate West Coast snowmobiling brethren, our season is usually petering out mid March.
8. After experiencing reasonably cold temperatures all week, a little rain Thursday and a little snow Friday, French, Bill and I headed to Sooley's cabin Sunday morning with hopes of burning another tank of gas in the sleds. We keep going back to this area especially late in the season because we are confident in the ice on the ponds, and there is a lot less traffic in the woods then there is closer to town. Sure enough when tested we found a good 12" of ice on the pond, although the sides of any narrow sections and stream run in's were given a wide margin.
7. I started my sled and headed up the pond hearing a few snaps & pops along the way, I figured the drive belt was failing but I kept riding to the top of the pond. A few hundred feet from our cook up spot the belt completely disintegrated and I coasted to a stop about 20 feet from my destination. I unloaded my ice fishing gear, and set about installing my spare belt. I was disheartened to find that not only had the belt disintegrated, but the primary clutch was damaged. There was a large piece broken and missing from the clutch and a large split had formed right to the centre of the outer sheave.
6. The snow that I enjoyed so much last weekend was mostly melted, leaving not a trace in the open areas and little in the woods. Although the temperatures the previous week were mostly below zero, the heat of the sun did a job on the snow levels. This was OK because I no longer had a working sled! Bill managed a little riding on the pole line which was still protected in the shade of the tree line, but the open bog areas were not easily passable. The fresh 5cm that fell Friday covered the pond nicely providing traction and cooling for the sleds.
5. Since I couldn't ride, we decided to set a few ice fishing lines, and have a cook up. Janes dropped up and enjoyed the afternoon with us catching a couple trout and having a wicked feed of Bacon, bologna, onion and beans.
3. Knowing the clutch would probably explode if started I reluctantly had French tow me back to the truck when we packed up for the day.
1. All was not lost, we had a great day in the country, French got to try his new Curve XS skis on his Yamaha Nytro, and Bill got a little riding in. Depending on the weather I might leave my sled repairs until the fall, but if we get a dump of snow repairs will be completed pretty quick!
Copyright © 2011 Michael Smith