April 15-17, 2011 West Coast Trip: (27 Photos)
27. Winter is pretty much over here on the East Coast of Newfoundland, the snow has melted and my sled stored for summer. However, many riders on the Lewishillbillies and Sled-Headz sites were reporting that conditions on the West Coast of our province were still prime. With this news in mind, some of our crew booked a unit at B&R Cabins in Hampden and planned a long weekend west coast snowmobiling rip.
26. Leaving town after work Thursday, Sooley, French, Bill, & Max headed out the highway for the 7 hour drive to B&R Cabins, arriving sometime around 10pm. The cabin was cozy with running water, satellite TV, woodstove heat, and suitable amenities for cooking. Although not as fancy or spacious as many of the Lodges in the area, it provided more than adequate accommodations for a group of people with one thing in mind...snowmobiling!!!
25. Saturday morning was overcast with flurries and the crew awoke bright, early and refreshed for their first day's ride. French had some trouble starting his '09 Yamaha Nytro, apparently a defective relay was the culprit. After a little fooling with the sled it started fine and operated properly all day. Sooley's Skidoo Renegade started up just fine...
24. Leaving the cabin the guys headed towards the Gorge under snowy skies on hard packed trails. Unfortunately this year the NLSF halted grooming services early on the snowmobile trail network citing a lack of funds to finish the season.
22. Therefore, many of the regularly used trails were rough, particularly in the turns, but conditions did get better the further you got in as traffic dispersed.
21. The trails were icy and hard at lower elevations, but conditions improved dramatically at the 20 km marker.
19. Due to the lack of visibility the guys didn't venture into the Gorge, they passed the day away jumping and climbing hills until Sooley did the inevitable.
17. He was riding along the trail racing flat out against French when all of a sudden Sooley disappeared!
16. Turning around rapidly French found him on the side of trail looking a sled identical to his Renegade which was wrecked and waiting to be towed out. After snapping and emailing pictures of "his crash" to the rest of us here at home they continued on their way. Sooley eventually fessed up to the hoax days after his return to town. That evening back at the cabin the guys cooked a feed of baked pork chops, vegetables, and all the trimmings.
15. Sunday the guys left the cabin under clear sunny skies and headed to the Gorge as they couldn't complete that ride the previous day.
14. After the first rest stop, Bill was in the lead followed by French, then Sooley and Max. After a short while Sooley wanted to go faster and passed French just as they entered a series of "yes mam's".
13. When Sooley hit the first bump, the entire contents of his tunnel mounted skidoo bag began evacuating through the zippered opening that the rider forgot to close. French said there was Pepsi bottles, gloves, goggles, chips & bars pitching out all over the trail!
12. French and Max stopped and picked up the items stowing them on Max's sled. When they finally caught up with Sooley, he still had no idea the bag was empty so French told him all the stuff was still out in the woods!
11. It was lunch time before they told him the difference and gave him back his belongings!
9. After a lunch near the Gorge, the guys headed back out of the country passing Main River.
8. They spent the afternoon hill climbing, jumping and dropping over snow ledges at every opportunity until the gas tanks were empty.
1. That evening a Steak BBQ was on the menu with all the trimmings.
All in all it was a very successful trip. The crew managed to log just shy of 400km on the sleds, plenty of that in the air too!!! The accommodations at B&R although not as spacious as the fancier lodges, was certainly comfortable and affordable. Calculating the food purchased for all meals with the cost of the Cabin, this trip was about 1/2 the cost of staying at a fancier lodge where meals are included. This budget excludes your own personal snacks, booze, gas in the truck and gas in the sleds, as these expenses are equal whichever place you decide to stay.
Copyright © 2011 Michael Smith