February 12-15, 2016 Annual Cabin Trip: (68 Photos)


68.   Having missed an official Shed-Headz Crew Cabin Trip last year (we made a couple day trips to the Sooley Cabin, and Sooley & Burt spent a few nights there with the kids) but this year everything worked out for an official multiday trip.


67.   A lot of the Crew were not able to make the trip but Sooley, Kim, Maffer, Janes, and I loaded up and headed out over the highway Friday morning to Whitbourne. Maffer trailered his 2012 CanAm Outlander 800 while Sooley & Janes would be riding the Sooley's Arctic Cat Panther and the old Enticer II.


66.   I decided to leave my Bike at home and took project REV hoping that there would be enough snow. The weather was great and snow cover pretty decent, in town the last snow storm came with a lot of wind which drifted the snow leaving open areas exposed. At the cabin conditions were much better, it was no sweat to get around on sled, although there wasn't much for riding off trail. With the pending forecast I hoped that would change!


65.   Once we got everything unpacked and ready for the weekend, the first order of business was getting the Sooley Family Enticer II running. It amazes me that year after year, with next to zero maintenance that this machine fires up with minimal effort. Its old, slow, loud and rough, but its reliable! After a prime it started right up. We gave it an inspection and found nothing worrisome, the track is still holding up with about 3/8" lug remaining!


64.   With the sleds ready to go, we headed up the pond checking the ice along the way to the top where we set out some ice fishing lines, as is the tradition for the first day.


63.   Earlier this year I bought a cordless drill adaptor for my ice auger at O.P. Fishing & Hunting, this was a great opportunity to try it out. My auger is a 6" model with brand new blades and we used my Milwaukee 18v FUEL drill on low speed and the 2nd handle. The set up worked fantastic! Its very fast and we drilled at least 50 holes over the weekend without flattening the battery.




61.   As usual, it wasn't long before we had a few trout on the ice!


60.   While Sooley and Janes minded the lines Maffer and I burned some fossil fuels in the Machines. I checked out the pole line as far as Highwaters, it was decent but there wasn't a lot of snow cover on the main path, just enough to get by. Maffer stuck to the pond babying his CanAm in the slush & snow!




58.   After an awesome supper of Fish Stew made from Cod Fish caught last fall during the annual food fishery, we loaded up Maffer's Bike with wood for a fire at the top of the pond under clear skies and a million stars. Even with a full load, he only got stuck once in the deep slushy snowy mess on the pond.




56.   There are definitely worse ways to spend a Friday Evening!


55.   Saturday Morning Maffer, Janes and I headed to Monty's Place in Whitbourne for Breakfast as its hard to go to the cabin and not have one of their Omelettes at least once during the trip! Sooley stayed behind mending up his lines to get in a little ice fishing before the storm.


54.   With a snowstorm advisory in place, after breakfast Maffer headed back to town with his Bike and returned with his sled, project REVolution which is a 2006 REV 500ss. It wasn't easy getting around on bike, with more snow the sled would be much better suited.






51.   We got out for a couple hours to log some miles as the storm started, and more importantly to check the gullies around the cabin. The heavy snowfall might obscure the thin ice and open areas so we wanted to gauge their condition beforehand.


50.   With the storm in full force around 3pm we all headed back to the cabin to weather it out.


49.   Taking advantage of the down time, safety Sooley performed a safety 3rd ceiling speaker replacement operation and got our music back in service. That evening we had an awesome BBQ steak dinner with fresh mushrooms, onions, and rice on the side.


48.   About 9pm the storm was finally winding down. We received over 30cm in a few short hours and couldn't wait to get back outside and take full advantage of the fresh powder!


47.   Maffer fired up his Honda 9/28 Snowblower and got to work clearing the parking lot & driveway. Sooley and I also took turns in clearing snow as well.


46.   At the same time we all had a load of fun breaking powder on the the two REV's. It was absolutely fantastic playing in fresh fallen untouched powder!






43.   With gas burned and the driveway mostly cleared we retired to the cabin for a few socialables and a game of Crazy 8's which got totally out of hand at one point requiring 3 decks of cards. It was an awesome night!


42.   Sunday morning brought a calm after the storm. Clear skies, winter temps, little wind and a country full of fresh powder calling our names!


41.   Unfortunately Janes and Kim both had prior commitments and headed back to St. John's before the fun started.






38.   While the breakfast dishes were cleared away Maffer fished off the last bit of snow clearing.


37.   Unfortunately, we couldn't get out for a ride first thing Sunday morning. Last night while blasting through the fresh powder Maffer managed to pile his sled into the floating wharf down by the pond. The panels weren't lining up so we knew there was something seriously wrong.


36.   With limited tools, I got to work taking off the muffler to view where I thought the damage was. The right ski hooked the pontoon on the wharf which twisted the NUN which in turn bent the bulkhead under the engine.


35.   It was a pretty serious kink!


34.   We tried hammering on the bulkhead without much success.






31.   Plan B was to try and remove some of the damage by exerting an opposite force to the one that caused the problem.


30.   With a strap tied to the bottom control arm & anchored to a tree Maffer made a dozen or so plucks backwards which actually worked to remove most of the twist in the nun and started to pull the bulkhead straight.


29.   Next we used a strong straightedge and 2 C-clamps to pull the rest of the kink out of the bulkhead.




27.   Once straight we folded over a piece of 1/8" Angle Iron that was laying around the shed and bolted it in place to add some strength back to the weakened structure. The end results were pretty impressive, although not 100%, the sled was a solid 90% fixed. The panels lined up decently and handling was much improved.


26.   While Maffer suited up and Sooley set some lines I headed out on the power line to see how much conditions improved over yesterday.


25.   Although this gully may look OK while snow-covered, this was partly open water during yesterdays scouting run so we knew it wasn't safe to cross today. This was unfortunate because it cut off a large area of riding, however we cant do much about the warm spell of weather we experienced earlier this month.


24.   With the fresh fallen snow, riding overall was a huge improvement! Known trails and safe ponds provided fantastic riding, off trail was ok, but slow as without a dense base hidden rocks & stumps could easily do damage if we weren't careful.


23.   Once Maffer arrived, the three of us headed out for a full afternoon of tearing up powder from the cabin all the way to Whitbourne.


















14.   After a poor quality winter, there is nothing quite like finally having enough snow to get stuck in! The mistake here was not enough speed. When in doubt, pin it to win it!










9.   We eventually made it to Monty's on the highway in Whitbourne where we stopped to gas up and pick up a snack before heading back to the cabin.


8.   Maffer's custom breath box!








4.   Our long afternoon/evening riding really wore us out good as it was our first ride of the year. The rest of the evening was spent relaxing around the cabin, although we did take a late night coffee run to Tim Horton's in Whitbourne. Oh the convenience of a close Tim Horton's!


3.   Monday was the last day of the trip for Maffer and I which was spent loading up machines and cleaning the cabin. Sooley would be staying until Wednesday, but we wanted to get most of the clean up done before we left.


2.   Although the weather at the cabin was great, the drive back was actually quite stormy. From Middle Gull Pond to Butter Pot Park we experienced white out conditions and significant snow accumulation on the road.


1.   We made it back to town with no troubles, brining one of the best cabin trips ever to a successful close.

Cheers, MIKE

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Copyright 2011 Michael Smith