February 6-10, 2019 Annual Cabin Trip: (109 Photos)
109. Once again the Annual Winter Trip to the Sooley cabin in Whitbourne is upon us and the Shed-Headz crew are eager to head out over the highway for a few days of relaxation & outdoor activities. Ronnie and AJ were the first to hit the road leaving a couple days early to match up with AJ's work schedule arriving at the cabin Monday evening well after dark.
108. With the trucks unloaded, wood stoves lit and bags put away, the boys hit the pond on studded dirt bike & AJ's new sled project for the '97 Vmax's shakedown run. The sled ran great with no major troubles reported. Check out the full story of AJ sled rebuild project HERE.
107. Meanwhile I was home getting Project Foreman ready for the trip in-between my daytime work, and evening ceramic tile work!
106. With low snow conditions and a lot of very slippery ice covered trails I decided to install 700 1/2" dirt bike studs in my 12 year old Mud Lite XTR radials. This will make trail riding and hill climbing a heck of a lot easier.
105. Tuesday morning Ronnie & AJ took advantage of marginal snow conditions (which were forecasted to melt overnight with warm temps & rain forecasted) logging some miles on both the Vmax & their studded out YZ 250 dirt bikes. This is the 3rd year for the boys running studded dirt bikes and they continue to work flawlessly.
104. Later that afternoon AJ popped a belt on the Vmax, not a big deal being a used machine with a belt of unknown age. It most likely let go due to age & dry rot.
103. After a couple phone calls & text messages to the crew for technical support Ronnie had the spare belt installed in no time.
102. Tuesday afternoon French arrived at the cabin and fired up the Argo for a rip up the pond with the boys.
100. Wednesday morning finally arrived, with work finally finished for eth week Sooley & I hit the highway west to Whitbourne to start our time at the cabin! Project Foreman was loaded into the bed of my winter mode Silverado and enough gear to support all sorts of outdoor activities piled high in the back seat.
99. Rain overnight Tuesday melted all of the snow, but I did take Project REV up the pond while there was still lots of standing water to cool the heat exchangers just to burn some of the 12 month old gas out of the carburetors.
98. Sooley and Jessica arrived shortly after I unloaded my truck and proceeded to unload nearly all of Sooley's worldly possessions from TWO vehicles into the cabin. LoL
97. Project REV is in need of a new battery and a taillight bulb but is otherwise working extremely well!
95. Sooley's mom even sent up a cake to celebrate her little boy's big 40th birthday later this week!
93. The new tire studs in project Foreman are working absolutely amazing, better than I ever thought they would. Grip is outstanding particularly on the power line trails which are off camber and consist of steep climbs and are now all covered in glare ice.
92. AJ also took advantage of the water soaked pond and burned another few litres of gas in the old Vmax.
89. I spent most of Wednesday afternoon trail riding and checking out all of our usual riding, fishing and hunting locations all around the cabin and highwaters.
88. Some areas of highwaters simply never freeze up, but overall ice conditions are much better than we've experienced over the last few years.
86. While I was out riding French, Sooley & Jess set a few ice fishing lines at the top of the pond and got a fire going in our fire pit clearing.
83. Ronnie & AJ stopped up to the fire pit clearing for a warm-up and a yarn.
77. Every year I try to complete this hill climb which comes directly off the pond sideways up to the pole line with zero success to date on project Foreman. It's been many years since we've had enough snow to make it on snowmobile. Maffer has made it most of the way on his Can Am ATV (however nearly flipping each time he attempts it), and AJ successfully completed the climb last year on his studded out YZ 250 dirt bike. This year my studded Foreman ATV finally completed the climb with relative ease, while AJ once again made it look pretty easy tackling the steep hill on his YZ.
76. Wednesday evening we put together quite a feast consisting of perfectly seasoned BBQ steaks, fresh mushrooms & onions, and pasta side dishes.
72. After supper we headed out to the garage to give Ronnie a hand replacing the broken driver side door handle on AJ's 2007 Silverado.
71. It was a pretty straightforward affair but a couple hands made it much easier.
69. Thursday morning arrived and brought with it cold weather, relatively clear skies, and an awesome breakfast prepared by yours truly consisting of my own homemade Oktoberfest & Italian Moose Sausages, fried eggs and toast.
68. On Thursday AJ started having an issue with his sled. During wide open throttle the sled would loose power, sounding like it was dropping a cylinder. We checked coolant temperature which was fine, replaced three spark plugs, tested and found one plug boot defective so we picked up 3 new ones in Blaketown but the problem persisted. The problem has yet to be fully solved but Ronnie & Bill are troubleshooting towards a solution chasing down possible clutch binding (need inspection/cleaning), fuel delivery problem (maybe bad pump or vacuum pulse line) or a bad coil or two (each cylinder has a single individual coil).
67. Cold temps froze up Project Foreman pretty good but it still started right up and was ready for the day's adventures.
66. Sooley and French went for a walkabout scouting out Rabbit runs between the cabin & highway and found more damage caused by the family of Beavers living in the little gully in front of the cabin.
65. They have been so busy hauling sticks that they now have a well worn trail down over the hillside to the gully!
62. These animals have been busy building a chalet of a Beaver lodge and a massive food cache!
61. Since I've never trouted in the front gully I decided to give it a try setting out a few lines for the afternoon, however luck was not on my side or there are just no trout in the little gully.
60. Later that afternoon Janes finally pried himself away from the city and arrived at the cabin in his beautiful 2018 midnight edition Silverado. Hopefully next year he will also have a matching ATV sitting in the bed of the Silverado!
59. While I was ice fishing French and Sooley were busy setting out a few Rabbit snares and building a pen created from tree limbs and 3 snares.
56. A few birch tips were dropped in the centre to hopefully attract a bunny or two.
55. By suppertime it started to get a little stormy with 5cm or so forecasted overnight. Taking advantage of the snow I took project REV for a few rips up and down the pond to scratch the 'ol skidoo itch. Its a terrible winter for snowmobiling but at least I'll manage to burn off some of the old gas.
54. Supper Thursday consisted of amazing Nachos, homemade Guacamole, awesome salsa prepared by French, Janes and I.
52. We made enough to feed an army, it was awesome and there was none leftover from the two huge trays!
51. Friday arrived and brought overcast skies and a dusting of fresh snow.
49. Ronnie and AJ would be heading back to town later today as AJ had work commitments, but not before we held the annual Father and Son identical dirt bike drag race which Ronnie has won for the past two years.
46. After the big race Sooley hopped on Ronnie's YZ 250 and tested out the studded tires for his first time. 'Ol Sooley did well cracking the throttle and surprisingly not crashing!
45. After the boys headed back to town Sooley headed up to the back trail to check out fresh Coyote tracks made in last nights fresh fallen snow.
44. He followed the tracks along the full length of our new back ATV trail then up the pond right to the pole line. It appears at least 3 animals were in the group taking slightly different tracks as they travelled.
42. Reaching the pole line, Sooley found a great vantage point, set up the caller and readied his .223 rifle just as French arrived in the Argo stirring up the whole hunt! LoL
40. Meanwhile Janes took my project REV for a spin up the pond to see what the byes were up to.
38. At the same time I stayed back at the cabin and threw together a quick lunch.
37. On the menu today was sliced moose roast, fresh mushrooms, onions seasoned with garlic, Italian seasoning and Worchester sauce. Its one of my favourite lunches for cooking up in the woods, however today I took advantage of the cabin's facilities for my cook-up.
36. After lunch while the byes were still coyote hunting I loaded up project Foreman with my chainsaw and necessary tools and hit the back ATV trail to cut up some wind fallen trees blocking the path.
35. My good ol Princess Auto Poulan continues to work well, actually better than expected for a $100 saw that's used once or twice a year.
34. At the end of our path (currently) I cut a new exit path out to the pond which will help aroid a massive & difficult hill climb coming back the trail and make hauling firewood easier as we can use the pond instead of the twisty tangly woods path.
32. Late Friday afternoon French and I jumped in the Argo and headed up the pond to try out a new ice fishing spot. For the first time ever we are seeing more and more visitors on Sooley's pond which for the last 20 years we've had mainly to ourselves and experienced great fishing. Naclor's new Hydro Line came with new forest access roads which means people can now drive their car to locations never before accessible without a long walk - including the top of Sooley's pond.
31. This evening we headed over to the next gully and set out a few lines before it got dark and managed to catch a half dozen nice trout in a little over an hour. Sooley later jointed us and set up his old fashioned coffee perk on his camp stove so we could warm up with a fresh cup of Joe!
29. Supper Friday consisted of Sooley's excellent homemade Chilli and a Caesar salad.
28. Dad stopped up to the cabin Saturday morning with his 2016 Can Am Outlander in tow. After sitting around having a yarn Dad, French, Sooley and I headed up the pond for an afternoon ice fishing while Janes stayed behind to prepare his fancy Saturday night Roast Beef Dinner.
27. The temperature Saturday was bone chilling cold with high winds all day, however our regular ice fishing place at the top of the pond was pretty sheltered in the Lee side of a hill.
26. By and by we got a fire going and set about putting together a nice lunch.
25. Lunch today consisted of Bologna and Beans, some hearty chicken soup and a cup of tea.
20. All in all it was an excellent afternoon in the woods with my old man and we even managed to catch a few trout.
19. Suppertime Kim Puddister and her boyfriend arrived and went for an Argo tour with French and Sooley while I hit the trails on Project Foreman waiting for our Roast Beef dinner to be ready.
15. Once again Janes put together an outstanding Beef Tenderloin dinner with vegetables and a wicked gravy.
14. It was a meal truly fit for a king!
13. After supper we broke out balloons, sparklers and cake to celebrate Sooley's big 4-0 birthday!
8. Ol' Kim is also knocking on the door of 40 too, sometimes it shows. LoL
6. The last day of our trip arrived and brought with it very cold winds and clear skies.
5. Janes and I headed to Monty's Place in Whitbourne for breakfast while the rest of the crew slept in and we spent most of the day packing up for home and cleaning the cabin.
2. French lent a hand disposing of leftovers found in the fridge, every bit helps!
1. It's hard to believe that another year has come and gone, this being our 21st annual winter trip, not sure where all the time has gone, but this website sure helps bring back memories of all our past trips!
Copyright © 2011 Michael Smith