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Author Topic: Tootlin' around in Taterland  (Read 2784 times)

TZR

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Re: Tootlin' around in Taterland
« Reply #60 on: March 20, 2017, 11:47:13 PM »
We did a Scout Summit ride a few days before St Pats day for wifeys 71st birthday.

Ran both the 340 Enticers up to the hut in 60 plus degree heat.  Took alot of breaks once the temp got way up there.



Bilt "Frosty" at the summit, and had a sunburnt lunch on the front steps of the hut.






Mixed up the food coloring and wifey made her traditional shamrock in back of Frosty.  Its been a ritual for 20 plus years.......along with green beer !   8)


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    TZR

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    Re: Tootlin' around in Taterland
    « Reply #61 on: March 21, 2017, 12:11:29 AM »
    The ride back down was really hot and soft.  Big kernel corn snow real deep.







    Next ride was a couple days later.  Final ride of the year up past box canyon.  Allready loosing access with big bare stretches.  Daytime highs had been upper 50's to low 70's all week, and nightly lows never below freezing......some nights only went down to 55 .   >:(


    Tough sleddin right from the trailhead.






    The sagebrush was allready startin to green up !    :o







    Had to do the old "Hayfield Hula" and stand on the back of the running boards to get the ski's light and spurt over the mud and rocks.








    A bit further things got alot better as I rolled through the hilly sagebrush with decent snow.

    A mile or so later, as I am daydreamin about this bein the final ride to this area, outta the corner of my eye, I sense something at the very corner of my field of vision, paceing alongside me.

    A few seconds later............  MOOSE  !!!!







    He just kept a even pace alongside me for a bit.  I coasted to a stop and killed the engine.  Quickly stripped my gloves off and fumbled for the camera.

    He didnt seem very concerned and just kept watching me as I angled for a few shots.

    Now mind you, im no noob when it comes to Moose.  Had a few big encounters up in Lolo a decade ago.  You simply cant trust them and need to be ready in case they charge...........and they WILL charge if they are in the mood !  :o

    This guy had blonde legs.  Have not seen that coloration before ?   ???







    Sure enough, he decided to start in towards me.  Not a full charge, but a brisk trot !   ::)

    First thought lure him away from the sled.  Nope, he wasnt gonna go for me.......he wanted the Excel III  !

    I then went back to the sled and hunkered down behind the sled with the camera.  I barked like a dog, and he didnt know what to make of the barking sled.  Soon, he decided this was not OK.  He slowly made his way up hill, watching me the entire time.



    « Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 12:47:50 PM by TZR »
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    TZR

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    Re: Tootlin' around in Taterland
    « Reply #62 on: March 21, 2017, 12:23:45 AM »
    I did not expect to encounter Bullwinkle like that !  At most I might have expected Elk, but not out in the open area that was.

    Especially with all the coyotes I had heard out in that area a week before.

    Anyhows,  onward into the mid forest towards box canyon.

    The pine cones were droppin like fly's !  I even got beaned on the head by one while takin pics, they were falling so fast !



    You could sense the end was near with the warmth and how green the pine needles seemed.




    A few miles later I had the option of go direct to the hut, or angle westward into ranchland.  Since this was likely the final ride, I went out into ranchland.  The roadbeds were allready burnin out, with warm gravel bakein in the sun.






    There was a good 3 feet of heavy corn in all the fields still, but the roadbeds were goin fast.






    Some super lucky rancher dude has this cool little cabin right on the sled trail.  Man, wish I had permission to overnight it there a few times !

    Rideing Onward..........as the World Spirals Downward

    TZR

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    Re: Tootlin' around in Taterland
    « Reply #63 on: March 21, 2017, 12:31:55 AM »
    Other road bed trails were just great.  Deep soft corn snow.   Gonna have to come back on the adventure bike this spring.





    Way out in the middle of a few thousand acre patch are these silo's.  Check out the tracked Jeep the rancher uses to get to them !   8)





    Those are some mighty good size track units !







    I love the wide open western feel of this section.






    It really has a big view, and makes you feel so small.






    « Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 12:33:54 AM by TZR »
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    TZR

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    Re: Tootlin' around in Taterland
    « Reply #64 on: March 21, 2017, 12:41:06 AM »
    More big open !







    Back toward the mountains through the sagebrush.







    So long to the big open ranchland trail.







    Temp was really climbing.  Down to just a long sleeve T-shirt for the rest of the ride.







    Into the forest again.  Cool old trail marker on a worn and weathered tree.






    Great snow in the western side of the climb to the summit.

    Rideing Onward..........as the World Spirals Downward

    TZR

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    Re: Tootlin' around in Taterland
    « Reply #65 on: March 21, 2017, 01:01:37 PM »
    Made it to the Scout Mountain hut and found considerable melt from 2 days ago.








    Temp was low 60's and little wind.  Great spot for lunch.  Broomed out the hut, and restocked firewood inside.

    I really feel a connection to this hut.  Im volenteering as its caretaker, and hope to make it up here several times in the summer season to do maintenance on it.








    Temp continued to climb, and it was time to say goodbye for this sled season.  Started down the corn snow road to lower elevation.







    Was a kinda sad feeling, knowing this great snow will last a few more weeks, but you cant get to it due to no real access since its such wilderness backcountry with no trailheads.






    Now it was up near 70 degree's   :o.  Wishin I had a pair of jeans instead of sno mo bibs by then !


    « Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 12:53:08 PM by TZR »
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    zuknomad

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    Re: Tootlin' around in Taterland
    « Reply #66 on: March 21, 2017, 03:35:58 PM »
    Very cool, Jeff. I can't imagine snowmobiling in temperatures like that, it makes a whole new set of rules!

    And the encounter with a moose? Any wildlife I encounter on rides just wants to run from me, not towards me!!
    anyone can run a new sled; it takes some dedication to ride crap!

    PETT #76

    Earl

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    Re: Tootlin' around in Taterland
    « Reply #67 on: March 21, 2017, 07:44:35 PM »
    fantastic photo's and commentary thank you sir....
    doesn't get along well with volunteers             2001 Panther 2 up       80 Kitty Cat

    polaris-case

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    Re: Tootlin' around in Taterland
    « Reply #68 on: March 22, 2017, 02:11:13 AM »
    Yetti   I've been reading your posts all along and as always enjoying every moment of it. It's almost like ridin along in the side car  😂   You put more miles on these old sleds this year than most of us combined I think as we haven't had any good snow all winter in southern Minnesota  😡  Glad your getting settled in nicely. Dale

    399jlo

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    Re: Tootlin' around in Taterland
    « Reply #69 on: March 22, 2017, 10:31:29 AM »
    I too have read all your posts and gazed at the amazing photos, all the while dreaming of a winter time visit to that heavenly wonderland!
    PETT member #60

    TZR

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    Re: Tootlin' around in Taterland
    « Reply #70 on: March 22, 2017, 01:37:45 PM »
    Thanks guy's.   I wish I could drag you guy's along on some of these rides.   Its allways a thought of havin to abandon the sled, and hike out when I ride alone if it craps out and cant be fixed.  I plan for it, but prepare everything real good and dont push it hard.

    The rides are typically 20 - 30 miles long.  Very short compared to my old Sconny rides.  But, a mile out here seems like 3 miles in the forest of Sconny.

    I take alot of breaks simply to just sit there and soak up the amazing scenery.  I take more breaks as the temp rises.  Im not really excited about when it goes above 60 as thats gettin to warm even for the Enticers.  A nice upper 40's sunny day with a real light breeze is just perfect.

    The sun here is extra strong, and you have to plan around it.  You need to be able to add or strip lots of layers depending on the wind or sun.  A 40 degree swing in " feels like"  temps is normal from when you start to when you finish.

    The wildlife isnt really all that active in this area during winter.  A few Elk, the occasional hawk, and now pine squirrells and small birds.  I have heard big packs of coyotes, but only seen one or two.  No wolf or mountain lion tracks yet.  And, Im thinkin not many if any Grizzly bear from the looks of the terrain.

    The moose was just a fluke.  Especially due to the lack of water in the area he was in.  Im guessin he was traveling to a wetter area a few miles away.

    I was a bit surprised he decided to give me a challenge, since he was all alone and obviously not a big female with a youngin in tow....... those are the dangerous ones !   :o

    I think my total miles for the year are just a few hunnert.  I didnt start till nearly the 3rd week of January, and we had alot of funky weather that kept me off the mountain many, many times.   Nothing like the 4000 mile seasons I had back in Sconny.  Its a entirely different kind of sleddin here.

    Its not for everyone, and its not convenient.  You cant risk running anything less than a super reliable machine, or you may be on a all day hike, and might not make it back even then.  It typically has no cell phone reception, and is a wilderness situation with no services of any sort.  No plowed roads intersect the system, so tow out by 4 wheel vehical is not a option.  Pretty much the only rescue would be by another sled........or possibly........if you were lucky enough to have a spot tracker that you could send a SOS text.....helicopter rescue.   But I have yet to see a helicopter like when in lived in Utah or Montana.   ???

    Its all still very doable, you just need to be aware of what your getting into.  Its actually user friendly towards older and smaller machines if you stay on the trails.

    I would be glad to lead anybody around, its a pretty easy to access area...........just not many people use it.


    More pics and story to come....................



    Meanwhile, here is a perfect example of dumbazzery when sleddin in moose area.  They guy in front is obviously runnin the moose down after he spots the moose up ahead......mistake !   Stupid chick has a gun, yet waits way to long to fire a warning shot.  Guy could easily been beat up bad way before she fired.

    When you spot them.......STOP !  Either shut your machine off, or turn around fast if there is room and you wont get stuck.  NEVER chase them from behind !


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIgvCUXxh1Y
    « Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 01:51:00 PM by TZR »
    Rideing Onward..........as the World Spirals Downward

    TZR

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    Re: Tootlin' around in Taterland
    « Reply #71 on: March 22, 2017, 10:41:15 PM »
    As I went down mountain, the snow was great despite the 70 degree temps.








    Again, mixed feelings of what a great day, but still mighty sad knowing I wont be able to get to this trail after a day or so.







    A short ways later after a turn off, I was reminded this is the big meltdown.  You could sense the end was now with the tree snot and hard icy slab.








    Then a half mile later, you would hit a good stretch again.


    Rideing Onward..........as the World Spirals Downward

    TZR

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    Re: Tootlin' around in Taterland
    « Reply #72 on: March 22, 2017, 10:56:50 PM »
    You could smell the pines in the summer like heat.






    Final stretch of the upper forest was beautiful.  Soft loose corn snow, sunny, warm and a soft summer like feel in the air.  Like late May with snow underfoot.






    When I got out of the woods and hit the rolling sagebrush towards the finish, it felt like the temps went up another 10 degree's   ::)

    Now it felt like it was near 80.  Prolly only mid 70's, but felt like more with no wind and sun.  Had to sit quite a while to let the sled cool down enough to carry on.   ;)   The cattle guard grates were starting to show at this spot.  Definately loosin snow fast in the open sun.







    You could feel the heat radiating off the dry and brown sides of the trail.  Wishin I had shorts and a tank top at this point !   ;D

    « Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 11:00:07 PM by TZR »
    Rideing Onward..........as the World Spirals Downward

    TZR

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    Re: Tootlin' around in Taterland
    « Reply #73 on: March 22, 2017, 11:08:17 PM »
    Box Canyon Creek was full and soon would be at flood stage.  All the foliage was gettin lots of color.  Pretty soon things will be budding out.





    Lots of birds chirping, more than I had heard at that spot before.  Really felt like spring right there.







    I turned off the main corridor trail to catch a last patch of forest before the end.   Wow !  Talk about a tree oven !

    It was hot and melty for sure.







    You could smell the hot earth.  Pinecones, standing water, the smell of warm pine trees, the sound of a light breeze through the pines........good spot for a final cool down before the open field areas.

    Rideing Onward..........as the World Spirals Downward

    TZR

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    Re: Tootlin' around in Taterland
    « Reply #74 on: March 22, 2017, 11:17:16 PM »
    Out of the last patch of pines and into the open area next.






    Glad its all downhill towards the open play fields.  The corn was deep, soft and warm.







    Made it to the play areas.  Stopped under the big drift for another cool down rest.







    Some of the play areas were really roasted off.  Bare farm fields with patches of corn here and there.






    Another day and you couldnt get to this drift.







    And here it is .........the final pic of leaf springer main season up at the Crystal Summit sled area.   It was a great find, and feel lucky I have such a great local ride area thats off the radar and gets light useage.  There will be many a day spent up here with a variety of sleds, Im sure of that !   ;)

    Rideing Onward..........as the World Spirals Downward