Big trip up to Ottawa this Family Day Weekend. The OFSC had designated this weekend as free access to their trails so I had no excuses left not to break out the old sled and light it up. After two years of inactivity, I did take the precaution of heading out to the farm and making sure it started before leaving. And the beast started like a champ. Coughed out a bunch of oil but wasn't a challenge to get going at all.
Traffic was a bitch and added two hours to hour travel time but it was all worth it when I hauled the sled off the truck, pulled the cord, and inhaled that sweet smell of burnt 2-stroke oil. It was a good day to ride.
My parents place is only a block away from an OFSC trail head, so I only had to hop on and go. Across the street. Where the sled coughed and died. Oh no. A frantic pull on the starter and she came back to life. Huzzah!
And off we go! 20 more feet. And she coughed and died. Crap. Maybe some bad gas? It would be bad if I headed out in -15 weather and had it permanently die in the middle of nowhere. But I consider myself unencumbered by fear or common sense and I pulled the cord again, gunned the throttle, and hit the trails!
Everything was fine. I just went out for an hour along an old rail road. Not too exciting but holy crap the speed. It's an amazing feeling to twitch your thumb and find yourself doing 60 mph down a tree covered trail. It's as close to making the jump to hyper space that I'll ever experience.
The big ride would be tomorrow and my legs were quick to inform me that snow pants would be a good idea. And that was a great ride. I met up with my brother-in-law at his cousin's place where he was borrowing a sled and we meandered all over the place.
The trails were great. Could have used some more snow and some better signage would have been helpful but the OFSC is being well represented in the Ottawa area. There was tree dodging, lake blitzing, and smooth, gp racing sections. Everything but deep powder. It was a great ride.
And we topped it off with lunch at The Old Mill in Ashton. If you're in the area, it's a good idea to stop in. It's a brew pub and I can testify that the Hop 'Stravaganza' and Vanilla Stout are exceptional. Highly recommended.
So it was with great satisfaction and not a little exhaustion that I rumbled into my parents' driveway and loaded the sled back in the truck. Likely to be my only real sledding for the year but I couldn't have asked for a better trip.
Besides the snowmobiling, we also had some quality family time. My cousin was up from New York with her family and it was great to catch up with them. And, as always, the generosity of my folks and sister and her family is much appreciated when we're up in Ottawa. Good times.