Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Unusual Spring Break

While people were heading south for warmer weather and hanging out at beaches I went north for snow.  I know you are probably thinking she is out of her mind!  That may be the case but regardless of that it was an amazing weekend.
When we left the farm Friday there was mud everywhere. The sheep were wallowing in mud, Hoss's belly was dripping mud and you couldn't walk anywhere without getting mud on you.  But as we headed north the closer we got to the Mackinaw Bridge the mud was replaced with snow.  Not only that but it was beginning to snow so hard we couldn't hardly see, cars were in the ditch and the road was covered in white.  I was getting more excited the farther we went north. 
After crossing the bridge and heading west across the upper peninsula we were meeting fewer and fewer cars.  The snow was getting deeper and deeper. 
We stopped at the party store, The Bear's Den, just before arriving at our destination.  Brad said, "This is crazy!  I am sick of the winter and the cold!  And here we are!"
I couldn't help myself but I was excited to hit the trails on my snowmobile the next day. 
The next day we bundled up in our snow gear.  I packed my bag on the back of the snowmobile with our drinks, snacks, handwarmers and extra mittens.  As I strapped on my helmet and jumped on my trusty Ski Doo snowmobile I couldn't help but get a little adrenaline rush.  I knew the banks along the road were steeper than I was used to jumping and I was hoping that I would be able to make it without dumping it. 
As I approached the bank down the road it was probably five feet tall.  "Yikes!" I said to myself in my helmet.  Brad skidded his snowmobile sideways, squeezed the throttle and jumped the bank landing perfectly on the other side.  He turned and looked at me.  I shook my head but I knew he wouldn't come to my rescue so I took a deep breath and I did the same as Brad.  I landed safely on the other side and away we took off across the snow covered potato field. 

Outside the window of Pine Stump Junction
There wasn't a sign of any other snowmobile tracks as we buzzed across the field with the morning sun glittering off the fresh fallen snow.  I took a deep breath and thought this is awesome!  A perfect spring, April day! 
For most of the day we were about the only ones out riding, once in a while we would pass a group of other spring break riders. 

Crisp Point Lighthouse
We stopped at Pine Stump Junction to grab some lunch before hitting the trails again.  There were a few others in the bar enjoying one of the last riding days of the season.  When one of the riders asked the bartender if they would be open next weekend responded with "Nope! We will be closed until May unless we get anther snow blast."  It just seemed so strange when the U.P. is busy with avid snowmobilers and then becomes the quiet no mans land by April. 
After lunch we took the trail towards Lake Superior heading for Crisp Point Lighthouse.  We wound our way around the trails with the sun shinning bright in the sky.  While navigating the Moguls and the curves I began to sweat in all my snowmobile gear.  I unzipped my coat letting some of the cool breeze in. 

Finally we reached end of the trail which opened up on the beach of Lake Superior.  We rode along the beach and then climbed the dunes.  We rode our snowmobiles on top of the snow covered board walks that in the summer you walk on but in the winter you wouldn't even know they are there.  Lake Superior was completely ice covered which has not happened in over 30 years. 
I smiled a bit when I began to recall a year and three months ago in this very spot.  It is hard to believe but last Christmas we rode up to this exact spot with a large group and my son-in-law, Jake proposed to my daughter right on the beach!  They walked along the beach and as we all watched he got down on one knee to propose.  Now just a little over a year later they are happily married.

Brad playing!
As we began our trek back towards home I began to think about Trent.  Snowmobiling always makes me a bit nostalgia because I have so many memories of our family going together.  While I was riding along I began to realize that I hadn't really felt Trent's presence lately.  So, I did a shout out in my helmet, "Hey, Trent where have you been buddy?  I need a sign."
Shortly after that thought we stopped at an intersection that would normally be busy but was just Brad and I.  Brad hopped off his machine and headed for my trunk bag on the back of my snowmobile.  "Hey!  You are such a turkey! You didn't zip up your bag again!"  He scolded me.  I looked behind me and sure enough the zipper was undone. My bag was empty not a thing left in it.  "I am sure that I zipped it up!"  I replied defensively. 
On a closer look we realized that the zipper had given out and on the bumpy trail outside of the lighthouse it had probably come loose opening it up to let out all the contents.  I could visualize the trail that was left behind like Hansel and Gretel... water bottle..... Snickers...... mitten..... Life Water..... trail mix.... mitten....Ski Doo hat....  There was no way I was going to go back on the rough trail to pick up all of those things.  I said a silent goodbye to my hat and mittens which I really liked.  Then I grabbed a handful of snow because I was thirsty and thought "Trent you are a stinker!  This was your sign wasn't it?"  True Trent fashion.
Then off we went heading towards home. We went through the barren and charred area that was once a forest but was ravaged by fire just two years previously.  The trees that were left were blackened.  Working our way back then through what we call the Plains, then through the woods and finally back across the potato field.  The sun was beginning to slide down the horizon and it was shinning in my helmet.  I pulled out my camera to get a few shots of Brad zipping across the snow covered field. 
The next day as we were heading home in the truck it was another beautiful sunny day.  I looked up in the sky and there circling above the trees was a bald eagle.  It was soaring just above us seeming to just float in the sun. Eagles are another sign from Trent (that is another story). 
So, while everyone else is going south and sunbathing on the beach I was going north and snowmobiling on the beach!

1 comment:

  1. I grew up riding snow mobiles and every time I read about you riding I feel a tug of the heart strings. I enjoy the connections you make to family and the signs from Trent that you found along your journey.