The ride: Talk about catching a break! Last year… Remember last season, snow everywhere-Hal Fleischman and Jim Jennings were riding back from Quebec, who hosted last year’s NEC Ride/Meeting, Jim mentioned to Hal that he would like to have NYSSA host the NEC Ride/Meeting in Long Lake in 2012. At ISC Congress in Calgary the chapter agreed.
The delegates representing the northeastern states and eastern provinces are all experienced riders and look forward to a couple of 150+ miles ride. Ideas for the routes were formulated and it just became a matter of waiting for snow to establish the exact routes. The key word here is waiting and waiting and waiting. Although the trails in the Long Lake area were in good shape, the lakes weren’t well frozen and the Corridor 7 (Railroad Corridor) was not rideable.
As the event neared the lakes finally became well frozen thanks to some subzero temperatures and no snow to insulate the ice. That was still an issue-no snow. Thanks to the weather whenever it did snow this season it was usually followed by an immediate warm up and rain which led to scenes like this one.
While waiting for snow Jim Jennings secured all the permits and permissions including permission from the Towns of Inlet and Webb to ride their permitted trail system. According to the towns of Inlet and Webb: without our trail permits, funding the snowmobile season would be at a huge undertaking. Revenue from the permits allow for all things related to snowmobiling for the towns. It is our hope that those in your group understand how we make the snow season work, why we have a permit system and how important tourism is for both towns and the residents whom live here all year long.
On President’s Day Jim Jennings, Arthur Jennings and Dave Perkins rode from Long Lake to Moose River Plains via Newcomb and Indian Lake. Trails were marginal at best and with no snow and sunny days in the forecast it was starting to look like the NEC Ride would have to be cancelled for the first time. However a surprise snowstorm Thursday Feb 24 and over the weekend left us with great trail conditions. Jim was able to scout out areas to ride, C7 was in good condition, trails in the Town of Webb were good. All the washouts were now frozen and covered with snow. Due to many state land restrictions some of the trails in Long Lake need to be placed on the county and town highways. Thanks to the cooperation from the Long Lake Town Highway who during the course of the season use the town grader to build a ledge adjacent to the road.
Representing the New York State Snowmobile Association were Dominic Jacangelo (Executive Director), Gary Broderick (President), Jim Rolf (Trail Coordinator), Hal Fleischman (NEC Delegate) and Vic Doino (Guest). From New Hampshire Snowmobile Association: Terry Callum (NEC Chair), Craig Mayo (NEC Co-Chair) and Maria Hixson (NEC Delegate). From Vermont Association of Snow Travelers: Jim Hill (President and NEC Secretary/Treasurer) and Pat Poulin (NEC Delegate). From Snowmobile Association of Massachusetts: Dan Gould (President and American Council of Snowmobile Association Vice-President) and Scott Sumner (NEC Delegate). Guides were Jim Jennings and Dave Perkins.
Thursday morning with a few inches of new snow and after a great family style breakfast at the Adirondack Hotel we headed toward Sabattis on C7B, which was in excellent condition, to connect with the Railroad Corridor C7. At that point the decision was made to head south to Old Forge or to head North into St. Lawrence County. We headed north on the well groomed tracks about 12 miles where the tracks cross Mt. Arab Rd, turned left onto the shoulders of the Mt. Arab Rd, hooked up with S79 to C7C. The trails in St. Lawrence County are usually in exceptional condition and today was no different thanks to their fleet of Tuckers’.
The chapter rode the trails to the Cranberry Lake Lodge where we had a great lunch, bought some really good gas (had to be at $4.799/gal). After lunch a group shot was taken in front of one of the Tucker Sno Cats.
After lunch we explored the trails in St. Lawrence County and thanks to a missed intersection we did more exploring than anticipated-but the trails were flat so it didn’t matter. I’m amazed by the number of trails throughout St. Lawrence County that are so well maintained-definitely kudos to the St. Lawrence County Snowmobile Association and their member clubs. Headed back to Long Lake essentially the way we came, logged about 190 miles that day. Although a winter storm (up to 15 inches of white gold) never materialized, at least not in the North Country, we did get back in time to have dinner and hear about the Adirondack Snowmobile Plan from Jim Connolly of the Adirondack Park Agency. The speaker from the Department of Environmental Conservation was unable to appear thanks to the storm south of Long Lake.
Friday morning after breakfast at the Long Lake Diner we hit the trail with the objective of riding in the Old Forge area. We left Long Lake on C8B toward Newcomb where we encountered a bumpier trail than the day before, although the groomer was behind us (timing is everything), we encountered our first problem. One of the sleds developed a short in the ignition system and did require on the trail diagnostics and repair. This incident ate up an hour or so of our ride but that sled did run without any incident the rest of the day.
After crossing into the Newcomb system the trails were freshly groomed until we got to the Indian Lake portion and encountered rougher than expected trails. By then and evenhough it was Friday morning the traffic on the trails was getting heavy. We rode into Indian Lake, temperatures were increasing and trails were getting softer, traffic even heavier and although we did see grooming trails were definitely not optimal. The Indian Lake portion of the Moose River Plains trail C8 was full of rollers thanks to using equipment not large enough for this trail. Again traffic was getting heavier and heavier. We stopped at the Old Barn for lunch. After lunch with warming temperatures the trails had started to turn to slush. We rode to Big Moose Yamaha for fuel and shopping. Although we planned on continuing on to Old Forge the decision was made to head back to Long Lake as Town of Webb Trail #5 was likely mud by then. The trip back was fun as we went back to Long Lake via 7th Lake, 8th Lake, Raquette Lake, Forked Lake and Long Lake. (please only ride on ice if you know the conditions and the area). On the way into Long Lake we stopped at Buttermilk Falls. We did ride 130 miles Friday. Dinner again was at the Adirondack Hotel.
The Northeast Chapter held their meeting Saturday morning, afterwards we all parted ways and most made their trip home in uneventful fashion, well maybe not everyone: (Scott and Dan lost a few axels).
Jim Jennings thanks the Northeast Chapter, New York State Snowmobile Association, Town of Long Lake, Adirondack Hotel, Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation, Town of Inlet and the Town of Webb for their cooperation and assistance in hosting this annual event. One last word: Hal, keep the track on the snow!