Monday, March 16, 2009

Thank goodness for warranties...

If it's new and it's mechanical and I've bought it this year then chances are pretty good that it has failed. 2009 isn't looking so good for me when it comes to anything mechanical...

Last week my brand new snowmachine burnt up a piston with just 600 miles on it and about 45 miles from home. I have a great dealer so they had me going a day and a half later and due to some unresolved issues that Polaris is having on their 800 motors I got another 200 miles on it and had the same thing happen riding in the same valley and exactly seven days later. I know my dealer will fix it asap but the pistons are on backorder from the factory and we have a three day ride planned for Thursday through Saturday. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

My other major mechanical failure was the compressor on my heat pump for my geo system. I was gone and Sandi smelled something electrical and noticed that the unit wasn't starting like it should so she shut it off until I got home (luckily we have the oil fired furnace for backup). So last week I worked with my mechanical contractor and we put in the new compressor and our Geothermal system is back up and running after about four weeks of down time.

Luckily both of these issues are covered by the manufacturers warranty. I haven't really been a big fan of extended warranties but after the last two months I think they might be worth it.

Today as I was doing laundry my washer door lock mechanism broke so I had to tear apart the washer to see what needed to be replaced. Unfortunately this one is out of warranty but isn't too hard to fix. I am however afraid to touch anything without fear of it breaking. Yesterday after Thane and I got back from a short snowmachine ride I was taking off my new snowpants and the zipper on the leg broke. And last night I took the snowblower off of the tractor and put the bucket back on. I thought I should grease all the joints on the bucket arms and the first one I did the zirc (grease) fitting broke off when I took the grease gun off. See what I mean, it's like everything I touch is falling apart.

Oh well, maybe I've got it all out of my system by now. Let's hope!

Anyway I thought I'd post some more pictures of the last few rides I took. Again the snow was fantastic and the sun was big and bright. Since the time change we have light from 7am to 930 pm so plenty of daylight already. To get to the last valley we ride in we have to cross three steep mountain passes and it's about an hours ride from the house. After a couple of feet of fresh snow any of the valleys are great to ride in but it has been about two weeks since we've had fresh snow and most of it has been ridden on by all of the people that come out from town. The nice thing is that most people don't carry enough gas to get to where we go so we always get the last valley to ourselves.

On Friday I rode with Colton Conner and his friend Nate and we were the first ones into the head of Peters Creek valley and had the whole place to ourselves without a single track on it. The snow wasn't quite as good as it was the week before with Clay and Larry but it was hard to complain about as it was still untracked and powder on top.

Saturday it was just Clay and I and we went all the way to the last valley as Peters Creek had seen a lot more riders than just Nate, Colton, and I on Friday. I had a few issues with my machine on the way in but it ran good the whole time we were back there so I was happy. It didn't start making those not so good noises until on the way home.

What a way to start a Friday morning!

First tracks down the second pass. I really like this picture.

Colton on our way up the valley.

My favorite thing to do is carve turns while going downhill. The only problem is that the more tired you get the harder it is to do. Well at this point my precious Dragon went left and I pretty much kept going straight. The divot on the left of the picture is where I took a header.

Our three tracks were the first ones on the fresh snow on Friday.

Nate on our way home.

Hard to see but the two dark specs on the top of the knoll are Colton and Nate.

Clay on our way in on Saturday.

This was right as we got to this high mountain lake. I took two passes at the hill in the background, one low and one higher. I want to break over the top of that one and into the next valley but the snow gets really thin on top and you really have to watch for rocks.

Clay playing on a high mountain lake.

Five guys followed our tracks over the last pass and this guy tried to climb this face and as you can see he didn't quite make it. He was camped out up there trying to get unstuck without his sled rolling all the way to the bottom of the hill. It took him probably thirty to forty minutes to get out. We did see another guy do exactally that on our way out. He climbed to the top turned out, jumped off and watched his sled roll about 200 times to the bottom. Fun to watch as long as it isn't your sled.

Looking down into the last valley we ride into. The valley in the center right is where Ryan and I caused the avalanche in February. Clay and I stayed out of that one due to Avy danger.

So, if you notice my track coming down this face you might say to yourself "why didn't he go a little more to the right" well that is exactally what I was saying as I came careening down into that dark spot in the center left of the picture. I have to say this is the first time ever that I just bailed off and watched my sled continue on it's own.

A little better close up of my tracks and where I bailed off (right above the shaded spot) I was pretty sure the machine was going to endo and I didn't really want to be on it. So I bailed, sled endo'd, then I climbed down to it, rolled it back over and off we went. Thank goodness for deep snow.

I never get tired of just sitting and looking at these peaks...

I had to jump off at this point so my sled would crest this hill. Otherwise I'd be in almost as bad of shape as the guy that was stuck in the middle of the hill above the lake.

The trench getting up there. This hill is a little steeper than it looks.

I'm so good at getting stuck that I have even mastered it on the downhill.
Note that there is plenty of snow up there.
I knew this was going to be a good picture...

Clay on our way our of the valley. Notice Denali (Mt McKinley) is the peak furthest in the distance center left. I love looking at that mountain!

Clay and my Dragon on a quest for untracked powder.

Clay jumping a snow drift.

Saturday afternoon powder turns. These machines carve just like a pair of skis or a snowboard. the only bad thing is at about 500 pounds it hurts a lot more than skis when it lands on you.

Thane on our way to find the group on Sunday. We didn't go with them earlier because I knew my sled was sick but I figured it would live to make a trip out and back later in the day.

Thane, my sister Jana (behind Thane) and Bernie about 25 minutes from the house. Thane and I went to try and catch up to these guys only to find Bernie (who has the exact same sled as me) on the way out because Bernie had lost compression in one cylinder. Mine was on it's way out but as long as I kept it out of the 5500 to 7000 rpm range it was fairly happy.

A pan up and down the last valley we ride in.

Clay after he fell off his sled and it went down the hill without him.

A view of the landscape, my finger covered part of the lens though...


sandi said...

What! You broke my TRACTOR?!?!?!

friend said...

All that stuff made me laugh out loud. I love your spirit.