My two favorite months of the year are March and June. Last year I was in Africa for the whole month of March so I decided to take four extra days off of work to try and make up for missing last year. Getting home half a week early, I figured I'd have lots of nice sunny days to go riding. Our first day out started out to be what could have been my best day of riding all year. My friends Clay and Larry (whom I have been getting into trouble with since the first grade) showed up about 11am Saturday morning and we headed up the pass to the valley Ryan and I were in last week. I don't think we could have asked for a more beautiful day to be outside. We worked our way up to Dogsled Pass and dropped over into a valley with tons of fresh snow. This valley was really nice but sees a little more people than the valley we were headed for so I wanted to keep moving. With all of the fresh snow, the trail that Ryan and I rode out on the week before was gone leaving us to break trail. It was the first time I have had to break trail over any of these passes and didn't realize how steep a few of these passes actually are. It makes a lot of difference when you don't have a hard packed trail under you. After we made it to the top of the pass at the top of Purchase Creek we stopped for a few minutes and I took a few pictures. My first picture of the day was from almost the same spot as my last picture of the day posted on February 24th (this one was actually taken from the rock outcropping on the right in that photo).
We made it into the valley we had set out for but about an hour after getting there my machine started running really bad. I could have cried! The snow was perfect and so far my machine had been running awesome all day. I'm not sure what happened but it became very ill and I knew it was time to start heading for home. The shortest way home was the way we came in but my machine wouldn't build enough rpm's to make it up either of the passes. The only option was to head down the creek and out the trail at the bottom. It took a little time since I couldn't go too fast but the ride down the valley was pretty nice. We saw the same herd of moose that Ryan and I had ridden by on our last ride. I usually go way around any moose I see because I hate to make them run through the snow. I figure they have enough to worry about without me riding on their heels, or I guess hooves would be more appropriate. Saturday however, I didn't have enough power to ride up the hill on the side of the valley to avoid them and found myself riding about 25 feet from a herd of about ten moose galloping through the snow down the valley. The Budweiser Clydesdale's haven't got anything on these guys. It was such a cool scene. I really wanted to stop and get my camera and video it but wasn't too excited about stopping in the middle of all of these guys. We saw more moose on the way down the valley than Ryan and I saw two weeks before. It was really impressive. After awhile I made it to the trail and beat my kidneys out riding the trail the rest of the way home. After getting home I took my machine to the Polaris shop and they confirmed that I had no compression in one of my cylinders. This is the same exact thing that happened to Clay on our way up the Yetna. So now I have to wait until Wednesday for my motor to be rebuilt. Thank goodness for warranties! Bummer to miss out on a few days of good riding but I guess I'll live. Maybe I'll take Thane to Alyeska for a day of skiing...
Clay taking in the view. This is the same pass that I took the final shot of the day from on my Feb 24th post.
Looking back up the valley. We were the first tracks of the day and had the whole valley to ourselves.
Clay stopped to give me a hand
Looking back up the way we came. An amazing sight. I can't help thinking that this sun is the same one that was beating down on me last March as I was sandboarding in the Sahara Desert.
My lone tracks across the valley. The bowl across the valley is where my machine decided to get sick. It was unfortunate timing as the snow was perfect and all the slopes were untracked...