My first annual men’s snowmobiling weekend is in books and upon returning home, I kissed Lisa and asked where the bottle of ibuprofen was. And that means the weekend was a great success. We arrived at Lake Leander around 6pm last Friday night and noted that St. Louis County Minnesota had as much or more snow than the Twin Cities. It took us a couple hours to blow out 3 feet of snow from the driveway, clear a path to the outhouse, unload the van and begin starting the snowmobiles so they’d be ready for Saturday.
One pesky cold start forced us to postpone the Friday evening ride, but we eventually got the machine started. Of course it didn’t help that it was -14 below zero F. But according to the locals, this was the most snow they’d had in years. So the sledding was perfect.
Let’s get one thing straight, snowmobiling in Minnesota is a whole culture where the trails are groomed and posted with street signs (stop signs, curves, slow, etc). But the most important signs are the ones telling you how to get to the next bar and lounge.
Our machines took us on a ride that landed us at Liquid Larry’s, The Oasis, The Voyageur and Britt’s Lounge. Honestly, we never got cold even though by Saturday night after 12 hours of riding, the temperature was -20 F on it’s way to -39 F.
My Facebook check-in’s helped to confirm for Lisa that the Man’s Snowmobiling weekend is mostly about male bonding and she was glad to allow me to experience it. She’s doesn’t like the cold, nor the idea of riding a loud smelly machine, nor the thought that trips to the outhouse are not heated.
I also want to give a call out for the folks up on the Range: they are good people. A guy named Jim had gone over to the cabin in the afternoon and fired up the gas space heater before we arrived to warm it up. Another guy loaned us an extra machine so all 4 of us could ride together. Another guy opened up his repair garage when we needed to store a machine with a broken suspension arm. Everyone was glad to see us and helped show the best of a real Minnesota winter.
All of this helped me enjoy a couple days with some special friends. I’ve known Gary since 5th grade & Mark since 3rd grade; and Chris is one of Gary’s co-workers. He has had all of us over for grilling and is one of the funniest guys I know. It isn’t often we get the chance to be goofy, eat steaks, have a couple cocktails and crack jokes at each others’ expense AND drive snowmobiles around. Livin’ the dream! Thanks guys!