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Last Ride of 1999

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AMDS Outdoor Adventures - 12/26/99
by Ken Baehr

Ken & Todd
Ken & Todd - Photo by Chuck Maas

December 26th was my last ride of the twentieth century. That sounds important, sort of. It was a memorable ride. My daughter Karen and her husband Todd were visiting us over the Christmas holidays from California. I had spent the whole week smiling from ear to ear. Karen is about seven months pregnant with my first grand child and I was thoroughly enjoying just spending time with her and Todd. Somewhere along the line we decided to go riding. Obviously Karen could not ride with the baby coming, but Todd was anxious to give it a try. He had hardly been in snow before, much less been snowmachining. We promised to go gentle.

Chuck, my brother in law, and I took our Summits, while Todd borrowed my wife's Touring SLE. As we first left the parking lot, Todd took it really easy. He wanted to get used to the machine and to how the controls worked. We could hardly get him over 15 mph, but that was a good thing. It is better to be cautious than foolhardy. While we were working our way down the trail, he learned an interesting lesson. The snow in the drifts on the side of the trail is softer than the snow on the trail. When he didn't come around a corner behind me I back tracked to find him on his side in a snowdrift up to his armpits and stuck. It was funny, but he didn't think so until later. We got him unstuck and rode on to the lodge. After a quick lunch, we got riding again. What a difference an hour makes. Once Todd got used to the controls and the way the machine handled, he started to really have fun. We ended up putting about thirty miles on the machines. Each mile made him a little more confident and a little bolder. That's when he got stuck again. We were headed down a long swamp and he was really enjoying just cruising in the powder. We knew where the creek was, but he didn't. I left the powder and jumped up on the trail. When I looked over I could see that he was still in the powder headed right at the creek. Fortunately he saw it, and stopped almost in time. Unfortunately, he was right on the edge of the creek bank in a drift and was stuck. It took us about five minutes to get back on the trail and headed to the parking lot.

Sunset at Petersville
Sunset at Petersville - Photo by Chuck Maas

At the end of the day we proclaimed Todd the "Powder Meister." We all had had a great time. He thoroughly enjoyed his first ride, and I thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to give it to him. When the "Powder Meister" returns, we will bring shovels.

~ Ken Baehr

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