Husky House

First Snowmachine Ride of 2011

The balmy weather continued Monday, so we decided to take a reconnaissance ride down the Tanana River and into the Tanana Flats.  It is always a time-consuming struggle finding all the clothes, boots, helmets, hats, gloves, etc and getting dressed for the first time.  We are fortunate to live where we can ride to the river from our house:  turn right from the driveway, another right about a quarter mile down the road, another quarter mile and a left turn down a hill along the power line then ride alongside the road about a half  mile to the river and then we can ride forever!  We took our SPOT GPS tracker along for a test to map our ride, and I was disappointed with the results.  The SPOT marks waypoints every 10 minutes, then connects them with a straight line.  Of course, the river isn’t straight and neither is anyone’s path, so while we followed the winding river, the SPOT map shows us cutting from point to point along a straight path.  I had noticed this during the Yukon Quest, as they also use SPOT devices to track mushers, but the bulb was dim and I didn’t get the big picture.

Anyway, we had a great ride, and the trail was in good condition for the relative lack of snow.  Just as the complexion of the river changes from season to season, it changes from year to year. There wasn’t  as much jumble ice on the river this year as last year and the river crossing points were a bit different.  I didn’t see any open water like I did last year, of course we have just come off of two weeks of 20-40 below temps.  We didn’t ride very far, just about 12 miles out (24 total) as we started late and daylight this time of the year is still relatively scarce, around four hours.  It was a fun ride and I hope to go again soon.

There are more photos in my gallery.

Bill taking a photo

The tunnel from the slough to the woods

Sunset in the Tanana Flats

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