My Weekend Didn't Suck

Last weekend, Mrs. Tanshanomi and I got away for an extended weekend and spent two days snowmobiling in the Arapahoe National Forest with a few friends. The Grand Lake area is a snowmobile mecca, and these three minutes of video demonstrate why. Needless to say, we came back in a very, very good mood.
Living at 1000 feet ASL and much too far south, snowmobiling is not really a practical option for us most of the time, so this sort of activity is something special for us that we only get to do every couple of years. Back in the mid ’80s, I did work in a Twin Cities Yamaha dealer for several seasons and stole demo sleds on the weekends as often as they’d let me. However, as much fun as snowmobiling is in the Midwest, it pales in comparison to the environment and vistas the Continental Divide offers.
Our Polaris 550 Trail Touring sleds were the sort of typically low-spec machine common to rental establishments: an old-style, short-tracked model powered by a fan-cooled 550cc two-stroke twin. It was pleasant enough on the trail, but had neither the lungs nor the track length to venture into anything other than hard-packed snow. Among hardcore ‘bilers, Polaris sleds — especially their two strokes — have a chorus of detractors, but the fact that all of our sleds were in fairly serviceable condition after six years and 12-15K of hard rental use is a testament to the design’s underlying robustness. The only problems we had were a couple of inop electric starters and grip heaters (the latter the victims of obvious crash damage).
This video was taken with the Chinese “Xtreme HD” action camera I’ve been playing with for a couple of years now.
The soundtrack is one I found on Newgrounds, which I’ll give a plug for here because it’s a fantastic community and a great source for Creative Commons licensed works.

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10 responses to “My Weekend Didn't Suck”

  1. CruisinTime Avatar

    We have miles of trails here,but I do not get out much in the winter.

  2. GTXcellent Avatar

    “Chorus of detractors” you say – ask Levi Lavallee how he feels about Polaris sleds

    1. Tanshanomi Avatar

      I am not one of the Polaris haters, but I know there are plenty of them out there.

      1. GTXcellent Avatar

        Yep – the Ford vs Chevy pissing matches have NOTHING on snowmobile loyalty.
        Polaris vs Arctic Cat vs Ski-Doo vs Yamaha is intense to say the least. Funny thing is, almost all of them have never, ever ridden another brand and have no real comparison they can make.

  3. njhoon Avatar

    And now I miss snowmobiling more than ever… I’ve had a Polaris, Arctic Cat and have used Yamaha’s and SkiDoo’s for long weekends. The only thing I will say brand wise is that are are all pretty close. It depends mostly if it has newer suspension or not. That and I really love a big honkin’ two stroke over the four strokes that I’ve ridden. Gunning an 800 or larger two stroke out of a turn is too much fun.

  4. CruisinTime Avatar

    Back in the Seventies Ski-Do made a Lightweight trail sled . We have miles of trails and frozen lakes.
    Single cylinder , pull start . place for an extra plus and a pint in the backrest.

    1. Tanshanomi Avatar

      I spent a lot of time on an ’86 Yamaha Inviter, which was a liquid-cooled 300cc single. (Since it was small and underpowered and not very macho, it was the one demo sled at the dealership that didn’t get snatched up by more senior employees before closing time on Saturdays.) I really liked it. It was light weight, maneuverable, very comfortable, and darn fun (as long as you kept to the groomed trails). I would love to find one but they’re as rare as hen’s teeth nowadays.

      1. Tanshanomi Avatar

        Actually, I was stunned to find this in my area yesterday!

  5. theskitter Avatar

    OT: Making sure you have secured your Red Pig shirt from Blipshift. I remember the heated days of the Forza car pack voting.

  6. mzszsm Avatar

    That’s a beautiful video T, the music sounds a bit like that from Monkey Island, glad you all had a great minivacation.