Our first stop was Horseshoe Harbor. Man, I love that place. The old rock of a shore was now an icy, sleeping beast wrapped in snow. We managed to climb to the top and watch the waves roll the pack ice over and over again. I stared out toward her majesty to relish the sight I'm so fond of, but the brisk winds against my cheeks wouldn't let me stay for long.
We slid back down the south part of the ridge on our snowshoes and hiked the trail back up to the machine. I originally wanted to snowshoe up the snowmobile trail to Horseshoe, but Aaron said he'd take me on the four-wheeler whose wheels are like tanker tracks in the winter. On our drive out I thought, wow, this sure is way easier than snowshoeing the mile up that hill! I felt a bit guilty for traveling the easy way, but snowmobilers do it. Why couldn't I?
I jinxed us. On our way East out to Schlatter Lake, the machine got a little wobbly. Aaron got off to check things out. "We might be walking home," he confirmed. Ha ha. Ha. I thought. No way. I bet we can just turn around. We did turn around, and limped that thing about 200 yards before the front wheel was truly detached.
Now I would get to hike that mile, and the five others from here to home. Luckily we had plenty of sustenance for the trek. Plus we were in the midst of the trees to protect us from the wind.
We identified trees and barren bushes along the way. Making a new adventure out of our adversity. We made it home safely, knowing that tomorrow, we'd have to fix and retrieve the stalled ATV.
Last night we hopped on the trail grooming snowmobile with all the necessary tools for reattaching a wheel. Standing in the cold, I aimed the brightest flashlight at Aaron's targeted area while he worked quickly and diligently. Good thing he had put these tracks on earlier this year, so he knew what he was doing. After an hour, the job was complete.
Then for the fun part. Amanda got to drive that beast home! I have never driven an ATV or a snowmobile in my life. Aaron gave me a quick lesson. That four-wheeler was a bit hard to handle, but I figured it out after a mile or two -- going about 14 mph, so we didn't have to dig it out of the snow on a wily turn.
One frozen thumb and an intense arm workout later I was back home unscathed. Ahh. We'll have to try that trip again, after I make Aaron double check all the parts!
As for a note on the present moment, the wind is whipping something fierce! Our windows are shaking here at the East end, and I can only imagine that drifts that will need to be busted through tomorrow. Stay warm tonight, wherever you are!