Snowmobiling in Wisconsin
"Best snowmobiling in five years," people
in the bars were telling me. I wasn't going to argue! While Bobbie
was off in the Maui warmth with Lisa, Debbie, and Carole, I jumped at the chance
to go snowmobiling with Ryan Blackman, his father-in-law Dennis, and his
soon-to-be brother-in-law Al. Good decision since the weather cooperated
perfectly to bring snow and leave the area in near ideal conditions!
In the past I had only been on some simple,
short tourist-oriented snow-mobile trips. I didn't even realize that the
locals call it "sledding" instead of snow-mobiling. Over two days we
covered nearly 300 miles in the Wisconsin wilderness near Hayward. Bobbie
and I had seen the snow-mobilers at the various stops on a road trip before, but
we didn't fully appreciate the culture of sledding. At least done
As near as I can tell, sledding means taking this
light little 100HP+ machines at breathtaking speeds, stopping to drink, and then
repeating. We drove the sleds at over 100MPH down little fire lanes and
open lakes and slid them around corners in the dense forest as we brushed mere
inches from trees at 40-50MPH on our ways to the various bars. Some of the
bars were in the middle of no-where and more than once we were the only ones in
the place. At other places, 40-50 sleds would be crammed in as people
downed their drinks and made ready for the next trail to hit the next bar.
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The sledding crew is an interesting bunch. Our trip
featured a little bit of everything including a guy who turned down $80,000 for
a set of deer antlers, a lesbian kiss, and an honest to goodness bar fight.
It was great!!!