Trailridge Runners 4WD Club
Snowmobile Trip, January 2006, Grand Lake
photos and story by Wanda Comeau, Editor: RaeLynn Comeau

Waking up at 5:30am in the morning wasn't my ideal way of starting the day off to have fun, but it was worth it. Piling into the car while rubbing our eyes we headed up the mountain to meet Karla & Richard Harmon, Greg Beery, his two sisters Edith Burch and Elizabeth Beery, Matt & Angie Nunn, Rob & Trisha Harmon, David & Linda Tedder, Wanda, Ray, Andrew, Raelynn Comeau and their two friends Jake and Camron. Everyone gathered at the Loaf-N-Jug gas station in Golden, Colorado on Highway 93 at 7:00am.

As a group we decided to stop for breakfast in Idaho Springs. We took I-70 and had to battle the bumper to bumper traffic with the skiers. We should have taken Highway 6. After feeding our stomachs we couldn't wait any longer so we began the journey to Grand Lake, Colorado. We couldn't believe our eyes when we saw 3 to 5 feet of white fluffy snow along the road! From Grand Lake we traveled up the road to Rocky Mountain National Parks visitor center and made a left turn, which lead us to the ‘On the Trail Snowmobile Rentals, by 11:30am. With a temperature of -10 degrees I though we were all crazy to be doing this, but we all managed to stay warm and safely wearing the appropriate snow gear, helmets, gloves and boots. The last thing to do before heading out on the trail was to listen to the instructors who gave us all the instructions and safety precautions of snowmobiling. The snowmobiles had luxury accessories, such as heated hand grips and automatic starters.

The one thing we were glad to have on this trip was a brave, strong, caring leader; Richard Harmon. We would all be lost if it wasn't for him. He led us to our first play spot, Hatchet Park. We were able to play on wide open spaces of snow. Nothing beats the feeling of squeezing the throttle as hard as you can to go as fast as you can.

After playing around we wanted to see what was next so we headed up the trail to Little Chicken Hill. The game to play was passing each other to see who could go faster. Little Chicken Hill wasn't too big but had some steep spots. Almost all the gentlemen were able to make it up the hill and back down except for Andrew. Unfortunately, Andrew got three quarters of the way up the hill and got stuck. Ray, Camron and Jake were nice guys and hiked up the hill to help him out. After getting Andrew unstuck we proceeded to Super Chicken Hill. Before getting to our destination we got held up by an emergency. The sheriff and paramedics were taking a gentleman out in a snowmobile ambulance after he lost control of his own snowmobile and hit a tree.

Super Chicken Hill was where we had the most excitement because it was so big. It had two levels, upper and lower. Greg decided to show the snowmobile who was boss and zoomed up the lower level plus the upper level with no problems. David on the other hand wasn’t as fortunate. He went up the hill with Linda behind him and Linda ended up getting knocked off, David continued up the hill and got stuck. David has never gotten the opportunity to roll his Bronco so he decided to roll his snowmobile on accident. Luckily there were no injuries just a face full of snow. The sun started to set, the clouds came rolling in and the temperature was starting to drop. The wind was blowing hard and body parts began to freeze. We finally realized that the heated handle bars on the two passenger snowmobiles weren't working. This was a sign that it was time to head back to the rental shop.

Once we arrived back at the rental shop the snowmobiles got checked from front to back and top to bottom to make sure that no damage had been done. Some people got off with no damage expenses while others had to pay for parts. They always say that if you do something wrong you'll pay for it in the end. After paying for parts and warming our bodies we ventured into Grand Lake for dinner. We ate at the Sagebrush BBQ & Grill and talked about how much fund we had. After eating a great meal we got loaded back up into our vehicles for the three hour ride home.

Snowmobiling was a blast and I hope we can enjoy another trip next winter.

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