SNOWMOBILING IN THE COLORADO HIGH COUNTRY
I went on a ride with White Mountain Snowmobile Tours on Saturday near Leadville. What a ride!
Here's how the company's own website describes it.
".......a high performance ride through powder-filled back country bowls, our guides will lead you over the Continental Divide above 12,500 feet at the “top of the world”....."
That's just what they do! It was too snowy to really take in the best of the views but you're pretty busy operating the machine anyway!
I had never been on a snowmobile before. It's not complicated to operate but it does take a little getting used to the feel of it, especially to lean your way through tight turns with any speed at all. This trip though, wasn't about me. This was about my nephew John. That's him on the left below. Next to him is his Uncle Greg (my sister Jen's husband) then an old buddy since high school, Joe, then me. This trip was Jen and Greg's Christmas present for John.
This is really one of those "Oh So Colorado" things that everyone who can should try. Warning though, it's not necessarily as easy as it looks. It was a little trickier than I expected, at least at what they called the high performance level. I could have used a few more minutes to get the feel of it before it was time to get going. Here's me with John on a quick break near the end. He goes to a military school out of state so it's nice to spend time with him when he's around.
If you do this just remember to dress warmly. They supply snow suits, helmets and boots, but you'll need good gloves and something to keep your face warm in the blowing snow on the fast-moving machine. It's not cheap, we paid $125.00 each. It is safe but you do sign a waiver..and you can have little mishaps. Here one rider at the front of our tour rolled it on a sharp turn in lots of deep powder....another one went over trying to avoid it.
The other dozen of us all had to stop...and I wound up in a previous crevice...filled in with lots of new powder. When the time came to restart I got caught up and tipped over. More frustrating than dangerous! But we all made it through the course and up along the Continental Divide just fine.
I had a great time even though I'll admit I wasn't really very good at it, especially at first. The others had fun too, especially John. That was the most important thing and I'm glad I went along for the ride!
Give it a try...have fun!
We'll talk again soon.
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