First Quilty Finish of 2015

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Shew – I actually STARTED and FINISHED a quilt in 2015! I decided to make a lap quilt to bring as a doorprize for the 2015 For Women Only Snowmobile Ride for Easter Seals taking place January 30-February 1 in Grayling. As I started putting it together I decided it might be too big to offer as a doorprize so I offered it to Easter Seals as a raffle or something – whatever they wanted to do with it. They decided to put it in a raffle that included some other “big” prizes. I was surprised to see so many tickets in the pot for those in the running for it. The leader of my group actually won and I was very happy. When they were doing the final drawing of the winner someone shouted out – “She’s going to make another one next year!”. So I guess I will make another one next year!

I had purchased fabric with snowmobiles on it a year or so ago. I had to come up with a quilt design would not destroy the fabric design. I decided on a Disappearing Nine Patch. I had never made one before and I was very pleased with the outcome. I had to piece the original Nine Patch Blocks carefully because after the big cut I was turning 2 of them 180 degrees. I wanted the snowmobiles to all be going the same direction. I also had to be brand-neutral in my accent color selection. I just went for primary colors since those pretty much represent the 4 brands. I really like this design and will definitely make another quilt using that pattern. It’s also a great way to use up those 5″ squares I seem to be collecting.

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UP again – Valentine’s Day Weekend

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We headed north on February 11 for a few days of snowmobiling. This time we rode with friends and had a blast. It was our first trip riding with others. The snow and trails were awesome as usual but we had to fight the bitter cold and wind. Our machines and clothing withstood the elements. We did about 260 miles total over the 3 days we rode. Not a ton of miles but tons of fun.

We haeaded out on February 11 around 10:00 am after a late night at the Luke Bryan concert. Great concert but we ain’t young-ins anymore!  We just relaxed that night and saved our energy for the next day.

Mike and Sue arrived on Thursday morning. They got settled and off we went. We rode to Andy’s in Seney to grab some lunch and headed out to incredible snow and trails. We were able to find some great powder. We eventually made our way to Whitefish Inn for dinner where Alex and Nicole joined us.

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We were up on Friday morning ready to go. We headed out towards Andy’s again and found it almost completely full of snowmobilers.

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We left Andy’s and headed for Tahquamenon Falls. It happened to be the 15th anniversary of the day that Scott proposed to me. We actually re-enacted the event!  The falls were beautiful as always and I’m so happy that we were able to go there on that day as well as spend it with our new friends. There were so many sleds there it was crazy. We had some lunch in the brewery and headed out.

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We all went to dinner that night at Chamberlain’s Inn in Curtis to celebrate Valentines Day. Scott & I have always wanted to eat there and we finally got the opportunity. Such another fantastic weekend on the snow.

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For Women Only Snowmobile Ride – 2015

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I participated in the annual For Women Only Snowmobile Ride sponsored by Easter Seals from January 30 – February 1. It was the 5th time I have participated with 6 years in between the last time I rode and now. The event has undergone quite a bit of change over the years I didn’t participate but much was familiar. There were 36 women riding that raised over $35,000 for Easter Seals. It was held at the Ramada Inn in Grayling and my group rode over 70 miles on Saturday.  The trails were not perfect but we were able to get in a ride. I was in a great group and met some really nice people. Scott & Madison went too and did their own thing when I was with the girls. We had all had an awesome weekend.

There were quite a few trucks and trailers at the hotel for the weekend.

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Ready to go!

 

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We rode to Shirley’s Cafe in Mancelona for lunch.

 

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Ending the weekend on an epic day

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Yeah, I said epic! We had a great day today. Total of 131 miles making a total of 260 for the weekend. We started out toward Newberry down the super highway. It really is quite a trail. It was smooth as glass and the straightest trail I’ve ever been on = fast speeds! It was pretty cold – single digits but sunny. Somehow the sun makes you think it’s warmer than it actually is. We stopped at Timber Charlies for lunch and thankfully they had salad. Several days of bar food makes you want something green. We left Newberry heading out toward Pine Stump – we can’t seem to ride a day without stopping at Pine Stump! Scott has started calling every day Stump Day!!!! Scott took us toward Paradise and down some county roads instead of trails and to say the snow was epic is an understatement. We were riding in a foot of untouched powder on a county road – for miles. We ended up at the Lake and eventually headed toward Pine Stump only after busting through powder for an hour. Scott took some off-road trips that I opted to sit on the side of the trail and watch.

We’ve had an incredible trip. We are so fortunate to be able to take advantage of this beautiful place and experience the beauty that is the Upper Peninsula. We are sure going to miss her.


Back in the Saddle!

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We were fortunate to be able to come back to Curtis on Thursday, January 8, 2015, to enjoy the white powder that fell after we left. We headed out Thursday morning toward Grand Marais on trail 431 from Seney and then 443 in single digits and a 30 mph sustained winds taking trail 8 into Grand Marais. We saw maybe 5 sleds on the trail but found many when we arrived in Grand Marais. The bitter cold kept us from getting our camera out but we managed to snap a few enroute.

 

 

We stopped at Lake Superior Brewing Company, one of our favorites. After a delicious Cuban sandwich we headed toward our old stomping grounds Pine Stump. It was hopping as usual. My excellent navigator managed to cut off 45 minutes from our ride with his Rand McNally skills!!!.

We headed out toward the cabin in the frigid weather, thankful for our warm gear and reliable machines. It really is hard to describe the blowing snow and cold. I can officially say we are hard core sledders! 117 miles in the bitter cold. A good day for sure.

 


Ending on a good note

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We spent our last day on the trails taking it easy. We rode into Curtis in the morning to have an update flashed to Scott’s snowmobile and then rode over and had a great breakfast at a local greasy spoon. We couldn’t decide where to exactly go and the amount of sleds in Curtis were a good sign that wherever we picked it was going to be crowded. We headed back to the cabin and let Madison out for a run and then took off across the lake for the 6 mile ride in the open. I don’t like riding on the lake for lots of reasons, one being that it’s a rough ride. However, it’s much better than the shoulder of the road which needs snow in these parts! I would really like to see the road commission NOT plow the shoulder, at least not to the pavement. After getting off the lake we took the short shoulder ride to Trail 43. It was pretty good but had seen a lot of use. We didn’t stop at Andy’s but headed on to Trail 431 and 9 to Redz. 431 was still pretty good but not like the dream it was yesterday. 9 still needs snow and a good grooming! Given the traffic we saw we knew Redz was going to be crowded and boy were we right!! Scott counted 77 sleds in the parking lot. We luckily got a table – one of the few available.

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We were trying to get back before dark – for once – so we headed back taking our time and stopping several times. It was a bit colder today, back in the teens, so I had to add another layer. I’m really happy with all my gear and layers. I was a bit concerned given that I’ve lost a big chunk of my natural insulation over the past year but everything worked out great.

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We drove over to the Moose for gas and ended up taking the lake back. Much better for the machines than the shoulder. The sun was just beginning to set so we went to get Madison to let her play on the lake and snapped a few pictures. Another 90 miles on the sleds.

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This spur of the moment New Year’s trip was fantastic. It was one of those things that everything worked out and felt right the whole time – like you know you are supposed to be there. 2015 has started out great. I pray it continues the same. I love our life.


Another great day in the snow – lots of snow

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We had another AWESOME day on the snowmobiles. We took off across the lake which isn’t my favorite way to travel but it enabled us to get on great trails much quicker. It was 6 miles across Big Manistique Lake. Thankfully there were no ice heaves so it was rather smooth. We took a short side road ride and we were on Trail 43 to Seney rather quickly. That trail was BEAUTIFUL with lots of fresh snow and gorgeous blue sky.

It was a short trip to Seney and we stopped at Andy’s for a bite to eat. It was packed with snowmobilers and we were lucky to get a table. It started snowing very hard while we were in Andy’s and we left there toward Pine Stump in a whiteout. It was dumping snow and as a result our trek down Trail 431 was a dream. Honestly, I can say that was some of the most perfect conditions we have ever ridden in. Ever.


There were no bumps and very little traffic. It was a pure float down the trail. We turned off 431 to Trail 9 while very pretty but not quite as smooth. Still plenty to see and enjoy.


We made our way to Pine Stump for a little food. It had to be a little because they were out of most everything. The crowds the past few days had wiped them out. It’s still a great place – food or not.

We then headed back to the cabin with 100 miles on our sleds. Pure Michigan!


Ending 2014 with a blast

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Its hard to believe but another year has come and gone. 2014 wasn’t so bad but I always look forward to a reset. It feels good to start fresh. I’m laying here in a small bed WAY too early in the morning with a black lab that has gas cutting off circulation in one leg and listening to my husband gently breathing next to me and realize I wouldn’t want it any other way.

We spent the last day of 2014 having a blast. We finally got to pack up our gear and machines and head out to snowmobile. The trip was unplanned and totally spur of the moment. Unfortunately, Michigan isn’t blessed with gobs of the white powder this year but one place that does have decent rideable snow right now happens to be our favorite spot in the UP. Thankfully, my brilliant husband quickly saw that we had a short window to leave home on December 30 because impending weather looked as though it may close the bridge throughout the day on the 31st – which it did. We made a few phone calls and surprisingly found one of our favorite places to stay had an opening and then quickly packed up (forgetting a few things of course) and headed north on Tuesday. We were out of the house by 3:30 – a miracle.

The weather on New Years Eve was brutal. We knew what we were facing but we were prepared. The temps were in the single digits and winds up to 50mph make for some chilly riding and not stopping to take many pictures but still lots of fun. We got a later start than we wanted and had an unforeseen delay but the later start enabled the temp to creep up a few more in those single digits. We are still in break-in mode for our sleds so we can’t really pack on the miles and ride long sustained speeds. We did about 80 miles total and got to stop at a couple of our favorite spots which was good for this ole gal’s first day riding in a year. We came back to the cabin, changed into warm comfy clothes, made a few drinks and didn’t make it to midnight! Here are a few pictures of our awesome day.