Cabin Creek – riding in the backcountry

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Scott has arranged a guide for us and rented a mountain sled for me on Tuesday for riding in the backcountry (GULP). We headed down to High Country after breakfast at McDonalds (a CLOSE walk from the cabin!) to meet our guide and get things going. Our guide, Elliott, who was SUPER talked to us about what we wanted to do and my coo coo concerns and we decided to trailer outside of town to a parking area to save us having to ride through the bare streets and get where we wanted to be a bit faster. Our destination was Cabin Creek. We headed back to our cabin to get my pink sled out of the trailer so we could put the rented Summit in the trailer and we would all go out to the trailhead together. We stopped at the grocery store and picked up hot dogs and buns and ketchup as Elliott said we would have a fire and roast hot dogs at some point – how cool is THAT?  After meeting back at High Country, Elliott had his sled on a sled deck which was cool to see in person and we loaded the Summit into our trailer with Scott’s Summit.  The sled decks scare me to death but you see TONS of them around West Yellowstone – probably more than trailers. Scott and I followed Elliott out to the parking area and we got unloaded and took off. We rode the trail for about 7 miles up a beautiful mountain. The views were incredible but I was getting used to this long-track and trying to feel somewhat comfortable so I didn’t take any pictures. We turned off trail at one point to head to the backcountry and then I got a bit nervous. I was in the middle with Elliott in the lead. He fully understood my concerns and was very good with this old woman! We made our way over TONS of bumps – the result of lots of traffic on an ungroomed backcountry trail into these beautiful meadows and over mountains. We came across a cabin that is actually rentable from the forest service. It was occupied by some snowboarders and a cute lab. Made us miss Madison even more! We made our way over more mountains, stopping in some meadows for Scott and Elliott to ride around in. He took Scott up and helped him with carving. I putzed around trying to feel more comfortable on a somewhat narrower sled, hoping not to fall off!

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Remember those airbags in my backpack????

Well, we made our way up a little hill to the edge of some trees to stop to eat. Elliott and Scott started making a fire. I got off my sled and started taking off my helmet, etc.   NOTE –  THIS IS IMPORTANT:  : )  The Ski-doo Summit snowmobile I was riding has VERY tall handlebars (especially for short people like me) – it’s designed to really spend most of your time on it standing up. There is a loop in the middle of the handlebars to hang on to when you are standing and carving big turns. I kind of look like I am on a motorcycle with Ape Hangers when I ‘m sitting on it – they are that tall for my short frame. Sooooooooo, I stepped off my sled, took off my helmet and reached into the glove box that is in front of the handlebars to get my camera to start taking pictures and like an IDIOT, forgot to put the safety strap over the handle on my backpack that is used to deploy the airbag I’m wearing. AND THEN I suddenly hear this INCREDIBLY LOUD noise that scares us all. IT’S MY AIRBAGS!! I got the handle caught on the loop in the handlebars and deployed the darn thing when I stood up straight! SERIOUSLY! We all got a big laugh for sure – poor Scott had to deflate it and pack it back up. If Elliott was already thinking I was some silly old woman he had to KNOW IT BY NOW!  I could not believe what had just happened. Scott kept saying don’t worry about it but it was incredibly embarrassing. We did have a spare tank and handle at the cabin so he could load it up again but I didn’t expect to be this big of a bone head!! I will say it made us HYPER AWARE the rest of the week to make sure to put the safety strap over the handle when not on the snowmobile!

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After that “incident” we roasted our hot dogs and had a fantastic lunch. The rest of the time was uneventful – THANKFULLY – just fun. It started to snow when we stopped to eat and it just kept snowing harder and harder. We made our way to another meadow where Scott and Elliott went to find some deep powder along the edge. I rode around the meadow a bit and then stopped to take pictures. By the time we left that area there was at least 4-6 inches of fresh snow so the ride back was fun for sure. By the time we were finished I was much more comfortable with the Summit. I’m not going to ride like I do the GSX after one day but I’m sure I would be fine with a few more days on one.

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Our day in the backcountry was SUPER, despite my bonehead move – hey it gave us something to talk (laugh) about for sure! It wore these old people out! We headed back and dropped off the sled. We went back to the cabin and ended up ordering dinner from Pete’s – no walking into town for these two!! Pete’s delivered right to the cabin and some great pasta hit the spot! We had some hot toddy’s by the fire and were in bed early that night!

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