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Springing Ahead…… Peninsula Play


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11 March Saturday 


I threw this trip together midweek. I knew Snohorse was a definite, next a quick shoutout to NHmoose and he is also a go for launch. Petunia will be sitting this one out as she is back to teaching her students. The window for this ride was tight and if not this week then it would be not until March 25 and not wanting to wait let’s pack them bags and let us go.  It was a toss up between Gaspe and Abitibi, seeing as I am in Matane we know which won. 


Snohorse rolled in chez Ice just before noon. Quick break for Phil and some chatting it up and visiting with petunia. We loaded up my snowmachine then threw my bags in the truck….I kissed my wife bye bye for now. 


I took over the driving duties and we headed eastbound before 12:30. Beautiful day to be on the black trail. Smooth ride past RDL and onward to Matane. In room all settled by 6 pm . 


NHmoose pulled in at 6:58. We quickly got him settled in. Turns out he gets an upgrade to a suite. Room 223. Corner room really sweet suite. I think he has some pictures of it. 


Lots of sleds here still lots of trailers. Its all bare in town but we knew that  We all have wheels and are not afraid to use them. One Hour more daylight this week. But one hour less sleep tonight. 


Speaking of which petunia will have no serenade from me this week, Instead Snohorse will hear that song. Looking forward to exploring around. 


We got a soecial room as well. 







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Sunday 12 March 



I have a love hate relationship with this day of the year. I despise the thought of losing one hour of sleep but gaining that hour of daylight is nice. 

We slid on down into breakfast around 8am. Feeling like it’s 7am. Good amount of sledders here, usually I might have talked it up some with the other groups but we ate up and went to suit up. 


Warm out and its gonna be warmer later with big sunshine. Hmmm. Melty as hell. Well Ice likes cold. Good thing i had thought about it and brought my thin klim under garments. No way I could rock the Hypnose in this weather. Too hot. 


Outside and loaded up around 9am. Definitely lower snow then when we were just here last week. 


This is spring conditions. Its a few weeks early here and all will depend on temperature. Surely closer to coast and lower elevations are suffering worse. Inland and at elevations its much different. Big patches of mud each side of many road crossings. Etc etc with the big puddles today on the south shore . 


So it went like this. Right from hotel, better than I expected up and out of town. Ridden this in pure mud a few times. It’s looking decent today, we shall see come Friday when we return. 


Very nice trail, frozen and slick for sure. Nice run to St Adelme where we top gas as none of us were full this morning. The 850 Backcountry is not liking the conditions. Deployed both scratchers. Still was hot. We stopped not far up from Relais St Paulin on 595 to check it over. I really believe was just frozen enough the trail to make the 850 run hot. Once we rolled on from that it was fine all day. 


Into La Cache right at prime lunch hour. 595 some good some bad. Better as you climb up. No Percy or Little Feather today. Weekend crew is slammed. We will be back this way. Gas took a bit to get paid. Just busy. 


Ok bye now. 

595 to orange Chic Choc trail rough but seen it much worse. After orange 595 great to bottom near Pin Rouge. First time through this year here. What is the deal man? This club needs to fix up them small bridges south of ski resort. A bit much the snow cross action there with groomers taking the road around unsafe bridges. Just saying. Get er done for next year please and thank you. 


Lots of sleds out have taken the toll on TQ5 from New Richmond to Carleton sur Mer. We arrived here around 3 in New Richmond so we did a bonus ride to Carleton and up around local orange trails there which were stellar. The TQ5 however is beat up. Not down and out. But knocked down and the count down is on. 


We slogged out and back on the TQ5  Sad to see what this warm weather has done in a weeks time. 


Returned to New Richmond 

Happy as can be. 

Its all riding. 


Snirty sleds day 1

Its a first as far as season enders go. 










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13 March Monday


Great stay in New Richmond and had a great breakfast. Loaded up and 8:45 up the trail. Mission this morning get to Ski Doo BG Sport here. Gonna get some front scratchers to put on the Backcountry and solve this cooling issue. Gotta want to get there at this point as there is quite a bit of Mud and asphalt to navigate to end up at the dealer here. We were not going to be denied. They have the ones he needs in stock they will install and verify cooling system (check to make sure is circulating) I know it is or this would have been a short ride yesterday. I think around 10am we were headed back to TQ5. Back west and up the 595 today we backtrack but take a left on local orange trail 150 that is a beauty. It bypass’s pin rouge and all the mud and bumps going up that way. Twisty tighter trail. But fun and in fantastic shape. The road less traveled. I have not met an orange trail that i really did not like. But please stay on TQ5 and the 595 and 597 thank you. 


Local 150 drops up back on 595 about 5km north or Pin Rouge. Give or take. 595 is good not great. Considering temps and traffic it’s good. Fast run retracing our ride yesterday returning to La Cache. Inside today we score a table and have some lunch even though its not just noon yet. Close though. Less sleds then Sunday but still good crowd. Percy and Little Feather are on shift. Enjoyed great burgers and some good banter with the crew of La Cache today. Good luck to Percy get well soon, having surgery getting his tonsils out tomorrow. 


Left La Cache backtrack to orange chic choc. Groomer made it here and turned to go back. Sadly i do believe what we have going on here is pure and simple a lack of knowledge om how to use that machine the guy is grooming with. He is driving it but not operating it. Hard to see any difference after his pass. We catch him he is on keft side of trail going back, i find this bizarre. Plus he has his dozer blade angled pushing snow off back into woods on left side. Whatever i think he is confused and should be pulling snow in with blade and using drag to fill and pack. Whatever his plan was it was just a waste of fuel. After we Past him trail was better as he only went over this sectiom omce. 


Skipped gas in Murdoch. Up 597 north. Best trail we seen I think all trip so far. Perfect groom to TQ5 not the same groomer guy doing this. Quick run to TQ5. Looks great here on TQ5 we head east just to see. Quick ride to Rapid Blanc Relais and turn back. Sweet ride in Mont Louis for gas then up and over to MSP and Le Delice. Back with Patrick and Julie. 


North shore holding up so far. 


Great Day but melty warm. 

Really missing petunia’s picture taking skills. 

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Our timing was great arriving at La Cache between during a lull, lots of groups arrived while we were eating.

A view of the summer hang glider bluff in Mt St Pierre above the hotel. We didn’t ride up to the peak this trip though.

Brisket Chili, smoked duck, smoked wings, brisket burgers and pulled pork at Delice…..awesome!









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Don, is this the same machine being used? Two things I  noticed last week when we saw him is hat the front blade is missing the the right part of the wing, and the drag was not grooming, but just panning the back. Seemed odd??



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Saw that same groomer on Monday heading from la cache to murdochville.  Until we came up on it the trail did not look freshly groomed.  Seamed to be burning diesel for little benefit.

this morning left murdochville on 597 heading south. About 20 miles out saw same groomer. Had noticed the north side of the trail was freshly groomed. He was running against the line of traffic and condition of the trail was great (different operator?)   I understand that it is more efficient to groom against the flow of sled traffic, but that seemed very risky to me during daylight. Maybe someone can correct me and say that is typical.

another great day of riding.  Temps a little cooler.



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14 March Tuesday. 


Enjoyed our stop immensely with Patrick and Julie at Motel le Delice. NHmoose left with coveted intel in the form of the recipe for the smoked wings in hand. Talkiing with Patrick as we got ready to leave he drops it on us. They have been operating the Motel/Resto but have decided to not purchase the business. It’s just too much work for them, they have a young child and it’s nonstop. So they will pursue a foodtruck with their smoked menu. Visiting festivals and campgrounds. Whatever they do I wish them all the best. A new buyer for business has apparently already stepped up. 


They will cease operations at the end of this week. 


Met a group from Ontario sory did not get all their names(i am terrible with names) they had a gaspe rookie at 16years old. Spoiled rotten ruined now. He has been to Valin and now Gaspe. He is hooked. So nice to see this group sharing this experience with him. Great memories. Shout out to the Team Polaris (5) with one Beautiful Blue Ski Doo Enduro 900 ace. 


Out of the Valley and TQ5 east to Murdoch trail. Had been groomed and was sweet. Trail into Murdoch also fantastic. All good north and middle. Murdochville gas n go. 597 now also showing groomed. It’s not terrible but the wrong way groomer has been here and he is at it again. Leaving some big ice balls where i want to be far right. 

He is just not very experienced i do believe. Everyone needs to learn practice makes perfect. Swift run as we are not going fast we are just flying low. Stop at intersection with Gaspe Local. Onward we continue the flight and its a smooth one down to TQ5.


TQ5 east to Grand Riviere. Gas and yes we go. TQ5 now and we get not too far when NHmoose hears his belt start flapping so we shut it down. He changes it out no worries. Now he has no spare. More on this later. We wind it back up. Actually really nice ride here on TQ5. At trail to Percy we stopped to bunch up. I see Gary from Bonaventure Tours pulling into trail to Percy he holds up to bunch up as well and I decided to ride up and say hi. Been a long time since we crossed paths. He says he has 3 groups running Gaspe this week. Awesome to see he is busy. His clients are All potential future Trail Pass purchasers being nurtured. 


Onward we roll. Down through Gaspe still good here. TQ5 is not bad at all. We push on and cruise in Riviere au Renard before 4pm. Gas here many times. Never ever stayed at Caribou. Must say pretty much a home run here. Rooms a bit noisy you hear all plumbing and people walking upstairs but, great night and great resto. 


Met Linda sledgirl finally and her husband Joel. Not enough hours to talk. Then met Fred, Chuck, and Tommy, i know they were 5 strong with Fred’s grandson along getting his first ride in Gaspe. So awesome to see him smile as he told us he had his grandson out riding with him. They had another big guy like me with them but like i said i suck at names, please forgive me guys. Was nice to talk with you guys. 


Really great day and night. 

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March 15 Wednesday 


Gotta love spring snow in the Gaspe. Woke to maybe 2 inches at motel. Had breakfast said bye to Fred and his crew headed for Gaspe. Never saw Linda before we left. Headed west on TQ5 more snow higher up and sticky stuff too. Constantly wiping visor with glove. PITA. Cest la vie today. Good practice as i have not gone red stick hunting yet this season. Yup. I still can do it. Well mostly anyway. A good way down the trail we are following trail along plowed road. I thought trail jumped off road but we were headed for bonus miles up a windmill access trail. Well no harm no foul. Got out and quickly got re oriented, all good. Some tricky spots with wind and blowing snow. I have seen much worse. But was still fun. We gas in Madeline Center I think its called. Then continue to Murdoch trail. Beautiful run up to Murdoch. Less new snow as we came west on north shore but still some new everywhere we went today. More snow as we climb into Murdoch. Took time after gassing to stop to see Jacque at Copper. I really do not want to get into anything regarding the post made but I will. I understand not being satisfied and not getting service as you feel you should as paying customers. But he is truly having a hard time with staff. And the comments about him and competition and he should sell are out of line. Ok you had a bad experience. You shared your experience. To warn others. Great. It’s over now. 

Don’t like it there? Fine go stay at chic chac or rent air bnb. Jacque has always been there to support all snowmobilers and i have never had a bad experience. He does a real lot behind the scenes there for the Club in Murdoch and this all goes unheard of. 

Thats that. Moving on.


Further we go down 597 it gets deeper this new snow. Patches of freezing rain now mixed with snow. At hut by local to Gaspe. Is Fred and his Team. We talk a few minutes then bail south 597. Gotta be 8-10” here heavy wet snow. Sucking gas trying to blow open this trail on the right, one has gone south it seems but everyone else headed north. We reach TQ5 but already on thr low fuel light. Ran it out at less than 80 miles. Go for my extra gas, very unlike me, I never filled it this year. Been riding with it empty. NHmoose gives me life. We cruise into Chandler. Rough near here. 

Gas up and decide to go get spare belt for NHmoose at skidoo.


Find our way to dealer and John is looking for a 571 belt which will also perform well with any Ski-Doo model using 417300531.


We get him his new belt and off to Hotel Fraser. 


Another great day.

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Too bad about Patrick & Julie. I was going to make a point to stop there next winter. Maybe see if they will bring their food truck down to RDL. They will a large following for business. Just sayin


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We saw Jacque a few weeks ago at Copper...he is having a terrible time with help...I couldn't agree more about his contribution to sledding and all the great hospitality he has served up over the years...he is a destination...one of the big players for sure....we have nothing but good comments and memories of Copper...extremely sad to see this happening to them, I wish them all the luck in the world.

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13 minutes ago, neksledr said:

You can't enough of those smoked wings, can you!

Will not be available here after next week. It is Now or never.

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