revct1

2020 Jack & Sandi's trips

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Hello Everyone,

Another season has started.  Boy does it feel good to close up the shop and head north.

We left Connecticut early this morning.  Drove up to Valcourt and picked up the trailer and sleds.  I had brought the sleds up a couple of weeks ago to get them to Canada for the winter.  Not much snow thru Vermont.  A little in the Eastern Townships but not enough to ride on.  About 30 miles before Quebec the drizzle started to freeze on the road.  In Stoneham it turned to sleet and then finally it turned to snow.  All the way thru the park it's snowing.  The trail that crosses at L'Etape had been groomed and it had sled tracks on it.  We didn't stop at L'Etape but there were sleds in there.  This is a good sign.  As we continue up, we see more trailers heading north and south.  The southbound guys must be the ones that were up over Christmas.  One of them may have been EastMark.  Hi Mark.

We get to the Sag and there are about ten trailers here.  There is snow cover and the groomer map had shown that it was groomed here in town.  We will see if we can get any info at supper.

Happy trails.

Jack & Sandi

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Hi Steve,

The forecast for the next seven days is below freezing but only a few centimeters of snow here and there.

While we were eating, a half a dozen sleds rode in so the spur must be open to 83.  A few more truck / trailers also came in.  It looks like there are a few other optimistic riders out there.  I think we will check the groomer map and hopefully ride out of the hotel in the morning and get across the river to the north side.  From there we will decide.

Jack & Sandi

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Good morning.  What a good night's sleep.  Back in Quebec and no phones to answer and no customers to worry about for a week.

It is 6:30 am and there are a few sleds already running out in the parking lot.  A couple of inches of snow yesterday.  The groomer map shows that 83 around Chicoutimi, Jonquiere, 383, 23 down to L'Etape and 93 on Mont Valin all were groomed.

Today we get our snow legs under us.  Maybe a ride to the north side and up to Onatchiway would be nice.  93 was groomed yesterday and Onatchiway looks like that was groomed the day before.

The trail condition overlay shows the trails either green (good) or yellow (acceptable) for the whole area around Lac St Jean.  Usually the west side by Roberval isn't open this early.  We aren't heading that way but it is a good sign.

Sandi is on her yellow 2019 MXZ 600 and I am going to be breaking in my safety yellow/green 2020 Renegade 850.  Sandi says it is so bright, she needs her sunglasses.

We will report back tonight.

Jack & Sandi

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Go have a great day guys. Very interested in how the new sled does. Going to be trading time for us in April.  Did you get the XR shock package? My oldest just got a putback with all the bells and whistles.  Don't know if I need them for trail riding.  Again have a great time and most of all be safe. 

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Hi Jack and Sandy, excited to follow your thread. Correct me if I am wrong but are the grooming delay colors different this year? Mine show Purple instead of Green? 

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3 hours ago, Snobeeler said:

Hi Jack and Sandy, excited to follow your thread. Correct me if I am wrong but are the grooming delay colors different this year? Mine show Purple instead of Green? 

Looks like it depends on if you're using a PC or your cell,  mine are different!

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7 hours ago, Snobeeler said:

Hi Jack and Sandy, excited to follow your thread. Correct me if I am wrong but are the grooming delay colors different this year? Mine show Purple instead of Green? 

Hi Jay,

The grooming delay, when the groomer ran last, is purple / blue.  Different than last year.  I liked last year's colors better.

The trail conditions, good acceptable closed, is green yellow red.

Trails and EcoSentier I don't see a difference other than the EcoSentier which I do not know what that means.

Jack & Sandi

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Oops!  Sandi it is after 6:00 am and we are still in bed.  I know we are on vacation.  Slow down, no hurry today.

Breakfast with Jay and Christina.  They trailered to Valinuet yesterday and said it was pretty good.  Sounds good to me.  We will head to the north for today's ride.

Note:  I bought the toolbox LinQ set up.  Guess what.  It doesn't fit with the fuel caddy.  I'm going to have to ask the dealer.  Maybe I'll get a different storage unit.

We are on the sleds and stop at the Ulltramar to fill up.  Off we go.  The spur hasn't been groomed in awhile.  Turn right on 83 and this is good.  Turn right on 367 heading towards the two bridges.  Not bad for this early in the season.  Some of the corners have a little snirt.   A few weeds sticking up thru the trail but overall, better than I thought it would be.  I can smell the paint burning off the exhaust.  That new sled smell.  Sandi is leading so she doesn't have to put up with the stink.  We cross the two bridges and turn right on 134, aka Pickle Park.  Oh this is bad.  I thought the groomer map had this as being groomed recently.  Maybe 10 days ago.  We go past the first water tower and turn right leaving the road and staying on the trail.  This is pretty poor too.  Winding around thru the woods the trail comes back to the road by the second tower.  Sandi, stay on the old road.  Everyone else has run the road.  I don't think the trail has seen the groomer in a long time.  The road is good.  We turn at the cemetery and this is good too.  Along the power lines it gets rough again and we get to the junction with 93.  We stay straight on 134.  This was groomed.  Finally, the groomer map is telling the truth.  Easy riding up to 328.  Right to St David and top off the tanks.  We have only been 40 miles but I know St David is open and this will give us enough gas for the day.

Staying on 328 a few more miles and onto 476 to Onatchiway.  The lower half of 476 is twisty and today it is also bumpy.  As we get further along 476 straightens out some and gets smoother.  The last few miles into Onatchiway gets rough again.

Wow!  12:45 and the place is packed.  I was hoping everyone would be over on Mont Valin but they had the same idea as us.  There must be 60 - 70 sleds here.  Trucks and trailers are lined up down each side of the road.

Sandi finds us a pair of seats in the corner.  This is fine.  At least we got a place to sit.  A few other riders come in behind us and they have to wait for someone to leave before they can sit.  We order a light lunch and relax. 

Oh this feels so good to be riding again.  The summer is way too long.

(Time to go have supper.  I'll finish a little later.  Sanid is hungry.)

Jack & Sandi

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Jack I also just ran into the same problem with the toolbox.  It only fits in position one.  Very disappointed with that.  Maybe run it on top of stackable gas tank?  Guess depends on how heavy you load it.  

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53 minutes ago, Blueblood said:

Jack I also just ran into the same problem with the toolbox.  It only fits in position one.  Very disappointed with that.  Maybe run it on top of stackable gas tank?  Guess depends on how heavy you load it.  

I wouldn't care which position I put it in but I can't get the gas caddy and the toolbox to fit with each other.  It is either or.

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(Back from supper.)

OK.  We finish up lunch and head out.  We op to go toward Valinuet.  This showed groomed yesterday on the map.  We leave Onatchiway and bear left on 477.  Oh this is bumpy.  Well maybe it's just a mile.  No it is still bumpy.  After about 10 miles we are up on the flat and it does smooth out , no I should say some of the bumps are gone.  It is still bumpy.  Not what I was expecting.  Sandi is pushing along.  For all the sleds that were at Onatchiway, there isn't much traffic.  Maybe the others stayed in the park behind Onatchiway but this trail has seen a lot of use.

We get to Bras Louis and a few sleds are parked.  I know the feeling.  It is time for a rest.  Bras Louis must be better.  A few sleds take off.  I watch them and the trail looks smoother.  OK our turn.  Sandi takes off.  At least we can roll along.  Plenty of snow cover up here.  Cruising along.  We can see where the off trail guys have been cutting back and forth across the trail.  About half way down we go thru the gate coming out of the park.  Not to many more miles and the trail turns left off of Bras Louis.  Someone else posted that Bras Louis was cut short this year.  A few sled marks staying on Bras Louis but we turn left like we should.

Oh what a mistake.  Where has the groomer been.  He definitely hasn't been here.  This reminds me of riding in the Eastern Townships about thirty years ago.  Bump after bump after bump.  We caught up to I see six sleds ahead of us.  Some are two-uppers.  This isn't a good trail to pass on and how much faster would we want to go.  Hopefully it won't be too far before we get to Valinuet.  This feels like forever.  We must have gone ten miles.  Maybe not that far but it sure feels like it.  Finally we get to the road that goes up to Valinuet.  The trail crosses the road in the same spot.  It was just torture to get here.  Not too much further and we turn right on 93.  Now this is better.  A trail we can ride.  Heading south we go by the groomers house.  I see an operator out with a groomer hooking up the drag.  I don't know which way he is going but I know where he should be going.  93 is getting better.  We cross 328 and this is the best trail we have been on all day.  We head towards St Honore.  Where 93 runs parallel with the VTT trail, it is nice.  By the airport is better.  This groomer has been out doing his thing. 

The old Sonic gas station, it has been re-branded and I forgot the new name, is packed with trucks and trailers.  There is a short driveway behind the gas station and both sides of it are lined with trucks.

We cross the main road and start tooling along.  93 is perfect compared to what we've been riding on.  Sandi is running along now.  It's getting late and the sun is going down fast.  It's only 3:30 but the sun drops fast this time of year.  We turn left on 134.  We get to Pickle Park.  Stay on the road Sandi.  No sense in running thru all the trees.  That still hasn't been groomed.  We cross the two bridges and 383 is fine.  This is one of the better trails for all of today.  Who would have guessed the south side of the river would be better than the north side.

Fill up with gas at the Ultramar and a quick stop at the Metro grocery store for a 12 pack.  Back at the Sag and no one is parked in front of our room.  Back the sleds in and lock them up.

Plenty of snow cover on the mountain but it really needs grooming.  Sandi mentioned that there are rental sleds at Valinuet now and she was wondering if the trails are getting that much more traffic.  I know it is the weekend but Bras Louis was pretty bad.  There is sufficient snow cover between the Sag and the two bridges.

Tomorrow, should we stay on the south side?  Sunday is going to be a day to stay off of Valin if today was a precursor to tomorrow.  We will see what was dragged overnight.

Our first day this season.  Hopefully it will get better.

Jack & Sandi

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Hi jack, nice reports always interesting.  On your tool box issue if you purchase the linq stackable 4 gal you can place tool box on top sometimes you may need shims they sell or adapter plates . I have the gas caddy and put the sport bag on top . If you like I can send pic .. Have great time 

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Love your reports Jack !

Sounds like the traffic has really picked up for sure since Wed/Thur Jack. Hit some of the same rough stuff up toward Onatchiway Wednesday. Thursday we started out again but went 93E east then north east on club trails and back down all the way to a club (something Rouge) just past Sacre-Coeur and came back from that club down a trail with a little logging to 93W and hit mostly great trails. Exception...Unless it was groomed since that top upper loop was rough.

We should have skipped the top loop and tipped back down closer to 93 knowing it was early season grooming. I know better. Overall there was very little traffic and better grooming the further east nearer 93 from what we saw Thursday. Again we started off there at Passion so it was a bit different. The in/near town Sag just didn't look ready to me yet.

A bumpy day of sledding is still better than a good day at work especially the first day of the season. Feels good to get the rust off Im sure. Groomers must be out tonite full tilt now. Glad you two got out there and love the reports ! Good luck with the new ride. That is a great sled.

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Hi Jack  , great report as usual,  were sat here riding along with you both . Pat said  you didn't beat the lunch time rush then  lol.

Hope  you find smoother trails  tomorrow...

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9 hours ago, Kyles dad said:

Thanks for the update

Hi Jim,

I'm happy if we can ride out of the hotel on our Christmas week trip.  From the Sag to the bridges wasn't too bad.

 

8 hours ago, jagman56 said:

Hi jack, nice reports always interesting.  On your tool box issue if you purchase the linq stackable 4 gal you can place tool box on top sometimes you may need shims they sell or adapter plates . I have the gas caddy and put the sport bag on top . If you like I can send pic .. Have great time 

Hi Rusty,

I thought about that too.  Stack the tool box on the gas caddy.  I was disappointed because I thought Ski-Doo would have designed it so it would fit with the caddy.

 

8 hours ago, PLAYHARD said:

Ditto!

Thanks for bringing us along!

Wishing you groomed trails only!

Hi Dave,

Yesterday was a bumpy ride.  I remember the old conventional sleds, pre-Rev, that would have bottom out on every bump.  At least we could still ride.

 

I hope I got everyone's name correct.

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4 hours ago, EastMark said:

Love your reports Jack !

Sounds like the traffic has really picked up for sure since Wed/Thur Jack. Hit some of the same rough stuff up toward Onatchiway Wednesday. Thursday we started out again but went 93E east then north east on club trails and back down all the way to a club (something Rouge) just past Sacre-Coeur and came back from that club down a trail with a little logging to 93W and hit mostly great trails. Exception...Unless it was groomed since that top upper loop was rough.

We should have skipped the top loop and tipped back down closer to 93 knowing it was early season grooming. I know better. Overall there was very little traffic and better grooming the further east nearer 93 from what we saw Thursday. Again we started off there at Passion so it was a bit different. The in/near town Sag just didn't look ready to me yet.

A bumpy day of sledding is still better than a good day at work especially the first day of the season. Feels good to get the rust off Im sure. Groomers must be out tonite full tilt now. Glad you two got out there and love the reports ! Good luck with the new ride. That is a great sled.

Hi Mark,

It's the weekend so I expected more traffic but that lower re-route of Bras Louis was tough.  The groomers are out but with temps just below freezing, the trail doesn't really set up like it does when it is -20 C.  The snow stays mushy and it doesn't take many sleds to push the snow around and bump it up.  93 and Pelchat have been groomed but from the Sag, it is a big loop to go to Sacre-Couer and back for us.  I know people do that loop and it is great but we have shortened up our days a little.  Especially the first trip up.

 

46 minutes ago, SnomoGary said:

Hi Jack  , great report as usual,  were sat here riding along with you both . Pat said  you didn't beat the lunch time rush then  lol.

Hope  you find smoother trails  tomorrow...

Hi Pat & Gary,

It is good to hear from you.  How is it on the other side of the pond?

Pat is correct.  The bumps slowed us down but we did manage to get a seat without waiting.  We have our reservations at the Delta when you are here.

 

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10 hours ago, revct1 said:

I wouldn't care which position I put it in but I can't get the gas caddy and the toolbox to fit with each other.  It is either or.

I see there is a rise kit to clear the taillight on some sleds wonder if that would work?

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1 hour ago, Blueblood said:

I see there is a rise kit to clear the taillight on some sleds wonder if that would work?

Do you have a part number? That’s something I would be interested in. Never saw this 

Thanks

Now back to Jack and Sandi updates

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11 hours ago, revct1 said:

(Back from supper.)

OK.  We finish up lunch and head out.  We op to go toward Valinuet.  This showed groomed yesterday on the map.  We leave Onatchiway and bear left on 477.  Oh this is bumpy.  Well maybe it's just a mile.  No it is still bumpy.  After about 10 miles we are up on the flat and it does smooth out , no I should say some of the bumps are gone.  It is still bumpy.  Not what I was expecting.  Sandi is pushing along.  For all the sleds that were at Onatchiway, there isn't much traffic.  Maybe the others stayed in the park behind Onatchiway but this trail has seen a lot of use.

We get to Bras Louis and a few sleds are parked.  I know the feeling.  It is time for a rest.  Bras Louis must be better.  A few sleds take off.  I watch them and the trail looks smoother.  OK our turn.  Sandi takes off.  At least we can roll along.  Plenty of snow cover up here.  Cruising along.  We can see where the off trail guys have been cutting back and forth across the trail.  About half way down we go thru the gate coming out of the park.  Not to many more miles and the trail turns left off of Bras Louis.  Someone else posted that Bras Louis was cut short this year.  A few sled marks staying on Bras Louis but we turn left like we should.

Oh what a mistake.  Where has the groomer been.  He definitely hasn't been here.  This reminds me of riding in the Eastern Townships about thirty years ago.  Bump after bump after bump.  We caught up to I see six sleds ahead of us.  Some are two-uppers.  This isn't a good trail to pass on and how much faster would we want to go.  Hopefully it won't be too far before we get to Valinuet.  This feels like forever.  We must have gone ten miles.  Maybe not that far but it sure feels like it.  Finally we get to the road that goes up to Valinuet.  The trail crosses the road in the same spot.  It was just torture to get here.  Not too much further and we turn right on 93.  Now this is better.  A trail we can ride.  Heading south we go by the groomers house.  I see an operator out with a groomer hooking up the drag.  I don't know which way he is going but I know where he should be going.  93 is getting better.  We cross 328 and this is the best trail we have been on all day.  We head towards St Honore.  Where 93 runs parallel with the VTT trail, it is nice.  By the airport is better.  This groomer has been out doing his thing. 

The old Sonic gas station, it has been re-branded and I forgot the new name, is packed with trucks and trailers.  There is a short driveway behind the gas station and both sides of it are lined with trucks.

We cross the main road and start tooling along.  93 is perfect compared to what we've been riding on.  Sandi is running along now.  It's getting late and the sun is going down fast.  It's only 3:30 but the sun drops fast this time of year.  We turn left on 134.  We get to Pickle Park.  Stay on the road Sandi.  No sense in running thru all the trees.  That still hasn't been groomed.  We cross the two bridges and 383 is fine.  This is one of the better trails for all of today.  Who would have guessed the south side of the river would be better than the north side.

Fill up with gas at the Ultramar and a quick stop at the Metro grocery store for a 12 pack.  Back at the Sag and no one is parked in front of our room.  Back the sleds in and lock them up.

Plenty of snow cover on the mountain but it really needs grooming.  Sandi mentioned that there are rental sleds at Valinuet now and she was wondering if the trails are getting that much more traffic.  I know it is the weekend but Bras Louis was pretty bad.  There is sufficient snow cover between the Sag and the two bridges.

Tomorrow, should we stay on the south side?  Sunday is going to be a day to stay off of Valin if today was a precursor to tomorrow.  We will see what was dragged overnight.

Our first day this season.  Hopefully it will get better.

Jack & Sandi

  Glad to see you had a good day. We saw the same thing on the lower Bras Louis, its a rough trail thru the woods now and we rode it twice the day after they groomed it and it was trashed. Hope they move it back?    Where are you headed today, Clairmont,  L Etape?

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