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markusvt
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Planing on an adventure of sorts out visiting folks we haven’t seen in a bit. One out of four got the random test, random my ass. We will try to get that sorted now rather than wait till the morning. otherwise smooth sailing so far.

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2 hours ago, markusvt said:

Planing on an adventure of sorts out visiting folks we haven’t seen in a bit. One out of four got the random test, random my ass. We will try to get that sorted now rather than wait till the morning. otherwise smooth sailing so far.

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Mark, I PM'd you my cell contact. We are going to be at the cabin sat before dark and in/out sunday also staying there sunday night. 

If you and the boys want to come up to the end of the M21 and hang for a bit we have more than enough fresh super unleaded to give you guys each a couple gallons. Would be cool to meet you guys. Dont know exactly what we are doing sunday but I have a feeling we wont be gone all day. 

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Arrived at Windigo with 226 on the clock. We are the first Amaricans in 2 years. February 2020 we were here last before the border closed. Beautiful day, started cold at two above zero got colder down to about -6 and we end of the day at +6 overall very very nice. We left Saint Michel early this morning and headed off across the reservoir up to the 33, the reservoir was very nice. 33 was groomed all the way to where it crosses the water, no complaints there. They groomed at both directions.

Arrived into Repos at roughly 930 with 60 miles on, I harbor no ill will against the place and admire that they’re still hanging in there. Like a lot of these places I know that they for sale.  We did have plenty of gas so we could’ve bypassed it but we bought gas there and bypass Kanawata, it made more sense for us. If you had a gas situation or a time situation, you could easily have took the road all the way to Kanawata.

Most riders are still using the road for 10 miles outside of Repos, including us. The trail doesn’t really have quite enough snow yet. Needs another groom and it will be fine. Everything has a fresh 4 to 6inches they just need to mix it in.

The next part of the trail on the way to the Kanawata intersection is very nice, very well groomed wide and in great shape, you get there in a hurry. We skipped Kanawata and buzzed up to Casey, as most of you know this section of trail is wide open, super smooth, and amazing. We stopped in to the new place in Casey, Casey de base. We met Norman and he made us some chicken soup and hamburgers and a few refreshments before we headed out. He says next year he will have fuel but not this year. 

We then headed up to the intersection at 83. We took a right to Weymetaci, going into Weymetaci is a hit or miss. It’s plowed all the way to the intersection, though they have a new trail put in for most of it so you go on and off the road. Getting into a Weymetaci for gas is no trouble at all, very friendly though they did stop us at the gate to ask what we wanted. We then buzzed the remaining 60 miles into Windigo.

Tomorrow we have an off trail excursion planned to get to barrage Gouin. We have given the appropriate people access to our GPS and satellite coordinates so if we stop moving they can send in the rescue team. There is a lot of snow up here, I am a bit worried with that but I think we will be OK.
 

We will check in tomorrow if we were successful in getting to barrage going, if I don’t check it and you will know we were in the woods somewhere.

We toasted the first drinks tonight to all of the Americans that haven’t made it back yet. I don’t want to rub it in at all in what you were missing, but the hassle crossing the border is way, way, way, way, way worth it. Love the trails up here, and love the people more.

We were lucky enough to get a trip up early December to Mont Valin with the Team Maine and Rack up at 700 miles in three days, a month delay was too long to be back up here.

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Edited by markusvt
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AWESOME trail pics !!! It dosnt get any sweeter. And glad you guys are having a great trip so far. WIndigo to Gouin off trail......sounds crazy enough but i'm sure you guys are prepared and ready. Cant wait to hear and see pics about that. My boat anchor dosnt like being off groomed trail so I would need a different machine to try that one. Did the fox come out at Windigo ?? He loves breakfast sausages. We tried to book there about 10 days ago for this monday but no go. Did you stay inside or the 2 story small cabin thats really neat.

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We have got the cabin before, as you say very nice. We are in the lodge so excellent WI-FI and easy walking without going outside.

Martin has not seen the fox yet this winter because it’s not been cold enough.

She says it only really comes out when it’s very cold and he is trying to conserve energy and really need as easy meal. She said she has new neighbors with a chicken coop that kept the fox very entertained through the fall. 

There is over 2 feet of ice on the lake so far. Very surprised on the amount of new camps and chalets everywhere with folks wanting out of the city.

Hotel in the 4th picture in Motel Central in St Michel des Saints. The trails out of town were all brand new groomed and in perfect shape with very little traffic.

Awesome here tonight at Windigo, we are the only ones here which is super nice and relaxing. Tomorrow the forecast looks a bit colder, which I’m OK with as we are easing into the cold with this trip. Unlike our mount Valin trip a month ago were the first two mornings were -24F!

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Awesome report thanks for sharing. Happy you guys are doing well. Please say hi to Martine and Daniel hope to make it there soon. 

Keep it rolling. Wishing you luck on the adventure to Gouin. 

Go Team Vermont. Hope to see you guys this year. 

Hit me up when you are passing by Shawinigan in truck or sled.

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I showed Martine your message, made her smile. You’re on her good side for sure. She calls you a very smart man, funny stuff. They seem very excited to get back into the groove of guests and more business as usual. As always we highly recommend this place if you can get in.

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We got up and left Windigo by 830 heading for relay 22. The 83 is different now to relay 22, instead of 20 miles you have about 30. They added 10 miles and it comes into 73 North 10 miles before Relay 22. They had to do a reroute due to a bridge being out that they can’t get the groomer across. There had been some logging in this area preseason, but it’s all very rideable now even though it doesn’t show it on the app. Very cold at relay 22, and a ton of snow. Gas and oil available and no worries to come in and warm up. We started the day at -11 F and it was -15 F by the time we got to read a 22, and stayed there most of the day. It is -20F now and will Lilly be colder in the morning.

We headed out to 83 a bit before we navigated our off trail experience to end up at barrage Gouin at 4:30. Super fun day out in the woods, we are solo, no sleds out here, no people out here. Only bears, moose, wolves, and Beaver’s.

Johnny says the  Gouin ice is very safe, but we stayed off it as we had crossed a number of streams and Beaver ponds on our way here already, and it was no time to press our luck at the end of the day.

Johnny has added a new entrance in the front so that everybody goes in and out one door and then he directs you to the rooms or the restaurant or the living room that he has.

He has special arrangements to serve you food, dinner basically he brings to you in the living room area or into your cabin. Breakfast he gives you the night before that you put in your refrigerator and take care of in the morning yourself. All this goes away once Covid is over, but for now it is totally acceptable. He of course has plenty of gas and it is very warm and comfortable inside as always. 

Lots of snow up here, Johnny has been maintaining his private trail down to the 83 so no worries there. Tomorrow a easy run over to the wood runner trails and explore a bit before ending up at Notawussi.

I confirmed with them that they have gas and like everyone else they have special arrangements for the food, but I am not worried. Everyone has been very very accommodating.

 

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Edited by markusvt
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Simply amazing pics and write up Mark!!!! How many times did you guys have to stop and deal with those trees? I’m assuming you were in the bush and plowed roads at times too ?

we will be crossing the border within the hour and I will post back how the experience was.

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12 minutes ago, snowmaster2112 said:

Have a safe trip my friend!!!!!!! Some METAL cranking out of the speakers at the cabin is where I want to be RIGHT NOW!!!! 🤣 Talk to you later👍

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Everyone has folding saws and with any luck we don’t have to use them😉 Very awesome conditions here currently and plenty of snow. Locals have been happy to see snowmobilers, American snowmobilers included. Gas has been $1.45 and $2.25. Always cold morning starts here at Gouin. Today -28F, awesome 😀

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Edited by markusvt
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So we waited for the temperature to warm up this morning a bit from the -28, we left it -24 F Way nicer. Johnny’s Trail from barrage Gouin is the same as in the years past, on the trail for 5 miles, on the road for 5 miles, then the last 20 miles down to the 83.

He is grooming the east and west routes. The next 30 miles into parent on the 83 was more than a bit choppy but survivable. The only gas station and store in parent has been revamped and has everything you would possibly need. They are absolutely by the rules, helmet not good enough, Balaklava not good enough. They want you wearing a mask.  
 

8 miles outside of parent to the 13 intersection is also choppy and rough. Next we jumped on 13 down to Fer a Chevelle, that was groomed both directions and completely awesome. Far a Cheval has  rules. You can order food though a limited menu and you can eat it inside sitting in a chair, but your inside visit is limited to 15 minutes. They do have an outside fire going that you can hang out next to a picnic table as long as you want, it’s all completely workable.
 

We did a little bit of playing around which is always nice now that the temperature is up to -8° F. The good news of course with the cold you don’t see many sleds even though it is a Saturday. The 13 the rest of the way down and to Notawissi was completely awesome. Again another set of custom rules where they don’t you want you inside for more than 15 minutes. They prepare your dinner and put it in a cooler which you can bring to your room, they have it ready when you want.

They do the same with breakfast here they prepare in the kitchen, then they put it in the cooler you pick it up at the time you agreed on and bring it to your cabin.  Again rules that are completely no problem at all. Super nice to be on the wood runner trails, as always they do a great job with the signing and the grooming just an enjoyable area to ride in.

A whole bunch of Ontario people are over here they unloaded in Mount Laurier and they said the riding all around has been fabulous for them. A bunch of new 2022 Mach Z‘s everywhere .

Tomorrow will be the final day for us, it will be the warmest which won’t be a bad thing and then it will be home until the next trip up here. Again the small hassles are way worth it load up and come on over.

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