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iceman

Ender 2021

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Bonjour tout le monde. 

Well here we go again, one last little run to close out this season. Alain was returning to Matane for another quick run with his wife Josee. I had thought I was finished but the stars aligned just right and with a quick turnaround of my sled at Moto Thibault...merci Pierre and crew for the best service anywhere. Here we are in Matane. Big thanks to both Playhard and to Florida Snowman for offering up their trailers for Alain to pull us to Matane. Merci Beaucoup mes amis. In the end it was Florida Snowman’s trailer that was picked by the boss Alain to take us to Matane. 

Mrs Ice will get a brief introduction to riding in the Gaspe. I explained to her she is in the promised land now and this is the big league compared to Shawinigan. She is very excited to be baptized here in Gaspe. I explained to her for most people this is a bucket list destination. Though her trip will not be a full tour of the Gaspe you need to walk before you can run. Worked out well for her to get out of School today as she only had 3 periods not a full day and tomorrow is a teacher conference day (no students). She was good to go. 

Quick ride 5 hours from Trois Riveres landed in Matane. More trailers here than last week. Parking lot it full. 

Setlled in and very happy. 

We will ride TQ5 to 595 to New Richmond then back the same route. 2 days of riding. Not long and not far but a great first ride for my girl in Gaspe. 

Conditions from hotel not fantastic but its just to get up the hill. After we are good to go. Groomer leaving tonight for La Cache according to club. Gotta luv it. 

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Matane to New Richmond 

cold wind this morning in Matane. 8am departure. First 2km from hotel best described as “scrappy” frozen dirt and gravel. Once starting up the hill no issues. Just the first 2km. Frozen solid trail here much different than a week ago. Scratchers deployed, we roll. Farther from Matane the better it is getting. 30km and its real nice even some fresh dusting of snow here. It’s cold for sure today. Take off the gloves and you will know it. Quick break at closed Relais St Paulin. Seen maybe 6 sleds headed west so far. Trail is beautiful. 

Onward up the 595 actually seeing some small drifts of snow here. Like real winter. Cloudy a bit so Caro’s first winter peak at the Chic Chocs is obscured. Tomorrow on the way back will be better. 

More to come

 

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We continue on and fresh snow all the way to La Cache. The groomer was headed north back toward Relais St Paulin. Beautiful trail but windy. Into La Cache at 11:30. Big crowd here the joint is jumping. Only 4 tables of 2 people each inside. We seem to manage to arrive at the perfect time as we went in we got lucky as Alain and Josee scored a table right away. I paid for our gas ordered some food and as Caro came out of the restroom we got a table as 2 were leaving. Sweet way too windy and cold to eat outside. Perfect timing as the sleds just kept rolling in. The place was overwhelmed quickly. Line out the door to pay gas and order food. Lots eating on front porch or next door on motel porch. Not us. Inside nice and warm. Took our time no hurry. No time to chat much with the staff. But as we were leaving found Steven the main man for gas and anything else there needing attention . Taking a smoke break out back. He was frazzled. Been nonstop he said since 8:30am had not even got to drink his coffee. Busy busy. Said goodbye until tomorrow when we pass back through. 

Continued down 595 

between la Cache and trail to Murdochville very rough. After junction to Murdoch smooth ripping trail again. Top shape. Caro is loving the Gaspe riding. We stop several times to talk and kill time. We are on track to arrive by 3pm at New Richmond. Nice and slow. Near Pin Rouge Caro is checking out the petite river there, she is always on the hunt for her future paddle boarding adventures. From Pin Rouge into New Richmond hard packed and Icy. Into the gas and to hotel with 270km. 

Great fun day on the sleds.

i count 36 sleds here at Francis. Everyone knows it’s getting down to the end. 

 

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Edited by iceman

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Really cool pictures... .never rode Gaspe but hope to someday. I can see why it is considered the favorite destination for many especially late in season. 

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Saturday night

Arrived at Hotel Francis upon check in the lady at front desk, who I have found very pleasant but not always helpful. Says restaurant is full no more reservations. OK. I was not that worried. At 4:30 went to restaurant and visited with the head waitress who we saw last week and chatted with for a long time. She said no problem come at 7:30 I will have your two tables of two side by side. Merci Chloe. 

Great happy hours and great dinner. Super service in the restaurant. 

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Sunday 

Breakfast for Caro delivered to room. Supposed to be toasted bagel, cheese, apple, yogurt, hard boiled egg,, orange juice and muffin. Was just a bagel and apple with an orange juice. Call front desk they fix it quick. She got 2 of everything. Second delivery. 

No hurry today, short way to go all day to get there. 

9am departure. 

Worked on Alain a bit during happy hour. My friend is a creature of habit. He likes what he knows and tough to exit his comfort zone. With the help of Josee I convinced him to take the Local Orange trail outside New Richmond that’s actually a short cut 10km shorter then passing by Pin Rouge. It hooks back up with 595 right near the last warming hut when coming down from La Cache. 

As usual the local orange trails never disappoint. This was no exception. It was stellar with some awesome views and I got a thumbs up. Have a little faith brother, I would never steer you wrong. 

Quick pit stop at the warming hut for the ladies to use the outhouse. Warmer today and lots of sleds headed for La Cache.

more to come

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Edited by iceman

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3 hours ago, iceman said:

that’s actually a short cut

But isn't that one of the 10 Notorious Lies of Snowmobiling?!

"We have enough gas"...

"The ice is thick enough"...

"I have a great idea"...

Etc-etc-etc...

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17 hours ago, PLAYHARD said:

But isn't that one of the 10 Notorious Lies of Snowmobiling?!

"We have enough gas"...

"The ice is thick enough"...

"I have a great idea"...

Etc-etc-etc...

And the GPS has greatly added to this adventure !

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Saturday continued....

beautiful run back up into La Cache. Stopped a few times to take some pictures. Took some doing but convinced the wife to change sleds with me for a few KM. She doesn’t let me ride “her” sled at all. I had to nicely remind her, yes, she rides it but it’s really mine. She kindly reminded me that we are married so “what’s yours is mine”. Not gonna win this battle. Man I love to get on the 144” Apex This one is tricked out no wonder she loves it so. The Ohlins front shocks and Star Suspension kit in the rear it is sweet. I have ridden the 2018 Apex bone stock suspension wise since new, that will change before she sees snow again. Bet on it. 

Into La Cache trail is perfect so far. Groomed last night from New Richmond to La Cache and did not disappoint. 

La Cache is a Zoo. Repo like line up for gas like I never seen here and it’s only 11am. The backup is because they do not reset the pumps before it’s paid. So guys are in line to pay and others ordering food in same line, is taking forever. Seriously long. But nothing to do but wait. Line is out the door onto porch. During the wait chatted with Steve some more. Big happenings coming to La Cache. Scorpionbowl will be sad but the motel block is being demolished, he said in two to three weeks it will be a goner. They are building little cabins spread out on the property there to rent out as lodging. Upgrading the Solar, (thanks to those former pipeline workers) and finishing renovations in the restaurant area all during the Spring, Summer, and Fall. 

New even more improved La Cache coming soon. 

Finally get sleds full, the mrs goes in to pay and we get out of there. See you next year Steve. 

Sleds are rolling in like crazy from the north side, gonna be a busy ride down with everyone headed up. Trail is not terrible. Not as great as the south side but good. Some drifting not far from La Cache actually has trail down to one sled wide in a few places near the big clear cuts. We roll on down surely at least 35 sleds passed going up. Maybe more. We stop and take some more pictures and we had already decided lunch would be later in St Adelme at the relais. Once arriving at Relais St Paulin and TQ5 temps and traffic are starting to take their toll on conditions. Further west we go the more it is getting softer and beat up. A few real nice stretches there just after Relais St Paulin. Caro sees a group way ahead on a long straightaway. She says hammer it we can run them down. That’s my girl. We hammer down and catch them but they are six and I am not gonna pass  We are coming up on a Intersection. The trail used to go right here but goes left. I see the first guy turns left he stops all five others do not see him and turn right. The arrow says right but trail goes left. We scoop them and stretch it out. Never saw them again Getting sketchy closer to St Adelme. Full gravel in parking lot. Great lunch and it’s time to beat feet to Matane and wrap this up. My wife thinks riding across the dirt patches in the farm fields is funny. Every one we go over she is giggling on the radio. She has never seen spring breakup and end of season riding. She knows now. Pure dirt and gravel last pretty much 1.5 km to hotel. She was not laughing now. Crossed the road and into hotel season over. 

Great day great ride. 

Awesome first experience in Bas St Laurent and Gaspe area for Caro on Sled. 

She has progressed greatly this year with all her seat time. Rides the right and is getting more confidence each ride. Backing up still needs some practice but that I am not too worried about. Makes me proud to see her enjoying something I love so very much, Snowmobiling. Not because I love it but because she loves it too. 

A real rider. Checking the I Motoneige before I even do in the morning. Gotta luv it. 

Thanks again Florida Snowman. Trailer worked awesome. Pulled great no worries. 

Thats it for now folks. 

It’s Over. 

 

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17 minutes ago, GT Rider said:

Super nice Ice. Thanks for the ride along.

Always fun to read about your trips. You bring us right there.

Have a great off season.

Thanks so much,  you two are awesome. Let’s all hope for a season together next winter. 

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