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Colorful Colorado.  Home to one of my favorite places on Earth.  A few weeks ago I received a call from one of my good friends that has a cabin in Fulford, located between Vail and Aspen.  One of his nieces had contacted him and asked if he would be able to help her take a group of college kids up to the cabin for the weekend.  However, do to prior commitments and family conditions he was not able to take them.  But not wanting to let them down and being the amazing and gracious man he is, he said he would find a way for them to get up there.  So he gave me a call to see if I was free and willing to help out.  I was stoked that he called and trusted me to help!

 

So we met the group at the parking lot Friday night around 10:00 pm.  None of them had much, if any experience on a snowmobile.  We went over the basic controls and the safety that would be necessary with a few drop offs along the road up to the cabin.  Thankfully we made it up without incident and upon arriving at the cabin the three guys in the group came up and asked how they could help out.  Seeing as no one had been up to the cabin since New Years there was 2-3 feet of snow on the deck.  I told them that if we could get the snow cleared off tonight that just meant more time to play tomorrow so they quickly grabbed shovels and got to work.  We had the deck cleared in no time and were all ready to hit the hay. 

 

The next morning I got out before everyone to check the roads around town and see how deep the snow was.  Knowing that they did not have a lot of snowmobile experience I set about packing down some of the powder so that there would be places to turn around without getting stuck.  After breakfast I headed out with my dad to check the trail to a nearby meadow.  I really wanted to be able to get everyone out to see the beauty of the surrounding area but did not want to get the group into an area that their skill level could not handle.  While we were checking the trails the group said they would clear the snow off of the roofs of the cabins.  By the time my dad and got back they had two of the roofs cleared so I told them that was fine for now and that we could head out for a trail ride.  We decided to ride back down to the parking lot so that they could see what we had road past in the dark the night before.  This also helped everyone become a little more familiar with the machines before we got onto the narrower trail heading up to the meadow.   Once we got to the meadow we had to stay single file to keep the machines on the packed trail.  However, when it came time to turn around I thought my own skills were better than they actually were and I managed to get two of the snowmobiles stuck!  This turned out to be a good thing though as we were able to teach everyone how to dig out a stuck sled.  Back at the cabins we broke out the kneeboards and they were able to pull each other around town for a bit before it got dark. 

 

Waking up the net morning we got started right where we left off.  We grabbed the kneeboards and started pulling each other around town.  As confidence and ability grew we built a few small jumps and broke out the snowboard too!  Right before lunch I gave everyone a ride on my friend’s sled, a Skidoo Summit 800.  Everyone was amazed by the power and how quick the sled was to accelerate.  When I brought back one of the guys from his ride another one said, “Welcome back to Earth!”  That is one of the best things I have ever heard about snowmobiling!

 

After lunch we loaded up on the snowmobiles and headed back out to the meadow.  One of the boys was a champ and knee boarded all the way out to the meadow!  His knees were a little sore by the time we got there from bouncing along the road but he stuck with it all the way there!  Once we got to the meadow they strapped on some snowshoes and journeyed off into the trees.  While they were off snowshoeing I got in some great powder riding in the meadow.  The conditions were amazing! Deep, fresh snow and the sun was shining.  I could not have asked for better conditions!  When they got back from snowshoeing I asked if they wanted to go for a ride in the powder.  I was able to put them in front of me on the snowmobile, with them holding onto the loop in the middle of the handlebars, and venture out into the powder.  They loved being able to experience how the machine floated in the powder and laying it over on its side to turn.  With about an hour and a half left of daylight we headed back to the cabins.  We stopped for a few group photos on the way back and then cleared the final roof upon arriving at the cabins.  For our final dinner we fired up the grill and some delicious burgers and steaks!  Everyone enjoyed the dinner after having played hard all day. 

 

After dinner we took one last ride out to the meadow.  Going out to the meadows at night is one of my favorite things because of how quiet and still it is.  Unfortunately the clouds had moved in and we were not able to see the stars.  But as the snow softly fell and we were able to take in the peaceful silence.  Back at the cabins we ended the night with a bonfire and of course, s’mores! 

 

In the morning we cleaned up the cabins and made our way back down the mountain to the parking lot.  Once the snowmobiles were loaded up we said our goodbyes and headed home.  It was truly a great experience and I am thankful for the new friends I was able to make.   

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