Hook and Bullet Club by Nick Wognum

Our goal was to put on 150 miles over the weekend on snowmobiles.
With the amount of snow we have now, getting to ride in mid-January is a bonus and one to be taken advantage of.
Three sleds took off Saturday morning for our first ride of the year with me leading the way, my wife Mary next and daughter Megan the caboose.
We had decided that the first ride should be an easy one so we picked heading down the Taconite and going to Babbitt.
There was Saturday traffic on the trails, we counted over 40 sleds in roughly 45 mile round trip. Most were in groups of two to four.
After not riding for the past couple of winters, I had to quickly remember to hold up two fingers to let oncoming riders know how many sleds were behind me.
On top of that I had mounted radio communicators in my and Mary’s helmet so we could talk to each other while riding.
“Sledders coming,” I would say.
“Yup, thanks,” she would respond.
Being able to listen to music was my favorite part of this new set up. Nothing like be-bopping down the trail with a good song playing.
We took a detour off the Babbitt Spur and hopped on a small lake. Lots of powder and fun until we cleared a point. Suddenly the lake became a hilly, bumpy disaster area where the wind had piled up the snow in ridges.
Back on the trail we pulled into the Junction and had a late lunch. There were other snowmobilers there as well, enjoying the warmth of the fire and the day’s soup special, chili.
We made it back home without a hitch and headed out Sunday with a more ambitious route.
From Ely we took the Tomahawk Trail to Mattila’s Shelter, cut over to Babbitt and then headed up to Tower on the Fishing Lakes Trail.
Again the trails were in great shape. But it was a Sunday and we only saw 20 sleds all day.
After lunch at Benchwarmer’s, where they make a mean hot chocolate, we gassed up and went through Soudan and into the State Park, hopping on to Lake Vermilion at the new public access to the west.
From there it was lake and portage riding back to Ely. As we went by the Grand Ely Lodge, my odometer went over our 150 mile mark, mission accomplished.
Thanks to the clubs and the DNR for having the trails in great shape!