It was a cold start to a great day. As I drove to Chena Pump Landing to meet up with everyone for the ride I really didn’t expect to find anyone else. Alvin was already there, ready and waiting as I parked my rig others started to show up. So why you ask didn’t I expect anyone else, well my truck said it was -22 Below (f) and Mike C. said -26 Below (f) and as our normal ride cancelation cut off is between -15 and -20 below (f) depending on ride leader, I just didn’t think anyone would show up.
It ended up with 9 us of riding to Nenana and it was cold start but surprisingly it warmed up as we got farther down the river. Normally it gets colder, so I was happy to feel the warmer temps. Heck, Zero is down right balmy after unloading at -22 or so below.
The ride was easy, Roger and others have been running the trail to Nenana to get it in for the Iron Dog and we saw some stakes already in place. Not a lot of stakes and many more will be required before the 24th, but a good start.
About a third of the way down, say around the 16 mile mark we had this one little issue, no biggie for Iron Doggers, but thrilling for trail riders. As their fearless leader I came up on a small break in the ice with some water, ha, no biggie, the ice dropped a bit, but not enough I couldn’t get over it. So I roll over it and up on the trail on the other side, well the guy behind did what I did and went a little slow and as soon as his sled was on the ice, just before the crack, it broke and fall another foot or so.
Little hard to see from the angle, but it was about a 2 foot drop in elevation from where the pictures were taken to the ice on the other side. Hey, what’s a ride without a little diversion to keep your mind sharp. So we all made it across and kept on going. We did run into some areas similar to the one where the ice broke, a little tense but the trail ice held all the way to the Mondo.
Our waitress at the Mondo mentioned that the ice was thin compared to past years. This conversation got going when we were talking about the Nenana Ice Classic and when the ice would go out. She thinks it’ll be early, we’ll see.
Anyway, we stopped for gas in Nenana on the way back and now have a new ride slogan, “Evan Look Up”
It was a fast ride back to town and we got to our rigs around 4:00 PM, all in all a great day to be outside enjoying the sun and not a bad 110 mile ride.