Five of the seven riders I expected showed up for this ride plus one unexpected past member and three Snowmads. The weather was lightly snowing but visibility was Ok. The temperature was 24 degrees at the start and again at the end but somewhat higher during the day. We moved the start from Roslyn to avoid the icy trail. However, the night before we had more than a foot of new snow and the darting occurring on my ride the previous day way nonexistent, The group consisted of eight Ski Doos and a Yamaha, three women and 6 men. We left Cle Elum at 9:24 am . The fresh snow made the trail smooth, at least for the leaders, but it also made finding the off road sections of the trail more difficult. Since we had less aggressive riders than the check out riders and had some issues crossing the swamp, we eliminated the water cross and cross country ridge ride that we had planned on doing. DeAnn directed the west half of the ride but called on Jeff and Fred to break the trail once she identified it. After crossing the Teanaway, we were on fresh, untraveled snow almost all the way to Mineral Springs, There was a good base under the new snow that made for good traction. We stopped at Red Top Mountain for a photo stop in filtered to full sun. Since Elwood was one of the few who had a radio, he agreed to ride drag. But when we were leaving Red Top, we gave him the fun of breaking trail on the new, very deep snow over the groomed trail. He was uncatchable and appeared to be enjoying his stint at leading.
We had a nice lunch at Mineral Springs from 1:30m to 2:50 where the leaders were chided for taking four and a half hours to get there Riding the road back to Twenty-nine Pines was a little rough but not too bad, and we made good time. Since we were ahead of schedule at the Dingbat Bridge, we decided to try the cross country route we did two weeks earlier. About a half mile from the ridge top we had to go around a downed tree. After getting on the other side only a few yards DeAnn encountered a large tank trap that neither of us remembered from the check out ride. While we were looking down in the 10 deep double hilled trap one of our past members without looking at the trap decided to show us how to fly over a trap. Needless to say, he only got the front end to the bottom. Looking at my GPS I could see that we were not on our check out route and that we needed to be off to the east. DeAnn went looking for the route while the rest of us shoveled snow and manhandled the sled back to the original side. Not taking the time to put on my glasses, I neglected to let DeAnn know that the trail we were looking for was less than 80 feet to the east of us. She found a trail about a quarter mile back that took us almost 16 miles to get to the rigs when we were only 6 miles via the checkout route. Although we got back to the rigs with an extra very bumpy 10 miles and 78 minutes later than the checkout ride, everyone was intact, no equipment was injured, and a pleasant memory was created.