04:00 AM - March 02, 2021
Tuesday, Mar 2nd, Club #1
7 PM Update: Roger is about 1.5 hours from Simpson Fields and will return to Rogers Lake sometime tomorrow morning. Bryan finally made it to the Host in Bathurst. They are fueling up at Present and then Jacob will take it to East Bathurst tonight. Just a little note here about Bryan and Jacob. Bryan is Jacob’s grandfather, so I’m thinking this could be a first (grandfather / grandson team) for groomer operators. Jacob has been grooming with his grandfather for three years with Bryan coaching him so Ron gave him a shot at grooming this year and he has been driving solo ever since.
3.30 PM update: The road to Rogers Lake got plowed by 2 PM. Roger made it this time to Groomer #1. He is currently at Red Pine Shelter and is heading to Governors then the 503 to Simpson Fields. He should return sometime tomorrow morning to Rogers Lake. Bryan on the #2 just crossed the highway 430 by Blue Mountain Pit on Trail 19. He should be at the Atlantic Host around 6 PM. Jacob will then take it to East Bathurst. Big Blue is idle as explained in the 9AM update. Let's hope that everything goes well for all the operators. Currently blowing like hell at -14 degrees. This light snow is really bad for drifting, so don't expect trails to be good for at least a day or two. Safety tip: Don't sled alone and tell people exactly where you are going.
11 PM Update: We have two groomers running, but with heavy drifted areas Ron is going to Park the #3 Big Blue back at the shop. He made it to Bass River on Trail 19. So from East Bathurst to Bass River is done, but he did not trust the tractor through the huge drifts from the shop to Rough Waters. The #2 has made it from the Lodge out to Highway 430. I was speaking with Bryan (operator) and he said there were massive drifts. His schedule is now going to take him to Bathurst to The Atlantic Host, where there will be a shift change with Jacob who will then take Trail 19 to the shop in East Bathurst. The #3 is still at Rogers Lake as Roger (operator) could not make it through as the road isn’t plowed yet. He got stuck with his vehicle trying to bust through, but decided to turn and go home. The winds seemed to have died down for a bit, but that doesn’t mean that we’re out of the woods yet with this storm which has now dumped close to 40 CM. Ron will keep me posted for more updates and he says that once we get some tracks made, we’ll be running 24-7.
9:15 AM. #2 groomer is on the move out of Nepisiguit Lodge. Will update it's progress later plus the other two groomers.
4am Well, we got another dumping of about 30 cm of snow here in the Bathurst region and it is still snowing with 2 to 4 cm more before it subsides. It looks like noon before it ends. One good thing is that it isn't wet at -11 degrees. Another big factor here is that they are expecting 70 to 90 Km wind gusts, which will cause severe drifting in places. It is adding up quite nicely. Ron will have the groomers on the move soon and I will update through the day on groomer movement. You must remember that the operators don’t live in their machines. They all live in the immediate vicinity of Bathurst and first have to shovel themselves out. We have the #1 stationed at Rogers Lake 50Km from Bathurst, the #2 is at the Lodge 30 Km from Bathurst and the #3 is in Bathurst at the shop. In a snow like this with average speed at about 8 Km per hour the answer this morning to “Are the trails done yet?”, which is a question that we get from time to time. So let’s figure this one out 300 Km at 8 Km per hour and yes they have to return on those runs plus shift changes, so double that mileage and see what you come up with. So we’re looking well into Wednesday and Thursday morning. So folks if you want to get out and ride in powdered snow, this is the time to do it. Leave the sheepmobiles at home. Did I say sheepmobile? You figure that quiz out.