A dozen Green Lake Snowmobile Club (GLSC) members participated in the final organized quad ride of 2018 when they rode to Lone Butte for lunch at the Iron Horse Pub on Dec. 14.
Steve Gehl led the two-hour ride to Lone Butte from the GLSC clubhouse – mostly along the Spectra Natural Gas pipeline.
It was clear sailing until we left the pipeline to ride trails into Lone Butte. Then there was a bit of clearing involved along the narrow trails – always take a chainsaw with you on your rides.
However, we arrived at the pub on time, had a great lunch and prepared to head back home.
The departure was delayed a bit when one of the quads had a flat tire, but a small compressor was used to pump enough air in the tire so we could carry on. However, every time we stopped, more air pumping was required.
Ron Tonts led the ride on the way home and he took us on an adventure – some trails many of us had not been on before. Of course, there was more trail clearing involved, which provided opportunities for tire pressure maintenance.
The highlights included a ride by the Taylor Lake Japanese-Canadian internment camp, which is southwest of Lone Butte.
Many of our area Japanese families had family members who were held or forced to work during the Second World War. The remaining buildings at the site appeared to be in remarkably good shape.
The other stop was at the train station at the Flying U Ranch – reported to Canada’s oldest guest ranch – on the shores of North Green Lake. The train station, which is in great shape, has an old corral right across the tracks from it.
Presumably, guests got off the train and either rode or got a wagon ride back to the guesthouses.
GLSC president John Sullivan notes the Green Lake ice depth is inconsistent around the lake and it really depends on the location.
“The south end of the lake appears to be fine, but midway down and the north end would likely be dangerous to go out on.
“It all looks the same, but it’s really inconsistent.”
Snowmobilers are urged to be cautious about going out on the ice (25 centimetres [10 inches] of ice is the safety guideline for snowmobiles).
Sullivan says the trails look like they have a reasonable amount of snow, but there isn’t enough of a base to cover rocks and other obstructions.
“You could be OK, but you could also cause damage to your machine. “We’re just too early; we need another big dump of snow.”
He adds there isn’t enough of a base to support quads or trail grooming right now.
It is hoped people won’t ride their quads on the trails, especially after they have been groomed.
“I think we’re going to be hard up for snow this year. We’ve got to really work with what we have, and we can’t afford to have big ruts… quads would really cause damage.”
The Time Rally slated for Jan. 19 had to be cancelled to the lack of snow.
Everyone has their fingers crossed there will be enough snow for the Feb. 17 Snowarama to go ahead.
Recreation Sites and Trails BC has ordered signs and posts to replace those lost in the 2017 fire season and through some vandalism.
There are around two dozen trail identification and a half dozen “you are here” signs and six posts that need to be replaced at a significant cost and with aid of lots of volunteer hours.
These signs are valuable in helping four-season trail users get to where they want to go and get home safely.