Starting last Sunday, I've ridden the last 7 days on the Pugsley. Since I don't normally use it as a commuting bike, it doesn't usually get regular use like this. But with the bumpy, icy conditions we have on our city streets right now it's the best bike to use. Yesterday, my legs were feeling sluggish and I almost passed up a ride. But knowing there is a bit of a warm-up coming next week, and we have some great trail conditions right now, I decided I needed to get out there. I rode the mile over to the snowmobile access trail. This trail connected me with the Munger State Trail (above) only a mile and a half later. Just after passing the base of the Spirit Mtn Ski Resort, I took a small connector trail up the ridge on the west side of the ski resort. This is usually a half mile push. I found I could ride almost 3/4's of it with the great hardpacked snow conditions. The weather today was 15F (-9C) with a stiff wind that put the wind chill below zero. Halfway up I passed under the rail trestle on the abandoned rail line that runs parallel to the Munger Trail. As I climbed, I stopped to take in the view of the St Louis River and Wisconsin as it came into sight. Hard to believe I am well inside the city limits of Duluth when you're riding through wooded areas like this. This trail would come out on Skyline Parkway next to the Magney Snively X-Country Ski Area. This is the same road I take to work everyday. I happen to be about 5 miles west of where I pick it up on weekdays. Out here on the edge of town the last 3 or 4 miles is gravel and closed to auto traffic in the winter.
From there on it's a snowmobile superhighway.
With great views through the trees the whole way.
Riding into the winter sun, nearing Bardon's Peak.
Seven miles after leaving my house, I reach this spectacular overlook. The picutre is looking east towards downtown Duluth and Lake Superior.
It has stunning views of the Lake Superior basin.
A couple of snomos tearing it up around the overlook.
I love winter.
I turned around and took a snowmobile trail around the backside of Spirit Mountain on the way back. In the process I passed the Magney Snively X-country Ski Trails. They look to be in great shape. If I wasn't snowbiking, I'd be here skiing. It's my favorite ski trail. It's located in the city limits, but with no visual cues of any development. It's all wooded hills. And beautiful in the winter.
I took my usual hot chocolate stop in a sunny spot protected from the wind.
Not a single snowmobile passed me on this wonderful trail around Spirit Mountain.
I finally reached the overflow parking lot on the east side of the ski resort. I stopped to take in the closer view of downtown and the big lake.
Just below the parking lot I stopped in the trees to put on a dry hat. From this spot there is exactly 1 mile of downhill. I was pretty sweaty from the long climb up to Bardon's peak earlier. I needed to dry hat to keep from getting a chill on the long descent.
This was one of the best snowbike rides I've ever done. Thanks to the hard conditions of the trail. Hopefully our coming warm-up won't be too detrimental to the conditions out on the trails.