Wednesday, February 3, 2010
By Mike Lester - Online Editor, Supertrax
One of the many things that make my job great is the amazing people I get to meet on the adventures we're entitled to. This past week, I took a road trip with my brother and two of our friends from high school up to Traverse City, Michigan. What an experience!
We stayed at the Grand Traverse Resort where our new friend J. Michael DeAgostino, Public Relations Manager for the hotel made sure we were well looked after.
It's a good ten hour haul from the Greater Toronto Area to get to Traverse City, but just about 5 hours once you cross the border into Michigan - not too bad considering we were hauling a trailer and 4 sleds. After a long trip though it was good to chill out at a beautiful hotel so we were ready to ride the next day.
We hit the parking lot of Blue Sky Rentals to meet our guides for the day - Jamie Bush and Mike Manning. These are two of the greatest guys I've met and die-hard snowmobilers. Jamie proudly showed off his brand-spanking new '09 Dragon Switchback that he scored a sweetheart of a deal on. We lined it up next to our MY10 800 fire-breathing swtichy for a quick comparo, took some photos before we headed out.
Although milder weather had caused bit of a melt in the previous week, snow had quickly replenished itself and trail conditions were excellent - did I mention it didn't stop snowing the entire day? Winter is definitely alive in Michigan!
One thing I love about riding in this area is that there's an endless selection of great places to eat. On top of that, they're snowmobiler-friendly! A quick lunch and we were back out on the trails. Jamie and Mike took us off trail down a power line to experience some powder too. Just amazing.
Further pampering that night at Aerie Restaurant and Lounge on the 16th floor of the hotel was like icing on the cake. A 14oz steak, good wine and surrounded by friends. It was the perfect end to a great getaway.
Put Traverse City on your list of destinations for this season.
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Tuesday, February 2, 2010
By Mike Lester
If you caught the show this week, you no doubt saw just how beautiful Pemberton British Columbia Canada is. Believe me, Matt Schween is a wizard behind the lens and was able to capture the wonder of this experience almost as closely as actually being there. That amazing sunset you saw - no Photoshop there, it was the real deal. Matt jumped out of the truck and sprinted out into a field to record that while he and Luke were enroute to ride with Geoff Kyle early that morning.
Meanwhile, I took the day off, got a 90-minute deep tissue massage at Connections from my new friend Sarah Curtis. Yeah, it was a lazy day for me, but Luke and Matt had the experience of a lifetime.
I had my time on the mountain though - for 2 days actually. Ray Mason of Totally Awesome Adventures hooked me up with a new Summit 600 E-TEC and Luke borrowed an M8 Sno Pro from Mark Hamilton at Route 99 Motorsports and we hit the hill for the most insane riding experience of my life.
I've honestly never ridden in powder like this and Ray showed us all the best places to ride making sure we were totally safe and on the occasions we did get stuck, made sure we got out. This trip wouldn't have been what it was without Ray or Mark riding with us.
Another great experience, was hanging out in Mark Hamilton's garage with Geoff Kyle and his girlfriend installing the graphics kit to Geoff's sled while Luke and Matty did interviews upstairs. I was so nervous I was going to mess up the stickers, but Geoff was totally cool about it. He's a class act and for anyone in the film industry looking for the most insane backcountry rider Hollywood has ever seen, give this guy a call.
If you're planning a trip to Pemberton, reach out to Ray Mason and set up a guided tour of the mountains. I highly recommend it. It will enhance your experience and he'll ride to your skill level and show you places that will blow your mind - Plus he's a cool guy to hang with for a day too.
Stay at Pemberton Valley Lodge while you're in town. We had a suite, complete with 2 bathrooms a kitchen and a living room. Following your ride, visit Sarah Curtis at Connections to ease your sore muscles too. Get a couple buddies together and this could be the adventure of a lifetime.
My heart-felt thanks go out to Ray and his wife, Mark, Sarah, Geoff Kyle and of course to Tracey Rozsypalek from Tourism Pemberton for all her hard work in getting us to BC, hooking up the digs and for packing our lunches each day to take on the mountain.
Visit every link below and book now. ADVENTURE BEGINS HERE!