NYE 2016 UP, MI: First Snowmobile Experience

Have you had an experience that makes you feel all sorts of emotions; from excited to nervous to crying your eyes out of fear to smiling ear to ear of confidence? Well snowmobiling made me feel all of these, and more.

Tuesday night we packed our bags… one bag for our gear, another bag for his clothes, third bag for my clothes, and toiletries stuffed somewhere within both our bags. I was so excited. Snowmobiling would be a first for me and a first for Brian ever taking a girlfriend to enjoy his favorite sport – he previously thought that snowmobiling was a rough sport that only guys should do…til he met a bad ass gf like me, jk 🙂

Wednesday morning we drove to Joey’s house and hopped into Andy’s truck for a 6 hour drive up to Ironwood, MI. No time wasted upon arrival. Andy parked the trailer, our VIP Suite, and we all got ready to ride to The Pit Stop for some food. Gosh I was so nervous. I softly pressed on the throttle to feel the power while we were still at the house. The rest of the night riding was good.

Thursday was quite different. We rode a trail through the woods and on a turn I was too late and fell in a ditch. I got up, flipped the snowmobile onto its tracks and waited for the guys to help me because there was no way I was getting it out of the ditch on my own. That night at Bergland Bar, the guys decided they wanted to go to Hoop-N-Holler which was across the lake. THE LAKE! Brian says, “Bella, whatever you do don’t let go of the throttle and stay on 50-60mph”…WAIT WHAT!? The highest speed I hit thus far was 40mph. The idea of riding over a frozen lake was nerve wrecking. Fast forward to me flying off the snowmobile after hitting an ice heave, yeah I felt that I wouldn’t be able to walk. 5 minutes later, I was up on my 2 feet headed towards my sled. Hopped on and made it to Hoop-N-Holler.

Friday was another full day of riding through new trails. One of the trails this day was the absolute worst. Rode on a trail full of bumps. At one point I wanted to stop riding from how terrible it was while at the same time cracking up inside my helmet imagining how pathetic and wobbly I probably looked to the person riding behind me. We finally made it to Gogebic Lodge which is situated along Gogebic Lake. Much needed rest. We did more riding and made it home before 11pm as we wanted to get a full day of riding Saturday.

Saturday was our last day of riding in Michigan/Wisconsin. We did some off trail riding and made it up to Lake Superior. Continued our ride up to Lake in the Clouds. We rode on a road that was strictly unplowed for snowmobilers. By this day I felt very confident in my riding. I kept up with everyone – and let me tell you, these people were not going 40mph like my first day. Brian was in front of me and I kept pushing on the throttle but he wasn’t going faster so I passed him at 90mph. When we got back on the trail, one of the guys got a rock in his clutch so he couldn’t keep riding it. I gave up my sled and decided to ride with Brian. We had to cross the lake again, this time I did it as passenger of Brian’s. Ever feel like you are in fear for your life and no matter what you do that moment, the fear only gets deeper and scarier? This is how I felt times 90mph – the speed Brian was going over the lake. When I got off, safe and sound, I wanted to take a deep breath and brush off that feeling of fear I endured for the last 8 minutes; however, only thing that came out were tears. Nonstop, uncontrollable tears for a solid 15 minutes. I couldn’t stop. I didn’t think I’d make it alive. A feeling I don’t ever want to relive again. Brian apologized and I forgave him. He didn’t know what I felt. A speed of 90mph over a frozen lake to him is like cruising at 60mph on a highway. On the ride home, I took my own sled. Again, I hit speeds of 90mph but this time I was in control and on land.

Brian took care of me every single day on our trip. Every time I fell, he was there to pick me up. At every stop sign, it was his smile I saw before his snow dust as he ripped away. I felt so many emotions on this trip. All were part of the experience, but love was the strongest feeling of all.

Happy New Year, 2017.

Wednesday AM Leaving Joey’s House
Andy’s VIP Suite – where we slept
The Pit Stop Bar
Gogebic Lodge at Gogebic Lake
Brian and I at Sky Bar
On Our Way to Lake in the Clouds: Porcupine Mountain Wilderness

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