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Boonville Trip Report
by Bill Stine
Jan 25 - Jan 28, 2013

The outlook wasn't pretty. The National Weather Service snow depth charts showed that there wasn't much snow in the Boonville area except right on top of the southern portion of Tug Hill. That meant we could only expect to see decent snow on Carpenter Road or at Osceola, where Hugh was struggling to compact a couple of feet of new snow. The BREIA trail report was pretty dismal, too, reporting only a couple of inches of cover on the trails with icy conditions and no more grooming until more snow fell. What to do?

Trails Mere in Nice Shape at BREIA's Egypt Road Location
Trails Were in Nice Shape at BREIA's Egypt Road Location

Most of the eleven trip participants arrived at North Country Manor by 1:00 pm so we dressed to ski and headed to Carpenter Road to survey the situation. We were pleasantly surprised to find good conditions with about a foot of snow cover in the woods and a heavy dusting of fresh snow on the existing tracks. We had a nice time, covering a bit more than four miles before returning to greet the last of our arrivals and dig into dinner.

A late afternoon recheck of the BREIA trail report revealed no change so we were resigned to head over to Osceola. Now, don't get me wrong. Osceola is a great place. But the club skis there on the two Pulaski trips and the Boonville experience should be different. Then, about 8:00 pm, we rechecked the BREIA trail reports and, behold, they'd been updated. Now they said that they had groomed after the light additional snowfall we'd seen at Carpenter and that all their trails were now in excellent shape! Great news!

After a hearty, hot breakfast provided by our host, Craig Trainor, we headed down to BREIA's Jackson Hill Trails. They were in glorious condition, freshly trackset into new powder. It was near 0º F, so we skied into the beautiful warming hut to light a fire so it would be cozy for lunchtime. Then we proceeded to pretty much ski the top of the trail system out. Meeting for lunch at the warming hut, we were disappointed to not find Cindy Hoehn and Joy Reardon, who had skied separately to nurse minor preexisting injuries. Cindy finally called to report that the sole had become detached from one of Joy's ski boots and they had to return to the Manor to change gear. We broke into groups after lunch, some to ski the morning trails in reverse while others skied the advanced loops of the Hillside trails and on down to the canal. It was an excellent day of skiing! We topped it off with dinner at the River Valley Inn.

Light Snow was Falling at Carpenter Road on Departure Day
Light Snow was Falling at Carpenter Road on Departure Day

Sunday's plan was to head south to the BREIA trails at Egypt Road. Again, the conditions were excellent. After lighting a fire in the warming hut we set out on a loop, out the Rim Trail and back on the Glacier Trail. After a snack we broke into two groups. The more ambitious group headed down the Gully Trails to Creekside and then took Glacier and the Link Trail to the lower trails where we pretty much skied out the system, including the Great Trail. We'd pretty much had the trails all to ourselves during the weekend. But, it warmed up to about 20º F during the afternoon and we finally began to see other skiers. Again, an excellent ski day! Dinner was one we made at the Manor.

Snowy conditions were predicted for Monday's drive home. While some of us left early for our destinations, others stayed on to ski Carpenter Road, again, before returning home. We took other trails this time, heading out along Mill Creek. It was beautiful! At 20º F the temperature was perfect. It was snowing lightly and the dusting of fresh snow made for quiet, fast skiing. And, we were alone, again. What a treat! After changing into dry clothes back at the Manor, we bid farewell to our host, headed into town for a light lunch and then on the road toward home. We had some snow along the way but the drive wasn't too bad.

Threading the eye of the snow conditions needle is becoming a theme, it seems. But Mother Nature, coupled with the Boonville area trails, produced yet another excellent ski experience for we Kick 'n Gliders. We'll be back!

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