Leesa and I got invited to XC ski with Alpine1 and his girlfriend Dee today. Unfortunately, Dee got sick yesterday and couldn't join us, but the rest of us forged on with Alpine1's plan to XC ski the former Gooley Club Road to the Cedar River and then over to Pine Lake. The land containing this route just became state land in December 2012 and is called the Indian River Tract. The Interim Access Plan for former Fitch Lands gives the details and maps of the area.
We met at Stewart's convenience store in Indian Lake at 9:15, then drove the couple miles to the Chain Lakes Road, following it north to the parking area. We suited up, then skied in a snowmobile tracks 1.6 miles to the summer parking lot at the gate. We were glad the snowmobile tracks ended at the gate. We signed in at the trail register there and began skiing north on the old Gooley Club Road towards the Cedar River.
|The summer parking lot|
We could tell from the trail register the one person was ahead of us breaking trail. We soon caught and passed him, but then it was our turn to break trail. It's 3.7 miles along the Gooley Road to the Cedar River and the terrain is gently rolling small hills.
|Heading in beyond the gate|
The skiing was easy, even breaking trail, due to the light and fluffy snow.
We passed a former building of the Gooley Club early on in the ski trip. I suppose this building will be town down at some point. It is locked right now and shows no signs of vandalism.
|An old Gooley Club building|
|The Cedar River|
After 2.5 hours and 6 miles, we were at Pine Lake. This lake looked larger than I expected it to. It would be nice to transport a canoe in here to explore the lake in the summer.
We stood out on the ice in the sunshine and had some food. This was our destination and our return would be on our newly broken out trail.
|Rev standing on Pine Lake|
|Alpine1 checking out the lake|
|Leesa on Pine Lake|
|Leesa beginning the ski trek back|
The trip out to the gate was a nice glide on our fresh tracks. The final 1.6 miles from the gate to the winter parking lot was a tough finish on the snowshoe track since there were 2 hills to climb at the finish and it was tough climbing the slick snowshoe track.
In spite of this, we all appreciated the nice snow conditions on the trail and the nice weather. It was 20 degrees and blue skies all day.
Thanks to Alpine1 for inviting us. It was a great day out.
|Rev waiting for us again...|
|The view from the former Gooley Club building|
XC Ski Stats:
Ski Distance: 12.4 miles
Ski Time: 5.25 hours
Total Vertical Gain: ~ 1200'
|Our route (click image to enlarge)|
|The route on the National Geographic map (small scale)|
|a closer look...|