April 14 is the last day that snowmobile trails are groomed and they become legal for wheeled vehicles to drive on again. This first weekend, before they are all torn up by other rigs, is awesome. The spring snow is firm and packs well under your tires and you can drive on top of four or five feet of snow just like you were driving in a few inches of snow. Throughout the day, I could intermittently see the tops of fences and T-posts in low spots. It was easy to forget how deep the snow was. Getting off the road into a soft spot means burying your rig to the axles immediately and needing a friend to come get you.
We met in town at an Albertson’s parking lot. It was nice to see some people again and say hi, but it was still awkward. I was raised to always stand and shake every man’s hand, look him in the eye, and say hi when I saw him.
I didn’t do that. In fact, I didn’t hug, shake, or fist bump anybody that day. I kept my six feet distance whenever I was out of the Jeep. Since I rode by myself, I spent most of the day isolated in the Jeep, anyway.
When we got to the trailhead, we were greeted by a Boise County sheriff. Because of stay-at-home orders, we couldn’t park in the paved parking lot with the restrooms. However, we were welcome to go across the street and park on the dirt lots. It was kind of silly, but I get it. The deputy was nice about it and waved at us as we started unloading rigs across the street.
And the day was beautiful. It climbed to 70 degrees, with bright blue skies, and bright white snow. These spring snow wheeling days are some of the most beautiful outdoor adventures. The air is clear and crisp and the light is so bright that even wearing your sunglasses you have to squint your eyes.