Showing posts from January, 2017

A slippery slope - fun on the glacier.

(Lou, Yukon) The emotional rollercoaster we’ve been riding on our broken down snowmachine took a couple of stomach-churning turns this week. We fixed our machine! All by ourselves! (With only a little bit of help from just about everyone in a hundred mile radius.) Then we managed to break it again before we got it running! Superb. How did we manage this amazing feat? We went to town last week on a borrowed Skidoo to collect our new snowmachine, a 1993 Polaris 340 (or Piccolo as we’ve named him.) The new part we needed to fix our machine, a coupler, was there at the PO (along with a very welcome parcel of gin and chocolate.) We waited for it get above -30 before going to fit the coupler as our disabled machine was still two miles away out on the trail. It didn’t. We went anyway as we wanted to return the Skidoo our Alaskan pals had lent us. The new coupler fitted beautifully. We got her running but she just wasn’t happy, smoking and backfiring, now what? Ah, very si

Journey from hell

(Lou, Yukon) Driving a snowmachine, it’s hard to know what’s happening to the rider following you. Two-stroke engines whine at ear-splitting pitch and your head’s muffled in fur, ear defenders, goggles, hood. You wrench your neck round, keeping your thumb on the throttle, and snatch a glimpse of their headlight to be sure they’re still there. Often you only see the back of your hood. So it’s a sign of how bad things got that I could hear Neil screaming Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! from 20 yards behind me. Yesterday goes down as one of our worst journeys. Another one. For the past week we’d been riding an emotional rollercoaster on our broken-down snowmachine. We must have involved everyone in a 100 mile radius in the saga. Homer helping with diagnostics from between Neil's legs Both our Alaskan friend and a pal in town had the spare part we needed. They got those parts to the Rangers who were headed to us, breaking trail for the Yukon Quest dogsled race. Preparing for the


(Lou, Yukon) We had two major breakdowns this week, first my husband then the snowmachine. The machine is more inconvenient. Neil twisted his knee. Nothing major, but he can’t just take it easy, forget the bike and get the DLR to work as he would in London. So I’ve had to get all the wood and water again. (I am a martyr, have I mentioned that before?) Time is the best healer for injuries. But not machines. We had been working on finding and staking our trail downriver, after losing it under a fucking great heap of snow. Trail goes this way somewhere We decided I shouldn’t carry on alone as if the machine rolled on the rough ice I could get pinned underneath it. That decision lasted as long as it took me to get bored. About half an hour. I don’t take stupid risks. I travel slowly, don’t go too far and snow shoe any sections I’m not sure of before driving them. I take a Delorme satellite signaller. If I’m not home by a set time, Neil can check the internet for a