Track Snowmobile Adventure By Satellite

It’s been a sad excuse of a winter if you’re a snowmobile rider here in Grand Forks, but if the snow won’t come to you, you can always travel to the snow.

That’s what Park River, N.D., snowmobile enthusiast Ross Spoonland is doing next Friday, when he embarks on a three-day trip with some friends out of West Hawk Lake in southeast Manitoba’s Whiteshell region. The ride will take them through southeast Manitoba into northwestern Ontario.

Ross Spoonland of Park River, N.D. stands by his snowmobile in late January 2012, during trip across northwest Ontario that included a stop at White Otter Castle, a three-storey log house built in the early 1900s by an eccentric hermit. According to Spoonland, the castle is located in a remote area that’s accessible only by boat or snowmobile. “It was an amazing building to see and go through,” he said.

I’ve written about Spoonland and some of his snowmobile adventures in the past. In 2010, he and two friends from Winnipeg completed a 658-mile, one-day marathon that began at Falcon Lake in Manitoba and ended back at Falcon Lake 17 hours and 4 minutes later. They hit the trails at 6 a.m. and were off the sleds shortly after 10 p.m. on a route that took them across parts of the Ontario and Minnesota sides of Lake of the Woods, the Northwest Angle, Shoal Lake and forested areas of southeast Manitoba.

As he’s done in the past, Spoonland will have a SPOT satellite messenger mounted on his snowmobile for people to track the ride. The satellite tracker will update his location every 10 minutes for viewers to follow on Google maps. The ride will start about 10:30 a.m. Jan. 25 and Jan. 26 and about 8:30 a.m. Jan. 27.

If you’re interested in following Spoonland on his trip next weekend, click here. Since Grand Forks can’t seem to get more than enough snow to dust up the sidewalks and turn the streets to ice, it might be as close as some riders get to a snowmobile trail this year. Again.