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Thread: Darn near died last night!!

  1. #1

    Darn near died last night!!

    It all started with a bad decision. You see I had gone out for a snowmobile ride yesterday, starting out at 6 Am and had logged 250 miles of riding when I got into Newport. Now in Newport the trail normally crosses Newport Lake, but this year the ice is thin. That left me with 3 potential choices:

    I could take my chances by crossing the lake with thin ice (potential death)

    I could drive through the city streets of Newport (potential ticket)

    I could drive up the working railroad tracks to reach the trail (potential ticket)

    So faced with these three choices, I decided to take my chances with death by crossing the thin ice. Now as some of you know a snowmobile can float on water. If you hit the water fast enough, the skis skipping across the water, and the fast rotation of the track, makes the snowmobile "skim" over open water. The key is to hit the water fast.

    So that is what I did. I hit the lake, punch the throttle and rocket across the lake. Just as I neared the other side, there was a big lump of snow. Now I was going a mile a minute and so was my thoughts. For a split second I thought it was a small fir tree or something all covered with snow,then I realize I'm on a lake and there are no trees on lakes. So then I conclude its a pressure ridge. Anyway at the last second I steer, but its too late. I hit whatever it was and get thrown from my sled, bouncing down the ice in a heap.

    Now the last speed I saw was 65 mph, so I'm guessing I was doing about that when I went bouncing down the lake. When I come to I see my sled is only 50 feet away. My first reaction is to get off the ice. So I run to my sled, which seems to be in perfect shape and still running. So I jump on it and get off the ice and park it on land. As I do I look back and see what I hit.

    They had let more water out of the dam this year which dropped the level of the lake. I had hit a 4 foot rock that was now exposed. Because the rock was slanted, by right ski had hit the rock, went to full extension then pitched me off. Because my sled is a 4 stroke, it did two things. Since its so heavy, the sled re-righted itself, and since the engine has some engine braking, (unlike a two stroke) it stopped itself after being without a rider in only 50 feet. If I had been on a 2 stroke, it would have kept going until it hit the trees on shore.

    Luckily two guys inside a lake side home saw what happened and came running over. They could not believe how hard I hit that rock and how fast, and yet did no damage to me or my sled. Well maybe just my sled. This morning I hurt from my toes to the bald spot on my head. I feel like someone threw me out of a car at 65 mph, because in essence I did.

    I was only 45 miles from home, but I was so shook up, it took me 1 hours to get there. Man was I lucky. If I had hit that rock head on.....
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Central NY State
    Glad to hear you're ok. I guess next time you'll risk only a ticket eh?
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    I'm just sittin' here shaking my head. Glad you are all right. No further comment.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    Geez Travis, heck of a way to end a year!

    I'm also glad you are OK.

    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Delton, Michigan

    been ther sorta

    the next day isnt any fun the time of is just adrenlin and then you wake up and see the light... i have been invloved with sleds going threw the ice 45ft deep and 5 people in the water and 2 sleds and its not a comfortbale feeling and hittin rocks at 65 isnt either.. you need to count your lucky stars trav and remeber you got alittle girl and wife back home that needs a dad.. our wild spirt sometimes can be our downfall. glad you survived this round.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  6. #6
    Glad you weren't seriously injured or killed Travis! Sometimes adrenalin junkies can make bad decisions. My youngest son is an adrenalin junkie. He used to make some really bad decisions when skiing. We had him to the ER more than once for bad decisions. Just Monday of this week while on vacation in New Zealand with his wife...he bungie jumped 143 meters. He must get this death wish thing from his Mom's side of the family. My side of the family left finger prints in the derricks of oil rigs whenever we had to work up there!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Independence Ky
    What a ride!!! Glad you made it. Those two guys will be telling that story tonight. Keek on keeping on!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Travis, you might want to re-read your tag line. You could be there sooner than you think!
    Glad you are all right.
    "I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a
    friend...if you have one."
    --George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill

    "Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second..if there is
    --Winston Churchill, in response

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Central Illinois
    Someone's definitely lookin' out for you. I guess you haven't turned enough beauties yet.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Tokiwadai, Japan
    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Johnson View Post
    It all started with a bad decision.
    Add "very" to that.....

    Keep a pic of your family taped to your snowmobile to help in the decision making process when you're riding...

    Glad you're OK.

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