Okay, so the idea originally was to ride out to Onsted on Saturday morning for the Michigan Cup Snowmobile Grass Drag races, stay the night at the Cowboy Creek Lodge near the former Stagecoach Stop USA, and ride back to the races on Sunday, making it the last bike trip of the year. Instead, Saturday remained cold and wet, a light but steady rain most of the day. Sunday was dry, but we still opted to drive instead of ride. It was in the upper 40s that morning as we finished breakfast and headed out down US-12 into Onsted, and ultimately the Slee Road Motorsports Complex for the races. $15 each got us a wristband for the race and pit passes, and there were also ATV racing taking place across from the grass drag strip.
0Settling into the bleachers with hot chocolates, the race had just begun, and I got my camera situated and ready to go. It was a 500 ft. grass drag strip, with what appeared to be the same amount of space for the shutdown. Today’s race was for the Michigan Cup, and sleds from the trail stock class and pro class lined up to compete. Though this was our first grass drag race, it was neat to hear familiar names being announced at the starting line, people we’d seen race before at the Super Sled Shootout in Martin, MI, and also at the Outlaw Ice Drags in Port Huron. Mainly four stroke later model sleds, some two stroke, and also several kids competed on four wheelers and one on a Kitty Cat! Times today were mainly under 5 seconds, and the top speed (that we’d heard) was a turbo charged Yamaha at 120 mph.
After a while we walked across the park past the concession trailers to the ATV race track and watched a Father/Son race on quads. The wind had picked up, under rather threatening looking clouds, and I noticed how some of the racers jerseys flapped furiously in the wind. They HAVE to be freezing, I thought to myself, as I snapped continuous shots with numb fingers. When the checkered flag was thrown, we made our way back over to the snowmobiles, watching more sled racing as the afternoon went on through bracket racing and ultimately to the semi-finals and finals for the Michigan Cup. It was between Todd Serra and Mike Bailey, who took the win today.
Brrr… Fun day, but COLD! I’d forgotten a blanket today and the warmth of Bill’s truck was a relief. As much as I’d wanted to ride today, I was glad we didn’t. We stopped for dinner at Randy’s Roadside BBQ across from Stagecoach Stop USA, a place we were meaning to try out all summer. We were served by Amy, whom we’d recognized from the last day the park was open, in October of 2008. She’d participated in several of the gunfight shows, and told us that not only was Cowboy Creek Lodge still open, but they’d also be holding their drive through Halloween attraction, Spooky Hollow. Since we’ll be returning to Hayes State Park, just down the road for their Halloween Campout weekend, we told her we’d be back, if anything for the fabulous smoked pulled pork and peppered fries!
The sun was setting on the golden cornfields as we headed back home, some harvested, some not. We saw several combines out in the fields, kicking up dust in the autumn air. The clouds by now had really turned dark, as if it could snow at any minute. Our thoughts and conversation turned to what needed to be done to our sleds to be ready for the upcoming snowmobile season. Though it’s a bummer to park the bikes for the season, it’s so nice to have another sport to look forward to for the winter and see us through to spring.
Check back for more snowmobiling adventures! There’s a lot more to come..