Snowmobiling with Brothers Milo, Warren & Dale Juenemann, 2/16/03

By Tom Niemela

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Milo Juenemann works in the same building as I do and stopped by my cube saying, "Hey Tom, me and my brothers are going snowmobiling this Sunday and we have a spare machine.  Wanna go with us?"  

My brain thought about it for approximately 0.0034 seconds and I responded, "HECK, YEAH!"  Man, I haven't been on a sled since I was in college and I had an old, clapped-out '72 Chaparral 440 that had a whopping two-inches of undampened suspension.  I spent a month rebuilding that old wretch and finally took it out on its maiden voyage.  The next weekend I got invited to go sledding with my old pal, George, who worked at the local Honda shop.  We hauled the units up by Lake Of The Woods and commenced to some serious snowmobiling.  That old Chaparral had a pumper carb, so you could manually tune it as you drove it.  There's an old saying, "They really go before they blow" and that quickly came true for me as I was vainly trying to hang with George and wanted more top end, so I kept leaning it out.  You guessed it - I holed the piston!  George reluctantly had to haul my sorry fanny back and that was the end of my sledding for many moons.  But I digress...

I met the J Boys early Sunday morn on our way up to Trout Lake just North of Hood River.  We had plans to meet Randy "RandEye" Beadle and his buds up there too.  I was amped!  Once we arrived, Randy was milling around with a bear-sized cup of mud.  His brother Brian and family were also there, along with others.  I quickly learned the snowmobile details of unloading, wearing proper gear and basic snowmachine instructions.  There wasn't a whole lot of snow, so we had to take it easy after getting ready and taking off.  After awhile, the snow started getting a bit deeper and we could start getting up to some speed.  Man, these things are fast!  Got great suspenders too!  I was on a machine that was a 'long track', which means there's more track on the snow for stability, acceleration and braking.  On the other hand, it is harder to turn. 

We made our way up a ways, stopped at a small lake and took a small break to wait for a few others.  We then took off again and the snow started really coming down.  I had to wipe off my visor about every 10 seconds at times, it was snowing so hard!   

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Checking out the failing brake. 

Feb 16 2003
12:13:31 pm
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Group grope shot with the lake Randy was riding on in the background. 

Feb 16 2003
12:31:34 pm
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RandEye taking a dab on an off-camber jump. 
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We had to stop to work on one of the sleds, due to a malfunctioning brake.  RandEye showed us one area where he and some others were doing hot laps on an open area the day before and were having a ball, when they realized they were on a small lake.  They quickly and carefully tippy toed their way off.  We then stopped at an intersection and everyone started doing some jumps, so out came the camera!

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Dueling sleds!

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Mt. Adams is normally in the background here. 

Feb 16 2003
1:30:10 pm
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Let's eat hot dogs!

Feb 16 2003
1:47:51 pm
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Milo getting his buns ready. Look closely and you'll see the Hot Dogger on the exhaust.
Feb 16 2003
1:49:10 pm

About that time, Milo and Warren pulled out a little aluminum-like box called a 'Hot Dogger'.  They pulled out some foil, threw some hot dogs in the foil, added a bit of snow for some water, sealed them in the Hot Dogger and said that lunch would be ready in about 30 minutes.  Approximately that much later we stopped and sure enough - toasty and tasty hot dogs!  Only problem was that the bottle of ketchup had grenaded in the storage compartment - doh!  Randy's friend, Doug, suggested that the dog could clean it up when they got back.  What an awesome setting: good friends, the serenity of falling snow and nature and hot dogs.  Doesn't get much better than that!  Milo and Warren had new GPS's and then showed us the cool features of their new toys.

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RandEye doing his Buzz Lightyear imitation! To infinity and beyond! 
Feb 16 2003
2:15:26 pm
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Doug styling for the camera.

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Feb 16 2003
2:43:55 pm

On our way back we stopped at a play area that had open spots to rip around on.  Doug, started jumping up onto the road and the others then commenced to doing the same.  Some of the pix came out pretty cool. 

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Warren crossing up over a jump!

Feb 16 2003
2:44:27 pm
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RandEye catching air!

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Doug jumping off the road.

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Feb 16 2003
3:36:05 pm

At the end of the day, we gathered around the warming hut and benchraced.  We put in over 40 miles of serious fun and I had an absolute ball.  If I didn't already have so many toys and hobbies, I'd seriously consider getting one of these!  Many thanks to the J Boys for taking me along and bearing with my newby questions, and also to RandEye for quenching my thirst with his usual potion at the end of the day!