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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, thanks to those that offered me advice, both through thread postings as well as PM’s. Greatly appreciated.

What a brilliant trip that we just completed. The local clubs had the trails in absolute mint condition. We rode 1,175 miles and only 20 of those miles were in marginal conditions. Everything else was just perfect albeit a tad cold at times. We rarely took the most direct route and instead always took the longer options available.

Someone mentioned the Polaris App. I loaded this on my iPhone before we left and it was great. The SaskSnow web site is brilliant though. Love the feature to plot a route and see the estimated distance.

Pre Trip
The original plan was a route across northern Minnesota, from Thief River Falls over to Tower and back, because they had a lot of snow. About two weeks before our planned departure, one of the guys in the group could not get his doctor’s permission to travel to the States, meaning no health insurance. It was too big a risk. So we scrambled to put together another week long trip quickly. We ended up going to Hudson Bay and using it as our starting location.

Trip Warm-Up
On 15 Feb, we rode the trails north of Hudson Bay. We arrived at the first shack and lit a fire as it was cold outside. A couple more sleds arrived and we learned that the club were having a rally that day on most of our planned route. We left that shack having warmed it up and rode to the next shack to get it warm. Most have had 20 people in there a bit later.

We rode to Larry’s Place where the local club were serving pulled pork sandwiches. Outstanding hospitality was shown to our group even though we were not participating in the rally. It was a great time.

Main Trip
Day 1: Hudson Bay to Candle Lake
Day 2: Candle Lake up on the Esker trails and back
Day 3: Candle Lake to Melfort
Day 4: Melfort to Kelvington
Day 5: Kelvington to Hudson Bay

There were some chilly mornings (-27C in Hudson Bay and Candle Lake, and -31C in Melfort) but most days were fine. We all used muffs to keep our hands warm and nobody had any problems. Wind was the bigger issue so tended to stop in the shacks to warm up. Made loads of really great people at the shacks. Everyone was friendly with lots of laughter.

Trail signage was excellent. Dangerous corners and large obstacles well marked in advance. All trail intersections had a local map posted on a board. Made things a lot easier for group.

Trail wise, good snow as soon as you get 10 miles north of Hudson Bay and then it just gets better and better. Really deep snow up near Candle Lake, especially on the Esker trails. But the snow and trails were great in Archerwill and Kelvington too. We all really enjoyed this trip.

One of the highlights was when we arrived at Memorial Ridge Shelter up by Little Bear Lake. There were three adult sized sleds parked outside plus an old Bravo. There was a large wooden homemade sleigh attached to one of the adult's sled loaded with blankets. We walked into the shelter and it was just two families but each had 5 children from 2 years old up to 13 years old. They were out enjoying the great conditions, cooking lunch in the shack. It was -24C but they all seemed to be having a great time.

The Snaps
- First one is Larry's Place shelter the day of the rally. Must have been 75 sleds there
- Second is the Kelvington Hotel, which we started calling The Hilton
- Third is about 30 miles south of Hudson Bay as we had a freshly groomed trail all the way home
 

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Sounds like a great place to go!

It’s on the “Radar”
 

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Thanx for sharing. Just two questions. How were the accommdations at the Kelvington Hotel and what did you do for breakfast seeing you were downtown?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I remember reading a Google review that said the Kelvington Hotel was a crack house, so our expectations were low. In reality, it was just fine and nothing wrong with the place at all. Bartender was friendly and hospitable. She also cooked, so a busy lass. Watched the women's curling as we drank lager.

You check in at the bar/restaurant and then walk outside and back inside at another door. Up a flight of stairs where there is a long corridor of rooms. Beds were fine and clean, as were the bathrooms. Thermostats don't work but it wasn't that cold. A bed in one of the rooms wasn't made up, so when we back downstairs we told the bartender. She phoned the housekeeper who drove back to the hotel and sorted it. Pleasant people only too kind to help. It was wing night so we ate at the hotel, and the wings were very good.

We parked the sleds right in front of hotel so that was handy. We all took our keys out though. Logistically it was easy and having bar and restaurant on-site made it simple.

We rode to the Sportsman in the morning and ate breakfast there. Arrived at 8.30am and we were the only ones eating there with the car park empty. We could only think that a bunch of workers must be staying at the hotel and had left earlier in the morning.

We warmed up in the Red Deer Shelter late afternoon. Several groups stopped by as we had it nice and toasty inside. Really fun people that we enjoyed a bunch of laughs with. They gave us advice on navigating through Greenwater as they said the signage wasn't great. We took a wrong turn before that so ended up going on a longer route into Kelvington, but all was fine. We rode through Greenwater the following morning and into the park. In hindsight, glad we didn't come through there that evening as it was dark and we would have struggled as the signage isn't great.
 

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