Snowmobiling—Michigan’s Great Winter Escape
Mike McComb

The air is always cold, and the wind always brisk as I open up the door to exit the small, cozy backwoods cabin that my family owns. I take a look around me and see snow covering the wooded landscape like fluffy cotton all over the trees. I smell the ever-familiar scent of burning logs and leaves. As I look around and take in all my overwhelming surroundings, I hear the faint screams of snowmobiles whizzing through the snake-like trails of Northern Michigan.

Snowmobiling is a very popular pastime during the winter months of many northern states. Personally, it is my favorite thing to do while staying at the cabin. I walk back into the cabin to wake my parents and my brother and sisters. I can't wait to feel the raw power of my 700 cc Arctic Cat underneath me. When I ride, I am free.

After a delicious breakfast, the rest of my family is ready to bundle up and face the cold of Michigan's fierce winter months. We put on long johns, sweat suits, snowsuits, and our helmets. Finally, we are all outside warming up the snowmobile, getting ready for a long day of riding. As I approach my machine, I look at its appealing colors and designs. Bright green, orange, yellow, purple, and black., the snowmobile looks like a panther ready to attack its weak prey, the Polaris. We start off down the driveway, taking it slow until we hit the unplowed road leading to our cabin. As I approach the road, I start gaining speed. Now on the road, I decide to give the machine all that it's got.. I hit the throttle to the floor and hold on tight, as my machine's front end leaps up like a cat after a mouse, and I ride a wheelie down the icy road. I leave the rest of my family behind as I continue to gain speed down the icy road. As I look around, I see trees and houses whiz by in a blur. The needle on the speedometer is steadily approaching one hundred miles per hour.

The wind rushes through my helmet making noises like a fierce tornado. I can feel my helmet slowly rising up, lifting off my head. Finally approaching the end of the road, I let off the throttle and come to a stop. As I look at the trailhead across the highway, and I know that the fun has not yet begun. When the rest of my family catches up with me, we enter the maze-like trail system that will later take us to Oscoda, to eat at my favorite restaurant, Desi's.

The beginning of the trail is suitable for the more aggressive rider, like myself. I go through the snake-like turns, throwing my weight around as I lean into the sharp turns. After a few miles of these rough trails, my body tells me to slow it down a notch. I really don't fit in with the rest of my family's driving styles. I like to go fast and look for little trails off the main trail. I venture off these trails, not knowing what is under the deep, fluffy, powdery snow, hoping not to hit a downed tree or stump. These little run-out trails usually lead back onto the main trail. I take these trails because they give me a challenge, and I like to look for snow piles or dirt piles to jump with my snowmobile.

After driving like a maniac nearly halfway to Oscoda, we stop, and almost every time my father yells to me, "Slow it down," then adds, "Let me lead the way." It doesn't really matter to me though, because I just go behind everyone and drive just the same.

My stomach begins to ache and growl like a hungry tiger, and I know we are approaching Oscoda quickly. We enter Desi's and are hit by the pleasant smells of Mexican cooking. We sit down at a table, and I always daze off and look around my surroundings at the restaurant.
The walls are completely covered with old signs and beer bottles. One sign reads, "Beer, 1 cent" There are a lot of little knickknacks and video games around to play with. The pool tables are covered with snowmobile suits, and the coat racks only hold helmets. I order the same meal every time we go there, the small wet burrito. They say small, but that isn't very accurate. The burrito is so huge I have not finished one yet, and I probably never will.

After we finish dinner we exit the restaurant and start off on our way back to the cabin. I am disappointed that we are going, but in reality we are only halfway done with our cold trip. Going back is never as fun as going there, but we can do it again the next day, then the next weekend, and all of the weekends until the snow melts.

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