Made an unsuccessful attempt to get to the cabin last weekend after a recent snowstorm. Thought it would be a good trip to clear off the new solar panel array, and test out my new winter access plan, which was leaving the Polaris RZR with snow tracks parked on the lower part of the property under the RV/Equipment cover. The idea was that the Polaris would be more safe and secure than leaving it parked out on the USFS road. To access, I would have to drive the truck up to my lower access road, plow out a space to park the truck, snowshoe in about 1/2 mile to get to the Polaris, then take the Polaris back to the truck, load up and equipment and supplies and drive up to the cabin in the Polaris, which is on the top part of the property.
Well this trip was a complete bust, as I got the truck stuck within the first 5 minutes of trying to plow our a parking space. One of may neighbors came by and pulled me out, however I got stuck again about 10 minutes after he left. I then pulled out the electric winch which I have used in the past to pull me out. It is a Warn winch rated at about 11,000lbs. I have the truck setup where I can mount the winch on the front or back , whichever is needed. I have a power connector run to both the front and back. When I put the winch on and plugged it in, I had no power. Don't know why but neither power connector had power so I could not use the electric winch. Luckily, I had a rope winch as a backup, and between that and a shovel, I managed to get myself out. This took over 4 hours and I was dead tired.
Then, I put on the snowshoes and attempted to walk in the 1/2 mile to get to the Polaris. The snow was so dry it would not support my weight. I was sinking into the snow about 3 feet, making almost impossible to walk. After only walking in about 50 yards, I decided I was too tired, and with the snow conditions, I would not be able to make it in. This trip marks the 1st time since we purchased the property that I simply could not physically get to the cabin in the winter. It was more than a little humbling and frustrating, but yet another learning experience. In the 7 years we have owned this property, each winter has been a learning experience, and this winter is no exception.
While the Polaris with snow tracks, is a solid idea, the next challenge is going to be where I can park it in the winter to get to it reliably. I think I am going to have to make a deal with one of my neighbors at the base of the mountain to park the Polaris there in the winter, even if I have to pay them to park. Another option will be to rent a storage unit in town (about 5 miles away) and store the Polaris there, and drive in from town. We'll have to explore both options.
I made a video and posted on YouTube if you want to see the actual trip.
YouTube Video of Cabin trip
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Here is a short drone video of our 40 acre off grid timber property in northern Idaho taken last winter. Provides some great views and new perspective of the property and surrounding area.