One Cold Ride in a Side-by-Side

Trip Specs

  • 5 hour round trip
  • Hayden to Kingston, Idaho
  • Polaris Razor with Father in Law
  • Carhart Jacket, 2 pairs of wool socks, knit cap, gloves, goggles, face mask, long sleeve

 

Snow blanketed the quiet woods near Hayden, Idaho, on a chilly Monday morning. Sunlight streamed through the tall pines, splashing light on the snow-covered brush below and sending sparkles off the surface of the fresh white powder. A single dirt road slowly wound its way through the thick North Idaho forest. The air was still and silent.

From a distance, the faint sound of a turbo engine could be heard. Squirrels took a break from counting their nuts to identify the source of the sound. Eventually, a bright blue side-by-side razor flew through the tall pines, driving through frozen puddles and spewing fresh powder from its rear wheels.

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I found myself colder than I’ve ever been in the passenger seat of my father-in-law’s Polaris Razor. At 30 degrees with a consistent headwind, the air blew through my Carhart Jacket and straight into my soul. I felt like a human popsicle. I’m normally better prepared for trips in the cold, but I’ll admit I underestimated how cold it would be. Craig and I were on our way to The Snake Pit, Idaho’s oldest bar in Kingston. We took the backroads from his Hayden home; the drive was a long bone chilling, nipple freezing 2.5 hours.

As we drove through the backwoods, my limbs slowly went numb and my spirits went cold. I glanced over at Craig to see how he was holding up. My fellow Idahoan looked toastier than a bug in a rug, with his jacket half zipped and his earlobes poking out from under his blue snow cap. I may have even caught a glimpse of chest hair, but I’m not 100% sure. I zipped the last two notches of my thick jacket and slouched down in the bucket seat of the open-aired Razor.

I was convinced my ass was beginning to freeze to the seat. At one point, Craig called me a “cupcake,” which was valid and deserved.

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We eventually stopped for a moment to answer the call of nature, where I took a moment to look around and enjoy the beauty of North Idaho. The road we took, which eventually led us to the Coeur d’Alene River, was chock-full of panoramic views and spectacular scenery. I unfortunately only had my iPhone on hand, so I apologize for my lack of quality photos.

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The only time I’ve felt colder was during my time stuck on a chairlift on Lookout Pass on the border of Idaho and Montana. I recall swaying in the icy breeze 40 feet above the hard-packed groomed snow below.

After flying through the woods at a lip-blistering pace, Craig and I finally reached The Snake Pit, a saloon-style BBQ restaurant near the Coeur d’Alene River. I flew up the wooden stairs out front and pulled open the double doors as fast as my cold, numb fingers could. I was immediately greeted by a rush of warmth, a cold craft beer, and a succulent Philly Cheesesteak with fries. Feeling started to return to my extremities, and I was happy.

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My question to you: what is the coldest you’ve ever been in your life?

Let us and other readers know in the comments below!

 


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