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Lunch Loop: Snowmobiling in 60 minutes or less

I don’t know about you, but my life is cranking BUSY!

Work, family, chores, sports, Cal racing on the weekends… a lot of great stuff, but stuff that’s preventing me from becoming the next Ross Spoonland.

Not only am I not logging 10,000-mile seasons, but sometimes my head feels like it’s going to explode because we’re so dang busy!

So to get some extra riding in AND scrub off some of the weekday stress, I’ll take my lunch on a short snowmobile ride.


Lunch Loop snowmobile ride by

Working out of the home has its privileges, and one of them is that I can be suited up and on my sled in five minutes. I seriously try my hardest to keep the lunch loop to 60 minutes, so I hustle it.


Lunch Loop snowmobile ride by

I live a stone’s throw from a snowmobile trail in Prior Lake, Minn. I cross the street, zip through a shelter-belt of trees and pop onto this farm field. The Grant-in-Aid trail runs past those trees in the distance, at the other end of the field.


Lunch Loop snowmobile ride by

During last week’s Lunch Loop, I was the first on the trail after an inch or so had fallen the previous day. This little section where the photo is taken is classic for seeing pheasants. None this day, but I’ll bet I see a few two out of three times I ride past here.


Lunch Loop snowmobile ride by

I don’t live near any breathtaking natural wonders (it’s mostly farm country around these parts) but there is beauty around here and there are few things that catch my eye and give me a smile, like this old John Deere tractor.

Some lunch loop rides take on a flavor of hardcore riding, and I don’t stop much to take in the sites, while other times I just cruise and sort of veg-out on the sled at a leisurely pace. It just depends on my mood.


Lunch Loop snowmobile ride by

These are “Lunch Loop” rides after all, so I usually bring a snack or something to eat. Earlier in January I stopped and ate sitting on one of these hay bales because, what the heck, how often do you eat lunch sitting on a hay bale?!”


Lunch Loop snowmobile ride by

On weekdays when the kids don’t have school, Cal and I will often go for a Lunch Loop ride. He always gets chaffed when I stop and take a picture of him at some spot that catches my eye (like this monster oak tree).


Lunch Loop snowmobile ride by

If it’s a Lunch Loop with Cal I’ll usually take an extra long lunch break so we can stop for a burger at this joint. That’s probably why Cal puts up with the photos, because he knows he’s going to eat a greasy burger.


Lunch Loop snowmobile ride by

No burgers for me last week. It was a warm enough day and I had no interest in being inside.

Instead, a stop on a bridge over a nice little stream provided the perfect place to eat a delicious meal…


Lunch Loop snowmobile ride by

…of sardines.


Lunch Loop snowmobile ride by

Yep, I love sardines. And everyone else in my family despises them so much that they won’t let me eat them in the house. So, I’ll bring a can on my Lunch Loop and enjoy this wonderful delicacy without having to listen to the moaning and groaning of my loved ones.


Lunch Loop snowmobile ride by

Delicious! Seriously, how can you NOT like sardines???

Empty can and fork placed in a zip-lock freezer bag, then pocketed in my jacket, and I’m ready for the cruise back to work.


Lunch Loop snowmobile ride by

I sometimes think of these weekly Lunch Loops like my religion. They definitely feel as if they save my soul during really hectic weeks.


Lunch Loop snowmobile ride by

There are days when every fiber in my body is screaming at me to say, “Screw work, just keep riding!” But on this day, I stayed on the trail back to Prior Lake and my home.


Lunch Loop snowmobile ride by

Back at home by 1pm with the odo indicating 24.5 miles. I’m never going to hit 10,000 miles at this rate, but that’s not the point.

Riding is the point, whether it’s 24.5 miles or 245 miles.

And for an hour mid-week to break from the craziness of life, rides like this are as good as it gets.


Lunch Loop snowmobile ride by

Sled back in the garage, Otis dog happy I’m home, and I’m ready for the rest of the day.

I can’t wait for my next Lunch Loop!

Thanks for reading.



  1. Ok, I am on break here at work, and I am so wishing I could do the same as John at lunch. We only have a 1/2 hour for lunch and I live 22 miles away. Good for you John, wish I could do the same! Waiting for the sun to be a bit brighter in the morning so then I can start taking the Pantera to work. Too many moose in the trails early in the morning when it is dark. Your pictures are pretty much a carbon copy of the terrain here in northern Maine where I live, praying for another foot of snow to really make the trails better. Have a great day everyone!

  2. I love sadines John! Make sure you are getting the daily recommend dosage of healthy Omega-3’s…><>”’

    btw: wonderful story and pictures!

  3. I love sardines to until you hit a big bump and then its seconds thirds!!! My son
    Trevin and I have our favorite stops too!! Greasy Cheeseburger, Fries & a Dr. Pepper!!! I like all the bikes on the wall too!! Enjoy every moment you have with Cal cuz they grow up fast!!

  4. Awesome article John! Hoping I can get in some mid week lunch loops with the snowapocalypse supposedly coming tomorrow. My choice would be imitation crab or oysters. Neither are allowed in my home…

  5. I had sardines for lunch today myself . Taste good and are so good for you !!
    I like the Costco ones. They are fillets of solid meat – no guts !! Lol !

  6. Holy wa! Eh.. sardines and a ride on a sled for a lunch break…what a great country we live in.. only thing better would be smoked oysters and lutefisk! well the smoked oysters and sardines and some pickled northern work too! and as Eric says they are not allowed in the house either but in the shop…good eatin! good story John as usual! sometimes we get so wrapped up in our work we need to take time to do stuff like this! thanks for reminding us!

  7. Sardines ??? I thought for sure it was going to be the Minnesota treat, Can o SPAM. I guess that is the best way to eat sardines.

  8. John,
    Great write-up. You are so clever. I love your “save my soul” statement with the appropriate picture of the church in the background! I envy you living so close to the trail. Thanks for another excellent piece of entertaining writing.

  9. Sad about that old John Deere tractor rusting away. You should take it in and give it a good home.

    Screw the sardines! Bring some lutefisk and lefse.

  10. @Bobby Flame, did I see you in the Biwabik area this weekend? Met this jacked out character on a 99 ZR 600 EFI with a Black Magic Wrap. He had a 10+10=20 riser and a shirt that said “I bang Ditches”. The guy had just come up short of the landing on his homemade jump and was asking us if we had some smaller main jets he could borrow. A little confused with the sled being an EFI, we asked “what for?” Apparently he puts them in his nostrils to simulate riding at higher altitude and was practicing for next years winter X. I never caught his name but it seemed like your style.


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