From car washes to snowmobile trails: Warmup gets people outside - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

From car washes to snowmobile trails: Recent warmup inspires many to get outside

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MADISON (WKOW)-- Friday's warm weather got a lot of people out of the house after spending so much time inside spending time with family and friends during the holiday.

The warmup has inspired many to get a quick car wash.

"We're very, very busy," Octopus Car Wash manager Jeff Simanson says. "With all of the salt on the ground now it's on their cars and people want to get them clean."

At just one of Octopus Car Wash's locations, employees washed close to 600 cars Friday. Managers saw the warm weather in the forecast earlier this week and decided to bring in nearly twice as many employees for the day. They say Saturday will be even busier.

The reason they're so busy is because many car washes in the area are forced to close when the weather gets too cold. Workers say the cold weather is hard on the equipment and the water they use often freezes to people's cars and creates a mess.

That means thousands of drivers have had to simply go without a wash until now. Car washes all across Madison were jam-packed with lines stretching into the street.

"We love this. This makes our day. We can come here and stay busy and the day just goes by so fast and everybody works hard," Simanson says.

The warm weather is also attracting many outdoor enthusiasts to get outside and have some fun, especially snowmobilers. Some say they were able to get in 50-60 miles on the trails Friday.

"Definitely after the holiday people are kind of tired of being cramped up inside and going to these holiday parties and that. They want to get out and get some fresh air," Dane County Park Ranger Brian Meixner says.

Snowmobile riders say the weather is the best it has been all year. Park rangers say the weather is actually too good for riding. Dane County parks has decided to close down snowmobile trails for 24 hours starting 6:00 Saturday morning to protect the base layer of snow. They will open up again 6:00 a.m. Sunday. Cross country and snow shoe trails however, will be open throughout the entire weekend.

"Certainly once you get above 20 degrees or so there has been a lot of people out utilizing the trails," Meixner says.

Department of Natural Resources officials are reminding riders of the importance of safety on the trails. On Friday, a 36-year-old Michigan man was killed riding near Cambria Wisconsin. Wardens say speed and snow conditions may have contributed to the crash.

This is the third deadly crash in Wisconsin this season. DNR officials say snowmobilers should always drive at moderate speeds, do not drink alcohol, stay on marked trails and avoid traveling across bodies of water.   

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MADISON (WKOW) -- In a release sent out by the Dane County Parks Division, all snowmobile trails, including state trails within Dane County, will be closed from 6:00 Saturday morning through 6:00 Sunday morning.

The reason for the closure is to protect the trail base, according to Duane Meyers, President of the Council of Snowmobile Clubs.  The temperatures this weekend are predicted to reach the upper 30s, possibly low 40s.  However, they are predicted to drop, which then the trail base will re-freeze.   
 
Trail conditions will be marginal until there are a few larger snowfalls to help build the trail base.  Many sections of county trails system have rough areas, especially through open wind swept fields. 
 
Darren March, Parks Director, notes trail users must stay on designated trails.  Venturing off is considered trespassing and violators may be issued citations.  
 
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