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D O T Y T R E S T L E B R I D G E - T R A I L # 8 R E O P E N E D F O R R E C R E AT I O N A L U S E

I-500 Stalled in its Tracks Pg 8

WHAT’S INSIDE… It’s a Done Deal - Doty Tresle Bridge Pg 12

The Timbersled: It’s Not For Everyone Pg 26

The Fine Art of Trail Grooming Pg 44

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WHAT’S INSIDE 6

Visit Our Town Ads for Your Snowmobile Vacation This Winter

Editor’s Letter

*THIS CHANGES MONTHLY

8

I-500 Stalled in its Tracks

12

Cover Story: Doty Tresle Bridge - It’s a Done Deal

18

Special Olympics Michigan Winter Games Canceled for this Year

20

Pandemic Pandemonium

22

Naubinway Snowmobile Show a G

24

Make Sault Ste. Marie Your Snowmobiling Sanctuary

26

The Timbersled: Not For Everyone, But For Those Who Really Want A Snowmobiling Adventure

28

International Snowmobile Congress 2021

36

Legislative Update

40

Final Meetings 2020

44

The Fine Art of Trail Grooming

Gaylord ....................................... 5-6 Lake Gogebic................................... 7 Deer Park ....................................... 9 Munising ......................................... 9 East Jordan .............................10-11 Cadillac .........................................13 Christmas ......................................13 Drummond Island ..........................15 Grayling ........................................15 Indian River ..................................17 Laurium ........................................18 Paradise ........................................18 White Lake ...................................20 Naubinway ....................................23 Sault Ste Marie ..............................25 Seney............................................27 Marquette .....................................29 Curtis ............................................31 Copper Harbor.........................32-33 Houghton Lake ..............................35 Manistique ....................................35 Newberry ......................................37 Silver City......................................37 Grand Marais ................................39 Hulbert .........................................39 Grand Traverse ..............................41 Calumet ........................................43 Irons .............................................43 White Pine Area.............................43 Iron River ......................................45 Strongs .........................................45 New Lothrop ..................................48

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/// YAMAHAMOTORSPORTS.COM *Models may not be exactly as shown. Shown with optional accessories. ©2019 Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. All rights reserved. Product and specifications subject to change without notice. Professional rider on closed course under controlled conditions. Always wear an approved helmet, eye protection and protective clothing. Ride responsibly and always ride within your capabilities, allowing time and distance for maneuvering, and respect others around you. Know the conditions. Observe all state and local laws. Don’t drink and ride.

T 231.536.2371 publisher@michsnowmag.com www.michsnowmag.com THE MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER is an independent publication endorsing the goals of MSA, and other associations. Opinions expressed herein are the opinions of the editor or contributing writers, and do not necessarily reflect the official opinions of the MSA, or their board of directors. Reproduction of material in whole or part is prohibited, unless authorized in writing by the publisher - all rights reserved. MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER INC., The Michigan Snowmobiler is published 6 times per year, September through February.

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VOLUME 53 - NUMBER 4 MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER


GAYLORD

300 Miles And the start

HEARST.qxp_HEARST 8/26/19 11:33 AM Page 4

““ 4 MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER - September, 2019 Door to Trail riding right on Trail 7 in Gaylord! 7 cozy cottages that sleep 2 to 8 people • Full kitchens • Free WiFi •Ample pull through trailer parking •Pole barn work shop • Sled storage available

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September, 2019 - MICHIGAN 7 cozy cottages that sleep to 8 peopleSNOWMOBILER 5 Trail 7 in 2Gaylord! Full Kitchen • Free WiFi • Ample pullsleep through2 to 8 people 7 cozy cottages that trailer parking • •Pole barn workshop • Sled storage available Full kitchens • Free WiFi 9603pull Old 27through South | Gaylord, MI •Ample trailer parking

just get together again after an extended ab•Pole barn work shop • Sled storage available 989-732-5081 sence. The purpose of 9603 Old 27 South - Gaylord www.heartlakecottages.com the event is three-fold, first to provide an opGAYLORD portunity for face-to• I-75 a meetings the OPEN HOUSE OPEN HOUSE OPEN 6 DAYS Aface WEEK - CLOSED of SUNDAYS 989-7 Chapters, and sec2 Storage Locations OCTOBER 25-26-27, 2019 back in 1999, when By Jim Duke OCTOBER 25-26-27, 2019 800-6 provide a likeCheck for hours most of our federalOPEN leg- ond, 6website DAYS A WEEK OPEN 6wise DAYS A WEEK opportunity HOUSE - OCT. 2017 27-28-29,for that time www.alpinelo On April 27th of this islators at OPEN the full Council Board wondered who in UPS Indoor pool, s year, the S. American DAILY UPS | DAILY DELIVERY 2646 Otsego Ave.wejust Gaylord, MIDELIVERY 49735 to meet and discuss the heck were and Full Council of Snowmobile sledshed@sledshed.info sledshed@sledshed.info common interests and what could we possibly restaura Associations members 1/4 north of I-75 Exit 279 www.sledshed.net any nation-wide conwww.sledshed.net gathered in Washing- want? But let’s not get Hot Complim cerns. ton, DC at the Marriot ahead of ourselves, Sunday morning alResidence Hotel & the event is a full ways begins early with Conference Center for three-day affair and a hearty breakfast and lunch, and an after- ture,JANUARY 2021 MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER chock-full of activities Department of In-5 the annual Fly-In event the first of the day’s noon rest. from dawn to dusk! terior, Federal Highas a majority of snowThe actual Fly-In ac- meetings commencing Monday mornings way Administration, belt member states promptly at 8:00AM begin in much the the Forest Service, tivities starts with an have done for the past

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4 MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER - November, 2019

a veteran of the US Army Intelligence Office. You can try to guess who she is but you will never figure it out. You haven’t met me yet, but I’m not necessarily the Mom you want to push off a trail. I usually ride last in our group. Just to make sure nobody gets left behind. If I don’t show up fairly quickly at each cross road – my fellow riders – circle back. A safety point to remember – always meet up with your entire group at each cross n another of our Michgan hand me down, 10 year old Arctic road. Circle back if someone doesn’t Snowmobiler adventures, my Cat jacket without a bit of pink on show up… husband and I got talking it… still one of my favorite jackets If my fellow riders circle back and with a Snowmobile enthusiast in because it belonged to my son. find me pushed off the trail, well, you the Northwestern part of the Upper Just looking at me, you wouldn’t get the idea…and many riders are Peninsula. He told us about riding in know that my son grew to be 6’4”. cared about by fellas and friends like crowded trails and how He and I and his Dad usu300 MilesBecause of Trails.. I just described. of our vetsome aggressive riders will ally ride together. My huserans, And we have the ride freedom to chose the tap skis with other riders… band as you can guess is how to ride…I hope you chose to be ““ starts here Never happened to me not small. We can also be courteous and safe on the trails. It so far and if it does that joined by our best man (yep, makes everything so much more fun. Door to Trail riding right on would actually scare the the guy that signed our marTrail 7 in Gaylord! crap out of me… but as riage license) my nephews, 7 cozy cottages that sleep 2 to 8 people Until next month! • Full kitchensfriends • Free WiFi usual this got me thinking. my brothers, and •Ample pull through trailer parking As the man said, people cousins. Some of their stats •Pole barn work shop • Sled storage available dressed in pink or other include: Member 9603 Old 27 South - UA190 Gaylord feminine colors don’t tend to get Plumbers and Pipe Fitters Union, GAYLORD MICHIGAN messed with like that. Afterall, who Michigan Road Crew Worker, One • I-75you at Exit • out As always, can282 reach wants to6be the that pushes OPEN HOUSE OPEN HOUSE OPEN DAYS A guy WEEK - CLOSED SUNDAYS Marine, a Firefighter, several Truck 989-732-2431 to us at Michgan Snowmobiler at somebody’s off the trail.2019 Good Drivers and a few Army Guys. 2Mom Storage Locations OCTOBER 25-26-27, OCTOBER 25-26-27, 2019 800-684-2233 thoughts. Check Unfortunately, for I wear And one of my fellow lady riders is publisher@michsnowmag.com hoursa OPEN66website DAYS A OPEN DAYS A WEEK WEEK OPEN HOUSE - OCT. 27-28-29, 2017 www.alpinelodgegaylord.com

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JANUARY 2021 7


I-500

Stalled in its Tracks

R

ecently, the announcement was made that the most iconic race in all of snowmobiling, the International 500 Snowmobile Race in Sault Ste. Marie, will not happen this winter. As Linda Hoath, director of the Soo Convention and Visitors Bureau, stated, “This will be a devastating blow to not just the Soo, but also the entire eastern U.P. There will be no way to replace the money that these 8-10,000 visitors would have spent. Also, for many of our local businesses, this is how they make it though the winter. On a normal winter, they struggle. But, the I-500 is a weeklong event that fills up the motels and restaurants and gives this entire area what they need to survive. They depend on this. Now, I don’t know how or if they will all survive. I fear many will not survive.” Linda also explained that along with the latest COVID lockdown, there is another issue to the I-500. She noted that many of the volunteers who help put on the race are Canadians from just across the river. But, with the travel ban, they would not be

8 JANUARY 2021

able to cross over to the U.S. This was also a part of the reasoning behind the cancellation. Now, for a bit of history: The I-500 got started in 1968. At the time, in the early fall, a pace car for the Indianapolis 500, one of the biggest car races in this country, happened to come through town as part of a tour. A few local businessmen who were race fans had this thought: Could a

snowmobile race be run for 500 miles? At that time, snowmobiles were just starting to really get going. At that time, a day’s ride was maybe a few miles. A big ride was a few more miles. Locally, I can remember our local club taking a ride from Naubinway to St. Ignace. They talked about it like they were heading for Siberia, but it was only about 50 miles. So, the idea of a 500-mile snowmobile race was still a really radical idea. The guys decided

to go forward with it. On Feb. 8, 1969, the 1st Annual I-500 Snowmobile Race took place. When the race started, there were more people wondering how many laps racers could make instead of who would win. That day, after a grueling run, it was Dan Planck of Davidson who took the very first checkered flag on one very tired Ski-Doo. Wonder of wonders, there were another 26 sleds that finished the race. With that, the I-500 was on its way to becoming the icon of flat-track snowmobile racing. Within a few years, the race had become one of, if not the biggest, races in snowmobiling. Racers were literally coming from all over North America to race, and it was drawing in many thousands of people every year. Soon it became the main driver of the local economy for the winter. And, as Linda noted, this was not just a Soo event. This was an event the entire eastern U.P. embraced. Just about every town in the EUP could boast a race team that raced in the 500. And, just about everyone knew at least one of the racers. The I-500 had become part of the EUP. Just like pasties and fudge. This was something many people just plain thought about in connection with the EUP in the winter. Now, this year it will not take place. “This will have a terrible effect on the economy of the EUP,” Linda said. “It will be devastating.” Along with that, there will also be the effect it has on area residents. What effect it will have on the moral of the EUP is also not known, but it’s likely that, too, will not be good. However, we are Yoopers, and we will survive. But, for this winter, it just will not be as much fun without the 500. •

MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER


d

s ht nt r. g e e r . n e d e e k, s y

e e d vlt

28 MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER - September, 2019 28 MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER - September, 2019

Sault Tries again Sault Tries again One of three staging areas before the start of the 2 mile ride. to beat beat record to record DEER PARK Ste Marie. With the costumes I-500 for the take a lap on the only 885 that finished Story by Bill Tisron

back and forth it made it possible for all the riders to see the magnitude of the event instead of seeing just the 10 sleds in front of you or behind you. They got to see a couple of hundred sleds going back and forth. Everything went really smooth all day long and every one seemed to have a great time. There were brand new sleds, and vintage sleds and everything in-between. Some people dressed in wild

StorySTUMP by Bill JUNCTION LOCATED PINE track,NORTH andOFhang out Tisron event, with LSSU Mas-7 MILES This past February with GENERAL some really great cot joining in. This past February STORE the people up in Sault the people up & in gear Sault just like They do plan on •people, gifts • snowmobile supplies groceries Ste you, Marie, Michigan Ste Marie, Michigan Snowmobile & Trail available who love to permits ride doing it again in 2020. triedtheir again to set the tried again to set the gas • BEER WINE worldLIQUOR record for the So make plans for next LPsnowmobile. world record for the most snowmobiles in a snowmobiles in a More Photosmost -----> year, be part of a Gunparade, or like the old CABIN RENTALS with FULL KITCHENETTES parade, or like the old niss World record, timers called aa sa$100 - $165 • All you need to bring timers calledisit, it,food safari. A very very large large safari. Plenty of trailerfari. parking A safari.

They needed needed over They over 1,047 sleds. sleds. They had 1,047 They had For complete Deer Park info including cabinand 950 registered 950 registered and availability visit www.deerparklodgeresort.com only 905 905 showed. showed. II only think the weather the weather had had FOR RESERVATIONS CALLthink 906-658-3341 something to to do with something do with 29209 COUNTY RD 407 | NEWBERRY, MI 49868 the turn turn out out on on the the the day day the of the event, skies of the event, the skies were blue blue but but the were the day day before the roads were before the roads were WEBCAM A view VISIT from OUR above. The entrance and exit pretty rough as pretty rough as far far as as on VLC streaming at travel was concerned, of the I-500 track as riders meet travel at the was concerned, but still, still, a a great rtsp://deerparklodge.ddns.net but great turn turn gate. Very cool sight to see. out. out. They ended ended up They up with with

FOR SNOW CONDITIONS

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only 885 that finished the 2 mile trek. the 2 mile trek. I was at last year’s I was at last year’s event and I thought event and I thought that this year’s event that this year’s event was set up a lot better. was set up a lot better. They had three staging They had three staging areas; one at the areas; one at the casino, one at the casino, one at the bowling alley, bowling alley,the theother other was wasat atthe theI-500 I-500track. track. The The course course began began with with aa lap lap around aroundthe the track. The people I had track. The people I had talked talkedto towere werevery veryexexcited about being able cited about being able to to take take aa lap lap on on the the world renowned track, world renowned track, even even ifif the thespeed speedwas was only 20-25 MPH they only 20-25 MPH they still still had hadaablast. blast. After the After the lap lapon onthe the track, the course track, the course made madeits itsway wayback backand and forth on the snow forth on the snowcovcovered ered streets streets ofof Sault Sault

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JANUARY 2021 9


wonderful volunteers in our area and state committed to ensuring our trails and riding experiences are possible and safe for all to enjoy. While we are still in the midst of the pandemic, snowmobiling and the many other winter recreational sports we have available in our area provide a safe and enjoyable way to get outside, get exercise, enjoy nature and see our family and friends at a safe social distance. New Stryke Single Keel Ski I Deluxe GT Series Wind Deflector I The community of East Jordan is Plush Heated Trail Seat a snowmobile friendly town and snowmobiles are able to ride in s I am sitting here at my hit the trails! I have to say a huge town on the designated trail route. dining room table writing thank you and much appreciation this article our ground is to the dedicated and hardworking Our businesses are open and lodging is available. We are hopcovered with snow and the weath- volunteers of the Jordan Valley er forecast is saying we could Trails Council. They have worked ing that by mid January you will be able to dine in our restaurants receive three to four inches of throughout the past months getsnow this evening. While we are ting the trails cleared, signed and (locally owned and operated). In the meantime, they are open missing out on the holiday week ready for the season. Now they for delicious take out breakfast, between Christmas and New are anxiously awaiting the time lunch and dinner. Besides great Year’s to get out on our snowmoto be able to get those snowmosnowmobiling, our area offers bile trails, we know it is not much bile trail groomers on the trails! longer before we will be able to We are so fortunate to have such one of the very few opportuni-

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10 JANUARY 2021

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Call for Vacation spots and with a dual rate spring, and a Fox IQS with a two-inch diameter tube and lowered YAMAHA SERVICE t51 YEARS OF • AUTO • HOME • SNOWMOBILES Winter getaways preload torsion springs • SEASONALS • COMMERCIAL Close to snowmobile trails Clothing 824 Water St. tiesSTREET tomosherts@charter.net enjoy• a winter raft trip.MI 215 MAIN EAST JORDAN, 231-536-3331 East Jordan, Mi Take a memorable, guided raft 231-536-3332 - Fax 231-536-7462 231-676-0784 49727 Parts & Accessories trip down the wild and scenic insuranceshop@sbcglobal.net more information Jordanfor River with Jordan Valley P A R T S H I P P E D S A M E D A Y U . P . S . We also offer excellent QUALITY STUMP Vacation Steve’sOutfitters. Towing Service Four Seasons Marina The Insurance Shop ice fishing spots, snowshoeing Rentals o hill too steep...no ditch too deep” skiing. We are and cross country GRINDING e 17 • Good used For Sale of East Jordan bySleds Sherry 24 HR TOWING & RECOVERY located nearby Boyne Mountain Shane Tisron: Call and for Vacation spots and • New Used Parts for greatw/Wheel downhill Lift skiing Flatbed • 4Resort x 4 Wrecker • AUTO • HOME • SNOWMOBILES Owner/Operator Winter getaways AM Page 17 and more. • Full Service (All Makes) • Lock Outs • Wreckmaster Certified • SEASONALS • COMMERCIAL Jan. more HEARST .qxp_HEARST 12/19/19 PM Page 19 Close to snowmobile trails For information on1:04 your 231-649-5059 September, 2019 MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER 17 St. 824 Water Owner/operator: Steve Bernier 612 mosherts@charter.net Bridge St .~ East Jordan, East Jordan Winter Adventure, 231-536-3331 shanetisron@gmail.com East Jordan, Mi the East Jordan Area 231-536-3332 - Fax Wednesday, October 16th Visit our website at Cellcontact 231-590-9191 231-676-0784 49727 231-536-7321 Contact for free estimate September, 2019 MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER 17 Chamber of Commerce atfrom 231- 5:00 7:00 PM www.ejchamber.org. insuranceshop@sbcglobal.net more information Reliable and Insured Boyne City, MI PM tofor East Jordan January, 2020 - MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER 19 536-7351, email us at info@ downtown East Jordan feaWednesday, October 16th Visit our website at It’s Time to Get Outside ejchamber.org or visit our turing webMCwww.ejchamber.org. Designs from children’s 5:00 PM games, to QUALITY 7:00 venPM STUMP Four Seasons Marina ty of Activities and Enjoy Winter!! site at eastjordanchamber.org •business e dors, downtown Eastspecial Jordansales feaSpecializing in all of GRINDING • Good used Sleds For Sale and events, pie contest, face turing children’s games, venWith the holidays in the your Embroidery needs Before Happy New Yearmirror, fromitthe Staff, dors, business special sales painting and Twister Joe rearview is time to kick Shane Tisron: • New and Used Parts 250 S. Lake Street #4 and Get events, pie contest, face Board of Directors Members off the 2020and Winter Season! Northern Michigan’s Favorite Owner/Operator East Jordan, MI 49727 e7 Snow your snowmobile orpainting partici-Artist andplus Twister Joe of theFlies! Easton Jordan Area Chamber Balloon more. • Full Service (All Makes) pate in another great Northern outside Michigan’s Favorite 231-222-2192 ~ 231-675-0705. 231-649-5059 of Commerce. When planning your fall color from The or- Jordan Sno- communities offer winter activity. Valley 612 Bridge St .~ East Jordan, Balloon Artist plus more. MCDesigns08@gmail.com tour and destinations… chards, corn mazes, pumpkin Snowmobile Trail is ready foreventshanetisron@gmail.com cked When planning your fall color communities offer from orordan SnoMegan Herriman Cindy Bennett you to enjoy a memorable 4 Maryart H.galleries, Faculak makeride sure East Jordan is & estimate patches, resale 231-536-7321 Contact for free

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shops, handartblown glass Reliable and Insured sure East Jordan is patches, resale nual nicgalleries, Jordan Valley. The make commuplanning President/CEO or call us today for color tour shop, antiques, restaurants number #1 on your list! Email nity ofblown East Jordan invites you to shops, hand glass Jordan Area stival 9th Annual East Bill Pardee routes, information and much ride therestaurants trail into our snowmobile or call area us today for color tour shop, more. antiques, of Commerce – and Chamber r21Festival Service & Maintenance friendly town that is located on at area 231-536-7351 or routes, information and Eastmuch Jordan more. Pumpkin more dan. ruary 21The – and the South Arm ofmore Lakeat 231-536-7351 or Repairs of all kinds Jordan Pumpkin Fest The will East be celebrated on email info@ejchamber.org – st Jordan. nderCharlevoix and at the mouth of email info@ejchamber.org – Fest will be celebrated ercelwonderthe wildMill andStreet scenicon Jordan River 108 for breakfast, lunch or dinner at estival hern celEast Jordan, MI 49727 one of our many restaurants. Exnnonnorthern (M-32) Downtown) plore our town which is home to w and nonshops, a Trail glass blowing estiAtquaint the end of the The festibusiness, the Jordan River Arts e of of 231-536-2624 ultitude Council, Roger’s Family Nature wmog snowmoPreserve, our Engine #6 in Sportman’s Park, a historical ,ique antique museum at our City Hall and now snow w, more. food food ition, If you are not a snowmobiler nowmobile obile or would like to add another out-

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SERVING SERVING SERVING 231-222-2192 ~ 231-675-0705. MCDesigns08@gmail.com BREAKFAST EVERY EVERY BREAKFAST BREAKFAST EVERY Megan Herriman & Cindy Bennett Co-owners SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY 77 TILL NOON7~~TILL NOON ~ TILL NOON DECEMBER DECEMBER DECEMBER 5586 MT. BLISS RD SAVE THE DATE FEBRUARY 19-21, 2021. 40th ANNUAL 5586 MT. BLISS RD THRU MARCH EAST JORDAN, MI SNO-BLAST WINTER FESTIVAL EAST JORDAN, MI THRU Discover MARCH THRU MARCH our area for the finest Snowshoeing, Cross Country Skiing,

5586 MT. BLISS RD door winter experience to your EAST JORDAN, MI outside adventures, how about a winter raft trip down the Jordan River? East Jordan is also a Winter Rafting Trips, Star Gazing, Ice Fishing and more!! great place for ice fishing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or winter photography. Be sure to check out our Chamber website for lodging, dining and recreational information. It is not too early to save the date for the 39th Annual SnoBlast Winter Festival. Snow or no snow, our festival goes! Events include: an Antique SNO-BLAST WINTER FESTIVAL Before the Snow Flies... Snowmobile Show, Blessing of FEBRUARY 21-23 the Sleds and ORV’s, Taco Din• Breezeway Fall Color Saturday Cruises Before the Snow Flies...Taco Dinner – Blessing of Sleds – Antique/Classic Snowmobile ner, Crowning of the Belle of the • September 28th • October 5th &Cruises 12th Show–Bikini Radar Run – Radar Runs Blizzard and Winter Knight,• SnoBreezeway Fall Color Saturday Sculptures, Radar Runs, T-N-T • East Jordan Fall Fest September 28 ORV Fun Obstacle Course– Grand Story Time • September 28th • October 5th & 12th JANUARY 2021 MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER Ride Like a Girl to Save the Girls • Pumpkin Festival, October 16th Contests – Raffles – Snow Lovers Breakfast – More Bikini Radar Run, Sno-Lover’s • East Jordan Fall Fest September 28 Breakfast plus more.THE A complete SAVE DATE: FEB. 21-23, 2020 SNO -BLAST WINTER FESTIVAL Snowmobile the beautiful scenic Jordan Valley Trail, • Pumpkin Festival, October 16th festival schedule is available on

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11


The new Doty bridge fully installed, as seen from the drone camera. Courtesy of Quest Tidd.

It’s a Done Deal BY JIM DUKE

W

ith the old temporary bridge removed and a new permanent bridge installed in late November over the north branch of Stutt’s Creek in the northwestern area of the Hiawatha National Forest’s west zone (and the cosmetic cleanup completed shortly afterwards), Hiawatha NF Supervisor Cid Morgan declared the Doty Trestle Bridge project completed and Trail #8 reopened for recreational use. The announcement, a joint decision by DNR and NFS key players, was made Dec. 4. Promptly at noon on Dec. 12, Alger County SORVA, grant sponsor for the Munising area

12 JANUARY 2021

trails, held the official trail opening, complete with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and the first trail groomer crossing of the new bridge. Just a few days prior, SORVA President Keith Churill said it was his privilege and pleasure to invite me to do the cutting as a principal operative in the entire process from start to finish. So, on a cloudy and cold Saturday, several SORVA members and guests gathered at the bridge, took a few photos and discussed the drawn-out process of nearly 20 years in getting a replacement for the old original structure. Then, with an oversized pair of scissors and everyone

looking on, I made the official cut. In an earlier statement from the HNF supervisor, she said completion of the bridge marks the largest project the Hiawatha National Forest and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources have

worked on together, with assistance from the Michigan Department of Transportation. “This project is a great example of how multiple agencies and private companies can collaborate successfully on a project,” Supervisor Morgan continued on page 14

I was given the privilege of cutting the ribbon, signifying the new Doty Trestle Bridge is open and ready for use.

MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER


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JANUARY 2021 13


The temporary bridge was installed atop the original one in 2000. Both were removed in 2020 to make way for the new permanent one.

continued from page 12

said. Trail #8 is the major east-west corridor on the northern side of the Upper Peninsula, beginning in Sault Sainte Marie and terminating in Ironwood at the Michigan/ Wisconsin border. Without the Doty bridge, that corridor would not be complete. DNR Trail Specialist for the eastern U.P., Paul Gaberdiel, said, “The bridge serves as a major link for snowmobile and off-road vehicle trails between many communities, providing a huge economic impact.” Funding for this project came from multiple sources, but the lion’s share was provided by the

14 JANUARY 2021

Federal Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program, which is derived from gas-tax revenue.

winter seasons. Talking with snowmobilers and off-road enthusiasts alike, they all agree that without the bridge they would be unable

“The bridge serves as a major link for snowmobile and off-road vehicle trails between many communities, providing a huge economic impact.” — PAUL GABERDIEL, DNR TRAIL SPECIALIST FOR THE EASTERN U.P. In discussions with several businesses across the central upper peninsula, many have stated that without the revenue snowmobilers bring they would be unable to survive the (sometimes) harsh

to access the several necessities such as food, fuel and lodging. The Alger County Snowmobile and ORV Association maintains both snowmobile Trail #8 and ORV Trail C on a year-round basis, and

from Dec. 1 through March 31 grooms Trail #8 on a 24-hour, 7-dayper-week schedule when there has been sufficient snowfall to permit it. With the new permanent bridge now firmly set and snow now falling, snowmobilers will have a great location for some spectacular photo ops. Yes, it was a long time coming — and may not have ever come to completion were it not for the great partnerships between all the agencies, the snowmobile associations and the many volunteers that kept the project on the action lists. Congratulations to all involved in this project. •

MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER


the regulating agen- and consequently a cies for approval and loss of trails, so much ultimately established so that the American a method for testing Council of Snowmobile sound levels of snow- Associations (ACSA) mobiles. The state leg- has established a comHEARST.qxp_HEARST 6 islature 8/26/19 took 11:37 up AM thePagemittee to work toward HEARST.qxp_HEARST 8/26/19 11:37 AM Page 6 proposal and passed a educating the snowbill making it a civil in- mobiling community, fraction to operate a and general public, of

resolve such trails issues across the state, another old nemesis has emerged from the shadows and making an unwanted comeback…Noise!! For some reason still unknown, there has been a resurgence of ficti-

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6 MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER - September, 2019 6 MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER - September, 2019 to meet with us. My oh’ to meet with us. My oh’ my, things have really my, things have really changed during these changed during these past two decades, past two decades, haven’t they? haven’t they? At the 2019 ACSA At the 2019 ACSA Fly-In the Michigan Fly-In the Michigan Snowmobile AssociaSnowmobile Association sent four deletion sent four delegates to attend the to attend the Morning meeting of the ACSA Board con- gates meetings and to gather Morning meeting of the ACSA Board con- meetings and to gather vened early Sunday morning. information to discuss vened early Sunday morning. information to discuss our legislators ing congressional Representatives, and with our legislators ing congressional Representatives, and with during our visit to the committees or mem- even though many of during our visit to the committees or mem- even though many of Capital. With fourteen bers of Congress. At them were somewhat Capital. With fourteen bers of Congress. At them were somewhat Congressmen / the end of the day be- confused as to pur/ the end of the day be- confused as to pur- Congressmen women and two Senafore anyone is ex- pose, most welcomed and two Senafore anyone is ex- pose, most welcomed women tors, where possible, cused, we have our us with courteous in- tors, where possible, cused, we have our us with courteous in- we met the appointbriefings as to talking terest. In today’s soci- we met the appointbriefings as to talking terest. In today’s soci- ments as a team, but points of interest and a ety most of our ments as a team, but points of interest and a ety most of our when the visits overreminder of issues legislators use the the visits overreminder of issues legislators use the when lapped in time, we most important to state associations as lapped in time, we most important to state associations as went in groups of two. snowmobiling in every their primary source of went in groups of two. snowmobiling in every their primary source of This scheduling information when This snowbelt state. scheduling information when worked well snowbelt state. in order issues worked Tuesday, the final snowmobile in order issues for us to well Tuesday, the final snowmobile visit each and day of the event is arise. for us to visit each and day of the event is arise. office, either with For the past sev- every office, dedicated to “storming either with For the past sev- every dedicated to “storming senior staff member the hill” to meet with eral years since 1999, aa senior staff member the hill” to meet with eral years since 1999, or with the Congressour state’s Senators it is no longer much of or with the Congressour state’s Senators it is no longer much of men/women in person. and Congressmen or a chore to get appointin person. and Congressmen or a chore to get appoint- men/women We have always been women, or at the very ments, and in many We have always been women, or at the very ments, and in many welcomed in both Senleast, their knowledge- cases the ACSA office welcomed in Senleast, their knowledge- cases the ACSA office ator’s officesboth to meet, able office staff. Al- receives calls or e- ator’s offices to meet, able office staff. Al- receives calls or e- albeit briefly, with them though it was difficult mails inquiring when briefly, with them though it was difficult mails inquiring when albeit personally. to do, Christine was “the snowmobilers” will personally. to do, Christine was “the snowmobilers” will It is most gratifying very successful in ac- be coming to the CapiIt is most gratifying very successful in ac- be coming to the Capi- that the majority of quiring appointments tal so Senators and the majority of quiring appointments tal so Senators and that Michigan’s federally with most of the offices Representatives can federally with most of the offices Representatives can Michigan’s of both Senators and try to adjust schedules elected officials are reof both Senators and try to adjust schedules elected officials are re-

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Special Olympics Michigan Winter Games Canceled for this Year BY STEPHEN KING

T

his month, of all the cancellations I have had to write about, this one is perhaps the worst for me personally. That is because for more than 20 years now, one of the highlights of my winter has been attending the Special Olympics Winter Games, which are held at the Grand Traverse Resort in Acme. Many years ago, about a year or two after I started writing here at Michigan Snowmobiler, then-owner Lyle Shipe asked me to go down

16 JANUARY 2021

love of special people. He knew the Special Olympics were just getting going here in Michigan, and he knew he wanted to do something to help. Vic had had a great life. As a pro baseball player, he had lived the dream. Now, as he started getting older, he wanted to pass along some of that dream to the Special and cover the Special Olympians. He wanted Olympics Michigan Winter Games. Like most to make their Games the best that they could be. people, I had heard So, using the name and about the Games. But, like most, I did not know contacts he had made from his career in basea lot about them. ball, Vic organized the One of the things I did first Wertz Warriors Ride not know was that they for Special Olympics. are totally sponsored by a group called the Wertz This promotional ride went from town to town Warriors, a group of to collect the money varpeople named after one of the best players to ever ious groups had raised throughout the year. don a Detroit Tigers uniMost of these events form — Vic Wertz. were put on by his Vic had the idea of “Warriors.” They would combining his love of go to a town, put on snowmobiling and his

events, sell paper snowmobiles and just plain work all year long to raise money. Then, in one spectacular ride, Vic and about 100 of his Warriors would go from town to town to pick up the money and put on a show. Now, that show was not just to add to a retired sports hero’s ego. It also served to raise awareness for Special Olympics Michigan’s Winter Games, Special Olympics in general and the needs of those Special Athletes. Right away, the ride was a success, but then tragedy struck. Just a couple years in, when it was starting to look like Vic’s plan was really going to take off, the world lost Vic. Some of his good friends took his name and used that as a battle cry for the event he created.

MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER


available with special was yes, that even emphasis on their clothes smell like tires/rims, winches and rubber. They started with just tracks but plows. Tracks USA has also soon started selling developed a premier much more and not justmuch snowmobiles. single track snowly how They sell helmets, groomer. good the Wertz have goggles, carbides, Tracks USA is com-Warriors done. Like I statmitted to quality prod- snow bike conversion ed, years ago, and much more. ucts and satisfiedLylekits sent me

many other publications as well If you are in need of a track or anything to do with snowmobile or off road after market stuff, give them a call. Tony, Ben, Bruce and Kathy look forward to serving your needs. www.tracksusa.com ph 320-382-6128

INDIAN RIVER

down to cover the Games. Like most, I had known a few Special People. But to see about 1,000 of them having the time of their lives — well, I am a professional wordsmith and I cannot find the words to describe what the Within a few years, the Games have done for so event had truly grown many of these athletes. into what it is today — Think about your Rentals, an icon in the world of career in high school. fundraising. Today, the Think about the Sales home- & Wertz Warriors raise coming game. Service Think more than $300,000 about prom. Think about per year for Special having fun River, with allMIyour Olympics.562 S. Straits Hwy - Indian 49749 friends. For those of you Their efforts totally fund Mon. who - Thurs andever Sat.played 9-5 have the Michigan Special Friday 9-7 - Sundays 10-2 Olympics Winter Games. sports, think about scorwww.ir-sc.com ing that winning TD in The funds totally cover front of the whole town. the costs for athletes to That feeling is what these attend these231-333-3600 Games. Also, the money over the Special Olympians get at the Games. amount needed for the These Games are Games is divided, with their homecoming. Their a portion going back to the communities in which prom. Their moment to shine. it was raised. Thinking Many of them live into the future, a portion goes into a fund that will a life most of us don’t experience. They live in totally fund the Games the shadows. If we see forever if the Warriors them, we still really don’t somehow are no more. see them. We might see This plan leaves a legathem at the local fast cy for Vic Wertz that he food joint, mopping the would have been totally floors, wiping down the proud of. tables, doing those jobs From personal expethat most of us think are rience, I know exact-

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MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER

JANUARY 2021 17


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RADISE

continued from page 17

beneath us. And, most Since then, we have done of the time when we see what we can to support them, we ignore them and the Wertz Warriors and make sure we don’t make Special Olympics. any eye contact with them. Now, I am happy to say Or, even worse, talk to that with the change in them. ownership of Michigan Open for the But the ones who get to Snowmobiler magazine, EDARVILLE ........................906-297-3060 Winter Season NEWBERRY...........................906-293-5562 do those jobs are the lucky the new owners have Near Paradise ones. Many do not even agreed to let me continue URTIS ..................................906-586-9533 PARADISE .............................906-492-3538 Trailhead om have the mental capacity to cover and support this ETOUR VILLAGE.................906-297-3060 SAULT STE. MARIE ............800-MI-SAULT •12 Fully Equipped Log Cabins king to hold down any job. most worthy cause. •Walking distance to Restaurants & Pub Thursday Many are confined to their But, as I began to say at RUMMOND ISLAND ...........833-817-7851 SENEY ...................................906-499-3332 •2 Lakeside cabins homes and to the people the top of this article, this RAND MARAIS ...................906-250-7985 ST. IGNACE ...........................906-643-8717 who take care of them. year the Games will not ad front with wood burning fireplaces However, for all of these happen. Recently, I talkAUBINWAY...........................906-477-6298 STRONGS..............................906-274-5473 Call to Reserve: (906) 492-3320 Special Athletes, each win- ed to my old friend Ken eat Riding www.paradiseshorescabins.com ter, for a few days, they Mattei, a past president 8442 N. Whitefish Point Rd, Paradise, MI 49768 ails get their moments of glory. of the Warriors who is They get to be the stars. still very involved with the They get to walk the red group. Open for the TAHQUAMENON FALLS carpet. They get to live in Ken also had a very Winter Season the spotlight. heavy heart. He, too, was Brewery & Pub For me, after thatNear first Paradise saddened that the Games Trailhead om experience, when I got would not happen this AT CAMP 33 •12 Fully Equipped Log Cabins king home, the first thing I did year. •Walking distance to Restaurants & Pub Open 10:00 am Full menu served from 11:00 Thursday was to hug my son, who Also, with the pandemic •2 Lakeside cabins am until 8:30 pm Closed April & November was about 10 at the time. still going on and the govwith wood burning fireplaces ad front Welcome Snowmobilers, Skiers and Sightseers The next thing that I did ernor doing what she must Call to Reserve: (906) 492-3320 was to dial up Lyle and “to keep us safe,” Ken is Located in Upper Tahquamenon State Park eat Riding www.paradiseshorescabins.com give him a report. I told still not sure exactly what Paradise M-123 Trail the on Right 8442 N. Whitefish Point Rd, Paradise, MI 49768 ails him this was an event we will happen. At this time, 906-492-3300 really needed to get more they are still planning on involved with. He agreed. doing the ride.

WINTER PARADISE For information about snowmobiling

N 0

in the Eastern U.P. area call:

T THE PARADISE AREA

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18 JANUARY 2021

MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER


T R A IL BEHIND NO ONE .

T R A IL BEHIND NO ONE .

© 2020 Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP). All rights reserved.

, TM and the BRP logo are trademarks of BRP or its affiliates. Products in the United States (U.S.) are distributed by BRP US Inc. Always ride responsibly and safely.

© 2020 Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP). All rights reserved.

MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER

R I D D E N BY EVE RYDAY R I D E R MATT D O ETS C H

R I D D E N BY EVE RYDAY R I D E R MATT D O ETS C H

Choppy trail, bumpy terrain, wild corners – devour them all on the Renegade X-RS featuring the new rMotion™ X® rear & RAS™ X® front suspension. Pair it with a powerful Rotax® Engine and REV® Gen4 platform and you’re ready to easily handle anything the trail throws at you.

© 2020 Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP). All rights reserved.

R I D D E N BY EVE RYDAY R I D E R MATT D O ETS C H

But they have some problems. With the bars and restaurants closed to indoor dining by COVID by the governor’s orders, they can ride and they can stay in the hotels, but the Games will AMERICA’S LARGEST TRAILER SECTION not happen. The Warriors would put on their shows at those nowclosed bars and restaurants. Legend That, too, was where they had Explorer collected the money that had been raised and where they highlighted those giving communities. So, there is a good chance that along with the Games, even the ride might not happen. But the need is still there. Ken related that they are still raising money. He noted that even though Michigan’s #1 Brand the Games are not happening this Best Built. Longest Lasting. year, when this crisis passes, the 7 SNOWMOBILE TRAILER MODELS AVAILABLE Games will return. And, through ® ® RENEGADE X-RS the efforts of the Warriors, they Lengths: 13’ – 32’ Widths: 7’, 7.5’ & 8.5’ will continue to be what they have Choppy trail, bumpy terrain, wild been — athem shining corners – devour all on thelight in a world of darkness. They Renegade X-RS featuring the will show us newagain rMotion™the X® rear & RAS™ X® concerned good that front suspension. Pair it with people can do. ® X-RS ® TRENEGADE RILA IL a powerful Rotax® Engine and T R A Now, at the time of this writREV® Gen4 platform and you’re BEHIND Choppy trail, bumpy terrain, wild BEHIND ready to easily ing, I dohandle not anything know exactly what corners – devour them all on the ONE . the will trail throws at you. So, I cannot even Renegade X-RS featuring the happen. NO NO ONE . new rMotion™ X® rear & RAS™ X® point you in a certain direction. front suspension. Pair it with ® Engine ®and a powerful Rotax® RENEGADE X-RS But I can say that these Special REV® Gen4®platform and RENEGADE X-RS ® you’re ready to easily handle anything Olympians will still need your supChoppy trail, bumpy wildat you. the trailterrain, throws port. corners – devour them all on the Renegade X-RS featuring the new rMotion™ X® rear & RAS™ X® So, donate what you can. Get front suspension. Pair it with a powerful Rotax® Engine and involved, if you can. Buy one of REV® Gen4 platform and you’re ready to easily handle anything those paper snowmobiles you the trail throws at you. might see someplace. In this time of need, every dollar helps. And, these Special Athletes still deserve our help. 989 -684 -9872 This year, while the Games may 3636 S. Huron St. | Bay City, MI 48706 www.stevenscycle.com not happen, keep these Special Olympians close to your heart. They give us love. They show us what real humans can become. I support Special Olympians because so many of them are ® way better than I, or most of the people I know, will ever be. They ® ® © 2020 Bombardier in the United States (U.S.) are distributed by BRP US Inc. Always ride responsibly and safely. are love. •Recreational Products Inc. (BRP). All rights reserved. ®, TM and the BRP logo are trademarks of BRP or its affiliates. Products

, TM and the BRP logo are trademarks of BRP or its affiliates. Products in the United States (U.S.) are distributed by BRP US Inc. Always ride

, TM and the BRP logo are trademarks of BRP or its affiliates. Products in the United States (U.S.) are distributed by BRP US Inc. Always ride responsibly and safely.

JANUARY 2021 19


22 MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER - September, 2019 22 MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER - September, 2019 land owners satisfied as

well as getting our trails Westshore Spring land owners satisfied as put in, in a safe manner. well as getting our trails Westshore Spring put Lead groomer driver Dinner Dance in, in a safe manner. Steve Bell was recogLead groomer driver Dinner Dance with a period of fellow- nized for the tireless efBy Andy Twork Steve Bell was recog-

From

ship time for stories and forts that he exerts each with a period of fellow- nized for the tireless eflaughs from the previous and every year in his You know when the ship time for stories and forts that he exerts each season. Whether it be many hours of grooming. snow begins to melt and laughs the previous and every year in his You know when the gettingfrom a groomer stuck He is still enjoying our the green grass starts to season. Whether it be many hours of grooming. snow begins to melt and or being broke down snowmobile trails even be a nuisance to the getting a groomer stuckor He is still enjoying our the green grass starts to perhaps having a fine though hes not able to point where you need to or being broke down or snowmobile even be a nuisance to the time out on a snowmobil- ride anymoretrails cut it every week, the perhaps having a fine though hes nothimself. able to point where you need to ing adventure, either on Whitehallhimself. and MonTrail Boss Brian Vanette awards Randy Ackersnowmobiling season is time out on a snowmobilride anymore cut it every week, the our trails on the West tague are towns that berg a kind a "Snowmobiler of the year over. ing adventure, either on Whitehall and MonTrail Boss BrianofVanette awards Randy Ackersnowmobiling season is shore or on trails else- support snowmobiling as award" for his efforts in the council this past The work for the seaour trails on the West tague are towns that berg a kind of a "Snowmobiler of the year over. where in our great state well as businesses and BY year for his efforts in the council this past sonThe is not over, or on trails else- support snowmobiling as award" work for preventathe sea- shore of Michigan. contractors that donate JIM DUKE tive maintenance has to where in our great state well as businesses and year son is not over, preventaThese are the people Muskegon, Newaygo The ring leader, Brian contractors their time and materials. be done on all the equipMichigan. of that donate tive maintenance has to Vanett kicked off the and Oceana county has from the many clubs that As intime many the efThese are the people Muskegon, Newaygo ment and stored under The ring leader, Brian their andcases materials. be done on all the equipform the West Shore a trail system that they evening alongofftion.” with Certainly, forts of their employees many clubs that and Oceana county has cover and fornd, thesonext few Vanett kicked the As in many the it under begins … the 2020allcases can be efusedfrom to thesnowmobile. ment stored Snowmobile can be proud of. Oscar Reed by recognizin making sure that our trail truly system that they form the During West Council, Shore months, resting, waiting with forts of describe their employees season is along appropriately the anxiety the pastaseveral years, cover for21 thesnowmobile next few evening and it is because of them ing theReed trail captains from intrails are sure maintained Snowmobile Council, can truly be proud of. for the resting, upcoming sea-theOscar recognizmaking that ourasavid months, upon uswaiting and nation is byareas and frustration even the most many ofofmy snowmobiling friends the different in our well as kept safe and and it is because them son.the upcoming sea- ing the trail captains from trails are maintained as for still in the grips of the the coronavirus winter enthusiasts have been feeling have transitioned to “Snow Bird” Then onin to safely throughdifferent areas oura well The equipment is the system. as marked kept safe and son. crisis that morewonderful than eightdinner lately weour prepare for what we status and moved to a central includ-asout trail system. easy butstarted the people Thepart, equipment is the system. Then on to a safely marked throughing the litsalad along withwill months ago and shows very hope some stresswas relief. Florida location where they’ve tradOurtrail dining group wonderful dinner includour system. outbring need to have one easy part, but thethat people a steak and baked powell impressed with how tle sign ofeach disappearing In conversations some ed their snow machine for a golf the salad along with Our diningwith group was of my weekend year inganytime need to have that one tato, andand served right to well the tables were set up as a steak baked poimpressed with how when all of our volunsoon. So much for the pandemic, longtime snowmobiling compancart and can play golf throughout weekend each year your table. the double tables with tato, and served right to the tables were set up as teers getpandemonium, when all ofgroomers our volunbut and what about this ions, this pandemic has brought the winter. Some only reside part Snowmobilers from all the chairs all thetables way around your table. double with together at a local estabteers and groomers get huh? Well, one of the definitions in well about some changes in lifestyle, time at these secondary homes and the area asfrom as chairs them all aloud Snowmobilers all the for waycommuniaround lishment.atThey let off a over together a local estabWebster’s dictionary says pandeand hasaloud towithout wonder if itlimis for return to their primary residences othera parts state cation being the areaofasour well asyou them for communilittle steam andlethave lishment. They off aa over monium is a wild roar, and that’s the better or possibly a mistake in once the snow has melted; others ventured Whitehall ited towithout just talking to a parts to of our state cation being limVISIT IRONS AREA THIS WINTER!!! fine evening of food little steam and haveand a other what arefood hoping onevening the to to judgment. Either I will miss our foundAREA that solitude in the tropthat partake couple ofway, people. ventured Whitehall ited to just talking toOur a drink andwe fellowship. VISIThave IRONS THIS WINTER!!! fine evening of and for of this wonderful event. group of included Randy evening to partake people. Our and trails, on back-country adventures annual couple snowmobiling outings ics fits their new lifestyles well and The West Shore Snow- that drink and fellowship. Brian made a point to Smith, Jamie Bishop as this wonderful event. of group included Randy or even on a trip out west for some the camaraderie we once enjoyed have moved there permanently. mobile council has been The West Shore Snowthe afact that well asJamie Dan and Robin Brianupmade point to Smith, asa bit having a Spring fling bring mobile hasriding. been deepcouncil powder together. It seems asBishop we get Another alternative to snowmomany up volunteers do well bring the fact that Taylor and and Phil and as Dan Robin dance every year for as having a Spring fling But, with so many delays, reschedolder, we often prefer the warmth biling, a season of only about four many different many volunteersthings. do Taylor Cheryl Alvesteffer. and Phil And andof long as I can remember. dance every year for as “H OME OF THE A FLEA ROAST & Ocan X MARKET” uling or cancellations many of holiday cel- things. of southern orAlvesteffer. western climates months, isNNUAL off-roading, which volunteers do Cheryl And of course our favorite girl long I can remember. This as year was no differ- Some different “H OME OF THE A NNUAL F LEA R OAST & O X M ARKET” ebrations thus far, othergreat definitions theBuchan uncertainty ofancold be enjoyed year-round in the warmvolunteers do than things for therather clubs course our favorite Carla out ongirl This was difference no differ- Some ent, year the only Blessing of the Sleds can as well, “infernal — and Carla sometimes brutal —an winter er,Blessing and usuallyof snowless, states. For great things forthe thematericlubs byas obtaining Buchan outwith on evening dinner us, ent, theapply only this year was difference the venue,such theMI Sleds @ Skinner Park Irons, Jan. 4, 2020 by materidinner with gone us,may alsobtaining that need to re- evening since Tom orthe“tumult,” is they fur- the conditions when we was may or example, in southern California, year was venue, this theregions” Spring fling for 2019 which @ Skinner Park -date Irons, MI 18, Jan.2020 4, 2020 Snow out Jan. they need to resince Tom towas gone pairthat bridges or perhaps trout fishing. It was truly to the Spring flingatfor ther defined as “disorganized agitanot even be able get outside Arizona and New Mexico, the would be held the2019 Vet- als Snow out date Jan. 18, 2020 or perhaps fishing. It wasoftruly For trail conditions or up coming put bridges in a drainage ditch. trout a great evening food would at the wars Vet- pair erans be ofheld Foreign For trailevents conditions coming put in a drainage ditch. greatdrink evening of food along with erans of Colby Foreign warsin Or one of many other aand visit or ourup web post on street onethat of need many toother with tasks hap- and somedrink greatalong fellowship events visit our web post on Colby street in Or Whitehall. @ironsarea.com tasks that need to hapsome great fellowship pen in order to keep our family and friends. with Whitehall. The evening began @ironsarea.com The evening began pen in order to keep our with family and friends.

Pandemic

By Andy Twork

to

A

PANDEMONIUM

IRONS AREA TOURIST IRONS AREA TOURIST ASSOCIATION ASSOCIATION

WHITE LAKE

VELTMAN HARDWARE VELTMAN HARDWARE 231-861-2442 231-861-2442 • Snowmobile Parts • Service • Trail Permits • Snowmobile Parts • Service • Trail Permits On the Hart-Montague Trail 4736 1st St. - New Era, MI

On the Hart-Montague Trail 4736 1st St. - New Era, MI 20 JANUARY 2021

Call or Email us to Call or Email us to advertise in this advertise in this space space 231-536-2371 231-536-2371 publisher@michsnowmag.com CALL (231) 536-2371 TO ADVERTISE publisher@michsnowmag.com

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11:48 AM Page 12

desert sands beckon for two weeks, and then we roadless adventures in could return to our regular a similar manner as an routines, but then word abundant snowfall does came that this virus was in the upper Midwest and a much more serious conN SNOWMOBILER - September, New England states. It all 2019 cern than first thought. as hit a depends on whether one ent That’sorganization when mild panic shelter. prefers bundling up in some folks. I’m not really WHY?? layers of warm clothing or sure where the determijust wearing cut-off jeans nation buy up as much Fortoquite some time and a T-shirt! toilet paper as one could there has been discusBear in mind that none afford camethe from, but sion about combining of this is directly caused “panic purchasing” of efforts to improvesoon and by the ongoing coronavi- simplify had market shelves bare the various catemobile Association, rus pandemic. This transi- gories or with goods short supof in motorized which has proven tion has been takingitself place ply. Again, pandemonium e recreation and the sevtime andyears time for more thanagain, most would be the appropriate eral different vehicles of us have been around;a word here. sometimes through employed to snowmobilachieve the nions and very it just seems to have Among my hostile environlevel of enjoyment, adxpressed ment, become moreapoputo much be both reli- ing acquaintances, I’m performlar recently some folks venture, pleased to and say not one re strictly able and asacceptable ance of each. Those with are using pandemic uthor and source of the credible infor- succumbed to the panic the authority to regulate and social distancing pertaining to to the profile and, for the most t the offi- mation such activities on public justify their decisions. part, maintained a senof snowmobiling, e Associ- sport whether Also, state or Early last year when the lands, sible demeanor. a worthy ally to other formation and virus first was discovered federal, for the most part, they for were looking recreational was pre- motorized and the extent of it was all listened to and abidappropriate guidance pursuits. In the Off-Road ed bythose the guidelines set eetings of still unknown, citizens from who particiVehicle sector, however, in motion by what the state’s Directors were told this would prob- pated, and better there appeared to be too ably run its course in the elected leadership. Not not have many obstacles, and organization than the same manner as various everyone wasassociation happy with snowmobile en altered quite many the restrictions, but all, or strainsfrankly of the flutoo have to spearhead the project. ng. done. Wetypes were told we at least most, complied, different of vehiObviously, not all shouldlumped take basic precaucles into the believing the period of types of off-road vehicles tions to avoid contracting It? ORV category for there concern would be short would be compatible for Our governor A is an toit. ever be any suggestsort of lived and the final week use onofthe same trails, ed social distancing as or two snowmobile he Michi- compatibility, and some most which an additional meansmuch of seasonofcould stillwere bringdebile and types were fairing veloped by the snowmoprevention. recomon. It is a better than The others, hav- a degree of happiness bile community and are mended period was just before the sleds were n almost ing already found a pard snowation and ized trail with adions but failed in CEDARVILLE ........................906-297-3060 pts to CURTIS ..................................906-586-9533 ition as a espected DETOUR VILLAGE.................906-297-3060 reational DRUMMOND ISLAND ...........833-817-7851 a familyGRAND MARAIS ...................906-250-7985 phere. an SnowNAUBINWAY...........................906-477-6298

ORVA – What It & Why?

again put into storage. cases of the virus, more Then came the extenrestrictive measures have sions, first for just anothbeen implemented. We er week, then the “stay are being told we are not home-stay safe” orders. permitted to have family Only those performing or social gatherings that essential work should be exceed a certain number allowed out. Eventually, of participants, so which more restrictions were relative or close friend do applied so there could we eliminate from the list? be no more dining in at Not a pleasant decision restaurants, bars and tav- for anyone to have to erns were forced to close make. Hopefully, this … and the pandemic pandemic will soon be rages on. undermembers control and weguest can A full house of more than 100 and aremeeting into back the to our lives like atSo thenow Maywe 18th to get approve change from another snowmobile they once were; but I’m MSA to MISORVA. season where we may or sure there will be some may not be able to enjoy far-reaching that groomed and maintained earmarked effects as multi-use, our favorite recreational not allow everything by snowmobile program will meaning they are availactivities. Sure, social to return to normal. grant sponsors during able for use by anyMany other distancing is not a small businesses will the winter months, approved motor vehiproblem and wearing have a very hard time specifically from Decem- cles. As stated previa mask under a helmet recovering, if at all. ber 1st until midnight on ously, not all that types is more for comfort than The pandemic was of March 31st eachthe year. predicted off-road tovehicles for safety, soof what’s last just twoare During this time,one it is con- or compatible when problem? Unless three weeks has been it sidered illegal to operate with comes sharing is prepared to carry us fortonearly a full the a wheeled vehicle trails.and there is no the essentials along on on year anyride, of there the may 6500notplus end in Dirt Bikes examthe sight. Wefor have be available stops for been subjected to more miles of designated ple, have worked out a food fuel or convenient restrictions — reportedly snowmobile trails. very acceptable coalition rest stops. The longer for our own good — than Outside of the spe- with the Cycle Conservaovernight adventures in many cases, cific dates set aside ex- ever tion and, Corps, and the are out of the question we are unable to even see clusively for snowmobile Jeeps, Full-size Mud because mostother lodgingthan our loved ones. Yes, this use and Runners, and Rock facilities have fallen pandemic has escalated where trails cross private Crawlers all appear to be victim to the pandemic into pandemonium and property, designated very satisfied with their restrictions, too. we are all ready for it to wilderness, or other senown individual recreWith the rise in active end. • sitive areas, most are ational endeavors, and

For information about snowmobiling in the Eastern U.P. area call:

MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER

NEWBERRY...........................906-293-5562 PARADISE .............................906-492-3538 SAULT STE. MARIE ............800-MI-SAULT SENEY ...................................906-499-3332 ST. IGNACE ...........................906-643-8717 STRONGS..............................906-274-5473

JANUARY 2021 21

VISIT THE PARADISE


Go!

Naubinway Snowmobile Show a BY STEPHEN KING

T

his year will mark the 29th year for the Antique and Vintage Snowmobile Show in Naubinway, as it was called way back when. I know this for a fact, because I was there when it was born. At that time, I was on the Naubinway/Engadine Merchants Association, the forerunner of the Top of the Lake Communities Association. We were the group that hosted events and such. Way back then, in the early fall, a couple of guys, Charlie Vallier and Tom King, approached our group with an idea to do an antique and vintage snowmobile show. I can remember that the group, myself included, did kind of a “you want to do a what?” We had never heard of such a thing. But Charlie and Tom explained that collecting old snowmobiles was a growing hobby and wanted to give it a try.

22 JANUARY 2021

I can then remember our next question: “How much will it cost us?” I don’t remember their answer, but it was well within reason, and we gave it our blessing. That first show was a limited success. But, enough of a success that we wanted to make it an annual event. A few years later, and it had grown. Many more collectors were displaying their sleds, with hundreds, if not thousands of people showing up. I can remember at one show, trying to get some idea of how many people were there. All we came up with was “a lot.” You see, they were coming in cars and in sleds. I think a few might have even parachuted in. And, with no actual admission fee, we had no way to track numbers. For a while, we were getting really close to the 300-sled mark. Also, we added a ride. At first, it went to a local eatery, but after only a

year or two, we outgrew that. We moved to the Town Hall and that was fine. But, to change things up and keep the show fresh, we moved the breakfast to the Pavilion in Naubinway (its version of a town hall.) We moved the ride to a lake about 10 miles north of town where there is a cabin, a place for a cookout, and just a pretty place to ride to and hang out. In later years, we have also added a few other things. For those first few shows, Friday night was kind of a social thing. After the Breakfast Ride, everyone would kind of stay out and ride at their own pace. We would end up at the motel in town, which Tom owned, and have a somewhat private party. Not really private. Not really advertised. A free fish fry. Naubinway is a commercial fishing town. We had fish. But, a couple years back, some of the people

wanted to do something different. So, now on Friday night at about dark, they do a parade around town and then head out about 3 miles to a bridge over a local river. There, they have a bonfire and a lot of good conversation about old sleds. A few years ago, the show added another ride. This one is kind of an invite-only thing for the rear-engine sleds that move at about 5 or 6 mph. They go from Naubinway to Curtis, then to Newberry, then back to Naubinway. On a new sled, this is a cool afternoon loop. On the old rear-engine sled, a three-day ride. Three legs. Three days. About 20 miles a leg. After 28 years, this show is still one of the best in the state. And, being one of the first, it has that kind of prestige thing. Bragging rights. And it is still a whole lot of fun. With all of that COVID stuff and the Governor

MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER


TAHQUAMENON HOTEL

REA

es Northwest of the nac Bridge

IT THE

SNO SHU INN

CABINS ON SNOWMOBILE TRAIL

www.Snoshuinn.com

Wood Stoves, Linens, Groups and Rentals

906-876-2324 snoshuinn@gmail.com

Breakfast - Rooms - WI-FI Where it all begins! 906-876-2388 10429 S. Maple St. ~Hulbert, MI

NAUBINWAY grantinhulbert@yahoo.com / www.tahquamenonhotel.com Like us on Facebook

Skyline Motel

EASY ACCESS TO TRAILS UBINWAY trying to keep us locked year, our Feature Sled is Direct TV and Showtime up and “safe,” nobody the John Deere. And, we is sure exactly what willDiscount will actually be raffling off Rates happen. one of these. Also, this is Sunday-Wednesday But I talked to Charlie, a fun event. We do not and he said, “At the 906-292-5556 have a whole lot of prizes moment, we are on. The or trophies. We tried that 5961 US Hwy. 2 show and the ride will be and it didn’t work. Now, OK. Not sure about theEPPOUFETTE, we just have aMI few prizes dinner. That is usually at and we just try to have the Town Hall. And, we fun. are not sure about how “The best thing that I that will work. can say right now is that “Like everyone else, we the show is still on. As to will just have to see what what we will be doing, happens. But, most of keep checking in with the the show is outside. And, museum. We will be postsnowmobiling is very ing updates online and much a ‘social distancing’ on our Facebook page. type of sport. Also, while But, right now, I want to we will be taking all the again invite everyone to precautions that we can, the 29th Top of the Lake if you do not feel safe, Snowmobile Museum’s then stay home. But, if Snowmobile Show and we can do it, we will be Ride.” having the show and ride. Reach the museum via And, if you want, come email at info@snowmoon out and have some fun bilemuseum.com or call with us.” during normal business He continued, “This hours at (906) 477-6298.

EA THIS

INTER

Our Upper Peninsula location offers guests and community members an amazing palette of year-round activities, attractions, and events! Some of the annual events we help to promote are: Snowmobile Swap Meet: 9/19/2020 Christmas Bazaar: 12/6/2020 Naubinway Antique and Vintage Snowmobile Show: 2/19-21/2021 Lake Millecoquin’s Winter Fest: 2/27/2021

The Association covers four West Mackinac County townships and includes the communities of Engadine, Epoufette, Garnet, Gould City, Naubinway and Rexton.

TOLCA P.O. Box 132 Naubinway, MI 49762

(906) 477-6298

Country Girl Diner Breakfast, Burgers, Beer, and More

US-2 Naubinway

Directly Across from the Snowmobile Trail

Rooms Available | Open 7 Days a Week

(906) 477-6359

MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER

JANUARY 2021 23


PHOTO CREDIT

Make

Sault Ste. Marie

Your Snowmobiling Christian Brothers Racing Takes Win in I-500 Sanctuary BY SAULT STE. MARIE CHAMBER

W

ith nearly endless groomed trails available right from downtown Sault Ste. Marie, it’s no wonder the Soo continues to be a premiere snowmobiling destination. Situated on the eastern end of the Upper Peninsula, Sault Ste. Marie, with its average of 120 inches of snow annually, offers ideal conditions for all snowmobiles. Although most snowmobile enthusiasts associate the Soo with the International 500 Snowmobile Race, a closer look will show it’s a haven of snowmobiling fun for riders of all experience levels. From casual Sunday cruises to endless expeditions into the heart of the Upper Peninsula, it’s all possible from the snowmobile-friendly city of Sault Ste. Marie.

24 JANUARY 2021

Getting to the trails from within city limits has never been easier as snowmobiles are allowed on most Sault Ste. Marie streets. In the Soo, you’ll be able to cruise throughout town, gas up the sleds and stop into one the locally owned coffee shops to fill up the caffeine reserves and grab a quick bite to eat. The city trails provide access to the main regional trail system via the 12- by 12-foot “Soo Tunnel” that runs underneath I-75. In fact, the city is so snowmobile friendly that you’ll be able to take your sled right from your hotel room to the trailhead. Once you’ve hit the trails, you’ll notice that a labyrinth of routes connects a variety of small communities, national forests, state forest lands, snow-covered

hills and plains across the region. Touring the Eastern Upper Peninsula by snowmobile is both exhilarating and awe-inspiring. Some believe it’s the optimal way to take in the UP during the winter. You’ll be able to see wildlife throughout your drive as well as find some great places to eat at tucked-away restaurants and taverns. Once you venture deeper into the trail system by heading west on the ever-popular Trail #8 toward Brimley, be prepared for a spectacular view! This popular trail leads you through the Hiawatha National Forest and includes the Mission Hill Overlook. Here you can enjoy a quick pit stop to really appreciate the beauty of Monocle Lake and, just beyond that, Lake Superior. Just a

bit further west past Bay Mills will bring you to the Point Iroquois Lighthouse, a staple of the area that everyone should visit. Not enough can be said about Trail #8. It really is a must-ride for all snowmobilers looking to take in the Upper Peninsula’s unparalleled beauty. It leads straight to Paradise, Michigan, right along Lake Superior. Nearby Whitefish Point is just ahead. Although the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum is closed during the winter, this is still a stop all riders should make to see the Big Lake itself. You’ll be able to take your sled right up to one of Michigan’s most famous locations, Tahquamenon Falls State Park. The two waterfalls at the state park are the epitome of what makes

MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER


September, - MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER 11 September, 2019 -2019 MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER 11 September, 2019 - MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER 11

next year. Arrowheads and was one a was a photo that went next year. Arrowheads and one photo that went next Arrowheads and one was a photo that went year. like viral the aviral a couple Anyhow, of June, Dubie.Dubie. LooksLooks like the couple years years Anyhow, as of as June, viral couple years Dubie. like thein June, trails be kept in afeaturing ago featuring anAnyhow, SSA theas SSA is looking trails Looks will bewill kept ago an SSA the SSA isof looking trails will be shape kept inthisago featuring an in SSA SSA is Good looking great wingroomer sunk that good. membergreat shape this wingroomer sunk thatinthe good. Good memberthe Upper Peninsula sogroomer great shape this winsunk in that good. Good memberare Good ship. leadership. Good leadership. area. area. Then, Then, there there are ship. ter. ter. spectacular. The Upperarea. Then, there are ship. Good leadership. ter. a couple of culvert thesituTrail situAnd, a good plan to a couple of culvert As for As thefor Trail And, a good plan to Falls one of the mosta couple Asisforation, the Trail situof culvert good to Trails Martin projects. Which, they the ation, Martin noted noted projects. Which, if they ifAnd, keepa keep the plan Trails powerful waterfalls east work ation, Martin Which, if they theand Trails that thenoted stretch be- work out, should go groomed and open. that the stretch be- projects. out, should go keep groomed open. should go that stretch andkeep open. oftween thethe Mississippi and tween the beSoowork and out, un-noticed by groomed most they keep the Soo and un-noticed by most Also, Also, they re- retween the Soo and un-noticed by most Also, they keep reshould be on everyone’s Kinross has improved sledders. a membering the NumKinross has improved sledders. And, And, a membering the Numsledders. And, the a Raco Kinross hasPlus, improved membering the Numbucket list. the area greatly. have reroute ber Rule: One Rule: greatly. They They have reroute in thein Raco ber One When When greatly. They havethe reroute in the Racoa bit berofOne Rule: When has themost Tahquamenon fixed most Moving you have a summer fixed of theof prob- probarea. area. Moving a bit of you have a summer fixed most of thethat probarea. a bit of Maybe you have a summer lems As Moving Traila just a bit. you to have Falls Brewery Pubarea. that lems in thatin& area. As Trail just bit. Maybe picnic,picnic, you have in- to injust a bit. Maybe lems in you that may area.recall, As Trail picnic, you have to inthis year. Probably reporter. this year. Probably youdine-in may recall, there there vite vite the the reporter. has and takeout you may recall, there this year. Probably vite the reporter. Thanks again guys. As Thanks again guys. As food available that’ll Thanks again guys. As always… always… What What MartinMartin make even the coldest always… What Martin said, “Good said, “Good food. food. rides worth it. said, “Good food. fun. Good Good Good fun. Good com- comThroughout your advenGood fun. Good comradery.” radery.” ture westward from the radery.”

Soo, you’ll come across tons of small towns and work and dedication put villages. Bay Mills, Raco, into making these trails Newberry and Paradise into some of the best are just some of the in the whole Midwest. areas you’ll be able to The Sault Ste. Marie swing through to fuel up Snowmobile Association the sled. Whether you is a collective of volunlook to continue even Alexa Peterman & Grandfather, Al build Cottle Alexa Peterman & Grandfather, Cottle teers who help and Alexa Peterman & Grandfather, AlAlCottle shar a moment over Smores. Yum Yum. further west into the heart shar a moment over Smores. Yum Yum. maintain the trails. They shar a moment over Smores. Yum Yum. of the Upper Peninsula groom a dozen trails in and onwards towards the area that provide Wisconsin or circle back more than 100 miles of to the Soo, these mostly trails. flat trails and numerous Each fall they check the locations to stop at make area to make sure propit all possible. er signage is in place Sault Ste. Marie prides and cut any branches itself on the quality of its or brush that protrude snowmobile trails. Riders onto the trail. Then, as will surely notice the hard

soon as snowfall begins, they start the grooming process. They are a musthave reference for planning your snowmobiling trip to the Soo and they help provide plenty of updates on the trail systems. Likewise, they offer a ton of information on regulations for snowmobilers operating within city limits. While Sault Ste. Marie and the surrounding area are famous throughout the Midwest for having some of the highest yearly snow yields in

SAULT STE MARIE ® ®

the country, it’s always a great idea to scout ahead. Along with the Sault Ste. Marie Snowmobile Association, the Sault Ste. Marie Convention & Visitors Bureau can provide updates on the trails and weather conditions in the area. On top of that, you’ll want to make sure you get the perfect hotel room and map out your treks. Visit www.saultstemarie.com for more information on booking your next snowmobile getaway. •

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JANUARY 2021 25


W

ell, this one is going to be just a bit different. Usually I write about things that most people can do, like ride sleds, go to a race or get involved with the politics and the decision-making process. This story is about a sled (more or less) that is more a dirt bike on snow than a snowmobile. What I am talking about is the latest incarnation of a snow bike — the Timbersled. I like to share with you readers how we got onto this story. Most of the time, I am out wandering about and just trip over them. More exactly, I am out traveling, and somebody tells me about something. Or I am chatting up some friend on the phone and they tell me about it. Every now and then, somebody calls in and we get a lead. This time last fall, during the U.P.’s color season, somebody let my boss, Scott, out of his box. Usually, he sits in the office, but, with the colors, he wanted to get out and about. I was at first just a bit worried about him wandering about the U.P. all by himself, but then I found out his wife, Ann, would be with him. So, I knew she would keep an eye on him. Anyway, they were traveling about the U.P., over toward the western

The

Timbersled:

to make a snow bike. In 2008, Allen decided he had figured out how to make a snow bike better. A year later, he had gotten a prototype made and gave it a go. Right away, he took it out and compared it to some other snow bikes. On this try, he was out in the mountains. And, with his new prototype, he got to the top of the hill faster than the rest — so much faster that he knew he was onto something. In 2010, he started production and the Timbersled was born. A few years later, and it got noticed by one of the big guns in the snowmobile world. In 2015, industry giant Polaris bought up the rights, and then took over the manufacturing and marketing of this revolutionary style of snow bike. In 2017, Polaris came out with their updated and all new version. Polaris’ claim was that it “optimizes performance by making more efficient use of the engine’s power, delivers easy and responsive handling and dramatically improves deep snow performance.” Since then, the new snow bikes have sold relatively well. Now, what these things actually are can best be described as kits that mount to an existing motorcycle frame that basically converts your favorite summer dirt bike to a win-

Not For Everyone, But For Those Who Really Want A Snowmobiling Adventure.

26 JANUARY 2021

BY STEPHEN KING

pointy end. They stopped in at Pat’s Motor Sports in Greenland, where they ran into Paul Kotchon. They got to chatting and Paul told Scott about something called a Timbersled, the latest incarnation of the snow bike. This gave Scott the idea of doing a story about it. So, when the boss gets an idea, I have a sudden urge to do a story on the Timbersled. This idea has been around for a long time, and so have I. (The first sled I drove had the engine in the back. And, yes, I had a pet dinosaur.) Also, I live in Naubinway, home of the Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum. I spend a good bit of time

there and have seen quite a few of the remnants of these ideas. Seems like just about since the dawn of snowmobiling, somebody wanted to make a snow bike. This time, it was way back in 2002 that Allen and Natasha Magnum worked on the idea. (I will not say anything on Boris and Natasha or Rocky and Bullwinkle. OK, fine: This was a secret Russian plot to get better aerodynamics on the snow so they could outpace a flying squirrel. There, are you happy?) Anyhow, these were not just a couple of flying nuts. They had a history of working with sleds, especially suspensions. And, they had an idea of how

MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER


ter snow bike. Not a bad idea. They were not trying to reinvent the wheel. What this basically does is to take the front forks, gets rid of the pesky front wheel and adds a ski. Then, most of the back end is removed and a very different suspension and a track are added. This basically keeps the motor and frame and changes out the rest. As for pricing, they start at about $1,999. This is for something to fit out a 110 cc motorbike chassis. Then, they go up from there. The top one on the Polaris site lists at $6,999. Now, that may sound like a bit of cash, but if you compare it to a new sled, well, suddenly it doesn’t look all that pricey. Also, riders get to use their own dirt bike, which they most

probably are used to riding. But, with this, I am sure there is a learning curve involved. But splattering on snow is usually way softer than splattering on dirt. Now, as to how they ride. I have not tested one out personally, and I will readily admit that although the fire is not out, there is getting to be quite a bit of snow on the roof. So, I am thinking I just might have to recruit one of my local motocross racers to give this thing a test. But, in talking to Paul, he and some of his friends totally love these them. They get together just about every weekend during the winter and head out back country. These things are not made to trail ride; they are made for back country riding.

Now, some of you proponents of the “stay on the trail” lifestyle may not want to hear this, but in a lot of places off-trail riding is growing quicky — even here in Michigan. There are lots of places you can legally ride these things. (I keep calling them “things” because in nobody’s world are they snowmobiles. They do not meet the criteria.) Paul says he and his friends just love them. Week after week, they head out into some of the most back-trail places in the U.P. And, if you have ever been to the western end of the U.P., you know that up there, we have a whole lot of “off-the-beaten-track places.” Even the most popular places are not exactly metro centers. But, if you want to try

something that is basically a dirt bike on snow, then this might be an idea. Just check the Polaris site and find a dealer near you. Also, this coming winter, Paul has a “demo day” happening. Pat’s Motorsports is in the town of Greenland. The demo day is in Jan. 29 in the town of Twin Lakes, just a few miles from Greenland. Not exactly sure what the whole event will be about, but there will be Timbersleds there. And, from what I gather, you will get a chance to test drive them. For more information about the Timbersled, check out the Polaris site, www.timbersled.com. For more information about the ride or Pat’s Motorsports, call Paul at (906) 883-3536. •

SENEY

Seney Snowmobile Association

Striving to provide you with safe and smooth trails.

Snowmobile Vets Ride — March 6th 2021 Motorcycle Vets Ride — June 5th 2021 Trail Maintenance — September 18th 2021 Meet at Groomer Barn in Seney

MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER

JANUARY 2021 27


The Hilton Omaha: host hotel for the 2021 International Snowmobile Congress

International Snowmobile Congress 2021

Organizations was in existence long before the first Congress was agreed to. It was in 1995 that 27 states in attendance at the 27th International Snowmobile Congress in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, appointed a steering committee to research and recommend the establishment of a national snowmobile organization, complete with a mission statement, bylaws BY JIM DUKE and a charter. At that Congress, the very year for the past five-plus the itinerary to make the entire expe- American Council of Snowmobile decades, snowmobilers and rience enjoyable and entertaining. Associations was born. snowmobile program adminThe first International Snowmobile During the past 53 years, Michigan istrators from across the nation and Congress was held in Albany, N.Y. has hosted just three such events, around the world have joined togeth- in 1968, with an unofficial count the first being a shared Congress in er at a select location in early June to of just more than 600 participants, 1973 between Sault Ste. Marie and discuss issues of mutual concern that almost equally split between 26 its sister city, Ontario, Canada. The may have a possible international states and nine Canadian provinces. Michigan Snowmobile Association impact on snowmobiling activities Throughout the following years, the again was host in 1998 at the and other winter recreational endeav- attendance has decreased someShanty Creek Resort in Bellaire, ors. what while the number of states and and the third time was in 2019 at The International Snowmobile provinces has increased slightly, and the Amway Grand Hotel in Grand Congress is a conglomerate of sever- other countries such as Sweden, Rapids. al snowmobile-related entities includ- Russia and Norway have applied for Of the 53 annual events, only ing local clubs, state and provincial membership. The global economic once has it been canceled, and associations, and national organistatus plays a big part in which coun- that was in 2020, due to the corozations. Also included are internatries and states annually participate. navirus pandemic. The host of the tional manufacturers, media, tourism In the early years, the United States 52nd International Snowmobile representative and the three regional didn’t have a national organization Congress would have been chapters as well as the already-men- like the Canadian provinces did. the Saskatchewan Snowmobile tioned administrators. A represenWhen the Congress was to be held Association in the Canadian city of tative from each comes to the interin the States, it was the International Regina. Cancellation of the event national table as a delegate of the Snowmobile Industry Association was a tough decision to make; but it International Snowmobile Council. It’s under which all state associations was necessary for the overall health not all about business meetings; there were grouped. In Canada, however, and welfare of all concerned. As it are plenty of fun activities laced into the Canadian Council of Snowmobile turned out, the borders between the

E

continued on page 30

28 JANUARY 2021

MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER


o k s e ril

at e e

present the bags to the thirty-two grant sponsors in attendance and is working on getting enough bags to outfit every piece of equipment before the start of the 2019-20 season. Those responsible for organizing and overseeing this event have gone

Sault Ste. Marie, and when the question was asked whether the event was beneficial and worthwhile, they answered with a resounding YES!

Visit th

MARQUETTE Marquette

a N 46° 27’ 61 1 ” W 87° 26’ 498”

MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER

JANUARY 2021 29


ings. After a brief break for lunch, the national association meetings, as U.S. and Canada were closed in late well as those of the media, tourism March, which would have prevented and administrators, will take place. travel anyway. The evening will be filled with lots of As we look for better days ahead, fun as attendees are treated to an offplans for the 53rd Congress are site trip and a night at the zoo. under way and will be held June On Friday, June 11, participants 9-12, 2021 in Omaha, Neb., with will begin with breakfast and a the Nebraska State Snowmobile motivational speaker, more meetings Association as host. It will be held with interesting issues, and breakout at the Hilton Omaha Hotel and sessions highlighting safety and other Conference Center in the heart of educational topics. The evening’s fun the city’s Old Market Entertainment stuff begins in late afternoon with the District. groomer reception, complete with For those arriving early, the host lots of fun and games and, of course, association has planned a motorcymore adult libations. The Iron Dog cle ride through Loess Hills on June Brigade, “an honorary society ded8. Not sure about the availability icated to the fun of snowmobiling,” of rentals but those riding their own usually holds its formal dinner this wheels can be assured of a fun-filled evening to induct new pups into their day. Some of the other activities closed group. begin on the first (unofficial) day The final day of the Congress, of the Congress with the Friends June 12, will be filled with lots of of Snowmobiling fundraising event interesting activities. The meetings during the afternoon of June 9, today will normally be brief, as the always a day filled with fun, games national organizations finish with any and plenty of libations to quench the outstanding deliberations and hold thirst as the activities unfold. The host their annual election of officers. After association goes all out with their the lunch break, the International welcome reception to round out the Snowmobile Council holds its one evening. meeting, which is basically a wrapOn Thursday morning, June 10, a up and summary of all association full day of interesting activities will and group activities for the past few begin early with breakfast and the days. The evening will feature a banopening ceremonies with the position- quet and awards ceremony recognizing of flags on the podium, followed ing those selected as snowmobiling by a keynote speaker and the rest of family, youth snowmobiler, individual the morning program. Then, after a snowmobiler, groomer, club and short break, the next couple of hours dealership of the year for outstanding will be dedicated to chapter meetperformance from each of the coun-

tries represented. Closing out the evening — and usually into the early morning hours — will be the Thirsty Dogs reception where the new pups are initiated and there’s tons of fun. This is a purely charitable organization boasting more than 6,000 members and raising thousands of dollars over the years through their memberships and donations. So, there you have the plans for snowmobilers from around the world to get together for a series of serious talks, some discussion on what projects have worked and what hasn’t and, of course, plenty of fun activities. Why attend an International Snowmobile Congress? Snowmobiling is a very popular winter recreation of choice and a major economic contributor in every Snow Belt state across the nation, in every province of Canada,as well as Russia and Scandinavia. A conservative estimate indicates snowmobiling now provides more than $30 billion in economic stimulus in North America alone. Snowmobilers can be proud of their part in such an awesome accomplishment. But snowmobiling is not without challenges. Organized programs and activities such as those at the International Snowmobile Congress provide the best answers and solutions to protect and preserve our favorite wintertime recreation. It is this very event that’s dedicated to developing long-range goals and worldwide strategies that can, and will, guarantee access to public lands in future years. Why not consider attending the 2021 International Snowmobile Congress next June in Omaha? It can be a fun-filled weekend and an eye-opening event with plenty of information and interesting topics most folks have never considered. For more information, email isc2021ne@ gmail.com, call Jeff Kracl at (402) 750-2338 or go to www.snowmobilers.org/isc/. •

30 JANUARY 2021

MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER

24 states attend the American Council of Snowmobile Associations meetings. continued from page 28


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And, thealso funky green Limits of the Soo. skinny, and short miles within the CitySoo him. OK, she is13,13,about miles within thefor City OK, she 102 miles of ofhim. a faux paux. Atisfirst, taken.) Seems thathad ve it up to June. that they just dent Martin Cottle, that they justdecided But, when Idecided got season justlittle a bit. season just afive bit. Ipound Summer Picnic. Shime that the hot dogs tasty. Plus, Prince, my stuff marshmallow fluff tasty. Plus, Prince, my cool, in and But, not a him. A Which is pretty Anyway, back onof being sledder Limits of skinny, andhad had short Trails. Including mistook Alexa for ato the Limits the the Soo.9Soo. skinny, short w! Nodid long nap to to move ithair. to each year, many SSA there, Martin told me move itup up toJune. June.was the e- eWhen Iagot Maybe rushing the kind of double got the When Imix Tsu side kick told little five pound Shidownright were also just perfect. littlealso fiveitself. pound ShiA+ for the Soo her. miles within the City him. OK, she is 13, Which is pretty cool, hair. But, not a him. A is pretty cool, in in hair. But, not a him.happily A Whichfriendly. SSA. Martin that they just decided ) Seems that (Whew! long nap (Whew! long naptasty. season just a bit. members always mailmail from SSA from SSA Presitake. Had me a Presireal Plus, Prince, my Tsu mix side kick told me that the hot dogs NoNo Tsu mix kick told Limits of skinny, I watched itself. A+ for the Soo her. Anyway, back toThen, the on being as sledder itself. A+ forthe the Soo. Soo her. move to June. The SSA has three toldand me had thatshort the club taken.) Seems that year, many SSA e- I to When I gotCottle, taken.) 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COPPER HARBOR

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Both trails entering Copper Harbor will land you in the parking lot of The Mariner North, so you can snowmobile straight to the main lodge that houses the restaurant and bar or to your motel room or cabin. All units have an oversized, private whirlpool, and the motel rooms all have a minimum of 2 queens, refrigerator and coffee stations. Our 2-story log cabins have 2 bedrooms each with a queen and twin and sleep six. The kitchens are completely equipped and the cabins are very spacious. Whether ravenous from a full day on the trails with the invigorat-

Trailside Lodge ocated on the main trail system, Copper Country Rentals and Trailside Lodge are your perfect choice for an awesome Keweenaw adventure! Open year-round, we have all the latest powersports toys for the perfect

8

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ild, beautiful, uncrowded, unspoiled. Copper Harbor is all these things. For adventures off the beaten path, the Harbor offers the north bookend of the largest trail system in the state....235 miles of beautifully groomed trails. Keweenaw Peninsula is a snowmobiler’s paradise—trails right to the tip on the shore of Lake Superior, over Brockway Mountain with a view right down the northcoast, and deep through our wild forests where you will find anything but straight and flat. The same lake effect that keeps us cooler in summer, keeps us warmer in the winter than our neighbors to the west and south and contributes to the deep snowfalls averaging 275 in a year!!

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day of outdoor fun. Whether it be snowmobiles in the winter months or UTVs, ATVs and watercraft in the warmth of summer! There’s no better way to enjoy the Keweenaw’s marvelous scenery, natural wonders, varied terrain

ing Keweenaw air or just looking for a light snack, The Mariner North menu is ready for you! Our menu offers hearty, 2-handed sandwiches, a selection of huge salads, homemade soups and great appetizers. The dinner menu boasts Chargrilled Steaks, Fresh Lake Superior Fish, BBQ Ribs and Homemade Spaghetti to highlight a few. Find us on Facebook, Google us at www.marinernorthch@ gmail.com or just give us a call so we can answer all your questions and make a reservation! 1.888.626.6784 (ma-north). •

and hundreds of miles of trails. Just 15 minutes north of Houghton/Hancock and onefourth mile north of the historic mining town of Calumet, we are centrally located, perfect for visiting all the interesting museums, continued on page 32

32 JANUARY 2021

MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER


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continued from page 32

lighthouses and scenic area attractions. Our clean, cozy at-home-feel rooms each feature a microwave, coffee pot, mini fridge, flat screen TV, bathroom amenities and WiFi. We offer stayand-play with the motel and powersports rent-

al package deals and multi-day discounts. Imagine … after a long day of exploring our beautiful Keweenaw, riding right up to your room to relax and unwind, and then waking up the next morning, walking out your

door and being able to jump on your machine for another adventure! Our staff at Copper Country Rentals is knowledgeable of the area and can help map out your adventure. We will ensure you have all you need available to

rent on site, from providing all the apparel, safety equipment and instruction of operation, even the delivery of the machines to wherever you are. Book your room and rentals at www.thetrailsidelodge.com. •

Lake Fanny Hooe Eagle Harbor Inn

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ake Fanny Hooe Resort & Campground in Copper Harbor is open for the 2021 winter season! The Keweenaw Peninsula gets more than 250 inches average snowfall each season and has more than 200 miles of groomed trails throughout the northwoods. Snow usually lasts through March. Lake Fanny Hooe Resort & Campground is directly on Trail #3. There is plenty of room for snowmobiles and trailers to safely park on our grounds. After a long ride, you can relax and admire the beautiful view of the frozen Lake Fanny Hooe. Our motel rooms feature an individual balcony, queen-size beds, cable TV, kitchenette or microwave with mini-fridge, full bath and in-room heat. Interconnecting rooms are available for larger families. Our cabins shaded under spreading white pine trees loaded with snow offer two bedrooms with a double-sized bed

34 JANUARY 2021

in each, living room with dining area, kitchen and 3/4 bath. Each has a large outside deck facing the frozen Lake Fanny Hooe. If you don’t want to cook, we are in walking distance of Copper Harbor’s quaint restaurants, bars, gift shops and gas station as well as Lake Superior. With an annual snowfall of more than 20 feet with temperatures in the mid 20s, Copper Harbor is a winter sports paradise — all far from the crowds. Snowmobiling, snowshoeing and cross-country ski trails depart directly from resort grounds. Downhill skiing and snowboarding are just minutes away at Mount Bohemia, with premier adventure skiing east of the Rockies. The Copper Dog sled race comes right through the resort so folks can root for their favorite dog sled team in early March. Come to the tip of the Keweenaw Penninsula to enjoy the freshest air in the world and the best winter wonderland imaginable. •

I

f you’re looking for expertly groomed trails in a beautiful winter wonderland that offers a warm and welcoming stopover, come and see us at the Eagle Harbor Inn, located in the town of Eagle Harbor on M-26 and just blocks from Trail 130. Eagle Harbor is the name of our town and the name of the body of water that comes inland from Lake Superior. It was apparently named because the harbor’s shape resembles that of an eagle with outstretched wings; other theories (probably more accurate) say it’s because there are actual eagles that fly along the shoreline and rest in the tall pines surrounding our little village. Discovered in the early 1800s, the copper mining boom brought people here around 1840. In 1851, a lighthouse was built to accommodate inbound water traffic. The current lighthouse structure was built in 1871, with lightkeepers manning it until 1980,

when it became automated. The Keweenaw County Historical Society owns and operates the lighthouse, and while it’s not open in the winter, the views of Lake Superior off the observation deck are still worth dropping to see! The light has become a tourist destination and one of the most photographed lighthouses in the country. Eagle Harbor is now more of a quaint resort town, with roughly 50 full-time residents, including us at the Eagle Harbor Inn! We are here even with 300 inches of snow! Eagle Harbor Inn is a great place to stop for a warm bowl of soup, a delicious burger, a hot toddy or even an overnight stay to keep up your energy on the trails. Check in with us at eagleharborinnmi.com or give us a call (906) 2894435. Our cozy atmosphere and friendly staff look forward to your visit and to hearing your tales of the trails! •

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Legislative Update with Sen. Ed McBroom BY STEPHEN KING

I

n December, the Michigan Legislature was again in “lame duck” session, meaning that many legislators were either voted out or term-limited out and this was their last official session as legislators. Normally, this scenario can create quite a bit of chaos. Namely, some of these representatives and senators have legislation they have been proposing for some time. Those who are leaving often make last-ditch efforts to get those bills passed. This creates all sorts of silliness. However, this year, there was no action on bills that involve trail issues. As the session ended, I contacted the office of Michigan State Sen. Ed McBroom, chair of the Senate Natural Resources Committee. He has graciously agreed to assist me every month with bringing you the latest updates on what is happening in Lansing regarding trail issues. In November, they had expected fireworks. In December, not even a fizzle. McBroom’s office said there may have been action on other fronts, but none on trail issues. As you may recall, there were a variety of bills making their way through both the House and Senate. Many involved helmets. Most asked that helmets now be optional for those with a medical reason. Another sought to reduce the fines and penalties for not having proper registration and the like. Still another wanted to designate trail heads as not needing a Recreational Passport Sticker for a person to use them.

36 JANUARY 2021

According to McBroom’s office, none of these were acted on. This means they will have to be reintroduced in the next session. They are dead; they just were not acted on at this time. Another issue was the ongoing effort to have vehicles other than snowmobiles banned from official snowmobile trails during the official snowmobile season — Dec. 1– March 31. Those in favor cite the fact that ORVs tear up trails and are a safety concern. Those opposed argue that one group, even one such as the snowmobile program, should not be allowed to ban other users from state land. There is also a “blowback” bit to this. Namely, if snowmobilers can get a bill passed to remove others from snowmobile trails, then user groups that do not like snowmobilers could do similarly and get snowmobiles banned from certain areas. At the December EUP Citizen’s Advisory Council, DNR Trail Coordinator for the Eastern U.P. Paul Gaberdiel stated there has been more interest on this from Lansing. However, McBroom’s office said they had not heard anything about this. So, at this time, even though many snowmobilers may not like it, other users, such as ORVs, Jeeps, flat-tired bikes and others, are still allowed on the state portion of snowmobile trails. Now, this does not apply to either federal land, where the Feds make up their own rules, nor private land, where the owner decides who can or cannot be allowed on their land.

This also includes commercial forest land. On commercial forest land, the owner usually signs an easement with the state, allowing for snowmobiles to cross. However, they do not have to exclude other users. For example, on my land, I could grant an easement to snowmobiles that allows snowmobilers to build a trail and cross my land. However, if I had an ORV, I would still be free to use my own roads. Personally, if I was told I could not, then I just would not sign. End of problem. Now, whatever your view on this subject, according to McBroom’s office, there was no movement nor has he heard of any forthcoming. In addition, there still has not been much stated about how the recent ballot proposition on the use of funds from oil and gas revenues will impact trail users. I believe this is somewhat on hold until the new session with new legislators starts after the new year begins. From my understanding, the DNR will be the primary agency involved with the distribution of the money. However, unless things get kind of silly, our legislators will be keeping an eye on this and will be very much involved. Overall, the last session of this legislature went out with more of a wimper, than a bang, at least as far as trail users are concerned. But, stay tuned. Unless politics suddenly goes away, there will most surely be more to talk about this in the coming year. •

MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER


tober, 2019

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our time aking in d visiting nd light-

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Snowmoner was es of WI.

season. My husband and I rode in the Cadillac area and the UP from Newberry to Paradise when our kids were young. My husband pulled a sleigh behind his snowmobile with 2 of the kids in it, while i rode two-up with the other. We had many good times with the kids on the trail. Now that we are empty nesters we still love to ride in the Munising, Grand Marais and Seney areas. We

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The Sno-Jet Thunder Jet

N

BY STEPHEN KING ow, many of you may recall part of this because I have related many times that my first sled was a Christmas present way back when from my mom and dad. That sled was a 1967 Sno-Jet. If memory is correct, I am sure it was a one-lunger with about 15 hp. It just flew over the snow at maybe 25 mph. I was 9 and, from my perspective, I was flying. However, Sno-Jet did make a few other models, some used for racing. And, for a while, they were one of the top name brands in snowmobile racing. This month, my vintage sled is the Snow Jet Thunder Jet. (Kind of what my little sled wanted to be when it grew up.) Anyway, for a bit of history on the Snow Jet. Way back in the early 1960s, Canadians Maurice Fillion and Paul Emile Roy wanted to build boats. They started to talk to potential investors. One who showed up at their work site was way more interested in a homemade snow sled the duo had made then their boat ideas. It is important to know that at the time another Canadian, J. Armand Bombardier, had just come up with the first real recreational snowmobile —

38 JANUARY 2021

the Ski-Doo. Prior to that, snow sleds had been these huge motor toboggans. These new “snowmobiles” were starting to take off and the investor saw more potential in a new sled than a new boat. So, Maurice and Paul did a quick 180, totally blowing off the water riders and going with the snow sled idea. By 1965, they had produced 25 of Sno-Jets. By 1968, they were up to about 15,000, and their Sno-Jet was taking off like … well, a Sno-Jet. As the industry started to really take off, so did Sno-Jet, topping out at 30,000 sleds made in 1970. As the 1970s came in, so did about 100 other manufacturers. (I think there were about 250 or more eventually.) With so many of the newbies, Sno-Jet kind of flattened out a bit in sales. But Sno-Jets were a cheaper sled and very reliable. By this time, they were available at a whole lot of dealerships. (About a block from where we lived, we had a dealership called Naubinway Boat and Motors. Dad was friends with the owner. For Christmas in 1968, I got a new sled — that 1967 Sno-Jet.) Now, you must also remember that at about the same time, snowmobile

MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER


through April 15th where same Thursday evening to inThe SAW and DNR Both Friday and Satotons light on... a four-inch snow base following the SAW meetgrooming personnel ot light on...present were urday were split between exists. ing, but at the Kewadin w to read introduced and a brief indoor and outdoor activPrior to adjournment, Casino & Conference rack ail condi-USA description of their re- ities. The first round of Center with reception question asked racing was really starting to take off. 1982, Kawasaki had agotten out Not a good idea ifa you are out was by Track USA

grooming

sponsibilities

to

the

breakout

sessions,

For many manufacturers, one way of the snow sled business and the boondocking. That design would of thesnowmobile aftermarket part program ex- started after breakfast. why the SAW meeting to welcome manufacto get noticed was to win races. Sno-Jetatwasturer no more. end up with that engine cov- held of the aftermarket part numbers Camso (then representatives, was totally no longer ot an offiplained. The remainder After lunch, the breakSo, inCamso 1971,(then Sno-Jet came out with ered in snow. And, the sucking up snow However, they still on sponsors, in the numbers Camplast) produced. grant same location as the vendors, live ch of the of the evening was dediouts were repeated so Camplast) produced. same business we try Thosethe Thunder Jet, a sled made and into places that would give it aworkshop? serimemories people like me who DNR personnel, and all groomer Al- of presentacated to business socializing and everyoneous had anofopporThose same nth continue onewe of tryobjectives designed for to racing. Comparing case indigestion. owned one back in the day. As well, though the present facil- the other interested parobjectives onThis one ofguide the continue family s.ors presnetworking, sponsor to attend each onethese a Thunder Jetwith totomy little sled tunity was make By 1972, new The people that Track USAwith run. Tonyradical Vruwink seatedthey on still live on as one of the more ity was more ties. The guide the family ers. This owned business today. aking a The people that make Track USA run. Tony Vruwink seated onthan older ed to the clubs meetingansnowmobile. face-toofBack, them. Several attenlike comparing Amish horse and designs, Sno-Jet literally blasted collectible sleds.event Thereactivities, are still Kathy Vruwink, Ben had Dahline and Bruce Vruwink. business today. snowmobile. Back, Kathy Vruwink, Ben Dahline e USA. taking a owned it was a huge adequate, including several Track USA knows and Bruce Vruwink. buggy to aDNR Formula 1 race car. off on the raceon circuits. The Thunder a lot of them out there, and theybreakare uced, and face with contacts dees, mostly those Track USA knows cks USA. from theJet at the Top of the en with their tracks inconvenience for those out sessions to instruct The Thunder Jet, with some excellent drivers pilotstill relatively affordable and reliThe business inSoon after the leading snowmobile rtunity fortracks their areas and surthebusicurrent list eligible for their been withto race track, trail from riders,the ars. The branched business inSoon after the busi- ing leading snowmobile attending both able. who, new comers and update them, were winning races. Lots Lake Snowmobile Museum is a evitably into ness started customer rail and tunnel extenrace track, trail riders, or hav- equipment years. what rounding zones replacecross-country, mounathy onthey evitably branched into ness started customer rail and tunnel extenthe ATV/UTV demand ledHonker toments, the de- were sion for which through necessity experienced operaAlso,orwiththe what they managed to of them. Guys Tracks like Adema, who market 1972, withpersonal a 791 cc time Hirth mounontaincross-country, to demo ing to Jim and some utility (well eKathy and the ATV/UTV market demand led to thehas de- USA sion anxious for which Tracks through which they revelopment of what has become tainmotor. and utility (well do trailin racing, the and Thunder Jet stillof the lapped thecheck rest of the field at a race These sleds also had few outside preference, hauled tors, demos over different eshe busi-and they may to100 discuss peculiarities oftheaofget through which they revelopment what has known USAand has wide. become tail world an ultimate variety become industry over 100 different drsthe busiin Peterborough, Canada, went on stands as one of the best race sleds things my little bump jumper did toanthe event, which various equipment, that models) and they are brands. ago. world wide. ultimate variety become theout industry knownbrands eears atago. the their particular the various of erstail models) and they are to win the Canadian Cup Points conever made. Few others have totalnot, like an aluminum chassis and USA happy to share their would run through the e this happy As the resort staff other required either unhookto share their ks toUSA ly dominated racing the way the exlowusual, engine placement (which tractors made test.and with cussnow- knowledge ing and leaving the weekend, again knowledge with cushe snowsin based was on hand to provide grooming gear. This kept Sno-Jet in the public eye. Thunder Jet did. them and go faster on Thehandle goal is better to in the tomers. The goalservice is to nea in the tomers. trailer unattended at one ceeded expectations. dealer excellent with Among the several get the customer lined For race they Then came the mid-1970s with the If you want to see a 1972 Thunder an oval track). sleds, things s, they get the customer lined facility while driving to Committee the right taillights, etc., were known up with head stop in at the Chairman Top of OPEC oil embargo — and the crash Jet in person, with thelights, right me known up like the other, or hoping to Don Reed took track/parts the first anding the Lake Snowmobile Museum in the just extrathe weight, first so they were gone. of the snowmobile industry. Snoutstanding track/parts time around. dge, find adequate for podium to an explain the Jet was bought by Kawasaki. They parking Naubinway. They have excellent Also, the engine was exposed (see time around. wledge, They welcome eservice both vehicle trailer agenda er service They welcome emade sleds until about 1977. But, & one on display. • and scheduling photo). ,ion, great mails, but value the great mails, but value the upon arrival. of activities that would forfor a apernd their theiropportunity opportunity perFrom attendance at take place, and the hope invenvisit byby phone, oror ked inven-sonal sonal visit phone, this meeting, it was obvi- that everyone could find mobile at at their business locaowmobile their business locauded all alltiontion ous that holding the time to attend the varincluded

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Final Meetings 2020

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s the snowmobile season officially began, the final meetings of the Snowmobile Advisory Workgroup and the Michigan Snowmobile and ORV Association finished out the year. Due to the continued coronavirus pandemic and the governor’s order restricting large gatherings, both were conducted virtually. The SAW meeting was held Dec. 3 and the MISORVA Board of Directors met on Dec. 5. Both meetings were open to the public and could be joined either by telephone conference call or via personal computer. Both meetings were very well attended, considering the current circumstances. For the first time in more than 15 years, the MISORVA was unable to meet in person in the Munising/Christmas area. It’s been more than a couple of decades overall that the association has not been at some location in the Upper Peninsula for the snowmobile season kick-off and first ride. As upsetting as the ongoing hassle of mask-wearing and social-distancing requirements as set by

40 JANUARY 2021

BY JIM DUKE

the state health department have been, the most aggravating by far was the ever-present unusually warm temperatures and lack of rideable snow, even if members of these organizations had been able to gather in the area. In fact, just three days prior to the official start to the snowmobile season, the sun was beating down on completely bare ground with a high temperature of 40 degrees — and still no frost in the ground. To make matters even worse, if they could actually be any worse, the restrictions placed on all restaurants and non-essential businesses had most communities throughout the state looking more like ghost towns than the usual busy winter recreational meccas. It was rare indeed to see more than a couple of vehicles at any of the lodging facilities.

THE SAW

This meeting would not only be my final meeting as chairman, but also my last meeting as a member of the workgroup. With introductions out of the way, the minutes of the previous meeting and the agenda approved, the

first action item was the multiple ongoing issues caused by logging operations on or near the designated snowmobile trails as well as damage caused to the grooming equipment by stumps left in the trail right-ofway, an infraction of non-compliance with the contracts for the timber sales. Forest Resources Division Chief Jeff Stampfly addressed the problems and has stated that the issue has been pushed up the ladder to the director for action, if any, and possible penalties to be applied should the stumping provision in the contracts not be performed. It was noted that cost of repairs should not fall on the grant sponsors but should be covered by the violating contractors or at the very least the authorizing agency. Backcountry riding opportunities, trespass and road closures were revisited with several recommendations, including the “know or don’t go” and “ride right” projects already in the works. Ultimately, it is the rider’s responsibility to ride legally and avoid the possibility of trespassing. Many snowmobile trails are permitted to pass through

private property but riding off trail may be a violation of that lease and result in a loss of the trail. Of particular interest was the report from the Equipment Subcommittee and the update on the Mattracks vs. Soucy tracks being utilized by one northern lower grant sponsor, and the update on the possibility of having a Free Snowmobile Weekend where riders may enjoy a day on the trails without the expense of purchasing a trails permit. With the staff updates by personnel of various DNR Divisions and the USFS, a review of the recommended meeting dates for 2021 were discussed. The next scheduled meeting of the SAW is Feb. 6 and the location is to be determined, as well as whether it will be virtual or an in-person gathering. However, the state trails coordinator believes the DNR’s current restriction on travel will still prevail and the meeting will again be virtual.

THE MISORVA

The final board of directors meeting was very well attended. With the agenda set

MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER


With further investi- and headed back to In- With out them I would weaving back h. WOW! gation I found that the dian River. be replacing my SXS a rush! I was ball was still in the I stopped at Burt Lake and trailer. left lane and tongue of the trailer, Marina and got a new So make sure you two cars. I not on the receiver of ball. They mounted it take a look at you ball ould have seen the hitch. The ball had to the receiver for me and chains before your ces. I slowly off right at the and away we went, next trip. and broken approved, standing committee reports were presented to slow down, base of the shaft of and the back to the trailer. And I don’t mean your accepted. It wasmust notedhave that theWe got hooked back wife. the trailer hitball. There membership count is increasing ruck. been a crack in the up daily to the trailer and as more snowmobilers and off-road vehicle riders see the benefits of belonging to the state association. A few other reports offered for consideration included the Midwest Chapter, Friends of the Forest and some proposed fun events from the Recreation Committee, including a possible summer camp out in the St. Ignace area. Among the several topics discussed under pending Action Items were the Watch for the trail markers featured above to direct you to the finest service that the East Bay has to offer! scheduled district meetings with the election or reelection of delegates to the board, and the possibility of hosting a ride for state legislators at some date during the next couple of months, depending on how long 9685 US 31 South the current pandemic might last and Interlochen, MI 49643 whether it would be beneficial to the 231-276-9910 association. It was also a time for the officerselect to accept their offices and look to future meeting dates. The outgoing president announced it was his last meeting to preside over deliberations but said he would continue to be available for assistance where needed in a smooth transition of erent Jerkypower to the incoming president and other officers. It was unclear how lavors many meeting during 2021 may be uth Union St. needed to accomplish the several se City, MIunfinished goals set by the previous 947-6165 board and whether they would be eerings.comface-to-face or continue to be virtual. The date for the first board meeting of the new year has yet to be but will most likely be in nd visit usdetermined either late January or sometime in l Winter February. It is tentatively planned as ort foods. a meeting with a snowmobile ride, conditions permitting. The exact dates and location will be announced once the schedule is finalized. The meeting was adjourned in the early afternoon with the hope that everyone will have a safe, happy and snowy holiday season. •

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Remember When: JANUARY 1991 BY BILL TISRON

A

FROM TOP TO BOTTOM: Snowmobilers have many machines to choose from on a beautiful day the swap meet. Tahquamenon Falls can be seen up close when you come bus snowmobile. Winners flag was held by Rick Zudell and Jerry Bitson of Top Gun Racing II. They took the lead with 4 laps to go and held on for the win. Holeshot racing #5, Jeff Malanska and team #97 Jim Gross run neck and neck in the haze of cold ice.

42 JANUARY 2021

s a rule, January is one of the best months for snow and snowmobiling in Michigan. As a kid who grew up in northern Michigan, I remember storms in the ’70s that lasted days and dumped loads of snow. My dad and I had a 10-horse SkiDoo, and I ran many roads. Not many trails back then, but with all the snow we use to get, roads worked fine to get around. Lots going on in January 1991. Michigan Special Olympics was getting ready for the state winter games to be held in February at Sugarloaf Mountain resort. The athletes look forward to these events each year. This event is still going on now in 2020. Wertz Warriors have a lot to do with Special Olympics now. Drummond Island, always an exciting snowmobiling destination, was gearing up for the rest of the winter events.

The island is a place to plan a visit in both winter and summer. Hard to explain what a unique experience it is. The tree line to Canada is a must in the wintertime. Make plans to visit the island this winter. Jan’s Sport Shop heads its 1st annual swap meet in December and, with more than 300 people attending, Jan said, “It was a great success.” Even though the weather was warm and sunny, with no snow, people still were out to check out the deals. Jan plans to hold a swap meet again next December. North American Snowmobile Festival plans were unveiled. Many new events and improvements on previously successful ones, the 7th annual festival, to be held in Cadillac Jan. 31-Feb. 3, features many new events as well as exciting changes to the many traditional ones. Location for the indoor events had to

MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER


The equipment is the system. Then on to a safely marked througheasy part, but the people wonderful dinner includ- out our trail system. Our dining group was need to have that one ing the salad along with a steak and baked powell impressed with how weekend each year tato, and served right to the tables were set up as when all of our voluntable. your the double tables with teers and groomers get Snowmobilers from all chairs all the way around together at a local estabover the area as well as them aloud for communilishment. They let off a other parts of our state cation without being limlittle steam and have a be moved due to the By to calling ventured toeverything). Whitehall ited just talking to a fine evening of food and that evening to partake growing crowds. The the 800 number you couple of people. Our drink and fellowship. of this wonderful event. group included Randy indoor events can find out about The West Shore Snow- will now Brian made a point to Smith, Jamie mobile be council heldhas atbeen the Wexford accommodations, food Bishop as bring up the fact that well as having Civic a Spring flingwhich can service places and,Dan Center, of and Robin many volunteers do Taylor and Phil and dance every year for as twice accommodate course, trailCheryl and snow many different things. Alvesteffer. And of long as I can remember. as many people Some and volunteers conditions. do course our favorite girl This year was no differis the largest indoor The 1st annual great things for the clubs Carla Buchan out on an ent, the only difference arena in northern Viking 300 was dinner with us, by obtaining the materievening this year was the venue, als that they need to reMichigan. All events held on Dec.since 29. Tom As was gone the Spring fling for 2019 pair bridges or perhaps trout fishing. can still beVetreached piercing winds swept It was truly would be held at the put in a drainage a great evening of food erans by of Foreign wars If you snowmobile. acrossditch. Alexandria, Or one of many other and drink along with post onhave Colbynever streetattended in temperatures fell to a tasks that need to hapsome great fellowship Whitehall. this festival weekend, record low with a wind in order to keep our pen family and friends. with The evening began

IRONS

make plans to this year. chill of minus 62 below. For the ultimate Brutally severe weather in snowmobiling not only took its toll adventure, Newberry on racing equipment, can’t be beat. but also posed Offering miles and extremely dangerous miles of abundant frostbite conditions scenic snowmobile for the drivers as VELTMAN HARDWARE trails and genuine well. Needless to say, 231-861-2442 friendly hospitality, spectator participation is a natural was drastically low due •Newberry Snowmobile Parts • Service • Trail Permits recreational playground to the bitter arctic cold. for Hart-Montague snowmobiling Trail 4736 Local 1st TV St. and- radio On the New Era, MI enthusiasts. This were warning people peacefully little to stay indoors for community eagerly their own protection. awaits the arrival of the But, with all the water snowmobiling season. that was put down With an average and the low temps, the snowfall of 200-plus track was in excellent inches and more than condition. Williams 500 miles of trails, Benner Top Gun Racing you can see many II wins the 1st annual things in the area. The Viking 300 held at Tahquamenon Falls are the Douglas County a day trip away and Fairgrounds. Second well worth the ride, place went to Team with Paradise and Buckler/Meeker Racing Whitefish Point along with Paul Buckler and the way. Jeff Longton. We know Winter vacation the racers all had a planning is now made good time and they easier by calling appreciated everything the Grand Traverse we did for them. Can’t Convention and Visitors wait for next year. Bureau toll free. (Funny Hopefully, it won’t be now we Google as cold. •

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W

ell, here we are in January. Right about the time that we should all be out doing what it is that we love to do — snowmobiling. And what is one of the things most snowmobilers think they absolutely have to have besides the sled … someplace to ride. Already, with the snow just starting to look all nice and the trails starting to look good, I have already been hearing some of the stuff I keep hearing every year. Namely, people complaining about the trails. Recently, I saw some posts asking why a club was out grooming when there was not much snow on the trail. The first post stated something like, “Why are they out there? They ruined the trail. There was not enough snow.” This made me think it was time for another story on the fine art of snowmobile trail grooming. But,

44 JANUARY 2021

The Fine Art of

On this, I want to remind everyone that the people who groom the trails do not have to do this. They can walk away at any time. People who like groomed trails need them a whole lot more than these volunteers need to do this. Then, there is a lot more to grooming than most BY STEPHEN KING people really understand. Years ago, that included first, a bit on the actual money to totally fund me. One of the very first system: For the last few the trail program. There stories I wrote, more than decades, the state has is very little that comes 25 years ago, was one been providing us with from either the state’s about trail grooming. one of the best state-spon- general fund or other sored snowmobile trail sources. Basically, this is a Way back when, I talked my old friend Charlie systems in the U.S., peruser-funded program. Vallier, then working for haps even the world. The state does have the DNR, which at that More than 6,000 miles of guidelines. However, it is time was still in the trail groomed and maintained mostly up to the sponsor grooming business, to trails. clubs to follow them. You allow me to ride with him With this system, we have to remember that for a story. (We did get have about 65 sponsor most of the people who approval from higher-ups.) clubs that do the actual do this are volunteers. Also, I wanted to underwork. They do the groom- Many do not get paid. stand how trails got ing, the brushing and And, if they do, it is far groomed and what affectsigning, and all the rest. under union scale for a ed them. Over the years, The state? They initiated heavy equipment operaI have learned most of those lovely little trail stick- tor. And, there is the old ers we all love so much. saying, “Don’t yell at me! that, so I now feel secure I have enough knowledge This brings in enough I’m a volunteer!” to share with our readers.

Trail

Grooming

continued on page 46

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continued from page 44

One of the very first things I learned was that weather has a huge impact on the trails. You need a lot more than just snow to make a trail. You need the right temps — too warm and the snow turns to mush; too cold and it turns to powder. Neither makes for a good trail. Basically, when it’s –35 degrees out there, the snow won’t pack. However, that does not mean the groomers should stay home. They can get out there and knock down the bumps, but what they leave behind is one very fluffy trail. Back quite a few years ago, I had put together a ride with some friends in the Marquette County area. The night before we were supposed to ride, they got dumped on with about 19 inches of snow. Powder. The next morning, we did not meet a groomer for the first few hours, which is normal. Groomers only move at about 8 miles an hour. Given 80 miles of trail, that would take them about 10 hours. We were having a blast in 19 inches of powder. We were in Yooper heaven. Snow plumes flying off the skis. Huge roosts coming off the back. Awesome. However, with the cold temps, it was basically fluff and was not packing down. Just after noon, we met some other riders. One guy was totally

46 JANUARY 2021

ticked. First thing he said was something like, “These trails are terrible. Why in #$!? are they not out here grooming!” We all just kind of nodded and quietly left his company. He was the kind of snowmobiler who had the idea the trails have to be as hard and flat as a state highway all the time or they will not be happy.

temps were too cold. The same is true for warm temps, only worse. I can remember doing a ride-along with one of my cousins many years ago on a warm day. I couldn’t count how many times Hank had to stop the groomer to knock the snow off the drag. It was totally packing up. After a half an hour of grooming, the drag looked like one

this was the only way we could build a road into some of these areas. Namely, to freeze one down in the winter. Now, there are a lot of other factors involved in grooming. Traffic is another major one. Even with the best conditions, if a groomer puts down a good path and 50 sleds come along right after, you can’t even tell groomers were out there. Let me assure you that these many men and women are usually out there. Usually? Yes, because sometimes equipment can fail, or something might break on a groomer. A club usually only has one or two — and they are about And, if not perfect, there giant snowball and quit $250,000 each. Want should be hell to pay. working. That was temps to dip in your wallet and A bit later, we did meet too warm. buy one for that bit of a groomer. We were Back to my first comtrail you are complaining locals. He was a local. plainer: At the start of the about? We stopped and chatted season, in what seems to So, that was Trail for a bit. He had been out be a very odd thing to a Grooming 101. All you all day but there was little lot of riders, the best way really need to know is that he could do with the pow- to get a good base to a these people are out there der. It was not packing. trail is to actually remove spending their time and We were good and gave most of the snow. working their butts off just him big thumbs up and Seems a bit odd? Well, so you can go out riding. happy faces. it is, but what happens is Instead of whining To my next point: This that if left there, the snow and complaining, show groomer driver was out insulates the ground like a them some appreciation. all day but, with fluff, he blanket, keeping it warm Give them a smile and couldn’t do much. Also, and soggy. Remove that a thumbs up. And, if with sleds out on the snow and the ground you don’t like the way trails, he would go along freezes. This allows the they are doing it, then and pack down the fluff snow to stick better and, volunteer yourself. Find as best he could. But a with the right conditions, out what grooming is all few snowmobiles would you will end up with a about. Climb into that come along and “poof,” very nice trail. cab and head out on the back to powder. An hour I am very sure of this trails. But if you still want or two later, you couldn’t idea because of the many to whine and complain even tell he had been out years I worked in logging. and these people quit, there. In the winter, we often cut just look in the mirror for This was when the in swampy areas because someone to blame. •

The people who groom the trails do not have to do this. They can walk away at any time. People who like groomed trails need them a whole lot more than these volunteers need to do this.

MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER


September 11, 2019 DATE: _________________

We are sending ___ 1 page(s) including this cover page.

aler Listing The Sno Shopper ❄ RATES: 70¢ per word, one time. Minimum per inser- TO: Snow City Attn: Jim Web tion, 15 words, $10.50. Initials, groups of figures ab- PM Page HEARST.qxp_HEARST 8/26/19or12:21 31 Tel: 517-369-2001 breviations count as one word. Display classified rates Email: jim@snowcitymi.com $13.00 per column inch.

FROM: Becky Norman DEADLINE: Merchant5th Maps of (MMI) month prece Fax: 513-874-0800 publication. Tel: 1-800-322-6277 Ext. 450 Set # MI0096

ne time. Minimum per inserDEADLINE: tials, groups ofMail figures or order abis .O. the of your ad as it•will appear on the Map this year. ofproof month preceding 231-53 MI 49727 • (rmh) Jordan, East 417 Box P •5th your to: MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILERHere Please make publication. any necessary changes and fax or email back to me right away. ord. Display classified rates

CLASSIFIEDS Worlds Largest in Used Snow Parts If no corrections are received, the ad will appear on the Map as shown below.

MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER 31

CHIGAN

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