Michigan Snowmobiler & ORV

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NOVEMBER 2021

What’s Inside

On the Fast Track Pioneering snowmobile racer Diane Miller keeps her passion for the sport It’s that Time of Year Pre-season maintenance on your sled can reduce hassles on the trails later A Veteran, a snowmobiler, and a Very Good Friend!

Get your copy delivered to your house Call today 231-536-2371

Visit us at www.michsnowmag.com See page 21 for CHOCO GIVEAWAY!


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What’s Inside

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*THIS CHANGES MONTHLY

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5 EDITOR’S LETTER 6 GAYLORD 10

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR

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LIKE THE BOY SCOUT MOTTO SAYS...

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EAST JORDAN: DEBUTS NEW HOLIDAY EVENT

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DIANE MILLER: ON THE FAST TRACK

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UNDER THE HELMET: TOMMY BAUER RACING

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MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILING COUPLE HONORED

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2020...A YEAR IN TURMOIL

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REMEMBER WHEN...

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A VETERAN, A SNOWMOBILER, AND A VERY GOOD FRIEND

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VINTAGE SLED: POLARIS CHARGER ON THE COVER: MIRA Snowmobile Racing PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Brian Caswell Speedshot Tommy Bauer Race sled

27 MIRA PHOTO GALLERY BY BRIAN CROSWELL/SPEEDSHOT PHOTOGRAPHY

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Michigan Snowmobiler + ORV Magazine.

Gaylord...................7-8 Epoufette................... 8 Elmira......................... 9 Indian River................ 9 Fenton..................... 11 Iron River................. 11 Seney....................... 11 White Pine............... 11 Lake Gogebic.......... 13 East Jordan........14-15 Naubinway............... 17 Greenland................ 17 Calumet................... 19 Twin Lakes............... 19 Houghton Lake........ 20 Sault Ste Marie........ 21 Deer Park ................ 24 Hulbert..................... 24 Cadillac.................... 25 Curtis....................... 29 Paradise.................. 31 White Lake............... 31 Copper Harbor...34-35 Grayling................... 37 Munising.................. 37 Grand Marais........... 38 Manistique............... 39 Silver City................ 39 Strongs.................... 39 Grand Traverse........ 40 Irons......................... 40 Marquette................ 40 New Lothrop............ 43 Newberry................. 43 Christmas................ 46

MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER + ORV • NOVEMBER • 2021

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VOLUME 55 - NUMBER 3 Founded September 1967 30600 NORTHWESTERN HWY. • SUITE 105 FARMINGTON HILLS, MICHIGAN 48334

PUBLISHER Peter Farago EDITOR Ann Drzewiecki ADVERTISING MANAGER Scott Drzewiecki

A Sledder’s Paradise The Algoma trail system consists of over 2,000 miles of groomed trails carved through the rugged Canadian Shield and old growth forests. No traffic, friendly faces, awesome trails and sled friendly businesses.

www.sledalgoma.com

CREATIVE ART DIRECTOR Michelle Sheridan SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR Chelsie Dzabanski WEB MANAGER Kelly Kosek COPY EDITOR/CONTRIBUTING WRITER Keri Guten-Cohen CONTRIBUTING WRITER Jim Duke SALES Chris Sutton DESIGNERS Kelly Kosek, Kaitlyn Schoen, EXECUTIVE OFFICES, ADVERTISING, EDITORIAL AND CIRCULATION OFFICES:

30600 Northwestern Hwy. Suite 105 Farmington Hills, Michigan 48434 231.536.2371 publisher@michsnowmag.com www.michsnowmag.com THE MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER+ORV is an independent publication endorsing the goals of MISORVA, 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 and ORV INC., The Michigan Snowmobiler is published 10 times per year, September through February and May through August.

Call for your subscription today 231.536.2371

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NOVEMBER • 2021 • MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER + ORV


from the editor

S

o glad it’s November. The cooler temperatures, changing leaves, Thanksgiving and on November 11th, I get to say 3 of my favorite words to a few relatives and quite an amazing bunch of folks from my hometown. HAPPY VETERAN’S DAY! These words are easily said, but the meaning behind that phrase is so significant to all of us. Thank You – Always. I hope everyone who reads this article, finds their own hometown heroes later this month and makes

sure that Veteran’s Day is special in some way – each year. Please note our article on page 42. Jim Duke, a career navy veteran, pays tribute to his friend, David Low. David served as a marine during WWII and after returning home became a passionate snowmobiling enthusiast – by accident. We are honored to publish this tribute. Also, please note on page 28, describing the 2021 Snowmobile Hall of Fame inductees. Eight

people where honored including Charlie and Marilyn Vallier of Naubinway, MI. If you are traveling along US2, take some time to visit Charlie (an army veteran) and Marilyn at the Top of the Lake Snowmobile Musuem. They do an incredible job displaying the history of snowmobiling. Quite often, if time allows, they will discuss and talk snowmobiling like lifelong best friends, even after just meeting them. Well worth the stop. As usual, Scott and I had great fun this past month traveling to the Keweenaw Peninsula to find great

stories, talk with our advertisers and bring all that inspiration to you. It was honestly tough to decide which stories to share. So here’s a spoiler alert, we are working on a saddle bag snowmobile story for one of our winter issues. We have so much more to share, we can’t wait for the next issue. As always, if you have any inspiration to share with us, please reach out to publisher@ michsnowmag.com. We love to hear from you. Until next month,

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Gaylord An Alpine village in the lower Michigan peninsula that delivers something for everyone.

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o, what’s the forecast for this winter? We’ve all heard it’s supposed to be a good one with a heaping helping of lake effect snow and cold temperatures that will stop those frustrating mid-winter thaws. While we may not have a crystal ball (or in our case, a magical snow globe) to show us what’s in store over the next few months, we’ve got an annual average of 152 inches of perfect powder backing us up when we say GAYLORD, MICHIGAN OWNS WINTER! Gaylord is known as the Alpine Village, and once you experience our dramatic elevation changes, you’ll understand why. Our inland sweet spot at 1,348 feet above sea level perches us right in the middle of the snowbelt, where we

eagerly await the bevy of flurries we can count on each year. And what does that mean for sled heads? More lake effect snow than anywhere else in the Lower Peninsula throughout the entire season. “Hands down, Gaylord is the best winter vacation destination in Michigan. Our abundant snow, inter-

connecting trail system and limitless amenities makes us a haven for snowmobilers. Not only do we have exactly what you’re looking for on your epic up north adventure, but our area businesses are known for hospitality and will give you the warm welcome you’re seeking after a long day on the trails,” said Paul

Beachnau, Executive Director of the Gaylord Area Tourism Bureau. You’ll find some of the best riding conditions in all of Michigan right in Gaylord. From December 1 through March 31, our expansive trails are expertly groomed and maintained by volunteers with the Gaylord Area Snowmobile Trails Council. The Gaylord Tourism Bureau staff is in daily contact with groomers for the most up-to-date trail conditions and riding reports, which are available 24-hours a day by calling 800-345-8621 or visiting our website at www. gaylordmichigan.net. In fact, our office sits right on the trail, and we can let you know when we’ve seen the groomer pass by! Jerry Beattie, owner of the Sled Shed and long continued on page 8

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NOVEMBER • 2021 • MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER + ORV


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MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER + ORV • NOVEMBER • 2021

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GAYLORD continued from page 6

time Gaylord Area Snowmobile Trails Council member, stated, “Our club grooms more miles than any other in the Lower Peninsula year over year. We have more ER - September, 2019 snow than most areas and high demand for grooming due to the number of sleds riding our trails daily. We’re lucky to have such a dedicated group of volunteers working behind the scenes with the Trails Council and running our groomers.” Not only does our ideal location create some of the best snow conditions in the state, but it also puts Gaylord smack dab in the center of a network of trails running throughout 8 northern Michigan counties. Using Gaylord as

your home base, you can ride epic up north trails in every direction. From our county lines, riders have the convenience of jumping on popular Trail #4 where you’ll head west and meander through the quaint communities of East Jordan and Mancelona. Point your compass east, and follow trails through Johannesburg and Lewiston that zigzag north into Millersburg and Onaway. And don’t forget about our friends in the untamed forests surrounding Frederic and Grayling to the south. Newbies may find this all a little overwhelming, but don’t worry, we have free Snowmobile Trail Maps available through

GAYLORD

our office that will get you where you need to go! If we’re going to pick favorite routes (and you know we are), we’ve got a few to share. One can’t miss option is the North Branch, a seemingly never-ending story of snowmobiling, funneling riders south to Kalkaska’s well-known Blue Bear Trail, west to the heavily forested Jordan Valley and east to Lewiston’s Lovells Trail. To top it off, this sprawling route has multiple connector trails and access to free-range National Guard land that is open to riding. While the North Branch may seem like every snowmobiler’s dream come true, Gaylord has even more to

give. Hit up the North Central State Trail, a former railroad corridor that serves as a popular bike path during the warmer seasons. Ride for 73 glorious, groomed miles through forests, farmland and villages all the way to the Straits of Mackinac. Conveniently stop off to refuel your sled and your stomach in a variety of small communities eager to serve the snowmobile population, then carry on to the Mackinac Bridge and beyond. After putting in all those miles, you’ll be happy to know Gaylord lodging properties cater to our snowmobiling friends. With 21 lodging members, you’ll find the perfect place to rest your head after a day

EPOUFETTE

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ELMIRA

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ALL TRAILS LEAD TO LARRY’S

September, 2019 - MICHIGAN

September, 2019 - MICHIGAN S of parts. Once again in customers. With a vast response customer of With collective of parts.toOnce again in amount customers. a vast request, Tracks USA knowledge andcollective experiresponse to customer amount of developed that dates from request, their Tracksown USA ence knowledge and experiearly 1960’s to the premier products such the developed their own ence that dates231.546.3342 from products as Polaris 1960’s to the premier Ranger productsskid such newest the early Corner of US.131 & M 32 | West Elmira 49730 One of the questions plates, Fender flares, as Polaris Ranger skid newest products was andplates, heatedFender glass. flares, I asked One of Kathy the questions the place Aand whole catalog I asked Kathysmell was heated glass. of does rubber? Her reply ATV/UTV partscatalog is also of like does the place smell A whole ATV/UTV parts is also like rubber? Her reply

INDIAN RIVER

of marathon riding bliss. nesses are conveniently From resort settings to located near one another, tried and true hotel chains including The Sled Shed, and full home rentals with Extreme Powersports They move a lot of The inside, full of a view, we’ve got the best and Mega Powersports. Theysnowmobiles move a lotand of used The inside, full of All NEW places for you to rest beAnd we wouldn’t be the used snowmobiles and ATV/UTV’s as well. Polaris fore heading out for more snowmobiling Mecca of ATV/UTV’s as well. They don’t just sell in winter exploration. Many northern Michigan without Snowmobile They don’t just sell in properties sit right on the rentals, which you’ll find the snow areas of the RENTALS! the snow areas of the trail and you can wake up at Boathouse Marine & U.S. they sell product U.S. they sell product and ride from your front Powersports and Snowall over the world. door. belt Detailing. Finally, hop all over the world. You AD “Our hoteliers are used Outside on and offTrack the trails for gas You can can find find their their AD USA Outside Track USA inin our and to working with snowmostation service, where rec our magazine magazine and bilers and are excellent fuel is, of course, always many many other other publicapublicawas yes, available special at accommodating their with available. Gaylord area was yes, that that even even tions available with special as well tions as well needs,” commented allclothes your their emphasis ononhave their clothessmell smelllike like emphasis businesses IfIfyou of you are are in in need need of Beachnau. “We have evriding needs covered! rubber. They started tires/rims, winches and rubber. They started tires/rims, winches and a track or anything to a track or anything to erything from cozy cabins Whether you’re heading 562 Straits Hwy • Indian River, MI 49749 plows. with just just tracks tracks but but S. plows. do to resorts to modern, our way for awith weekend, dowith with snowmobile snowmobile or call for extended winter hours soon Tracks USA has also soon started selling sellingPlease Tracks USA has also comfortable hotels.” weeklong getaway orstarted off off road road after after market The Gaylord communiin even longer,more much developed a settling much more and and not not stuff, developed apremier premier stuff, give give them them a call. ty embraces single winter andtrack Gaylord has the trails you just snowmobiles. single track snow just snowmobiles. snow Tony, Ben, Ben, Bruce Bruce and Tony, its adrenaline-seeking all the sell They sellhelmets, helmets, Kathy groomer. want, along withThey groomer. Kathy look forward to look forward patrons, so it’s no surconveniences you need to goggles, carbides, carbides, serving your Tracks USA is com- goggles, Tracks USA is comprise you’ll also find an make your trip worthwhile. serving your needs. snow bikeconversion conversion www.tracksusa.com mitted to quality prod- snow bike mitted tothe quality unbeatable network of Ourprodlocation just off I-75 www.tracksusa.com www.ir-sc.com kits and muchmore. more. ph 320-382-6128 uctsOur satisfied amenities youucts need. it easier than evermuch kits and andand makes satisfied ph 320-382-6128 dealerships represent all 4 to get here from virtualmajor brands of sleds and ly anywhere, and you’ll have the latest technology marvel at the snow depth and gear you’re looking increasing the closer you Sales, Parts, Sales, Parts,Service Service Sales, Parts, for. You’ll have no trouble get to our Alpine Village. Sales, Parts,Service Service Sales, Parts, Service & & finding aftermarket parts For more information & Accessories Accessories Accessories & Accessories & Accessories for repairs, along with on snowmobiling in the © TM Trademark of INDIAN RIVER, MI Bombardier Recreational knowledgeable service Gaylord area or to request Products Inc. or its affiliates 231-238-9315 Sales departments ready to get your free Snowmobile 231-238-8265 Service & Parts you back on the trail. The Trail Map, please visit 4879 South Straits Highway www.burtlakemarina.com best part? Most of our www.gaylordmichigan.net ®TM Trademark of 4879OPEN SouthMonday-Friday Straits Highway Family Owned &Rentals Operated since 1969 Bombardier 8:30-5:30 ®TM Trademark of OPEN Monday-Friday snowmobile-related busior call 800-345-8621. • Rentals 4879 South Straits Highway • OPEN Monday-Friday 8:30-5:30 • Saturday 8:30-2:00 Recreational available Saturday 8:30-2:00 Bombardier 8:30-5:30 Products Inc. or Recreational available Saturday 8:30-2:00 its affillates Family Owned & Operated since 1969Products Inc. or MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER + ORV • NOVEMBER • 2021 | 9 its affillates

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sled savvy

It’s that Time of Year

Pre-season maintenance on your sled can reduce hassles on the trails later. BY GABE ADAMS

Mechanic Cody Allen from Lake Ponemah Marina

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W

hen the temperature starts to drop and the flakes start falling we all start to think about winter machines. Planning weekend trips and making arrangements begins to come to our minds first. In many instances, some of the most important planning gets overlooked, and that is your pre-season maintenance. It does not matter how new and technologically advanced your sled is, any machine is susceptible to break-downs. The biggest aspect is catching these issues before it ruins a trip or compromising your safety and control. Snowmobile technology has come a long way in the last 30 years, but the basics have remained the same. First and foremost, fluid levels and condition should be the primary concern. On liquid cooled sleds, it’s important to not only check your coolant level, but also use your eyes and nose around the sled when running to check for leaks. Coolant has a sweet smell when hot or burning, and checking over tunnel coolers and hoses is a must, as overheating on the trail can end a trip almost instantly. It is also important to check around and under the engine for dampness or drips. Engine oil levels should be checked and maintained not only pre-season but also before every ride. On both 2 and 4 stroke models, it is imperative to use a quality engine oil to ensure engine longevity at high rpms.

NOVEMBER • 2021 • MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER + ORV

In many cases with 2 stroke engines, it’s a good idea to replace your spark plugs before the season, and always keep a spare set and wrench on the trail. Chain case oil should also be checked and changed where needed, as many chain case dipsticks and plugs contain a magnet and will catch metal debris as it is shed, and will need to be cleaned regularly. Remember, just a small leak can turn into a ruined trip in a hurry. Checking over electrical systems is also a must. Always perform a battery load test pre-season and check the age of your battery. Small power sports batteries have short lives, and many times fail once the machine encounters a hard cold start. This is especially important if your machine relies solely on electric start. It is important to carry spare fuses and light bulbs at all times, in addition to a few spare electrical terminals, some tools, and electrical tape. Other important items to have on the trail include a spare belt, spark plugs and an extra recoil rope to name a few things. Steering and suspension are other areas that need attention before getting on the trails. With the dwindling help to maintain trails and struggling snowmobile clubs, many trails are not what they used to be and overlooking failed or worn components can lead to issues keeping the machine under control. It can also cause a generally rough and un-


FENTON comfortable ride. Carbides are a vital wearable part that is often overlooked. Worn carbides can cause problems turning, both at low and high speeds. Checking them yearly will prevent damage to skis and ensure a safe ride. Shocks also play an important role in the handling of your machine. Weak or leaking shocks will not support the sled in the corners and can potentially lead to front end damage or tunnel damage in rough riding conditions. In many cases, the shock can be rebuilt, otherwise should be replaced as needed. Among other suspension parts, if equipped, your hy-fax help keep the track moving. When the hy-fax become worn, track and skid damage can occur, which is costly in most cases. They are generally inexpensive and easy to change, and keeping an eye on the wear and replacing as needed will help the track last much longer. Going around and greasing the zerks on the skid is also important along with checking all the bogie wheels for free movement. This is also a good time to check for any missing studs or track damage, and ensure there is no damage to the tunnel cooler; if equipped. Running the sled on a stand will give a good indication that everything is working as it should. This is also a great opportunity to check the track tension and ensure it is within spec. A loose track will cause damage to bogie wheels and the skid. Also check that the clutches are engaging properly and the belt is in good condition. A worn, burnt,

stretched or cracked belt will not last long under power. While it may seem fine running at low speeds, sudden bursts of power can make a belt break and sometimes cause clutch or other damage to the driveline. Spotting a faulty belt before the season and replacing with an OEM or equivalent belt will keep you off the side of the trail. Regardless, it is best to keep an extra belt or two on the machine at all times, and the tools needed to replace it. One last note; your fuel quality is everything. Take a moment to pull a fuel sample into a jar and inspect. The fuel should be clean and clear, and free of any moisture. Even stabilized, the fuel breaks down over time. If your machine has sat for more than a year, drain your fuel and replace with a fresh tank. Premium or recreational fuel should be used in most cases. Poor fuel quality can cause fuel system issues and prevent your machine from running to its full potential. Going over the sled and taking the time to address these areas will ensure a fun and safe season. In many cases, these simple maintenance items can be handled in the garage and are a vital part of season preparation. Nothing is worse than a mid-season breakdown and being held at the mercy of a repair shop. While some issues are un-avoidable, many can be prevented with time and care. • Andy Castles, President Lake Ponemah Marina

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MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER + ORV • NOVEMBER • 2021

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u t o M c S otto y o B Sa e ys h t … e k . i L

Be Prepared! BY JIM DUKE CONTRIBUTING WRITER

E

ven though the season we all look forward to is still a month and a few days away, most of us are still enjoying our alternate source of outdoor recreation but it’s never too early to be thinking about things that must be taken care of prior to the first time we unload our winter toys and take to the trails. Take a page from the Boy Scouts handbook and like their motto says… Be Prepared! I speak from experience on this subject because I’ve been derelict in my pre-season checklist in seasons past and every single time… well, suffice to say there was always some problem that caused a less than satisfactory snowmobiling experience! Let’s not limit our attention to just the snow machines either. The trailer deserves, or better yet requires, a decent amount of mainte-

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nance prior to being taken out onto the road. It’s not only unsafe, it’s illegal to tow a poorly equipped trailer, so better safe than sorry, or so the story goes. A simple checklist similar for both sled and trailer can make the adventure a success if followed and completed, but neglecting even one, seemingly insignificant, item can, and will, come back to haunt at the most inopportune time. The following is suggested basic checklists for each: TRAILER • Tires (Tread & pressure) • Lug Nuts (Rust free & properly tightened) • Bearings (Rust free & greased) • Lights & Wiring (Checked operational) • Decking & tie-downs (Check condition) • Brakes (pads or shoes, rotors or drums) • Trailer tongue & hitch (Safety chains)

NOVEMBER • 2021 • MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER + ORV

SNOWMOBILE • Track (Clips & cogs) • Track (Properly adjusted) • Drive Belt (Checked for wear) • Clutch (Check adjustment) • Oil & Fuel (Check capacities) • Battery & Cables • Throttle Cable & Brake fluids As recently as last week while discussing the resulting repairs to my GMC Yukon with one of the local auto-mechanics, and mentioning that I was putting together information for this article, he suggested we not overlook the vehicle itself, and pointed out a few of the issues he had just taken care of on mine. He said most folks never consider a regular checkup for their tow vehicle other than the usual oil change and lube job and won’t do so until something either breaks or a warning light comes on.

I guess I have to agree since I would not have taken the Yukon in had it not been for the brake sensors squealing and the warning on the dash to have the four-wheel drive system checked. Like so many other items we never really think about, the tow vehicle rarely gets any attention unless the malfunction is serious enough to interrupt our travels. Obviously, up here in the north country rust, and corrosion from road salt, sand, or a combination of the two, can play havoc with the undercarriage and components such as fuel and brake lines, and any exposed electrical wiring harnesses. Almost without fail, the plugs on both the rear of the tow vehicle and the tongue of the trailer will need attention prior to the beginning of every winter season, and sometimes even an additional look-see during those long winter


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jacket or sweatshirt certain- and won’t be cause for any ly can’t hurt sincewestshoreresort.com internal distractions later on. Hopeheat will quickly dissipate fully, the extra blankets and once the engine is turned emergency provisions we off. Yes, whether we like packed in the vehicle won’t it or not, when stalled out be needed or used, but just or stuck in a ditch and it knowing those things are looks like rescue may be a there should ease the mind while in coming, we need and make for a worry-free to conserve fuel whenever experience. possible, and that means As we head into the winshutting off the engine and ter season, taking a page only running it as often as from the Boy Scout’s handabsolutely necessary. book can be the difference Having learned the hard between a pleasant advenway a few years ago, havture or a trip from hell… ing snacks in the vehicle on best to have it and not need such adventures is always it than to need it and not a good idea. A few bothave it…. Like their motto tles of water in the cooler says “Be Prepared” •

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East Jordan to Debut New

Holiday Event BY MARY FACULAK

T

Page 17

he business community of East Jordan will be starting the holiday season with their new event, “Mingle and Jingle”, on Saturday, November 27th. The event will debut at 4:00 PM as residents and visitors gather around the Community Tree to light up the huge tree located at the corner of Spring and Hammond Streets. Following the official tree lighting by Luanne Reed, the Community’s’ longest running Citizen of the Year, and Mayor Mark Penzien the attendees will fill the air with Christmas communities from carols from offer 4:00 PM to orchards, mazes, pumpkin 4:30 corn PM. Participating Businesses throughout patches, art galleries, resale the town will blown be hosting shops, hand glass open houses with special shop, antiques, restaurants and andsales, muchrefreshments more. socializing. The “Jubilee The East Jordan Pumpkin of Trees for 501-C3’s” will Fest will be celebrated on

of Activities

Before Snow Flies!

n Snokicked anning Annual Festival ry 21 – Jordan. wonderval celorthern nd none festiude of owmoantique snow n, food wmobile e. Jordan comes beauty!

be one of the activities taking place that evening at The Boathouse on Lake Charlevoix located at 204 Water Street. Decorated trees will be on display in a silent auction from 4:30 PM t 8:00 PM. Winning bidders will write their checks September, to a local 501-C3 2019 - MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER 17 of their choice and take their trees homeOctober or donate16th Visit Wednesday, our website at itfrom to a family in need, care continues at 8:00 PM with get your card punched 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM www.ejchamber.org. facility, etc. A bake sale, the restaurants and wine at least five times when downtown East Jordan feamusic by the Community tasting businesses “Holyou make purchases at turing children’s games, venBand and light refreshiday Cheer on the Jingle participating businesses dors, business special sales ments will be available at Trail”. Special games, to be eligible for the drawand events, pie contest, face The Boathouse. Restau“carol-okie” and other fun ing. Punched Passport painting and Twister rants will be offering spe- Joe will be found on the “JinCards can be dropped off Northern Favorite cial family Michigan’s dining menus gle Trail” that evening. or mailed to the Chamber Balloon from 4:00Artist PM –plus 8:00more. PM. Get a chance to win a Office at P.O. Box 137, When planning The Jordan Riveryour Artsfall color beautiful holiday basket East Jordan, MI 49727 tour andwill event destinations… Council be offering a FULL of items, certifiKick-off the holidays on makeKitsure East Jordan is Craft to children and cates, local products doSmall Business Saturday, their gift shop belist! open nated by Chamber MemNovember 27 in East Jornumber #1 onwill your Email along their “Member businesses. Pick up dan, for more information or callwith us today for color tour bers Art Fair Sale”. They your “Passport Card” at contact – EJ Chamber routes, area information and are located at 310 Main The Boathouse during the 231 – 536-7351 • more at 231-536-7351 or Street. The celebration event on November 27th, email info@ejchamber.org –

SERVING SERVING BREAKFAST BREAKFAST EVERY EVERY SUNDAY SUNDAY 7 TILL NOON ~ 7am–Noon • DEC.–MAR. 5586 MT. BLISS ROAD | EAST JORDAN, MI DECEMBER 5586 MT. BLISS RD 14 | EAST JORDAN, MI THRU MARCH NOVEMBER • 2021 • MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER + ORV


East Sno- communities The The area isJordan abundant with fall offer from or- When planning your fall color chards, corn mazes, pumpkin tour and event destinations… Blast Committee has kicked foliage and great country off their festival planning patches, art galleries, resale make sure East Jordan is shops, hand blown glass number #1 on your list! Email roads forand scenic meeting the 39th Annualoverlooks shop, antiques, restaurants or call us today for color tour Sno-Blast to get Winter thoseFestival “ahha” and routes, area information and scheduled for February 21 – and much more. The East “oohs” from Leaf Peepers of Jordan Pumpkin more at 231-536-7351 or 23, 2020 in East Jordan. Looking for another wonderall ages! There are Fest alsowillabe celebrated on email info@ejchamber.org – ful family-friendly festival celnumber of festivals and ebration winter in northern eventsforcelebrating Michigan snow and non- the fall snow-lovers alike! The festiseason including…Fall Fest val offers a multitude of in East Jordan at the beautiactivities including snowmobile radar runs, ful Tourist Parkantique located on the snowmobile snow, snow South Arm of Lake sculpture competition, food (All events Makes) ATV and snowmobile Charlevoix – Saturday, Seprides, plus much more. 5586 MT. BLISS RD tember 28th, the 11th Annual In the meantime, East Jordan EAST JORDAN, MI 612 BRIDGE STREET • EAST JORDAN Fall the fall Breezeway Color “owns” when it comes to fall splendor and beauty! Cruises – September 28, OcThe area is abundant with fall tober and 5 &great 12. Cruise foliage country at your roads scenic“discovering” overlooks Snowmobile the beautiful scenic Jordan Valley own and pace all to get those “ahha” and that The C-48 Breezeway (26 for a fabulous riding.experience “oohs” from Leaf Peepers of all ages! long There are alsoAtwood a miles from to number of festivals and Ellsworth to East Jordan and events celebrating the fall “We Own The Fall” Discover our area for the finest season Fest has to on toincluding…Fall Boyne Falls) hiking, fall camping, fishing, paddling, nature preserves, in East Jordan at the beautioffer after you pick up your ful Tourist Park located on the scenic drives, biking, hunting plus more! goodieArm bag offull Lake of tour tips, • South Charlevoix – Saturday, Sepspecial • • • • sales/coupons/swag tember 28th, the 11th Annual from Breezeway businesses Fall Color located Cruises –The September 28, Ocalong Breezeway. Expe824 WATER STREET, EAST JORDAN, MI 49727 tober 5 & 12. Cruise at your the scenicJordan Jordan Valley rience all that the Breezeway Snowmobile Snowmobile thebeautiful beautiful scenic Valley Trail,Trail, own pace “discovering” all forfor a fabulous riding experience. that The C-48 Breezeway (26 a fabulous riding.experience info@theinsuranceshop.net miles long from Atwood to “Visit our Snowmobile Friendly Downtown Area” Ellsworth to East Jordan and on to Boyne Falls) has to offer after you pick up your goodie bag full of tour tips, special sales/coupons/swag from businesses located 231-536-7351 ~ info@ejchamber.org along The Breezeway. Experience all that the Breezeway

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

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| 15


PHOTOS COURTESY OF DIANE MILLER

feature

T

On the

Fast Track Pioneering Snowmobile Racer Diane Miller keeps her passion for the sport. BY KERI GUTEN COHEN CONTRIBUTING WRITER

16 |

NOVEMBER • 2021 • MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER + ORV

alk for any amount of time to Diane Miller and you can easily tell what she’s made of. Hard-working, generous, spirited and loyal, this 79-year-old still exudes the strength of character and mind that made her a pioneering snowmobile racer. Diane broke many gender barriers in this still male-dominated sport. In 1977, for example, she made international history as the first woman to race in the International 500 Snowmobile Race in Sault Ste. Marie — the so-called “granddaddy” of snowmobile enduro races. She also has been inducted into two snowmobile halls of fame. True to her love of the sport, she continues to encourage young female racers to make their own marks on the tracks here in Michigan, Wisconsin and Canada. It was her years on the family farm that shaped not only her determined and competitive spirit, but also her integrity. Her Czech grandparents, who arrived in Ellis Island, bought the 80-acre farm in New Lothrop. Born in nearby Owosso, Diane grew up the only child of Martin and Velma Zubek. Her birth name was Dianna, “but no one has ever called me that but my parents.” “I had no siblings,” she said. “I was it! There was all the farming, the cattle, milking, feeding the chickens, hogs, ducks and geese. There was no one to help me. My parents worked


NAUBINWAY outside the farm. I got supper ready. When they came home from work, everything started. Before I walked to school, Mom and I fed and milked the cows. “ “That’s what all of us did in the neighborhood. I was used to doing things by myself and I was always strong from working on the farm. My upper body strength was there, and my determination was there to pursue things off the farm.” Diane went to high school in Chesaning and was in the first graduating class of the new high school there. “I wanted to be an airline stewardess, but my dad flew planes and had one at the farm. There were too many crashes, so he said no,” Diane recalled. She didn’t go to college but says that at that time the only thing a girl could do was become a nurse, secretary or teacher. “That was it! So, I became a secretary.” She was competitive even then. “I was the fastest in dictation and

typing at 125 words per minute on a manual typewriter. Maybe it wasn’t competition, but goals. On the farm, I completed things and didn’t leave things unfinished. That’s just my makeup.” TESTING THE TRACK After buying two snowmobiles in 1967 and riding for a while, her father introduced Diane to non-sanctioned races and the people who frequented them. Her parents, always important to her, went with her everywhere. By 1970, she was competing in summer grass drag races, winning more than 50 trophies on the K&M Kart Shop team, according to her Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame bio. The next year, she joined Sully’s Chaparrals out of Lansing. Then she won two major class wins in the MISA Invitational riding Sno-Jet sleds owned by Jim Adema. “Those grass drag races cropped up here and there around Clio and they always had a big turnout,” Diane said. She continued on page 18

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| 17


feature

continued on page 17

met her husband, William “Bill” Miller, at one of those non-sanctioned racetracks. He and her father were two of her greatest supporters. “I did Powder Puff races for women, but there weren’t that many girls who raced and often none showed up,” she said. “I would go to an event and there was no one to race against. I couldn’t race, just visit. I went on to winter oval racing from the summer grass drag — again there were just a few women. Then that dwindled. I would travel 1,000 miles up and back to the UP and to Rhinelander, Wisconsin, then there would be no Powder Puff race. We’d turn around and go home. It was frustrating — but then you do something different.” The new strategy was to work within the system. She and Bill had traveled several times to Clare, Michigan, to address the board of the Michigan International Snowmobile Association. “I had brought it up to them several times about

18 |

traveling and not being able to race,” Diane recalled. “Bill raced and I sat and watched. I finally got on the board (in 1973). “I told them enough times that I wanted to race with the guys, that I was tired of sitting on the sidelines. One man I raced said, ‘Let her go ahead and race, and we’ll just run her off the track.’ Then it started. People knew of me and knew I was getting into ovals and cross-country and enduros. “From Day 1, I knew I was fighting for all women,” she said. “I would talk to the women and say your husbands and boyfriends are out there. A few women tried — one in New York and another in Wisconsin, I think. They were wellknown, too. In Michigan, it depended on how far you wanted to go. Each step … there were just a few women. “Men have more upper body strength than women, but I tell (female riders): ‘If you think you have the determination and upper body strength, if you want

NOVEMBER • 2021 • MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER + ORV

to, do it!’ I always tell them that, even today,” she said. As she began racing with men, she says she didn’t really get negative responses from them. “I proved I could race with them. I wasn’t out there to get a name, but for the competition, the fun of the race,” Diane said. “I love snowmobiles and they knew that. Right on up to the I-500, the respect was there and is still there because they are great people, and these are great races.” Husband Bill says there is no problem with women competing with men. “But I couldn’t compete with her,” he offered during a phone interview from their home on the family farm. “She was always ahead of me. I’m proud of her; she’s done a lot.” And she countered, “He’s always been my greatest supporter. He always did all my (mechanical) work for me. That means a lot.” Their oldest daughter, Tina, was involved in racing snowmobiles and minibikes. Her younger daugh-

ter, Tammy, didn’t race, but both have been around it since they were little. So far, none of the grandchildren are into racing, Diane says, but there’s hope for the nine great-grands. MAKING RACING HISTORY As Diane continued opening doors, she competed in higher-level races. In 1972, she qualified for the 100mile Powder Puff Race, where she competed for the first time on the legendary Soo I-500 racetrack. She came in seventh. Because there were few female racers, Miller began competing with men on the winter sprint and enduro circuits, according to her bio in the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame. Also, in 1972, she won first at the Whiskey Creek Enduro and placed second at the Traverse City Mini-Enduro. In 1974, she became the first woman to race in the professional SnoPro circuit in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, leading the pack early in the race. According to the Hall


CALUMET of Fame bio, 1975 was a very successful year for Diane. She won three MISA Class State Championships, was the MISA Overall High Point Snowmobile Champion (men and women combined) and earned the coveted MISA Driver of the Year — and the huge trophy that went with it. But it was in 1977 that Miller made snowmobile history by becoming the first woman to race in the International 500. Prior to that she had been a backup driver for Roger Anderson’s team at the I-500. But, in 1977, she qualified 33rd out of 50 sleds with a blazing time of 75.1 mph. “We drove all night to get to the qualifier the next morning,” Diane recalled. “We got there at daybreak and there had been a storm the night before. We came down one of the hills by the track and the truck slipped over on a high snowbank. I got enough snow out and was trying to push the truck over to get traction and my leg got under the tire. “I went to the ER and I had first- and second-degree burns and all the ligaments were torn from my toes to my knee. I had a really rough time. I was going to have to bend that leg on the running board. It was getting dark. I either had to qualify or go home. I got on it and qualified. No one knew [about the injury]. “When we started to race a week later, the doctor had me wrap it well. I never told anyone — not until now. I thought they wouldn’t let me race.” Unfortunately, mechan-

Roger Anderson

ical trouble forced Diane out of the race at 48 laps. But she still recalls the thrill of that first I-500. “You had to start your own machine out there,” she said. “I didn’t know what to expect because the snow dust made visibility difficult. Driving backup, I knew what it was like. All this is pressing on you mentally and physically, but I love the track. It’s the most prestigious in the U.S. “On the back straightaway you can get over 100 mph. One year, they opened the track for people to take a sled out and get a feel for the I-500. I made sure Bill and the girls did it. You can’t possibly imagine what that back straightaway is like. I liked going that fast. Speed never bothered me. I never had the fear of racing.” Steve Landon of Farwell, co-founder of Winning Edge magazine with his late wife, Sherry, has been covering snowmobile racing for decades. “When I saw Diane racing, she gave the guys the run for their money,” he said. “She was not lap traffic, but a fighter. She stayed right out there. Diane was tough and is a remarkable person with a heart of gold. When I continued from page 20

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NOVEMBER • 2021 • MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER + ORV

RETIREMENT AND BEYOND Diane Miller retired from snowmobile racing in 1983 to care for her father, who had cancer. She may have given up racing, but not her role as an ambassador for the sport. She and Bill began the A-1 Swap & Show more than 20 years ago, and it’s still held the first weekend in November at Auto City Speedway in Clio. The well-regarded event features antique, vintage and new sleds and other snowmobile-related items, and brings people together to swap, buy, sell and talk about snowmobiling. Diane enjoys meeting new people and promoting the sport, especially among young people. The Millers created the A-1 Special Youth Achievement Award to encourage youth snowmobiling. “My biggest, biggest thing is getting the kids involved in events and

snowmobiles, to teach them how to ride in the proper way and to keep them out of trouble,” she said. “They need to know where all this started and where it’s going today. I bring the past along and let people know how it evolved, and let them know lots of businesses, people and manufacturers are involved.” Despite rheumatoid arthritis, Diane still works full time at her A-1 Upholstery business she runs with her daughter, Tammy. The business helped support her racing efforts. Though she had promoted Ski-Doo products, she was not paid; she did get help with parts and with knowledge. “Hard work, determination, positive thinking and goals, that’s what motivates me,” Diane said. “I’ve been asked if I have a bucket list, but I don’t. I’ve done everything I’ve ever wanted to do and I’m still enjoying it. I love the sleds, the sport and the people. I would race today if I weren’t too old. That’s how much I love it.” •


Alexa Peterman & Grandfather, Al Cottle shar a moment over Smores. Yum Yum.

September, September, September, 2019 2019 2019 - MICHIGAN --MICHIGAN MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER SNOWMOBILER SNOWMOBILER 11 Arrowheads Arrowheads Arrowheads andand and oneone one waswas was a photo aa photo photo thatthat that wentwent went nextnext next year. year. year. Dubie. Dubie. Dubie. Looks Looks Looks like like like the the the viralviral viral a couple aa couple couple years years years Anyhow, Anyhow, Anyhow, as of as asJune, of of June, June, trails trails trails will will will be be kept be kept kept in in ago in ago ago featuring featuring featuring an SSA an an SSA SSA the the the SSASSA SSA is looking isis looking looking great great great shape shape shape this this this win-winwingroomer groomer groomer sunksunk sunk in that in in that that good. good. good. Good Good Good membermembermemberter. ter. ter. area. area. area. Then, Then, Then, there there there are are are ship.ship. ship. Good Good Good leadership. leadership. leadership. As for As Asthe for forTrail the theTrail Trail situ-situsitua couple aa couple couple of culvert of of culvert culvert And,And, And, a good aa good good planplan plan to to to ation, ation, ation, Martin Martin Martin noted noted noted projects. projects. projects. Which, Which, Which, if they ififthey they keep keep keepthe the theTrails Trails Trails thatthat that the the the stretch stretch stretch be- bebeworkwork work out,out, out, should should should go go go groomed groomed groomed andand and open. open. open. un-noticed un-noticed un-noticed by by by most most most tween tween tween the the the SooSoo Soo andand and Also, Also, Also, theythey they keep keep keep re- rereKinross Kinross Kinross has has has improved improved improved sledders. sledders. sledders.And,And, And,a membering aa membering membering the the Numthe NumNumgreatly. greatly. greatly. They They They have have have reroute reroute reroute in the in in the the Raco Raco Raco ber ber ber OneOne One Rule: Rule: Rule: When When When fixedfixed fixed mostmost most of the of of probthe theprobprobarea. area. area. Moving Moving Moving a bitaa of bit bit of you of you you have have have a summer aa summer summer lemslems lems in that in in that that area. area. area. As As As TrailTrail Trail just just a just bit. aa bit. Maybe bit. Maybe Maybe picnic, picnic, picnic, you you have you have have to into to ininyou you you maymay may recall, recall, recall, there there there this this this year. year. year. Probably Probably Probably vite vite vitethe the thereporter. reporter. reporter. Thanks Thanks Thanks again again again guys. guys. guys. As As As What What What Martin Martin Martin always… always… always… said,said, said, “Good “Good “Good food. food. food. Good Good Good fun.fun. fun. Good Good Good comcomcomradery.” radery.” radery.”

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Alexa Peterman & Grandfather, Al Cottle shar a moment over Smores. Yum Yum.

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under the helmet

with

Tommy Bauer

owner

Racing

Mike Otto

Who got you into snowmobiling and when; and what was their influence on you with regard to the sport? My brother- in-law Troy Donn was who had gotten me started into racing. I joined his Beaverton Outdoors #30 team in the later 80’s. I worked on the sled’s throughout the week and was a crew member during race day. We won the MIRA points championship and the I-500 in 1990. It was very competitive for many years as it is again in MIRA. When did you start racing and what is your proudest achievement so far on the track? I first started racing my own sled in 1997 for both the MIRA & ICE sanctions. I ran an Arctic Cat. I can’t think of any great achievements as I was just a mediocre driver and that’s why I decided I should be an owner and not a driver. What is your career goal as an owner? My career goals as an team owner are to be competitive, safe and have great team. The top 2 items on my bucket list are to win the Soo I-500 and of course the MIRA points championship. What were the driving factors to start the race team? I had my own team “Team Sanity” for many years which we ran both the MIRA circuit and the I-500. At the later part, before dissolving “Team Sanity” we would use my drivers for the MIRA season and then would take my trailer, drivers , etc. and go to the I – 500 and race under the Tommie Bauer Racing name. I later got out of racing the short tracks and just helped support the #19 Tommie Bauer Racing team for several years where we only ran the I-500. In time our equipment really dated and at that time I decided I would like to reinvest into new equipment and start a team under Tommie Bauer Racing. We switched from Arctic Cat to Polaris in 2015 and haven’t looked back since. My wife Kelly is very much into all types of racing and was very supportive so investing into the new team was an easy sell. We have an awesome crew, set of drivers and the best fan support you could ever ask for. Thank you for our team and fans being part of your magazine. •

22 |

NOVEMBER • 2021 • MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER + ORV


driver

Tyler Nickles

Who got you into snowmobiling and when; and what was their influence on you with regard to the sport? My grandparents, Eugene and Mary Bailey were very passionate about snowmobiling. Some of my very earliest memories in life are of snowmobiling. My grandmother loves to remind me of the time I rode with her on her 1972 Arctic Cat Panther from our house in Traverse City to their place in Mancelona. I was not quite 5 (my birthday is March 15th and it was the winter prior to turning 5) and apparently I drove the entire way. Of course I loved spending time with them but our mutual love for the sport I believe opened the door to my being with them more than I perhaps would have been otherwise. My grandfather was a very intelligent man and he taught me all about mechanics and we would spend hours together working on or just chatting about sleds. I remember once he found a 1972 Arctic Cat Puma for my sisters and I and he was amazed that we put over 1,000 miles on that sled the first winter we had it and it never left out property, I wasn’t even 10 years old yet.

driver

continued on page 24

Cody Bauer

Who got you into snowmobling and when; and wat was their influence on you with regard to the sport? Snowmobile racing has been a part of family since I have been around. My grandpa started the team many years ago. So far, to date the team has competed at 50 out of 52 I-500’s. Between my grandpa and dad racing I would have to say that was my biggest influence in the sport being a 3rd generation racer. When did you start racing and what is your proudest achievement so far on the track? I started racing Pro-Enduro in 2013. Our proudest achievement so far would have to be our World Champion Derby win last year at Eagle River. What is your career goal? My career goal and I believe I can speak for our entire team would be to get an I-500 victory. My grandpa spent alot of years chasing a win there and was his biggest dream to get one. Now that has been passed down to the team and myself. Everyone that is a part of the team works very hard to put us in

a position to win every year. I thank everyone for their effort and hopefully it will pay off for us soon! How did you become part of this racing team? I became apart of this team through my grandpa and dad. After hearing stories of the racing days that they had I was bound and determined to get on a sled. It would then soon become a sport with great passion and love for me. • MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER + ORV • NOVEMBER • 2021

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NOVEMBER • 2021 • MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER + ORV

TYLER NICKLES continued from page 23

When did you start racing and what is your proudest achievement so far on the track? I didn’t start racing until the winter of 2001/2002. Cherry Speedway in Fife Lake was having some ice oval races that year and a very good friend of mine Doug Hicks asked me if I was interested in trying it out. At first I really wasn’t interested, I mean how much fun could it really be to go in circles? But he talked me into it. I had snowchecked a 2002 ZR 800 Cross Country that year so with a brand new sled I tore it apart to make it go in circles and from then on I’ve absolutely been hooked. I would set it up to race the weekends and put it back to trail ride for the rest of the week. I’ve dabbled in several different types of snowmobile racing but nothing even comes close to comparing to the flat out speed of an ice oval. Then factor in that you are on the track with 30 or so other people all going as

fast as you can and for hours on end......nothing else can touch it. I would have to say that my biggest achievement so far would be our win at Eagle River last winter. The history at that track really makes it special. I am also very proud of our win in Caro a few years ago, that being the first enduro win for Tommie Bauer Racing, that was a great feeling. To be absolutely honest though, it really isn’t about the wins for me, it’s about the people and the experience. As I’ve gotten a bit older and have been around the sport longer than a lot of racers that I’m on the track with, my absolute proudest achievement is being asked to be the pilot of the #19 for Tommie Bauer Racing. There is so much work that goes on behind the scene to get a quality sled to the track and all the hours my team spends working on them, ordering parts, fixing the trailer, planning hotel stays not to mention what their families continued on page 26


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TYLER NICKLES continued from page 24

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NOVEMBER • 2021 • MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER + ORV

sacrifice so that we can do what we love, to be the guy that they trust on the sled and the one they want holding on to the bars, the one they think gives them a good chance to win is truly humbling. That is and I’m sure will always be my greatest personal achievement. What is your career goal? At this point my goal is to do this as long as my body will allow and as long as the team will have me. Of course every time we hit the ice we try to win and everyone wants the I-500, that is the granddaddy, but after 20 years everything from here on out is just icing on the cake. How did you become part of this racing team? In 2012 I had to make a few changes in life. I actually walked away from my job and racing (or so I thought) and moved to Alpena. It was time for me to go down another road and further my education. Well at that time I was broke, I had no phone, no computer, I was really kind of at the bottom. I started taking

some classes at Alpena Community College and I would get on the computer in the library and one day there was a message from a friend of mine Mel Winnie. Apparently, the boys at Tommie Bauer Racing caught wind that I was no longer with my previous team and reached out to Mel to hunt me down. Me being a little disconnected from the world at the time made that a little challenging. I am so so happy that we were able to get connected, being a part of the #19 team has truly been one of the very best experiences of my life. I am glad that the question is “how did I become a part of the team” because that is exactly what I am, a part of it. There are so many people that make this team what it is. The driver’s name is what everyone hears but without everyone else doing what they do it would never happen. While I absolutely love being on the sled and living on the edge, some of the greatest moments happen in the trailer or in the shop. We are just a great big family and I love laughing and being around such a classy group of people. •


RACE DAY BRIAN CASWELL

SpeedShot Photography


The Vallier family was on hand to witness the induction of Charlie & Marilyn.

Michigan E Snowmobiling Couple Honored

very September the International Snowmobile Hall of Fame selects a group of snowmobilers and snowmobile minded individuals for induction into the prestigious Snowmobile Hall of Fame which can be found within the World Snowmobile Headquarters building located in Eagle River, Wisconsin.

BY JIM DUKE CONTRIBUTING WRITER

28 |

NOVEMBER • 2021 • MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER + ORV

A BIT OF HISTORY For more than sixty years numerous volunteers, visionaries, and giants within the snowmobiling industry have been recognized for their accomplishments in

winter recreation, generally by the local newspapers or radio personalities near where those individuals called home, but it wasn’t until the mid 1980’s that Mr. Elmer Cone’s long-desired plan of establishing an actual organization to permanently recognize and honor such individuals was achieved. The original location was in Bovey, Minnesota and called the United States Hall of Fame but without a permanent location it was moved to several different venues in Grand Rapids, Minnesota during the early years and renamed the International


esome. Martin and I daughter Alexa. She they also have about hSeptember, commented on really seemed to enjoy 30 Commercial mem2019 they made the move to fact that this Hall was Snowmobile of Fame. the because it already housed for snowmobiles alsodates told traditional tasty bers. Martin make the move. tes The Inaugural induction and displayed several back to his childhood Anyhow, it worked ly tasty ceremony corn for the was held in pretty other good. noteworthy snowbrought me thatwhenathis dad the motreat of summer. out Mar- Howth January of 1990tin with said, the mobiling organizations. home a Huskie (Hus-Ski “We had a rey part first of three summer. ment, 444) they groom ever, Iturn did somewhat inductees beinggood Today, besides the ISHOF, to be shared with his ally out. Edgar Hetteen – Inventor; displays of the Women on seven siblings. That pasSome really good fun. d,d the funky green about 102 miles of ofSnow, a faux paux. At first, the end of Ralph Plaisted –And, Explorer;some the Iron Dog Brision hasn’t yet even begun really good e first part of and C.J. Ramstad – Jourgade, the Thirsty Dogs, the to fade. He met Marilyn stuff shmallow fluff comradery.” Trails. while Including Alexa Not in nalist. June. The thought behind mistook Antique Snowmobile Clubof for a he was in the Army 9 As for me, I got this epicking a date during the of America, and World and she admits that she also over downright course I had to sample miles within thearound City him. OK, she is 13, ing mewinter months was to Snowmobile Championhad never been all of this, in the name s, brats, corn the induction ship Derby Winners and snowmobiles before she y. Plus,incorporate Prince, myjournalistic of integrity, Limits of Charlie, thebut allSoo. and had short b, and ceremonies a few with other win-skinny, the race sleds. met that of course. So, I can Charlie & Marilyn Vallier of marshmalThe Sault Groomer Barn, where ter activities and in northSince that first ceremony soon changed and she e five pound Shisay that But, without ahim. Naubinway, Michigan are both is pretty cool, isin Which not a A a second happens. Here is Dennis Hank o ern Minnesota, doubt they were hair. more than three decades almost as involved today Explorers & Adventurers as that the burgers hought I had Motors, and LeeAnn Izzard. well as Volunteers. guaranteed of having more ago, there has been more as Charlie is. mix side kick told were really good. The itself. A+Over for theCharlie Soo her. out a month than adequate snowfall thanthe 130 inductees the years cornforon cob and was 150 mem the fire for his grand .that Had some snowmobiling activities. other award recipients THE CLASS OF 2021 the hot dogs has accumulated more awesome. Martin and I they daughter Alexa. She Anyway, back to the on being sledder also ssues lately The search forboth a perma- commented recognized and honoredon The 2021 International than 200 snow machines 30 Comm really seemed to enjoy good etook alsoajust perfect. nent location was unsucforthat their contributions to happily Snowmobile Hall of Fame and is an active member the fact this was SSA. Martin friendly. bers. Mart the traditional tasty ose pill botcessful and the really only place tasty snowmobiling, thethe Inductees come from four of the Antique Snowmobile cornand for me that treat of summer. Howuhen, know I I what watched as that was available to housetold Class me of 2021 is no differstates and the Club of America where he early part of summer. that thedifferent club Thesomewhat SSA has three ment, th ever, I did the Hall of FameAnd, eventuallythe ent. Each of the inductees award honorees still serves as a Director. It funky green other about 10 of a faux paux. At first, ,tin’s whenbrother I got Al became no longer avail- has and other award recipients from two different states was always to stuff marshmallow fluff about 60 Family groomers, two Tuckers Celebrates Trails. In mistook Alexa for his adream artin told me able, and in thewas summer also has, in some way, made andhim. a Canadian province. have a museum to display downright miles with OK, she is 13, just decided mer With sted up some of 2009, it was transferred significant contributionsmy to which From our greatand state of ahad his collection as well as tasty. memberships, Plus, Prince, Piston Bully. Limits of skinny, and short t up to lock, June. stock, andlittle barrel to five our favorite wintertime rec- Michigan is Charlie & those on loan from other pound Shiicnic Which is p hair. But, not a him. A shmallows over No long nap Eagle River, Wisconsin reational activity, and I’m Marilyn VallierThey of Naubin- are enthusiasts, and in 2007 Celebrates Tsu and mix side kick told Celebrates translates into about pulling two A+ itself. her. Page 10

WMOBILER - September, 2019

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At first, the fact that this was n for the about 102 miles of of a paux. At first, c. the fact this was long nap. Had some me that at the motreat of summer. HowMartin also told the tasty on marshmallow fluff Martin also told themistook traditional tasty bers. pound Shiawesome. Martin and stuff I cool, look at pill botfluffthere, stuff Which is pretty hair. But, not afor him. ATrails. Trails. 9 Alexa a also look atthose those pill botwSault fluff stuff ault haveIncluding about daughter Alexa. Sheforthey summer. Including 9 in mistook Alexa ament, Trails. Including 9the mistook for a really Martin told me tasty corn forthe they groom ever, I didAlexa somewhat health issues lately really tasty corn for he ut, that at the motreatofofsummer. summer.HowHow-meme that thememmotreat de kick told was also downright commented onthe downright tles. Ifhim. you know what I both itself. A+ for Soo ydownright green tles. 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Limits Martin also told the skinny, traditional tasty short Anyway, back the onof being sledder Limits of skinny, andhad had short Trails. 9Soo. mistook Alexa for atoAnd, Limits the the Soo. skinny, and short ual lookmean. annual of miles the of Soo. and had at those pill botthe funky green ult And, theIncluding funky green toShimove itBut, up to June. about afaux fauxpaux. paux. first,me ound Shireally tasty for the ownright about miles of AtAt first, ust perfect. ound emiles within the City OK, she 13, Which ispound pretty cool, inofofaof hair. But, not him. A that102 at102 motreat But, when Which is corn pretty cool, inShihair. But, not aIisa him. A marshmallow SSA. Martin happily friendly. when Igot little five nic. Picnic. tles. Ifhim. you know what Igot fluff stuff Which isthe pretty hair.summer. But, notHowafor him. ATrails. amarshmallow fluff stuff ince, my kick told early partA+ ofA+ summer. Including 9 in mistook Alexa e kick told Trails. Including 9 cool, mistook for a ament, (Whew! No long nap Limits of the Soo. skinny, and had short watched as itself. for the Soo her. they groom ever, I didAlexa somewhat itself. for the Soo her. sithere, Martin told me The SSA has three told me that the club there, Martin told me the mean. Tsu mix side kick told g the al nd was also downright was also downright ebrother hotShidogsAl itself. A+ the her. And, green Which isfunky pretty cool, in ofhim. hair.Anyway, But, notback aback him. A hot dogs miles within the CitySoo him. OK, she is13,13,about Anyway, the ongroomers, being sledder miles within thefor City OK, she 102 miles of a faux paux. Atisfirst, to to the on the being sledder taken.) Seems that that they just decided that they just two Tuckers has about 60 Family But, when Idecided got kick told .stI perfect. c. me that the hot dogs tasty. Plus, Prince, my perfect. itself. A+ for the Soo her. marshmallow stuffmy mistook tasty. Plus, fluff Prince, Anyway, back onof being sledder SSA. Martin happily friendly. Limits of skinny, andhad had short Trails. Including Alexa for ato the SSA. Martin happily friendly. Limits the the Soo.9Soo. skinny, and short up some toas move it itup totoJune. each year, many SSA there, Martin told me ot to move up June. and a sledder Piston Bully. memberships, which e e-dogs he le the eAnyway, back to the on being watched little five pound Shiwas also downright watched as were also just littleThe five pound Shitoldme methat thatthe theclub club The SSA has three told SSA hasperfect. three miles within the City him. OK, she 13, Which is pretty cool, hair. But, notaisa him. Which is pretty cool, in in hair. But, not him. A A SSA. Martin happily friendly. ows over perfect. that they just (Whew! No long nap (Whew! Nodecided long nap SSA. Martin happily friendly. They are pulling two translates into about members esirother Al Presirother Al al tasty. Plus, Prince, my Tsu mix side kick told has aboutalways 60 Family groomers, two Tuckers Tsu mix kick told has about 60 Family groomers, two Tuckers Limits of the Soo. skinny, and had short Then, I watched as itself. A+ for the Soo her. ched as itself. A+ for the Soo her. move up to June. The SSA has three told me that the club told itme that thethat club The SSA has Shithree taken.) Seems etaken.) Seems that up some e, p I to some ottle, IAl little five seem to have somememberships, which and athePiston Bully. me that hot dogs memberships, which and a pound Piston Bully. oWhich is pretty cool, in hair.Anyway, But, notback aback him. Athe me that hot dogs ther Anyway, beingsledder sledder Martin’s brother Al has about 60 nap Family groomers, two Tuckers to to the on ongroomers, being (Whew! No long sieach year, many SSA over two Tuckers has about 60 Family each year, many SSA ws over blesome Tsu mix side kick told double translates into about They are pulling two translates into about They are pulling two thing to do around the were also just perfect. itself. A+ for the Soo her. were also perfect. memberships, which toasted and a Piston Bully. eyI taken.) SSA. Martin Martinhappily happilyfriendly. friendly. Seems always that SSA. up some members members always me that the hot dogs ealreal a sledder Piston Bully. memberships, which and sa over Anyway, back to the being into about areI pulling two Then, watched as told Then, watched as time translates of themany picnic, so They year, SSA toldme methat thatthe theclub clubon The The SSA three cSSA hashas three le each seem marshmallows also just perfect.over seemto tohave havesomesome-were moe moMartin happily friendly. They are pulling translates into about Martin’s AlSSA. Martin’s brother brother Al always has about6060 Family groomers, two Tuckerstwo al members has about Family groomers, two Tuckers Then, I watched as told thing to to dodoaround the thing around the hey me that the club The SSA has three ,o-they toasted up some seem to have sometoasted some memberships, memberships,which whichandand a Piston Bully. a Piston Bully. time of ofthe so Martin’s brother Al has time thepicnic, picnic, about 60 Family groomers, two Tuckers pic- thing eir to do around the so marshmallows over translates marshmallows over ey pictranslatesinto into aboutand They are pulling about They pulling two two toasted up some memberships, which aare Piston Bully.

Seems in the that building of the World proud hot to announce nominated fromback they rented a buildingon that me thatvery the dogs way, andAnyway, mermany With to the bein mmer With SSA r, Snowmobile Headquarthat one of the inductees the Explorer & Adventurer was previously a laundrowere also just perfect. SSA. Martin happily friendly. Celebrates Picnic Picnic always ters, so names “TheThen, HQ” hails Michigan! and club remodeled it to The SS I from watched as category. toldCharlie’s me passion that mat the mer With somehave continued on page 30 Martin’s brother Al groomers, has about 60 Family o around the icnic toasted up some and a P memberships, which he picnic, so marshmallows over They are translates into about

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fit their needs, but it wasn’t long before they realized the building was too small to do what they really wanted to, so with the purchase of some prime property right off US Highway 2 in Naubinway, they broke ground and erected a much larger building, named it the Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum, and opened to the public in October of 2013. They attend several antique & vintage snowmobile shows and swap meets throughout the Midwest annually and sell snowmobile related items to raise the necessary funding for the museum. They also have a well-stocked gift shop in the museum for that purpose. There are too many accomplishments to name all of them here, but suffice to say that Charlie & Marilyn Vallier are most worthy of selection for induction in the International Snowmobile Hall of Fame, Class of 2021. From our nearest neighbor to the west comes inductees Dave & Joann Smith from Mosinee, Wisconsin. Nominated in the Volunteers & Club Organizers category, they purchased their first snowmobiles shortly after relocating to Wisconsin in 1977. Within a year they had located and joined a local snowmobile club and became immediate active volunteers. Within a couple of years both Dave and Joann were elected to leadership positions, Dave as President and Joann as Treasurer, and Dave became a Director to the Association of Wisconsin Snowmobile Clubs (AWSC). Recognized for their accomplishments at the local level, it wasn’t long before

30 |

Dave & Joann Smith are Volunteers & Club Organizers of Mosinee, Wisconsin

they were also active in state snowmobile activities and Joann has the distinct honor of being the first woman in the history of the state snowmobile association to be elected Vice President, a position she served in for two years and during which time she continued her efforts in membership recruitment. Joann joined the Bombardier Corporation as a project leader in public relations when BRP moved their offices to Wausau. She also served as the SkiDoo representative on the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association’s Public Relations Committee, a position that lasted twenty years until her retirement. Although she is officially retired from BRP, both she and Dave continue to work as independent contractors managing photo shoots and other media projects. Throughout the years, both the Smith’s have remained active in their local clubs, the state association, and at the national level as well making them most worthy selectees into the International Snowmobile Hall of Fame, Class of 2012. A little farther west from the great state of Minnesota is the team of Jim Langley

NOVEMBER • 2021 • MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER + ORV

The Explorer & Adventurer Team of Jim Langley & Clark Dahlin from Minnesota

and Clark Dahlin, nominated in the Explorer & Adventurer category and both are highly qualified, having achieved a journey that most other snowmobilers can only dream of. Beginning in Vancouver, British Columbia in November of 1966 they embarked on an transcontinental expedition that, in just twenty-four days would cover a distance of more than four thousand miles and terminate in Portland, Maine. Because many trails we know today didn’t yet exist and it was anticipated that much of the trip would utilize existing roads where no other options were available, their 1967 Polaris snowmobiles were equipped with the necessary additional equipment such as windshield wipers, turn signals, license plates, additional headlights and tail lights, and even seat belts, all in order to comply with all provincial and state laws. Their journey had many milestones including being the first ever to cross the Mackinac Bridge on snowmobiles and although with today’s technology averaging between 165 and 170 miles per day seems like a small accomplish-

Publishers & Journalists Peggy & Henry Hartman of Hanover, Pennsylvania

ment, 55 years ago it was a groundbreaking feat, and coupled with the inclement weather and minus 40 degree wind chills they encountered along the way, it is an achievement that still stands today. In the years following the completion of the Jim and Clark expedition there has been many attempts to duplicate similar excursions, and all but very few have failed even with the much newer and more reliable snowmobiles, and no one has been able to do what they did again with snowmobiles of the same era. When Jim Langley and Clark Dahlin rode into the Atlantic coast town of Portland, Maine on December 22nd 1966, they achieved a place in snowmobile history and for their remarkable accomplishments, on September 18th of this year they will be inducted into the Class of 2021. In the Publishers & Journalists category is Henry and Peggy Hartman from Hanover, Pennsylvania. These two were both editor and publisher of The Keystone Snowmobiler newspaper, the official publication of the Pennsylvania State Snowmobile Association, for approximately


land owners satisfied as well as getting our trails put in, in a safe manner. Lead groomer driver HEARST.qxp_HEARST 8/26/19 12:06 PM Page 22 thirty years, and had the and induction in the InterOpen for the Steve distinction of being the only national Snowmobile Hall Bell was recogWinter Season withofaFame, periodClass of fellownized for the tireless efBy Andy of Twork publication its kind to of 2021. Near Paradise ship time for stories and forts that he exerts each be printed and distributed Trailhead from the previous2019 and every year in his every month of the entire OTHER AWARDS You know when the laughs 22 MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER - September, • 12 Fully Equipped Log Cabins year. Butbegins this wasn’t Whether it be many hours of grooming. Although not actually snow to meltthe and season. Walking distance to Restaurants & Pub only accomplishment for land satisfied•as inducted into the Internagetting a groomer stuck He owners is still enjoying our the green grass starts to well as getting our trails them, not by a long shot. or being tional broke Snowmobile Hall of down or snowmobile trails even be a nuisance to the put in, in a safe manner. Henry also owned the Fame,having there are snowmoperhaps a fine though hes not Call able toto Reserve: (906) 492-3320 pointdealership where you in need Lead groomer driver www.paradiseshorescabins.com Polaris Ha-to timebile-related organizations out on a snowmobil- Steve ride anymore himself. Bell was recogcut it every week, the 8442 N. Whitefish Point Rd. Paradise, MI 49768 nover where he and Peggy dealerships, and clubs ing aadventure, on nizedWhitehall and Monwith period of either fellowfor the tireless efBy Andy Twork Trail Boss Brian Vanette awards Randy Ackersnowmobiling season is sold and serviced snowthat deserve recognition ship time foron stories and forts that he exerts each our trails the West tague are towns that berg a kind of a "Snowmobiler of the year over. from the mid 80’ mobiles forfrom theirthe accomplishments, laughs previous every year in his You know the shore or on trails else- and support snowmobiling as award" for his efforts in the council this past The work for theonly sea-inseason. to the mid 90’s,when not support, and devotion to be many hours of grooming. snow begins to melt and where inWhether our greatit activities state well as businesses and Snowmobilers, southern Pennsylvania, but snowmobiling year son is not over, preventaa groomer stuck He is still enjoying our the green grass starts to getting of Michigan. contractors thatSkiers donate& Sightseers also throughout northern beyond the local, state, betive a maintenance nuisance to has theto or being broke down or snowmobile trails even These are the people Muskegon, Newaygo The ring leader, Brian Maryland. They were also and even the national level. their time and materials. perhaps having a fine though hes not able to be done onyou all the equippoint where need to from the many clubs that and Oceana county has Open very active their Therefore, the an-anymore out onkicked a snowmobilhimself. Vanett offISHOF the ride As in many cases the ef- 10:00am cutment it every week,local the time andinstored under FULL MENU ing adventure, either on Whitehall and Monthe West Shore aawards trail system they snowmobile club where nually pays tribute to those Trail Boss Brian Vanette Randythat Ackerevening along with forts of their employees form snowmobiling is cover for theseason next few served from 11:00am our trails onachieved the West tague are towns that Henry having national can Snowmobile Council, truly be proud of. berg a kind of a "Snowmobiler of the year over. served several terms Located in Upper Tahquamenon Oscar Reed by recogniz- in making sure that until our months, resting, waiting shore or on trailswith elsesupport snowmobiling as 8:30pm - Right on 45 past as President Penny recognition a sponaward" for his efforts in the council this The work and for the seaand it is because ofState themPark p Trail ing the trail captains from trails are maintained asClosed for upcoming sea- wheresored in our great state award. well as businesses and year son is the not over, did the same aspreventaSecretary. International 906-492-3300 April the different areas in our contractors well as kept and& November thatsafe donate son. tive maintenance has to of Michigan. They always participated The 2021 International These are the people Muskegon, Newaygo The ringThen leader, Brian to aoftheir timemarked and materials. safely throughdone all the equipTheon equipment is the system. inbeorganized snowmobiling SnowmobileonClub the from the many clubs that and Oceana county has Vanett kicked off the As many the efwonderful dinner includtrailcases system. outinour ment stored easyand part, but notably theunder people activities, most at evening Year isalong the Red Arrow form the West Shore a trail system that they with forts of their employees cover for the next few an- ing Snowmobile the salad along& with Our dining group was the Pidgeon Hills club’s ATVinClub need to have that one Council, can truly be proud of. Reed by recognizmaking sure that our Snowmobile months, resting, waiting Oscar a steak and baked powell impressed with how 906-492-3940 | www.paradiseinnmich.com nual fundraiser, the Mason of Townsend, Wisconsin, and it is because of them p each seayear ing the trail captains from trails are maintained as forweekend the upcoming tato, and served right to Dixon Snowmobile Grass sponsored by Woody’s, the tables were set up as the different areas in our well as kept safe and 36 units & ample parking when all of our volunson. Drags Henryisworked by to both yoursupported table. Then on a the the double with safely markedtables throughOUNT Thewhere equipment the DISC teers and groomers get system. RATES with the scoring and Peggy wonderful dinner includMidwest & Western out our trail system. Snowmobilers from all Chapchairs all the way around easy part, but people together at athe local estab- ing the N–THR SU salad along withas Our aloud diningfor group was helped runhave the food booth. overters ofarea the International need to that one the as well them communilishment. They let off a steak and baked po- well with how Henry alsoeach servedyear as a a other Snowmobile Council. Theimpressed weekend parts of our state cation without being limlittle all steam and with havethe a tato, club and served right to the Regional Director was established in tables were set up as when of our volunProperties for sale: ventured to Whitehall the iteddouble to just tables talking with to aWaterfront, VISITRiver IRONS AREA THIS WINTER!!! table. and fine and evening of food and your Front, Road Front & Acreage teers groomers get Pennsylvania State Snow1968 is named for the that evening to partake couple of people. Our Snowmobilers from all chairs all the way around We are an ATV Trailhead — Great Riding. See our website for details. together at afellowship. local estabdrinkAssociation and mobile for U.S. Army’s 32nd Infanover thewonderful area as well as them aloud for communithis event. of group included Randy lishment. They let off a Theyears West Shore several at the Snowstate try Division, made up of partsmade of our stateto cation limlittle steam and havebeen a otherBrian a point Smith,without Jamiebeing Bishop as level and were members National Guardsmen from mobile council has ventured to Whitehall ited to just talking to a VISIT IRONS AREA THIS WINTER!!! fine evening of food and bring upWisconsin the fact that well asofDan and Robin of the International Snowboth and couple Michihaving a Spring fling that evening to partake people. Our drink and fellowship. volunteers do group Taylor included and Phil and mobile Media Council of the WWII Korea thisgan wonderful event.and Randy dance every year forand as ofmany The West Shore Snowattended the ISC for more war eras. It began with only AREA TOURIST many different things. Cheryl Alvesteffer. And Brian made a point to Smith, Jamie Bishop asof long as I can has remember. mobile council been “HIRONS OME OF THE ANNUAL FLEA ROAST & OX MARKET” than twenty years, covering a dozen or so members bring up the fact that well as Dan and Robin Some volunteers do course our favorite girl having a Spring This year was no fling differASSOCIATION many volunteers do activities of the American and has for steadily increased Taylor and Phil and dance every year for as great things the clubs Carla Buchan out on an ent, the Snowmobile only difference Blessing of the Sleds 231.861.2442 different things. Cheryl Alvesteffer. And of Council membership to more than long as of I can remember. many by obtaining the materi- evening dinner with us, “HOME OF THE ANNUAL FLEA ROAST & OX MARKET” thediffervenue, this year wasno course @SNOWMOBILE Skinner Park -&Irons, Associations. many Some414volunteers members indo indi- our favorite girl This year wasTheir ORV MI Jan. 4, 2020 als that they need to the re- Carla sinceBuchan Tom was great things the clubs the Spring fling for 2019 out ongone an ent, the only difference achievements are too vidual, for family, and business Blessing of the Sleds Snow&out date Jan. 18, 2020 PARTS SERVICE pair bridgesthe or materiperhaps evening trout was truly dinnerIt with us, would the Vetthis yearbe was theatvenue, numerous toheld mention, butby obtaining categories combined by fishing. @ Skinner Park Irons, MI Jan. 4, 2020 need toditch. re- since Tom was ofgone ForTRAIL trail PERMITS conditions or up coming in they ayear drainage a great evening food theerans Spring for of Foreign wars alsputthat needless tofling say that2019 they the 2020 that grooms Snow out date Jan. 18, 2020 pair perhaps trout was truly Or bridges one takes of or many would at worthy the Vet-in and fishing. drink Italong with events visit our web clearly are most of put and careother of 65 miles post be onheld Colby street trail conditions or up coming in a drainage ditch. a great evening of food On For Trail erans of Foreign wars that in need to hapsome great fellowship st the Hart-Montague their nomination, selection,Ortasks of trail Oconto County. Whitehall. @ironsarea.com one of many other and drink along with our web post on Colby street in | Newvisit Era, Michigan continued on 32 family and 4736 pen in order to to keep ourpage friends. 1 Streetevents with The evening began tasks that need hapsome great fellowship Whitehall. @ironsarea.com

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The Red Arrow Snowmobile Club had a great group in attendance to accept their award. continued from page 31

Congratulations to the Red Arrow Snowmobile & ATV Club. The 2021 International Snowmobile Groomer of the Year is Don Matheson of Bruce Mines, Ontario, Canada and is sponsored by Arrowhead Groomers, Track Inc., Pisten Bully, Prinoth, Ltd., and SnoBoss Croomers. Don has been a member of the Bruce Mines Sno Glyders for more than forty years and a groomer operator for at least twenty-five of those years. In fact, for the past fifteen years Don has been the Chief Groomer Operator and is directly involved in the training and indoctrination of new grooming volunteers. He is also the person responsible for equipment repair and maintenance, a position he doesn’t take lightly. A true volunteer, Don has never accepted the allotted compensation for his

32 |

Don Matheson of Bruce Mines, Ontario, Canada received the International Groomer of the Year award

labors and has always recommended the funds be donated back to the club. The 2021 International Snowmobile Dealer of the Year award goes to Ken’s Sports of Kaukauna, Wisconsin, sponsored by Snow Goer and supported by the Midwest & Western Chapters of the International Snowmobile Council. Owners Ken and Mary Vander Loop first opened

NOVEMBER • 2021 • MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER + ORV

their small business back in 1968 selling Arctic Cat snowmobiles and have although they still maintain and use the same small family owned & community minded business practices, they have since grown to what is today considered the largest power sports dealership in the entire state. A huge supporter of local snowmobile clubs and the state association, for decades Ken’ Sports has made donations for various fundraising events and has logged countless volunteer hours doing trail work and helped with the grooming. Ken’s Sports has been a major sponsor of the annual Military Appreciation Ride in Eagle River. This business is involved in many other snowmobile related functions, all of which make Ken’s Sports an outstanding recipient of the International Snow-

mobile Dealer of the Year award. The final presentation of the induction ceremony is the Edgar Hetteen Memorial Award of Merit and is sponsored by the ISHOF’s founder, Elmer Cone and family, and also by the Iron Dog Brigade to honor those companies, or individuals that have made significant contributions. This award is specifically named for Edgar Hetteen for his many accomplishments and all he had given in his years of service to the sport. The 2021 recipient is none other than Mickey Rupp, and like those before him, is a most worthy candidate, having been one of the several snowmobile manufacturing giants during the industry’s infancy. He started Rupp Manufacturing with only eight employees to build minibikes and go-karts back in


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• e room •King & Whirlpool Queen Size Cable • Extended YEAR ~ OPEN SNOWMOBILING ON ATION Parking or •Large & Beds Sauna still Size recognized today as Coffee mentary •King & ALL Queen Beds •King & Queen Size Beds ~ OPEN ALL YEAR Cable Internet ON SNOWMOBILING INFORMATION • Extended •Large Whirlpool & Sauna king • Wireless Area Repair d without crossing trails •Large refrig. with Freezer groomed of miles Rooms • Wireless moking •Deluxe Hot Breakfast one of the manufacturing tair Area Internet •Large with Freezer without crossing trailsrefrig. Enjoy miles of groomed •Large refrig. with Freezer •Deluxe Hot Breakfast 3 •King &YEAR Queen Size Beds in a quiet neighborhood Located et.Cable ed ALL OPEN SNOWMOBILING ATION •Large Whirlpool &TRAIL Sauna •DIRECT SNOWMOBILE ACCESS 3 the neighborhood quiet in a~ Located street. a ON iconsMOTEL of industry and YEAR ALL ~ OPEN SNOWMOBILING N •Large Whirlpool & Sauna •DIRECT SNOWMOBILE TRAIL ACCESS YEAR LL •Large Whirlpool & Sauna TERRACE #419 Trail On of M-28. south ocks Internet s ON without trails groomed of blocks •Large refrig. Freezer miles •Deluxe Hot Breakfast #419 with Trail Oncrossing • Next to Gas & Convenient store of M-28. south crossing without trails groomed of • Next to Gas & Convenient store •Deluxe Hot Breakfast why Mickey rossing Coffee Rupp is • Complimentary AD THIS Parking YOUR OFF % • Ample Trailer 3is AD neighborhood quietWITH a YOUR in STAY Located eet. •Deluxe Hot Breakfast YEAR ALL OPEN THIS WITH •Large Whirlpool & SaunaSNOWMOBILE STAY OFF 10% •DIRECT TRAIL ACCESS 3 neighborhood quiet in a •Convenient •Quiet Location •Near Casino ocated Rooms•Convenient • Non-Smoking room • Sauna/Game •Quiet Location •Near Casino •DIRECT SNOWMOBILE TRAIL ACCESS 3 ood this year’s recipient of the #419 Trail On M-28. of south ocks •King & Queen Size Beds Cable Extended • Parking Door At • thout Trail #419 •DIRECT SNOWMOBILE TRAIL ACCESS of M-28. On southcrossing •Gas Next to Gas & Convenient store •Deluxe Hot Breakfast • Next to & Convenient store Internet • Wireless • Heated Repair Area •Large refrig. with Freezer 906-387-2735 906-387-2735 THIS AD Edgar Hetteen Memorial WITH YOUR OFF % 19 3 STAY ghborhood AD THIS WITH STAY YOUR FF YEAR ALL OPEN ~•Convenient ON INFORMATION •Quiet Location •Near Casino •DIRECT SNOWMOBILE TRAIL ACCESS •Large Whirlpool & Sauna • Next to Gas &SNOWMOBILING Convenient store •Convenient •Quiet Location •Near Casino 49862 MI 49862 MI trails without crossing ST. • MUNISING, groomed ST. • MUNISING, miles of Enjoy 420 PROSPECT PROSPECT M-28 - Munising, 49862 M-28 - Munising, MI MI 49862 #419 Trail •Deluxe Hot Breakfast AD Award of Merit. • Next to Located GasLocation & Convenient store 3 • neighborhood a quiet in street. a•Quiet •Convenient •Near Casino •DIRECT SNOWMOBILE TRAIL ACCESS 906-387-2735 www,northstarhotelpicturedrocks.com 906-387-2735 WWW.TERRACEMOTEL.NET www,northstarhotelpicturedrocks.com WWW.TERRACEMOTEL.NET H THIS AD blocks south of M-28. On Trail #419 • Next to Gas & Convenient store •Convenient •Quiet Location •Near Casino THIS-AD OFF YOUR STAY WITH MI 49862 ST. • MUNISING, SPECT M-28 Munising, MI•Quiet 49862 49862 MI 10% ST. • MUNISING, PROSPECT M-28 - Munising, MI 49862 •Convenient Location •Near Casino www,northstarhotelpicturedrocks.com WWW.TERRACEMOTEL.NET www,northstarhotelpicturedrocks.com 5 WWW.TERRACEMOTEL.NET 906-387-2735 906-387-2466 862 M-28 - 420 Munising, MIMI49862 49862 PROSPECT ST. • MUNISING, M-28 - Munising, MI 49862

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lems as well. And, they were happy and having fun. All thanks to the Wertz Warriors. For me, something really hit me deep inside. Ever since that first time, whenever I am having a bad day or a rough time, I think of the “Special” people I have come to know and love. I think of all the things they have had to deal with every

such as Dave White, a videographer, and Wayne Reams, who I knew from the Snow-

1959 in his hometown of Mansfield, Ohio, so when the snowmobile craze came about, it seemed a natural fit that he could also build a competitive brand, and the Rupp snowmobile was born. The first fifty prototypes were built in 1964 and those fifty became the platform for the first five hundred snowmobiles for market in model year 1965. Rupp snowmobiles became instantly popular and by 1969 he was employing more than four hundred employees, producing not only snowmobiles but continuing production of his mini-bikes and go-karts as well. By 1970, Rupp Manufacturing had become one of the most successful in the business, with more than thirty million dollars in sales and producing more than thirty-five thousand snowmobiles. Mickey was his own test pilot, riding and testing all his products along with his employees, and always looking at new ways to improve on his already popular brand of motorized recreation vehicles. Although no longer in

•Large refrig. with Freezer •Large Whirlpool & Sauna •Deluxe Hot Breakfast

08: Mickey Rupp, one of snowmobiling’s early manufacturing giants, is the recipient of the 2021 Edgar Hetteen Memorial Award of Merit.

Then, there was Mark “the Bird” Fidrych, another famous Detroit Tiger.

, MI 49862 NET

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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

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NOVEMBER • 2021 • MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER + ORV

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!! 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 invigorating 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 (manorth). •

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Come Explore Copper Country MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER + ORV • NOVEMBER • 2021

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2020… A Year in Turmoil BY JIM DUKE CONTRIBUTING WRITER

I

n the closing days of the 2019 -2020 snowmobile season when the snow gods had finally relented and was providing abundant snowfall all across the Upper Peninsula, other adverse conditions were waiting in the wings to bring the season to an abrupt halt and cause widespread panic across the state. I refer, of course, to the coronavirus pandemic that has swept the entire nation with more than a million cases of positive proof of the contracted illness and more than five hundred thousand deaths than may, or may not, be attributed to that virus. Beginning in early March when snowmobiling tourism was in full swing, especially in the central upper part of northern Michigan, primarily because that is where the majority of fresh snow was falling in inches per hour and accumulations reaching well into several feet, snowmobile enthusiasts were flocking to the area by the hundreds, and lodging was almost impossible to find. Then for some unknown reason, the deadly and fast

36 |

Of the $270 M in federal gas tax paid by fuel used by recreation vehicles, less than one-third ($84M) is returned to the states. ACSA is working with other motorized recreational groups to increase the amount returned.

spreading virus known as Covid-19 somehow made its way from foreign places into the United States, and ultimately, into Michigan. In efforts to stem the flow, the governor issued an Executive Order effectively shutting down all but essential services and businesses statewide, and demanded all citizens isolate themselves by staying home in a self – imposed quarantine for a minimum of two weeks. Several stipulations, or exemptions, to the rule permitted minimal movement to obtain medications and groceries, to get required medical treatments, but travel was restricted to only as absolutely necessary and promising this would only be temporary. Then came the extensions of the stay at home and keep the businesses closed order, first for another fifteen days, then for another month, all the while those who could work from home remained employed while many others were furloughed. The smaller businesses suffered to the extent that many would be

closed permanently due to lost revenue. Schools were closed prematurely and many remain closed still. The Memorial Day celebrations were, for the most part, cancelled as were the majority of scheduled events and activities across the nation. Michigan was truly a state in crisis! As the days became weeks and the weeks became months, citizens became increasingly restless and began protesting the governor’s authority to keep the states in a modified lockdown. Although most protests were peaceful, some erupted into violence and clashes with law enforcement intensified into rioting, looting and the destruction of property. 2020 was definitely looking like a year in turmoil! It’s been said several times over that snowmobilers are a resilient bunch, and can bounce back from all kinds of happenings, and whether good or bad, that proved true through all this turmoil as well. Many continued to enjoy the late season snows and follow-

ing the “social distancing” guidelines as set by the governor, still found most of the trails in relatively decent condition even though all grooming had been suspended. Through all the negatives, however, there was quite a few positives, and organized snowmobiling continued working for the better days ahead. For example, our state association, Michigan Snowmobile & ORV Association (MISORVA) had been working with state legislators to review and possibly revamp outdated, and in some cases, obsolete laws that pertain to operation of a snowmobile and penalties for violations thereof. Of particular interest was House Bill 5551 sponsored by Representative Alexander (R-64) to decriminalize the improper display of snowmobile registration or trail permit from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction and set the fine of not more than $150.00. Another piece of legislation the state association was interested in was House Bill 5689 sponsored continued on page 38

NOVEMBER • 2021 • MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER + ORV


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continued from page 36

by Representative LaFave (R-108) to decriminalize reckless operation of a snowmobile, failure to present a safety certificate to a peace officer upon request, and operating a snowmobile at speeds greater than is reasonable and proper for existing conditions from misdemeanors to civil infractions with a fine up to $150.00 per infraction. There are several other Legend Explorer House Bills that, if approved 7’ & 7.5” and implemented, would Wide affect snowmobilers and/ or off-road vehicle users. House Bill 5692 sponRepresentative everything from sored thebyfull for Matttracks,Inc, the dinner buffet to the welloriginal track converMarkkanen (R-110) would stocked cash bar. And sions for all off-road veonce the reception con-failure to meet hicles was welcomed, decriminalize cluded, many of the parand although not really safety for snowticipants headed to standards the compatible for snowmoMichigan’s #1 Brand gaming rooms with bile trail grooming, does mobile product certification offer some grooming alhopes of winning at the Best Built. Longest Lasting. ternatives for other applitables or hitting afrom jackpot a misdemeanor to a cations. on the slots. civil infraction, 7 SNOWMOBILE TRAILER MODELSBoth AVAILABLE The SAW and DNR Friday and Sat- The Bill also personnel present were urday were split between decriminalizes Lengths: 17’a– 32’ Widths: 7’, 7.5’, 8’ & 8.5’ introduced and brief indoor and outdoor activ- operation description of their reities. The first round of of a snowmobile without a sponsibilities to the breakout sessions, snowmobile program exstarted after breakfast. helmet to a civil infraction, plained. The remainder After lunch, the breakcurrently aso misdemeanor. of the evening was dediouts were repeated cat ed to socializing and everyone had an opporHouse Bill 5693 sponsored networking, with sponsor tunity to attend each one clubs meeting face-toof them. Several attenby Representative LaFave face with DNR contacts dees, mostly those on (R-108) would for their areas and surthe current list eligible for decriminalize rounding zones or havequipment replacethe improper crossing of a ing some personal time ments, were anxious to to discuss peculiarities of get outside and check street or road by off road their particular brands. out the various brands of vehicles from a misdeAs usual, the resort staff tractors and other was on hand to provide grooming gear. BURGERS, PIZZA meanor to a civil infraction. excellent service with Among the several And there are a couple AND 11 BEERS ON TAP of House Bills that have FRIDAY FISH FRY duplicate bills in the Senate to eliminate the requirement DAILY SPECIALS! of a helmet during snowN 14260 LAKE AVE • GRAND MARAIS, MI mobile and/or ORV use under certain conditions. CHECK US OUT ON FACEBOOK 906-494-2111 House Bill 5776 sponsored by Representative LaFave (R-108) and Senate Bill Bully on display, and Reps to answer ques923 sponsored by Senator Cozy Cabins & McBroom (R-38) for the i s a , r M a ichig nd M an Gra Cottages on ORV legislation and House AIS THIS WINTER! Bill 5780 by RepresentaOne to six bedroom Lake Superior RAIL cabins on tive Markkanen (R-110) za Lake Superior and Senate Bill 922 by Located 1 1/2 miles ap Locatedof 1.5 Grand miles East Marais Fry Senator McBroom (R-38) East One of Grand mile Marais to the for legislation pertaining to 906-287-0001 west of trail 8 ok 906-494-2693 sunsetcabins222@gmail.com snowmobile use. The DNR 1 mile West of Trail 8 gmsccw@gmail.com sunset3@jamadots.com sunsetcabinsmi.net has not taken a position on sunsetcabinsmi.net

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this legislation as yet but, unofficially, the majority of snowmobilers is opposed, simply due to safety concerns. On the national front, the American Council of Snowmobile Associations (ACSA) has been laboring to remain abreast of congressional activities and initiatives, even though the annual sojourn to Washington, DC was cancelled due to COVID-19. Of particular interest to snowmobilers and off-road vehicle users alike is Senate Bill S.3422 titled the “Great American Outdoors Act” which has been introduced, debated, voted on, and passed with 73 yea & only 25 nay votes. It is now in the House for consideration. If approved, it will provide up to $1.9 billion annually to work toward resolution of backlogged maintenance and improvements on public lands. One other piece of noteworthy news coming out of the Capital City pertains to the long struggling Federal Highway Administration and efforts to reauthorize their Surface Transportation Package. The House Transportation Committee has taken up the issue and has voted to advance a five-year surface transportation reauthorization to the tune of $494 billion dollars. This reauthorization is part of a much larger $1.5 trillion infrastructure package that encompasses much more than just roads, highways, and bridges. It includes such non-transportation items as education, housing, clean water, and broadband, but considered essential to getting it moved forward. In the Senate, a bi-parcontinued on page 40


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tisan bill of a modest $287 billion transportation funding specifically for roads and bridges passed unanimously, but instead of accepting it, according to Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), House Democrats removed Republicans from the process, and wrote a strictly partisan bill that places bus and rail networks above road and highway repairs on the priority list. Additionally, included in the bill is provision for building charging stations for electric vehicles along most U.S. highways which, they say will put the United States firmly on a path toward zero emissions. As a reminder, the Recreation Trails Program (RTP) is a major source of funding to the states for trails development and maintenance and is a small portion of the federal gasoline taxes returned to the states for that purpose. The total amount is divided with 30% to motorized use, 30% for non-motorized use, and 40% for use on multi, or dual, use trails. The current bill expired in September of 2020 as scheduled. (Recommend insert of Scan 0025-RTP) Finally, those familiar with the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) knows that it provides a forum for state partners from across the nation to come together, discuss issues and common concerns, and work to ensure a positive future for the off-highway vehicle community. The Board of Directors takes this obligation seriously and would, under normal conditions, have held their 2020 annual conference to facilitate the nominations

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and elections. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference did not take place and has been postposed until sometime in 2021 when it will be held in Knoxville, Tennessee. According to Board Chairman, Dan Kleen, consideration to hold the elections in a virtual venue would be cumbersome and too difficult to oversee so, after much deliberation, the elections have been postponed as well and the current Board of Directors remains in place until everyone can meet again in person. He went on to say that until such time NOHVCC can do so, the Board will continue to keep everyone apprised of all things OHV related through their communications, website and webinars, with assurance that they will continue efforts to create a positive future for OHV recreation. In summary, what began as a short period effort to stem the spread of a virus across the nation expanded from a couple of weeks to a month and on through most of the year, shutting down most small businesses, generating massive layoffs, and creating hardships for hundreds of thousands of citizens. What was considered essential to livelihood, and to keep the nation afloat remained open, but many forced to close would never recover and have since gone bankrupt. So far, this year, with exception of the first couple of months, has been somewhat of a big disappointment… let’s hope the last few months will be better, because 2020 in the eyes of the majority, has truly been a year in turmoil. •


remember when ...

PORTRAIT:

Jan Hemptom

N

ovember marks the beginning of season and right there ready to dash off the line at the drop of the first snowflake is Jan Hempton. “I have always competed in some kind of sport, but never found anything quite so exciting as snowmobile racing. The people make the sport what it is,” she said. Jan has raced the snow and grass circuits for several seasons now and has a considerable amount of prize money and collection of trophies to show for her efforts. In 1970 she bagged the MISA Class A summer drag trophy and followed it up in winter of 1970-71 with a Class A championship, becoming the first woman to win the MISA overall high points title in Class A events. With the 1970-71 Motor City Classic in her column, Jan went on to gather up a total of 18 firsts, including several outstate victories. Factory awards from Rupp include the Rupp state championship in 1970-71 for which a ruby ring was awarded and the Rupp national championship in 1971-72 for which a two-carat diamond ring

was awarded. Jan’s husband, Dan, also finds time to race a bit and is race team director for Jan’s Sport Shop, located in Goodrich. They are Yamaha and Rupp dealers. The Sports Shop racing team includes two brothers, one sister, kids, in-laws and friends — everybody races — a total of 12 families traveling in four motor homes and four campers. “Summer drags,” says Jan, “keep up enthusiasm for snowmobiles, and should be held where the largest audiences can be drawn to increase publicity.” She would like to run some endurance races and go to a few biggies like Rhinelander and Ironwood, although they plan to run mostly MISA. “A word for women’s lib: When we have the same number of racers in a class, such as many of our classes did and equaled the men’s in size at the series, we should receive the same prize money. Our 400 class had more machines than the same 250 class of men, yet we received less than half the prize money. Men

had a consolation run ­— women did not. Women do hold the attention of the crowd.” “At the world series the juniors and women ran heats and semis on Saturday night until dark. This was all that was scheduled. The crowd did not thin. Women were scheduled for early Sunday morning, and the crowd gathered early. If we can draw a crowd at our endurance races we will have won a victory for women’s races. A problem has been that we are divided much too thin between too many races. This is what made East Jordan such a great race for women. I believe some of the best women drivers are gathered together at East Jordan, right here in lower Mich-

igan. I have been third once and runner-up twice to the overall trophy and it is an accomplishment that is a great challenge. We need more such races for women. The Grand Prix is thinking about a woman next year along with their Prix champion. MISA is talking of endurance races for next year and it is a great challenge to the powder puffers. I want to wish them all a great year. We had so many great new drivers last year, I’m thinking of letting my daughter take over.” Jan’s daughter, Janell, is 13. Her brother, Brad, is 11. Horseback riding and swimming help Jan keep fit between race dates while she is teaching sixth grade English at Goodrich School. •

MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER + ORV • NOVEMBER • 2021

| 41


salute to our veterans

A Veteran, a snowmobiler, and a Very Good Friend! BY JIM DUKE CONTRIBUTING WRITER

A

short time back I was asked by the publisher if I knew any veterans that enjoyed the sport of snowmobiling and I said, without a doubt I knew many that fit into that category. I was then asked to begin the process of picking one, just one, to highlight as a Veteran of Snowmobiling in an upcoming publication of this magazine. My mind was overflowing with friends that had made snowmobiling an active part of their lives since either retiring or being discharged from the military and came up with more than twenty, but in keeping with the original charge, needed to select only one. My pick for the first of maybe a continuing series was none other than a close friend and snowmobiling companion well known throughout the worldwide snowmobiling community… Mr. David Low of Wayland, Michigan. David and I have been friends far longer than either of us care to remember, but we will agree

42 |

that it’s been more than twenty years anyway. The first thing I can remember about our meeting was that many of the other riders in our group were calling him dad, which I felt strange doing since I was already eligible for Social Security myself. David is, in fact, ten years my senior which places him in the mid-ninetyyear bracket, but to this day he still has a passion for snowmobiling that outshines the majority of other, younger enthusiasts and his riding style disguises his age quite well. David was born in Hebron, Illinois in 1927 and says he pretty much had a normal childhood considering the turbulent times of the depression era. At just seventeen years old, he began his tour of military service during the dark years of WWII when he joined up with the U.S. Marine Corps in 1944, and served honorably for two years, being discharged in 1946. Although he didn’t see combat, he says he’s thankful every day for President Truman’s

NOVEMBER • 2021 • MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER + ORV

David Low, a young Marine ready to serve his country. Circa 1945

decisions back then, and recounts how he was standing ready to board the troop ship for transport to the warfront with Japan when his orders were first delayed, then changed, and eventually canceled. Once the conflicts were over and his return to civilian life was somewhat back to normal, he found work at a number of odd jobs, mostly as a salesman for various commodities, including Fuller Brush. For several years he sold baby apparel for Baby Bliss, a company that he even-

tually purchased, thanks to the investments of four friends and the trust of a bank for the initial outlay of funds. The years following proved to be very profitable and provided him with a comfortable lifestyle. He sold the business after just five years, however, he wasn’t ready to retire, and embarked on a few other enterprises, some successful and some not so much. In his latest endeavor, he purchased a small number of travel trailers and opened a rental business. He says at the time renting an RV was a


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popular way for families joined the local club in to go on vacations and Wayland and the West (810) 638-5146 • (810) 845-0547 he always had a backlog Michigan Snowmobile 14 MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER - October, 2019 Kevin Gross of folks wanting to rent. Council and eventually Grossmowersales.com Although the business served as President of has somewhat run its both organizations, but 2314 Ditch Road, New Lothrop, MI 48460 course in recent years his volunteerism didn’t due to banks offering low end there. PROJECTS interest loans and most David has a passion BIG TO SMALL folks opting to purchase for snowmobiling that LICENSED, rather than rent, Lows RV few can emulate and has INSURED & BONDED Rentals is still in business distinguished himself as LICENSED SEPTIC today for those that wish one of the most active CHOKO AND THE MICHIGAN SNO FIELD INSTALLER to rent a travel trailer, but volunteers the Michigan MAGAZINE DRAWING - ENTER MARTIN SCHAEFER, OWNER LAND CLEARING is in the hands of his son, Snowmobile Association BUILDER LICENSE #242100261 Men’s & Ladies Choko BARNS FROM SITE - 2-piece Sui since David has retired (now MISORVA) has ever PREP TO FINISH 248.807.6178 cell and is enjoying his goldknown. He is tenacious Name______________________ ms.construction8989@gmail.com DEMOLITION en years. in all efforts he puts Mailing address______________ David says he became forth and has served the interested in winter recCity________________Zip_____ snowmobile association reation quite by accident and his community in Phone______________________ and when snowmobiles numerous ways over email_______________________ ® were becoming popular the years, and has been back in the mid to late recognized with many To qualify to win just ONLY ONE ENTRY PE 1970’s and when citizen awards and accolades, • Free hot, fresh • Snowmobile Mail or Fax t The womens Snowmobile Suit winner was complete the information on this page. and healthy Rentals band radios were popincluding the American breakfast Michigan Snowmobile Winners are responsible for any • Large indoor Kim Fredenberg of Wayland, MI. ular. As his story goes, Legion’s Certificate of • Free Wi-Ficosts and hotno tub P.O. Box 41 shipping or transportation he had a small business Meritorious Service and Get your • Snowmobile East Jordan, MI enjoy taking our time I would like to thank cash equivalent be given. selling electronic items in 2007 he received the Trailwill Access money’s worth. Fax 231-536-7 and a customer wanted on the you for the ChokoVeteran of thetrail Yeartaking award in Deadline for entries January 11th 2020 NEWBERRYMICHIGAN.NET to trade him a snowmofrom the City of Wayjacket and bibs. It the sights and visiting bile for a CB radio. IHe where he has lived and lightlooks great! look for-land,waterfalls Quality Inn & Suites says he knew nothing most of his adult life. His houses. ward to using it on the 13954 State Hwy M-28 about snowmobiles but military service may have snowmobile rides nextbeenThanks Newberry, MI 49868 he considered it a good of shortagain. duration, 906.293.3218 tradeseason. and the rest is but Kim he is Fredenburg a proud veteran history. My He says he took none the less, and he husband and I Book your room with us a ride around serveSnowmoas The to mens rode in the theyard Cadillaccontinues today at ChoiceHotels.com and he was hooked. Commander of his local bile suit Winner was area and the UP from Since that first day, he American Legion Post in Joel Michigan. Reeves of Newberry to ParadiseWayland, has owned and ridden several different Franksville, WI. when our brands kids were Other awards include, The faster way to rewards. Sign up today at ChoicePrivileges.com. and models and believes but certainly not limited young. My husband all four snowmobile to, Michigan Snowmopulled a sleigh behind “Clean comfortable room manufacturers today bile Association’s 2009 “Clean comfortable room his snowmobile with 2 at reasonable rates” are producing a good Snowmobiler of the Year, at reasonable rates” of the in it, whilethat i association’s Pres• Free Extended product, butkids his personal preference is Ski-Doo. rode two-up with theidents Award in 2008 Continental906.293.4000 Breakfast RESERVATIONS: From the onset David and again in 2015, and • Free Wi-Fi other. We had many 888.315.2378 saysgood he wanted to get the Lion’s Club Interna• FREE Extended • Indoor Pool, Whirlpool, Sauna times with the Continental Breakfast involved and take part tional Centennial Award EMAIL: • Trailer parking trail. kids on • FREE Wi-Fi in making thethe sport of Now in 2017. Most recently, newberryabvi@gmail.com 906-293-4000 • Indoor Pool, that we asare snowmobiling greatempty David was received the redlion.com/newberry.com Whirlpool, Sauna 888-315-2378 Reservations: as henesters possiblywe could. still He love toAmerican Council of 12956 State Route M-28 - Newberry • Email Trailer Parking : newberryabvi@gmail.com continued on page 44 ride in the Munising, www.redlion.com/newberry.com MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER + ORV • NOVEMBER • 2021 | 43 Grand Marais and 12956 State Route M-28 - Newberry New & Used Lawn & Garden Tractors & Equipment Snowmobile, UTV, ATV Repair

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At 87 years old Low became a charter member of MichCanSka, a snowmobile club dedicated to raising funds for diabetes research.

David Low today, proudly showing off his MSA jacket.

continued from page 43

Snowmobile Association’s 2019 Snowmobiler of the Year Award at the 51st International Snowmobile Congress held in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has not let his age get in the way of having fun and not only keeping pace with the pack but in some instances surpassing it. For example, when, at 87 years old he became a charter member of MichCanSka, a snowmobile club dedicated to raising funds for diabetes research and did so in 2010 when, on February 15th, fifty-four snowmobilers embarked on a 4000 mile charity ride from Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan to the pre-planned destination of Tok, Alaska. David says the journey was not an easy ride, but it was what he thought it would be the adventure of a lifetime, passing through four time zones, four states, four Canadian provinces, the Yukon Territory, and ultimately arriving in Tok on the eve of March 8th. Then Michigan Governor Rick Snyder issued a Special Tribute in recognition of the club’s achievement, not only for completing such a grueling journey, but for raising more than one-hundred thousand dollars in the process. In my recent interviews with David, I asked if that Michigan to Alaska

44 |

trip was all that he had expected and he said it was, but he later took part in another MichCanSka charity ride in 2015, dubbed the “World Tour” where he and six other club members departed from Cadillac, Michigan where they logged more miles in air travel than they did on snowmobiles, but both exceeded the mileage achieved on the Michigan to Alaska ride and they passed through 12 time zones before they were done, riding through six countries including the United States, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia finishing their “World Tour in Murmansk, Russia. Although more-low key, David participated in a Michigan to Maine snowmobile trip with the MichCanSka group a few years ago, and he also completed a trip west in 2019 to ride the mountains from Yellowstone, Montana to Idaho, quite an accomplishment for a gent in his 90’s. He’s been called the “John Wayne of Snowmobiling” by many folks he’s encountered in all his years of snowmobiling, always with a smile and a very courteous demeanor, always willing to help in any way he can and says he’s not ready to put the sleds in mothballs just yet. After three days of our

NOVEMBER • 2021 • MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER + ORV

Michigan to Tok, Alaska Q talks, many questions and almost as many answers, we both agreed that this little bit of insight about David would have to go unfinished, not because we covered everything, but because if we tried to put his entire story in print, it would require many more pages than this magazine can offer. In fact, to cover David Low’s many years of life and all his adventures would be more volumes than those of the Encyclopedia Britannica. May-

be stretching it just a bit, but we could probably fill a shelf or two at any store around today. David says snowmobiling is but one chapter in his very active life and although he has had a few trips of a lifetime already, he’s still looking to find a few more. His time as a veteran is a part of his past but his time as a snowmobiler continues to just get better and better, kinda’ like that Energizer Bunny, he just keeps going! •


PHOTOS BY SCOTT DRZEWIECKI

vintage sled

Polaris Charger BY ANN DRZEWIECKI

I

n this story, we are introducing Mike, an avid snowmobiler with Autism. Autism hasn’t slowed Mike’s passion for vintage Polaris snowmobiles and we’re sure you will enjoy hearing about his work. When Mike was 11 years old, his Dad was working at TV5 when a co-worker asked if he wanted to test ride a Polaris Charger. Mike’s Dad really liked the way the sled rode and how it looked. So in 1971, he bought his first charger from Northlin Sales & Service in Kawkawlin. After meeting with Mike, I can just imagine walking into a 1970’s dealership and picturing the pristine Chargers, sitting on a Northland trailer – just ready to be pulled home by the family Suburban! Of course every good dealership had a big display of snowmobile suits, helmets, gloves and boots. We may chuckle at the old style of clothing now, but many of us can remember dreaming of just the right combination of sled and clothing. I can just picture Mike’s dad, driving home with that first Charger, thinking

Mike and his fully restored Polaris sleds

about turning around and getting the second one… all while planning to take his wife and two sons on their first ride to Sand Lake. Mike’s family enjoyed the weekend with family friends and a nearly perfect 30 degree day ride in deep snow. As Mike was describing the ride, I couldn’t help but imagine some of the deep woods bon fires that went along with rides just like this one. Someone always packed a few marshmallows, chocolate and

graham crackers for a trail s’mores snack break. Then it would be back on the sleds to continue the journey. And, well let’s just say it was always good to pack a snack, because just about every type of 1970s sleds were notorious for needing a repair or two along the trail… if ya gotta stop, might as well make the best of it and create a couple great memories along the way. Mike had such great memories of the family trip, that as the charger began to age and the paint began to fade, he decided to restore the Charger to its former condition. Mike’s restoration process took about 3 years to tear down, clean and repaint. He was determined to take his time and do it right. What a great way to pay tribute to his Dad’s memory. The process paid off and the two one owner Chargers are now a stand out when on the trail. People can not believe how well they both look and the incredible amount of maintenance and care that has gone into keeping the Chargers in showroom style. In 2015 after completing the rescontinued on page 46

MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER + ORV • NOVEMBER • 2021

| 45


continued from page 45

toration, Mike reached out to the family that sold his Dad the Chargers all those years ago. The owner of the Northlin Sales and Service shop had passed away and the shop closed, but his wife was very glad to hear from Mike and his family. It meant a great deal to her that Mike still had not only both Chargers, but the trailer and bill of sale and other documents from that day all those years ago. She told Mike that he had made her day by calling

and letting her know how her husband’s business had made such a unique difference in Mike’s life. As you read this article, I hope you were able to picture a dealership you visited as a kid. For me, there was an Arctic Cat dealership just 5 miles from our house. I can clearly remember the smell of the shop, the dark paneling on the walls and the light colored floors. When I walked in and looked off to my left

there was (in my mind) the biggest parts counter ever created, then straight ahead was the Panther. One of my all time favorite sleds at that time. Hanging just above the sled was the most amazing matching black snowmobile suit that had many, many little kids dreaming of the day – one of those sleds might make it home to their yard… Hope you had a memory of your own to enjoy as you read our story! And, if you need more in-

spiration, make sure to stop into the Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum in Naubinway. The museum is located along the north side of US-2 and is a great spot to stop in and see the history of snowmobiling come to life. Make sure to say hello to proprietors Marilyn and Charlie. They do a great job making vintage and classic snowmobiling fans feel at home checking out all the displays. •

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CHRISTMAS Visit Christmas, Michigan

White is at located at ofthe of the White Pine Pine LodgeLodge is located the head the head Snowmobile/ Snowmobile/ATV Trail 7 in Christmas, MI. In the heart of ATV Trail 7 in Christmas, MI. In the heart of Michigan’s Upper Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Christmas the center of Peninsula, Christmas lies in the centerlies of inAlger County, AlgerasCounty, known as "The Snowmobile Capital ofWith the known “The Snowmobile Capital of the Midwest.” Midwest." WithWPL all it'soffers amenities, WPL offers convenience to all it’s amenities, convenience to travelers of all travelers of all types. Whether it be trail riding, street riding, types. Whether it be trail riding, street riding, photography, site seeing,oricerock climbing or rock picking on Lake sitephotography, seeing, ice climbing picking on Lake Superiors Superiors beautifulWPL beaches, WPL48offers 48 clean and comfortbeautiful beaches, offers clean and comfortable able rooms, deluxe continental breakfast, oversized hot tub rooms, deluxe continental breakfast, oversized hot tub and free WIFI. Onsite is also a 24/7 gas station and c-store and free WIFI. Onsite is also a 24/7 gas station and c-store shop, beer, liquor, ATV/Snowmobile supwithwith giftgiftshop, beer,wine wineandand liquor, ATV/Snowmobile plies and gear. WPL is located within walking distance of In C hrist mas, MI supplies and gear. WPL is located within walking distance Foggy's Steakhouse andand Kewadin Casino.            of Foggy’s Steakhouse Kewadin Casino. 46 |

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CLASSIFIEDS Worlds Largest in Used Snow Parts

All Years, Makes & Models 802-487-1000 New Parts, Tracks, Slides, Carbides, AlsSnowmobile.com Studs, Helmets, ATVparts.com Pistons, Gaskets, A-arms, Rebuilt Cranks, Engines and Replated Cylinders in Stock September, 2019 - MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER 31

MICHIGAN’S LARGEST CYLINDER EXCHANGE!

ECKHOFF’S e Sno Shopper ❄

Re-plated cylinder exchange, cylinder boring, crankshaft and engine rebuilding for all makes and models of snowmobiles, PWC, Outboard and I/O engines, AND acres of salvage machines and parts.

Hildebrand Marine and See Doo Clinic

www.snowmobilecylinders.com

DEADLINE: 5th of month preceding publication.

Burned Down? Call us first and save!

Advertise Here!

Call 231.536.2371

298 South Fremont Road Coldwater, MI 49036

7 • East Jordan, MI 49727 • 231-536-2371

Cylinder Exchange Program

gest in Used Snow Parts 802-487-1000

BILE NG ction ces ices SO s .com 2001

Arctic Cat - Polaris AlsSnowmobile.com ATVSki-Doo t - Yamaha

517-238-5955 or 517-238-2828

Cylinder - Replating, Boring, Sleeving Pistons - gaskets, etc...

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

We now stock Pro X pistons

Daily UPS shipping! - Quick Turnaround!

THINK 320-354-4874 Email: eckoffs@tds.net 3330 Co. Rd. 40 NE New London, MN 56273 Hours: M-F 9-5pm

SNOW

USED SNOWMOBILE PARTS 1970 to 2015 WE SHIP DAILY B & K Motorsports 12576 Vermilion Road -Amherst, OH 44001

440-965-4912

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We accept credit card orders by phone.

231.536.2371

ONE YEAR /6 ISSUES $15.00 TWO YEAR S /12 ISSUES $25.00 Canadian subscriptions add $19.00 per year

SEND CHECK OR MONEY ORDER TO: Michigan Snowmobiler & ORV 30600 Northwestern Hwy. Suite 105 Farmington Hills, MI 48334 or go to www.michsnowmag.com/subscribe


Designed to aid in keeping you afloat and mobile in the event of an unforeseen water emergency.

Choko D esi gn

WWW.CHOKODESIGN.COM


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