Michigan Snowmobiler November 2020

Page 1

November 2020



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Piston Bully: Making Tracks and Smooth Trails Pg 12

A Day in the Life of a Snow Groomer Driver Pg 14

Chippewa Snow Chasers Getting Trails In Shape For Winter Pg 18

Vintage Sled of the Month: John Deere Spitfire Pg 40

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WHAT’S INSIDE Visit Our Town Ads for Your Snowmobile Vacation This Winter


Editor’s Letter


Piston Bully: Making Tracks and Smooth Trails


A Day in the Life of a Groomer


Chippewa Snow Chasers Getting Trails In Shape For Winter


Seney Snowmobile Association Helps Sponsor Lumberjack Festival


Chasing the Snow


ISHOF - Honoring Snowmobiling Heroes!


Copper Harbor: A Destination for All Seasons


Remember When: November 1990


Vintage Sled of the Month: John Deere Spitfire


Senate Helmet Update


Gaylord ................................... 5-7 Grand Marais .............................. 9 Iron River .................................. 10 Paradise .................................... 10 Lake Gogebic............................. 11 Munising ................................... 14 Cadillac ..................................... 17 Christmas .................................. 17 Strongs ..................................... 19 Indian River .............................. 21 Seney........................................ 23 White Lake ............................... 25 Hulbert ..................................... 28 Grand Traverse ..........................32 Manistique ................................ 33 Sault Ste Marie .......................... 33 Newberry .................................. 35 Grayling .................................... 36 Curtis ........................................ 37 East Jordan..........................38-39 Calumet .................................... 41 Irons ......................................... 41 White Pine Area......................... 41 Houghton Lake .......................... 42 Naubinway ................................ 43 Marquette ................................. 46 Silver City.................................. 46

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www.michsnowmag.com MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER




Peter Farago


Ann Drzewiecki






HEARST.qxp_HEARST 8/26/19 12:03 PM Page 20

20 MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER - September, 2019

quite enough to cause idea of a messy divorce out of my head. a rush to buy them. Now, when you first More or less. I noticed glance at it, it looks like there was no tail light. a basic sled from that Now, if you have a reera. Then, one of the ally fast sled… Not a first things that sticks problem. But, from out are the handle what I have read, this bars. They really are was not that sled. For unique. Because, they the 440cc version, it are in the shape of a was supposed to go butterfly. Now, my first about 60mph. Fair for reaction was, “Well, back then. But, a magthat is just cute.” azine that tested it Then, my second could barely get it bethought was, “What if yond 50mph. For comyour hands got stuck parison, my 1974 in those when it was Rupp got to about time to part company 70mph. As tested by with the sled. Like, following a friend’s car crash for a while. very pricy sled. It was when landing a jump on a snowcovered Which means I get to a totally good idea. and things go kind of back road. (Kids-Do By Stephen King keep doing this col- And, the sled had silly. Me? I had a not try this at home. Heh, all you lovers umn every month. some truly unique fea- pretty good dismount. For a whole bunch of of old sleds, we are Which I enjoy, be- tures. Only problem But, had this huge vi- reasons.) Then, there into yet another year of cause I can actually was that the general sion of me wanting to was a larger version Michigan Snowmobiler remember a good public never really fell part company with the that was supposed to Magazine and Vin- many of the sleds I in line with the idea of sled and the sled not go about 80mph. tage Sled of the write about. Even re- paying a whole lot wanting out of the rela- Didn’t see how that Month. One of my fa- member riding on more for a sled that tionship. Like a few of one panned out. had a couple of kind of my other relationships. Now, the sled was vorite things to do as a quite a few. cute additions, butInot Then, I also can’t I got made by theTANK Boatel writer. I know, there’s 146 REAR SUSPENSION WITH OVERLOAD SPRINGS REARNext, HARDafter CASE WITHtheAUXILIARY FUEL I HEATED DRIVER AND PASSENGER SEAT the racing, and the start another year without mentioning the High School sports, and following around late great Bud Knapp. many of our politi- He was a mentor and cians. But, month friend. I was so lucky after month, one of the to have known the things that I enjoy man and called him my friend. He was truly doing is this column. That is because I my inspiration for this am getting to be column. And, I will something of an an- state for a fact, that I tique, myself. Skis will never live up to the going all flippy floppy. mark he set. But, each Head lights starting to and every month, I will 146 REARdoSUSPENSION my best to WITH enter-OVERLOAD SPRINGS I REAR HARD CASE WITH AUXILIARY FUEL TANK I HEATED DRIVER AND PASSENGER SEAT fog up. Engine starting to miss a beat. Not to tain, inform, and enmention the problems lighten you readers with the exhaust. But, I about every sled I 989-684-9872 keep on heading down write about. This month, I have that Trail. No rusting 3636 S. Huron St. 3636 S. Huron St. | Bay City, MI 48706 away in the garage for picked the 1971 Grand Bay City, MI 48706 www.stevenscycle.com me. When the time Prix. This was somewww.stevenscycle.com comes, I want to go body’s really good

Vintage Sled of the Month 1971 Grand Prix







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out, on the track, flying over a huge table top. But, hopefully I won’t take that big

idea that did not quite pan out. Namely, they wanted to hit a higher price bracket with a


3638 S HURON RD BAY CITY MI, 487062023 989-667-0880 www.stevenscycle.com /// YAMAHAMOTORSPORTS.COM

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


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

Franklin Place 29200 Northwestern Hwy. Suite 114 Southfield Michigan 48034

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

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300 Miles And the start

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

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

Sled Shed

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GAYLORD A WINTE 1.888.sledshed WONDERLAND! GAYLORD AREA ACSA989.731.2858 FLY-IN sledshed@sledshed.info TO DC PLAN A VISIT THIS WINTER! www.sledshed.net ““

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


just get together again after an extended ab•Pole barn work shop • Sled storage available 989-732-5081 sence. The purpose of 9603 Old 27 South - Gaylord www.heartlakecottages.com the event is three-fold, first to provide an opGAYLORD portunity for face-to• I-75 a meetings the OPEN HOUSE OPEN HOUSE OPEN 6 DAYS Aface WEEK - CLOSED of SUNDAYS 989-7 Chapters, and sec2 Storage Locations OCTOBER 25-26-27, 2019 back in 1999, when By Jim Duke OCTOBER 25-26-27, 2019 800-6 provide a likeCheck for hours most of our federalOPEN leg- ond, 6website DAYS A WEEK OPEN 6wise DAYS A WEEK opportunity HOUSE - OCT. 2017 27-28-29,for that time www.alpinelo On April 27th of this islators at OPEN the full Council Board wondered who in UPS Indoor pool, s year, the S. American DAILY UPS | DAILY DELIVERY 2646 Otsego Ave.wejust Gaylord, MIDELIVERY 49735 to meet and discuss the heck were and Full Council of Snowmobile sledshed@sledshed.info sledshed@sledshed.info common interests and what could we possibly restaura Associations members 1/4 north of I-75 Exit 279 www.sledshed.net any nation-wide conwww.sledshed.net gathered in Washing- want? But let’s not get Hot Complim cerns. ton, DC at the Marriot ahead of ourselves, Sunday morning alResidence Hotel & the event is a full ways begins early with Conference Center for three-day affair and a hearty breakfast and lunch, and an after- ture, NOVEMBER 2020 MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER chock-full of activities Department of In-5 the annual Fly-In event the first of the day’s noon rest. from dawn to dusk! terior, Federal Highas a majority of snowThe actual Fly-In ac- meetings commencing Monday mornings way Administration, belt member states promptly at 8:00AM begin in much the the Forest Service, tivities starts with an have done for the past



Snow, Baby,

Snow! W

hile we love all four seasons in Gaylord, Michigan, it goes without saying that winter holds a special place in our hearts. For approximately six months each year, we find ourselves blanketed under a hefty helping of SNOW. And, after wrapping up a sun-drenched summer and a picture-perfect fall, we’re ready to see the white stuff falling to the ground again. “Hands down, Gaylord is the best winter vacation destination in Michigan,” said Paul Beachnau, executive director of the Gaylord Area Tourism Bureau. “Our abundant snow, interconnecting 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 also are known for hospitality and will give you the warm welcome you’re seeking after a long day on the trails.” Gaylord is known as the Alpine Village and once you experience our dramatic elevation changes, you’ll understand why, he says. Our inland sweet spot at 1,348 feet above sea level perches us right in the middle of the snowbelt, where we eagerly await an average of 152 inches of snow 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. You’ll find some of the best riding conditions in all of Michigan right in Gaylord. From Dec. 1 through


March 31, our expansive trails are expertly groomed and maintained by volunteers from 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 800345-8621 or visiting 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 longtime Gaylord Area Snowmobile Trails Council member, said, “Our club grooms more miles than any other in the Lower Peninsula year over year. We have more 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 eight 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 #7 that runs straight up the middle of our

beautiful state, connecting into the Upper Peninsula with a quick transfer from Bridge Authority. Not feeling quite that adventurous? Maybe Trail #4 is more your style — start out by branching west and meandering through the quaint communities of East Jordan and Mancelona. If you’re up for it, point your compass east and follow trails through Johannesb urg and Lewiston that zigzag north into Millersburg and Onaway. A nd don’t forget about our friends in the untamed forests surrounding Frederic and Grayling to the south. Newbies may find this all a little confusing, but don’t worry; we have free Snowmobile Trail Maps available through our office that will get you where you need to go! Christy Walcott, director of marketing and communications for the Gaylord Area Tourism Bureau, considers the Snowmobile Trail Map one of the best resources available to riders. “I work with members of our local trail council, along with trail councils from the other counties featured on the map, to make sure we have the most current information available to snowmobilers,” she said. “Not only are the trails updated yearly, but we also feature advertisers throughout northern Michigan that have the resources and supplies snowmobilers are looking for. It’s


Nov. HEARST .qxp_HEARST 10/22/19 11:04 AM Page 4


great to know where you can stop and grab a burger or get fuel along the trail. You can plan out your day without needing to wait and “ “ see what businesses you might come across on the trail.” The Snowmobile Trail Map is provided to riders free of charge through the Tourism Bureau. 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 of6snowmobiling, funneling OPEN HOUSE OPEN HOUSE OPEN DAYS A WEEK - CLOSED SUNDAYS riders south to Kalkaska’s well2 Storage Locations2019 OCTOBER 25-26-27, OCTOBER 25-26-27, 2019 Check website for hours OPEN66DAYS DAYS A OPEN A WEEK WEEK OPEN HOUSE - OCT. 27-28-29, 2017

known Blue Bear Trail, west to the forests, farmland and villages all heavily forested Jordan Valley and the way to the Straits of Mackinac. east to Lewiston’s Lovells Trail. To Conveniently stop off refuel your 300 Miles of toTrails.. top it off, this sprawling route has sled and yourthe stomach in a variAnd ride multiple connector trails and access ety of small communities eager to starts here to free-range National Guard land serve the snowmobile population, that is open to riding. then carry on to the Mackinac Door to Trail riding right on While the North Branch may Bridge and beyond. Trail 7 in Gaylord! seem7 cozy like every snowmobiler’s cottages that sleep 2 to 8 people • Full kitchens • Free WiFi FOOD, LODGING, REPAIRS dream come true, Gaylord has •Ample pull through trailer parking The current trailhead for the North even more to give. Hit up the •Pole barn work shop • Sled storage available Central State Trail is located just off North Central State Trail,- a for9603 Old 27 South Gaylord Old 27 North on Fairview Road; mer railroad corridor that serves GAYLORD MICHIGAN however, a new trailhead is under as a popular bike path during • I-75 at Exit 282 • construction right downtown. The the warmer seasons. Ride for 73 downtown 989-732-2431 location will not only glorious groomed miles through


GAYLORD sledshed@sledshed.info sledshed@sledshed.info www.sledshed.net www.sledshed.net

Next To Big Buck Brewery • Indoor Heated Pool



continued on page 8


Indoor pool, sauna & whirlpool Full service restaurant & lounge Hot Complimentary Breakfast

On The Trails! • Packages Available


continued from page 7

offer convenient parking just off Main Street, restrooms and other amenities, but also access to the growing number of local eateries offering up some of the best flavors in our Alpine Village! We know you’re here to ride, but you can’t beat the dining found in our neck of the woods. Snowmobilers gather in flocks at warm and welcoming locations, including Porter Haus, Alpine Tavern and Big Buck Brewery, just to name a few. A Gaylord landmark since 1953, Mama Leone’s serves home-cooked Italian meals and sits on one of our DNRdesignated parking areas. You’ll see the parking lots filled with more sleds than vehicles on any given wintery day. Our Gaylord Area Snowmobile Trail Map features these fine establishments, along with many others that give snowmobilers the royal treatment when they enter the room. Keeping our guests well-fed is just as important as making sure they are well-rested, and Gaylord lodging properties cater to our snowmobiling friends. With 19 current lodging members and two new properties under construction, you’ll find the perfect place to rest your head after a day of marathon riding bliss. From resort settings to tried-and-true hotel chains and full home rentals with a view, we’ve got the best places for you to rest before heading out for more winter exploration. Many properties sit right on the trail and you can wake up and ride from your front door. “We have everything from cozy cabins to resorts to modern comfortable hotels,” Beachnau said. “Our hoteliers are used to working with snowmobilers and are excellent at accommodating their needs.” The Gaylord community embraces winter and its adrenaline-seeking patrons, so along with restau-


rants and lodging perfect for the snowmobiler on the go, you’ll also find an unbeatable network of the amenities you need. Our dealerships represent all four major brands of sleds and have the latest technology and gear you’re looking for. You’ll have no trouble finding aftermarket parts for repairs, along with knowledgeable service departments ready to get you back on the trail. The best part is that most of our snowmobile-related businesses are conveniently located near one another, including The Sled Shed, Extreme Powersports and Mega Powersports. And we wouldn’t be the snowmobiling Mecca of northern Michigan without rentals, which you’ll find at Boathouse Marine & Powersports. Finally, hop on and off the trails for gas station service, where rec fuel is, of course, always available. Gaylordarea businesses have all your riding needs covered! The Sled Shed specializes in all things snowmobile and is open seven-days a week throughout the winter. Along with being able to share vast knowledge about our trail system and how it came to be, Jerry Beattie’s conveniently located store has a little bit of everything. “We’ve got parts, clothing and accessories for all makes and models. We’re here for whatever our snowmobiling guests need.” Just a few doors to the north of the Sled Shed, you’ll find Extreme

Powersports, true to its name and providing adrenaline junkies with knowledgeable, enthusiastic staff and a full selection of products. Sales team member Doug Warren shared, “What a great place Gaylord is for snowmobiling! Our town is located right on I-75, which makes it easy to locate and very convenient for travelers. The higher elevation and north woods together create excellent scenery on our snowmobile trails that is unmatched by others. With a combination of resorts and lodges in the area that provide skiing, tubing, snowshoe trails, winter bike trails and more, Gaylord is a great place for families to enjoy the sport of snowmobiling, along with these other winter activities. “At Extreme Powersports, we encourage all winter enthusiasts to stop in and see all the latest products and new snowmobiles from Ski-Doo, Polaris, Yamaha and others. With our ‘On the Trail’ location and extended winter hours of operation, we hope to see you soon!” Looking for a little camaraderie on your next trip to Gaylord? Head north for Michigan’s Richest Snowmobile Fun Run, part of the Michigan Snowmobile Festival and brought to you by the Gaylord Area Tourism Bureau. Held the fourth weekend of each February and now entering its third season in a revamped riding-centered format, this two-day event brings you


ons to ingrooming w to read ail condigrooming

ot an offich of the presentaors presd to the uced, and rtunity to what they to demo they may e at the e to this sin based a dealer

d Pisten

through April 15th where same Thursday evening The SAW and DNR Both Friday and Sata four-inch snow base following the SAW meetpersonnel present were urday were split between ing, but at the Kewadin exists. introduced and a brief indoor and outdoor activPrior to adjournment, Casino & Conference description of their re- ities. The first round of sponsibilities to the breakout sessions, a question was asked Center with a reception snowmobile program ex- started after breakfast. why the SAW meeting to welcome manufacmore of what you love — snowmo- the Tourism Bureau was office.no Thelonger event held a ride.” at turer representatives, plained. The remainder After lunch, the breakbiling! concludes on Saturday evening Whether you’re heading our way the same location as the vendors, grant sponsors, of Scheduled the evening was dediouts were repeated so for Feb. 26-27, 2021, with prize drawingsgroomer from the workshop? for aAlweekend, getaway DNR weeklong personnel, and all cated to socializing and everyone had an opporMichigan’s Richest Snowmobile participating businesses, followed or settling in even longer, Gaylord though the present facil- the other interested parnetworking, with sponsor each Fun Run is two days of ridingtunity at to attend by three cashone drawings for $250, has the trails you want, along with ity was more than ties. The event activities, clubs meeting face-to- area of them. $500 Several your leisure to participating and atten$1,000. Details are all the conveniences you need to adequate, it was a huge several breakbusinesses offering a place todees, warm mostly face with DNR contacts those on so check our still being finalized make yourincluding trip worthwhile. Our inconvenience those just outoffsessions up and a bite eat. The website as thefor event gets closer for forlocation I-75 makestoit instruct easier for theirgrab areas andtosurthebest current list eligible attending both who, new comers and update part? Registration is FREE and you more information. than ever to get here from virtually rounding zones or hav- equipment replacethe experienced could win up to $1,000 and you’ll operaing some personal timein ments, were anxious to through necessity or anywhere, cash for doing what youof get outside and check preference, hauled trail-marvel the snow depth tors,atand demos of the to discuss peculiarities love most — riding our closer you that various the equipment, their particular brands. out the various brands of ers to the event, whichincreasing scenic northern Michigan get to our Alpine Village. As usual, the resort staff tractors and other required either unhook- would run through the trails! what’s the forecast ing and leaving the So, weekend, again for exwas on hand to provide grooming gear. Register online at www. this winter? We’ve heard expectations. excellent service or with Among the several trailer unattended at one it’sceeded gaylordmichigan.net in supposed to be a good facility while driving to Committee Chairman person during the event. one with a heaping helping the other, or hoping to of Don Reed the Your registration packet lake-effect snowtook and cold find adequate parking for temperatures podium tothatexplain will include slips to each will stopthe both vehicle & trailer those agenda and mid-winter scheduling participating business frustrating — PAUL BEACHNAU, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE upon arrival. would of activities and a map showing thaws. While we that may not GAYLORD AREA TOURISM BUREAU. each location. While a crystal From attendance at have take place, ball and(or, thein hope it’s possible to hit all the case, a magical snowfind this meeting, it was obvi- ourthat everyone could stops in one day, we’re spreading “We want to keepous this event globe) storevarithat fun holding theto show time us to what’s attendin the it out over two so you can take in and free of charge SAW for bothalong visiting with overthe the next months, we’ve ousfew breakout sessions, the scenery and enjoy yourself. and local snowmobilers,” said got an annual average of 152 groomer workshop was all of which had been Don’t worry if you’re short on time Walcott, who serves on the event inches of perfect powder backing an excellent choice, but planned to assist the and can’t make it to each stop. committee. “Our goal is to make us up when we say: GAYLORD was already spaceour grant sponsors with all The more stops you visit, the more sure everyone can since experience OWNS WINTER! available at the primary necessary chances you have to win, but even network of trails, along with the For morethe information on requireboth ments in Gaylord everything one slip turned in could be the hospitality Gaylordfacility, is known to for. havesnowmobiling in the area to in the sameorplace provide properly lucky winner! Michigan’s Richest events Snowmobile to request your free aSnowmobile If you’re new to the area or Fun Run is a great way to sample Trail Map,groomed please visit www. should at least be contrail, how to acsledding in general, two guided what Gaylord has to offer, plus you gaylordmichigan.net or call 800sidered. The DNR facili- curately file the appropriBully Reps to answer rideson are display, offered onand Saturday from could winques$1,000 tator just for goingthat for previous 345-8621.ate • stated documents for complaints that the Ke- reimbursements, and re-

“Hands down, Gaylord is the best winter vacation destination in Michigan. Our abundant snow, interconnecting trail system and limitless amenities makes us a haven for snowmobilers.

breako clude ta savvy a and an tions d operati Alth cial roll equipm tives an ent we podium given t speak had br and wh have a shop. F event, vendor

The b tions



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ries, clusively for snowmobile Jeeps, Full-size Mud 989) use and other than Runners, and Rock iltse where trails cross private Crawlers all appear to be property, designated very satisfied with their wilderness, or other sen- own individual recres sitive areas, most are ational endeavors, and st is rponize Winobile goal NEWBERRY...........................906-293-5562 w to Iron River, Michigan PARADISE .............................906-492-3538 Trail Access d to 906.265.9100 from Parking Lot CALL DIRECT AND MARIE ............800-MI-SAULT owth SAULT STE. SAVE 15% OFF RACK RATE


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From the Editor


his past month has events and travel A Moyle Hospitality Property been filled with just destinations so that each SENEY ...................................906-499-3332 Hot Tub unbelievable fall of you feel inspired to onal Sauna color for us Michiganders get out and make great vol- ST. IGNACE ...........................906-643-8717 and our fellow travelers memories. Hot Homestyle ber- STRONGS..............................906-274-5473 Breakfast to enjoy. I hope each As you read this month’s ded of you reading issue enjoy festhis issue had traveling in your cing a chance to mind and spirit t. do at least a with 5 different small color writers sharing tour. Working their experiences for Michigan of hometown Snowmobiler, festivals like Scott (our the Lumberjack Advertising Festival in Seney, Open for the Manager and my spending the day as a EDARVILLE ........................906-297-3060 Winter Season NEWBERRY...........................906-293-5562 husband) and I were volunteer groomer and Near Paradise fortunate enough to travel descriptions of home URTIS ..................................906-586-9533 PARADISE .............................906-492-3538 Trailhead om nearly the entire state areas that make you feel ETOUR ............800-MI-SAULT •12 Fully Equipped Log Cabins SAULT STE. MARIE king VILLAGE.................906-297-3060 during peak color and like you are right there on •Walking distance to Restaurants & Pub Thursday just had a blast. the trail. RUMMOND ISLAND ...........833-817-7851 SENEY ...................................906-499-3332 •2 Lakeside cabins As we travel, we pay Each article makes me RAND MARAIS ...................906-250-7985 ST. IGNACE ...........................906-643-8717 ad front attention to the trails, thankful for living in a with wood burning fireplaces remember great past world class state with AUBINWAY...........................906-477-6298 STRONGS..............................906-274-5473 Call to Reserve: (906) 492-3320 rides and start planning so many activities and eat Riding www.paradiseshorescabins.com ahead for winter. In volunteer opportunities 8442 N. Whitefish Point Rd, Paradise, MI 49768 ails particular for us this year, for each person to pursue we hope to get back to and enjoy. As each Copper Harbor and the of you travel through Open for the TAHQUAMENON FALLS Keweenau Peninsula. The Michigan, consider Winter Season beauty of that area is well sharing your story and Brewery & Pub Near Paradise worth the traveling time. pictures with Michigan Trailhead om For closer trips, we Snowmobiler through AT CAMP 33 •12 Fully Equipped Log Cabins king also enjoyed Traverse email at: publisher@ •Walking distance to Restaurants & Pub Open 10:00 am Full menu served from 11:00 Thursday City, Alpena, St. Ignace, michsnowmag.com •2 Lakeside cabins am until 8:30 pm Closed April & November Tawas and just about with wood burning fireplaces ad front Welcome Snowmobilers, Skiers and Sightseers everywhere in between. Until next month! Call to Reserve: (906) 492-3320 Located in Upper Tahquamenon State Park So many incredible eat Riding www.paradiseshorescabins.com Paradise M-123 Trail the on Right places to visit. In our 8442 N. Whitefish Point Rd, Paradise, MI 49768 ails magazine we do our 906-492-3300 best to feature Michigan Salt Water Pool


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NOVEMBER 2020 11

Piston Bully Sales Rep Mike Williams with the Chippewa Snow Chaser’s Trail Bully.

Piston Bully: Making Tracks and Smooth Trails BY STEPHEN KING


ell, this one is just a bit different. Instead of talking about a sled, I am talking about a groomer. This month, we had the idea to talk about the people who groom the trails — how important they are, how much we owe them and that we need to thank them. So, we also had this idea. (I say “we” because sometimes Scott Drzewiecki, our advertising manager, does have a good idea.) Then we decided that while we were talking about the people who drive the groomers, we should also talk about one of their rides. So, we thought about it a bit and decided to feature the PistenBully. For those of you who haven’t been paying that much attention, there are basically two types of groomers out there. The regular-sized ones, like the elephants, and then the really big ones, like the whales. Both are pretty big

12 NOVEMBER 2020

machines. Now, the really big ones are the farm tractors. They do the job and a lot of people like them. But they are big. With that said, there are a lot of trails out there where bigger is not better. One that comes to mind is between Paradise and the Falls. A few years back, I had the chance to ride along with Mike Cook, who was head of the Paradise Area Night Riders grooming program. I went along with him while he was “freezing down” the trail between Paradise and the Falls. In that area, the trail runs across miles of bog — basically bottomless muck, with these cute little bushes and stunted trees scattered about. We were riding along, waiting for the ice to break. Then, with a huge crashing sound, the groomer would sink. Then, after I started to breath again, we would slowly move on.

What this did was to sink the ice down into the muck. Then, the cold would freeze the top and, the next day, the groomer drivers would repeat the process over miles of bog. Anybody that says driving a groomer is boring should do a ride with Mike. Now, we were running without a drag. Just the groomer. (Basically, there are two parts: the tractor, which we usually call the “groomer,” and the drag, which is towed behind.) Mike noted that if we had been using a bigger machine, it probably would have just sunk down completely and become just another ghost of the bog. So, he was using a smaller groomer. Now, along with being able to swim better than the larger ones, the PistenBully, being smaller, works better in twisty, turning trails, like through the cedar swamp that surrounds the town I live in. And, being shorter, they have less of a tendency to snag the overhanging trees. Anyway, the PistenBully: First, I have seen them around since like forever. Pretty much since I have been doing this — like for about 26 years now. I started seeing them first while covering snowcross races, many held at ski hills. (Don’t get me going on this. Cruising along at 140 mph: Cool! Falling down a big hill with two sticks tied to your feet — just plain silly.) At these races, I saw a lot of PistenBullys. Also, if memory is correct, one of the major circuits even had one to groom their tracks. While doing my research for this article, I happened upon Mike Williams, a sales rep for PistenBully. He told me that the snowmobile trail market is only about 10% of the business that PistenBully does. The rest is on ski hills, which explains why I kept seeing them at these venues.


Mike also explained that the PistenBully is made in Germany. That, I kind of knew, but the extent of the company was something I had not known. It is a worldwide company, selling machines just about anywhere there is snow and/or skiing — which is just about everywhere, from North America, to all over Europe and even way down under in New Zealand. I was totally impressed. As for its history, PistenBully got started in Europe. In 1967, founder Karl Kassbohrer was on a vacation at a ski hill (kind of a European thing.) He got chatting with the rope tow operator and got the idea of creating a machine that would groom the ski hills. A couple years later, in 1969, the first one hit the slopes and PistenBully was born. A few years later, in a stroke of marketing genius, Karl took four of his groomers to Sapporo, Japan, for the Winter Olympics. With the entire world watching (not even just a cliché, this was the 1972 Winter Olympics and the whole world really was watching), his machines and the smooth hills impressed everyone. This shot him onto the world stage. Within a few years, he had become the major player in grooming machines. Then, in 1980, they went all the way to the deep south. No, not Georgia — Antarctica. And the machines did well. So well that in 1990, PistenBully put another feather in its cap. The company got the contract to send 31 machines to Antarctica. They got the bragging rights of being able to send machines to a place where winter never ends; the harshest winter place on the planet.


Now, back to the good old USA. I talked to my old friend Rex Hyrns, who is president of the Chippewa County Snow Chasers. Rex has a whole garage full of toys, including one whale. He has a couple of PistenBullys as well. And he loves them — so much that he should probably be getting a commission from the home office for his sales pitch. Mike, the sales rep, told me there are many models out there. Rex told me there are basically two: the Model 100 and the Model 400. At least in his world, the snowmobile trail world. He uses the smaller one. Mark over in Seney runs a bigger one. But the two clubs have wildly different trails. Mark has flat trails over sandy ground. Rex has the variety pack and a lot of twisty trails. Even though he loves his PistenBully, Rex did point out a couple things the rep did not. Rex has an issue with some of the newer models because they use a joystick rather than a steering wheel. A lot of Rex’s people are on the upper side of … Well, let’s just say they didn’t play with joy sticks when they were kids like the younger people do today. He also had an issue with filling the things up because of where the fuel tank is mounted. He has to climb up to fuel up. He was not happy about that.

Kassbohrer All Terrain Vehicles built the first production hydrostatic driven snow groomer in 1969. The company has now built and delivered over 24,000 PistenBully’s worldwide. Kassbohrer opened a factory store in Minnesota in 2004 with Paul Swanson as Regional Manager and James Lindgren as Service Manager, both came from Track Inc. which was the PistenBully dealer prior to the factory store opening. Kassbohrer and snow grooming has a way of getting into your blood, there are many people who take great pride in doing a thankless job and many as volunteers! – making great trails, both for skiing and snowmobiling. Many of the employees of Kassbohrer in North America have been with the company for many years, in our Midwest office alone; James Lindgren, the service manager has more than 25 years with PistenBully, Paul Scanlon, Regional Manager started as a service technician 15 years ago, Al Greime – one of four service technicians has 16 years with the company, Bryan Wheeler another service technician has been with the company 8 years and Chris Peterson our parts representative has been with PistenBully for 6 years. PistenBully is dedicated to snowmobile trail grooming, with dedicated models designed and built solely for the purpose of grooming snowmobile trails, starting with the Trail Bully in 2006 and now the 400 Trail Narrow Gauge and other models adapted to fit the demands of the snowmobile trail grooming market.

continued on page 14

NOVEMBER 2020 13


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

Sault Tries again Sault Tries again and riding along with easy to operate. One of three staging areas before the start of the 2 mile ride. the groomer drivers. When you sit in the to beat record to beat record Give them a bit of recdriver’s seat, everything Ste Marie. With the costumes I-500 for the take a lap on the only 885 that finished Story by Bill Tisron

only that finished Story ognition, theyby allBill Tisron is literally at your885 fingerback and forth it made event, with LSSU Mas- track, andwhich hang out the 2 mile trek. the 2 mile trek. deserve. All the controls I was atare last year’s This past tips. February it possible for all the cot joining in. withWhen someI head really great I was at last year’s This past right February out, I there. And, even the people up in Sault event and I thought eventis and I thought the people up in Sault riders to see the magjustin like They do plan on people, get to ride whatever the that seat thistotally year’s event Ste you, Marie, though Michigan this year’s event Ste Marie, Michigan that thatlove particular club uses. you nitude of the event in- doing it again in 2020. who to ride setcan up astill lot better. triedtheir again tocomfortable, set the was was set up a lot better. tried again to set the And, from experience, I really feel the machine. They had three staging world record for the stead of seeing just the So make plans for next snowmobile. world record for the They had three staging just love the PistenBully. Almost of a Zen one at the most snowmobiles in kind a areas; snowmobiles in a areas; one at the 10 sleds in front of you year, be part of a GunMore Photosmost -----> Way comfortable. Big thing, that you and the at the parade, or like the old casino, one parade, or like the old casino, one at the continued from page 13 or behind you. They niss World record, cushy seats. Great bigcalled become bowling alley, timers calledmachine it, bowling alley,the theother other timers it, aa sasa-totally Other than those few while Mike was there, was at fari. A very very large large safari. picture window. Climate one. A great feeling. got to see a couple of was atthe theI-500 I-500track. track. fari. A safari. issues, Rex was pretty he gave him the refresh- control. Can cruise The They needed needed So,over when you arecourse out began The course began They over hundred sleds going lap the 1,047 sleds. They good with PistenBully. er course in PistenBully down the trail 1,047 in just sleds. on thehad trailswith andaasee aaround with lap They had around the back andHeforth. track. The people I had 950 registered and was totally happy maintenance. Just a few regular clothes.950 Put my PistenBully, give the drivregistered and track. The people I had talked only 905 showed. showed. II and Everything went really with the support he tips to make it easier for feet up. Takingonly pictures er a wave a to thumb’s 905 talked towere werevery veryexexcited about being able think the weather had got from the compaRex to keep the thing as we head down up. They appre-being able thinkthe the weather had always cited about smooth all day long to take aa lap something tociate do with ny. While over at the running. something to do with to take lap on on the the trails. (Gotta love it.) it. For you groomer and every one seemed world renowned track, the turn out on the day Lumberjack Bar, which From my point of thepeople, day world track, And, from timethe to turn time,out I on club thinkrenowned about event, the skies even ifif the speed was of the the event, to haveisaRex great the skies of even the speed was andtime. wife Mary’s view, I, too, love the have been known to get this; are you trying to were blue but the day only 20-25 MPH they There brand wereFrom blue butimpress the daythe only 20-25 daywere job (Ask for gravy PistenBully. In doing behind the wheel. cows or areMPH they before the the roads roads were still had aablast. before were still had for your and tell A view whatfrom I do, Iabove. do ride- The that bit of experience, I you wanting to ride inblast. new sleds, andfries vintage entrance and exit pretty rough as far as After the on pretty rough something as far as totally Aftercool? the lap lap onthe the Mary everything you heard it from alongs quite a bit, can say for a fact that • course sleds and travel was concerned, track, the of the I-500 track as riders meet at the travel was concerned, track, the course me.), Rex told me that heading out on the trails PistenBully is butreally still, a a great in-between. Some gate. Very cool sight to the but still, great turn turn made madeits itsway wayback backand and see. out. forth on the snow covout. forth on the snow covpeople dressed in wild They ended up with ered streets of Sault


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A Day in the Life of a Snow Groomer Driver BY JIM DUKE


ost volunteers spend countless hours in a snow grooming tractor, usually alone and most likely in the middle of the night — and most have a day job as well. So, why would anyone submit to such a rigorous schedule? The most common answer from these volunteers: “For the love of the sport!” But in conversations with some of these dedicated individuals, other answers also emerge. For example, several say, “Someone’s gotta’ do it” and “If not me, then who?” But I also found a sense of pride among the majority who said they simply want to provide the best trails they can for folks they mostly don’t know and probably would never meet. I know I speak for snowmobilers everywhere when I say, “We are grateful for your ded-

drag in and out of the weather was only the beginning; it would take a few hours of thawing and preventative maintenance before we would be ready for the next run. First things first. Using ice spuds, we needed to break the packed snow off the equipment so it could be washed down so we could see what needed immediate attention and what could wait. It is not unusual that some small parts Trail is (and occasionally larggroomed and ready. er ones) require a bit of welding, some bolt ication and perseverance tightening or possibly a to a job well done!” replacement. Most snowTo experience just what mobilers have no idea goes into the pre-groom, what it takes to make the the groom and the posttrails they ride smooth groom, I spent a full day and safe. I believe if with a volunteer driver they did, they may be for an Upper Peninsula a little more considertrails sponsor. It was his ate when accelerating, day off from his regular spinning their tracks and occupation, but instead creating those dreaded of sleeping in and relax- moguls. And they might

They are the unsung heroes of the snowmobile program...they deserve much more for what they do than they receive for sure. — JIM DUKE ing, he was up early. We met at the groomer barn at 7:45a.m. on a cold, blustery Thursday morning to assist the operator coming in from a 14-hour run that started at sunset the evening before. Getting the tractor and groomer

be more tolerant when they encounter a bit of rough trail. We spent about a halfday greasing all the fittings, checking pressures and fluid levels and all hydraulic hose connections as well as doing an all-around check of

tracks, tires and everything in between. Then we moved the tractor to fuel storage to fill the tanks to the very top. It will take every drop to complete the section of trail we’ll be grooming this evening. We then drove by car to a nearby restaurant for dinner and to pick up coffee for the long run that will last well into the night. Back at the barn, we take a final walk around, double checking the connections and drag hookup, safety chains, lights and beacons. Meanwhile, other volunteers have arrived. They sweep out the debris from our earlier labors and get ready for the other groomer to arrive. They will go through the same ritual we just completed, change drivers and head out to groom another section of trails assigned to this grant sponsor. And so it goes, around the clock, day in and day out, week after week from the first day of the snowmobile season on Dec. 1 until midnight on the final day of March 31. With wheels down on the drag, we leave the barn and head out to the trailhead where we will begin the groom. Once there, wheels are lifted and the first several feet are used to fill the pan with snow for weight. During the first few miles, we were fortunate to have a relatively flat surface with only a few moguls here continued on page 16


NOVEMBER 2020 15

Piston Bully hard at work.

along with fuel used and maintenance performed. These records are forwarded through the DNR employee assigned as primary contact and eventually to the trails program administrators for processing and financial reimbursements. Failure to properly submit the paperwork could cause denial of the needed funds to replenish fuel and spare parts to the trail sponsor clubs. And this is in addition to the continued from page 15 many hours spent in the and there. As we got Driving a grooming grooming tractor. Only a groomer operator is into the winding trails in machine takes patience like a full-time job, year- the most dedicated indithe more wooded areas and an even temperviduals can endure such round but without any where snowmobilers had ament. Going too fast a demanding schedule. benefit other than the entered the curves and can produce uneven So, my advice to every warm and fuzzy feelkicked the snow to the and less-than-satisfactosnowmobiler who may ing one gets knowing edges of the trail, the job ry results. And it only want to complain about they’ve done their best became more demandtakes a second or two and have met or exceed- trail conditions encouning. The operator had to break the equipment tered during their ride: ed expectations of the to use both the blade to if something unexpected program administrators. Stop and consider what pull snow back into the should appear in the trail might be the cause? As early as mid-Septrail surface while conlike stumps, fallen trees One of the best ways to tember, volunteer workstantly adjusting the drag or rocks that somehow ers gather at snowmobile understand all required for the best results. managed to get pulled of the groomer drivers clubhouses across the The condition of the up from underneath the is to spend a day with state for trail clean-up, trail can vary quite a snow. Often there are one of them and observe which entails cutting bit depending on temsigns missing, posts what they must do. It’s and removing brush perature, snow depth, broken and other haznot just a quiet drive in that has grown in the whether the trail minus ards to be repaired or the woods. Give them trail corridor during the the snow is sandy, wet, removed along the way. off-season. This is when a thumbs up when you rocky or any number of So, grooming 30 or 40 encounter them on the we replace missing or other variables. To get a miles of trail can take trails because they are weathered signs as smooth, flat surface, the from dusk to dawn — the unsung heroes of the well as record possible operator must know what and usually does. snowmobile program trouble spots that may he has to work with. As I’ve only scratched the and the champions of require attention later. we approached a county surface of what these our premier trails system Trail clean-up days are road, the wheels at the volunteers go through. that most snowmobilers essential to providing rear of the drag must be We’ve only covered take for granted. They a safe and smooth trail lowered at just the right one day in the life of a deserve much more for surface once the snows time to prevent dragging groomer driver during what they do than they have arrived. snow off the trail and the official season. There Record keeping is also receive, for sure. My visit onto the road surface, are many chores and with a groomer driver, a necessary chore that then dropped again as responsibilities to take even just for a day, was begins with the groomwe enter the trail to have care of at other times — er driver, who must log definitely an eye-opener a smooth transition from preseason, during and and one not soon to be which sections of trails pavement to snow. post-season. The life of forgotten. • have been groomed,

16 NOVEMBER 2020


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Chippewa Snow Chasers Getting Trails In Shape For Winter BY STEPHEN KING


ith the coming of fall, most sledders know that winter is just around the corner and their thoughts turn to riding. They go out to the garage and look at their ride sitting there, all tired and sleepy. Just resting. Some start to look for new toys. Maybe even a new sled. Or a new helmet. Or new boots. Or some new product to make their riding better. However, there are a few riders out there who do a bit more. The Grooming Clubs. Or the Sponsor Clubs. The clubs that go out and groom the trails. Many years ago, the State of Michigan and the DNR pretty much got out of trail grooming. They kind of “privatized” it. Namely, they got a bunch of clubs, about 64 now, to take over the grooming. The clubs range from those formed by local governments, such as area Chambers or similar entities. But some are just sledders who like to ride. Old-fashioned “riding clubs” that just took over grooming.

18 NOVEMBER 2020

Now, when most riders actually think of them, it is in the winter when we meet a groomer on the trail. Or even more often, when the trail has issues and we need somebody to blame. However, what we really need to do is to thank them. They spend countless hours out there grooming the trails. Many do it without pay. In this “me-first” age, many of these men and women still go out there for the love of the sport. If they do get paid, it is far less than union scale for an equipment operator — often about minimum wage. Right now, while most sledders are still just dreaming of what they will do this winter, the grooming clubs are getting the trails ready. Most call this “brushing and signing.” I call it hard work. They inspect every single mile of the about 6,000 miles that we have. They replace any old, missing or damaged signs. And they remove the brush from alongside the trails. Think this one over.

Those cute little trees they are removing could be slapping you upside the head every time you go down a trail. Try hitting a baseball-sized branch or tree at about 60 mph and see what happens. You will have a whole new appreciation for the people who do this every year. Now, around the end of September, I hooked up with some old friends of mine who are members of the Chippewa Snow Chasers. They take care of the trails in western Chippewa County, centered around the Strong’s Corners area.

From about Trout Lake over to Hulbert, then over to Raco and then north. All together they have about 100 miles of trails. Officially 99 miles. Now, think this one over. One hundred miles of trails to remove the brush from, check signs and look for any problems. Just inspecting them is a job. Try idling along at about 25 mph for about 100 miles. And stopping every so often. It takes about a day just to drive it. Then the actual “brushing and signing.” This year, Club President Rex Hyrns again organized the event.


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Brushing Crew: Rex Hyrns, John Smith Sr, Rick Stevens, Dan Ficke, John Smith Jr, Paul Sutherland, Terri Abbo, Gene Ott, Dustin Mast, Chris Mullins, Mike Akin, Tracy Wyszynski, Ben Apps, Paul Ackerman, Diann Kokko, Ron Handley, Brett Weipert, Jim Steffen, Randy Reimer, Joe McQuesten, Jaci McQuesten, Troy Heingartner, Dan Heingartner, Brad Lowing. Missing from picture: Anita Ficke, Matt Stevens, & Chris Curless.

He asked for help from members of the Chippewa Snow Chasers. More than 20 people responded from all over Michigan and even a few from other states. They came up in September and made a day of it. Rex broke them into four groups, and they hit the trails. Spent basically all day. On the end of chain saws. Operating the big farm tractors that the club uses to put drags to move brush. On the end of pole saws, cutting off branches that would otherwise droop onto the trail and become obstacles once covered in snow. Picking up and moving debris. A lot of hard, physical work. These people worked very hard for one entire day. All volunteers. For no pay. Just knowing they did their part to help keep the trails in good shape. And for some camaraderie. Even though

it was a lot of hard work, most acted like they were having a good time. It’s not just the Chippewa Snow Chasers. All over the U.P. and, even down below, clubs are out there right now getting the trails ready for winter. So, when you see them, give them a big “thank you.” Also, if you are traveling and see a donation can or box, drop in a few coins. They always need the money. Then, if you really want to help, get in touch with clubs and find out when they are doing their “trail clean up” and jump right in and help. True, it will be a bit of hard work, but you will make a whole lot of new friends, have a very good time and come away with the “warm and fuzzy” feeling you get when you know you have done something worthwhile. •


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NOVEMBER 2020 19

Challenges, Solutions and Accomplishments BY JIM DUKE


n Oct. 15, the Snowmobile Advisory Workgroup (SAW) finally achieved a long-fought solution to provide a grant sponsor closure on an issue that could have been monumental had the SAW not intervened. The workgroup elected to assist in the finalization of a shortfall where the purchase price and the final delivery cost were at stake. This was but one action item on the recent SAW agenda, but one that all would have to agree ended in a win for snowmobilers. In other concerns, DNR representatives from the Forest Management Division addressed the ongoing safety issue of timber contracts and violations when logging contractors fail to com-

20 NOVEMBER 2020

unplowed with proper signage, which will eventually make it impassable except for snowmobiles and tracked grooming machines. On the positive side, it appears all the players are moving forward with plete contractual agreethat smooth surface as an common goals and snowments to remove stumps excellent route through mobilers will reap the and other accumulated the woods, never conmost benefits from these debris, which become sidering the money that meetings. On the negaa huge safety hazard went into that pristine tive side, the continuing once snow has covered condition. The resulting COVID-19 pandemic the area and trail groom- damage has effectively mandates and state goving has begun. A major rendered many hours ernment travel restrictions cause of equipment of volunteer labor usemake it impossible for failure during early trail less and, in most cases, the pertinent DNR perpreparation is damage unsafe for snowmobilers. sonnel to attend meetings from hidden stumps and Another concern for in person, so the Dec. other debris left at the several seasons has been 3 SAW meeting will not work sites after loggers when the designated trail take place in Christmas, fail to finish the required utilizes a seasonal county Michigan, as planned. clean up. road for either a connec- Instead it will be another Another hot topic tor or a specified segvirtual meeting, presumwas the continuing and ment of the trail. Conflicts ably on that same date. yet unresolved issue of arise as to which agency wheeled vehicles on des- has the final say about MISORVA ignated snowmobile trails whether the road can be On Oct. 17, the between Dec. 1 and closed to wheeled trafMichigan Snowmobile March 31 of each year. fic or not. County Road and ORV Association Once snow has covered Commissions would norheld its annual meeting the trail surface sufficient- mally be the governing via Zoom with approxly for grooming and the agency and will usually imately 40 attendees. initial pan-packing has say they cannot officially They discussed items of taken place, some irreclose the road. They can, interest, finalized immesponsible individuals see however, leave them diate goals and elected


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eligibility of candidates be working on a smooth for office and doubling transition with the incomconsecutive terms for ing officers who assume the President and Vice their new duties Jan. 1, President from two one2021. year terms to four oneThere was a split vote year terms. as to whether MISORVA The annual reports might be able to hold by standing committee the usual final meeting chairs were presented and first ride of the and accepted, along season on Dec. 5 in with reports from each Christmas. Considering officer and the Executive the present mandates for Director. Other pertinent gatherings and whether notices and reports were the facilities might be also provided. unable to provide adeRentals, Tentative dates and quate occupancy, the locations for the winter official meeting will be Sales & ride-in and the summer held on Zoom. Those campout and ORV ride wishing to haveService a first were presented and dis- ride from Christmas can cussed. The Recreation do- so individually. 562 S. Straits Hwy Indian River, MI 49749 Committee Chair will Mon. - Thurs As weand prepare for Sat. 9-5 finalize the events the upcoming snowmoFriday 9-7 - Sundays 10-2 and report back to the bile season, we hope www.ir-sc.com board. this pandemic will be During nominations short and every snowfor the four 231-333-3600 officer posimobiler can enjoy the tions, Vice President season without worry John Newman was the of contracting the virus. single candidate for The snowmobile-relatthe office of President ed businesses, such and was elected by a as dealerships, hotel/ unanimous vote of confi- motels, restaurants and dence. Originally, there rental agencies, will be were two candidates for working to make sure Vice President, but one all patrons have a safe member declined the and secure environment. nomination prior to final Please be respectful of call; the remaining cantheir requirements and didate, Jeramey Valley, wear a mask where is the Vice Presidentrequired to do so and, elect. Incumbent above all, get outside Treasurer Mark Pankner and enjoy our winter recwas re-elected, and reational activities. •

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NOVEMBER 2020 21

Hemmingway, as the famous author spent a lot of time in this area. He based one of his more famous short stories, “The Big Two Heart,” in this area. Also, the museum is the recipient of the money raised at the festival. “The Lumberjack Festival is a whole community event. Just about everybody has gotten involved in some way,” Dunn said. “This is an annual event that we have the weekend before Labor Day. We have a parade, a craft show with a variety of vendors, bounce houses for the kids, a chainsaw carver, entertainment in the evening and the horse pulling. This is starting to catch on. We seem to be getting more people here each year.” Now, I am not a horsey- type person. Not even sure which end you BY STEPHEN KING are supposed to milk. Seriously. I n the last Saturday in August, Then, a few years ago, I and a few grew up in a commercial fishing I made the short trip over to others thought about reviving it. And, town. Boats, nets, fish, water. And, in the winter, we used snowmobiles Seney to partake in the annuso far, it seems to be doing well.” al Lumberjack Festival. Now, why He said the association is doing it to go out on the lake and tend our nets. No horses. in the world would a snowmobile because they want to help the comBut I did make it there for the magazine be covering a Lumberjack munity where they live. Sponsoring parade and ran into a few friends Festival? First, I used to be one. With Lumberjack Days is one way to do from the Engadine area. Becky and chainsaw in hand, trees feared me. that. For a few decades, I made my way “It helps everyone,” he said. “First, Ed Freed, and a couple of their kids, Mike Houghton and Marci Butkovich in the world “working in the woods.” it is a good community event; but it were there. Just by chance, pulled in Basically, a modern-day lumberjack. also showcases the club and what and parked next to them. So, that is why I was interestwe do. And it gets more people Had fun watching the parade. Little ed. But, the magazine? Because involved with the club and then more 9-year-old Starr Freed was perhaps one of the main sponsors was the people end up joining the club. So, the happiest — and got totally invenlocal snowmobile club, the Seney everybody wins.” tive. Because of the impending rain, Snowmobile Association. I also chatted up Randy Dunn, she had an umbrella. And, in a bit Like many snowmobile clubs in president of the Seney Museum, many of the rural areas, they have where they have a very nice display of childish innovation, decided that if you turned it upside down, it worked taken on many activities normally from days gone by when Seney perfectly for catching the candy the done by a Chamber of Commerce was a logging boom town. They people in the parade were tossing or other business association. This also have quite a bit on Ernest is because in small rural areas there are often no other clubs or associations around. The clubs are organized and are used to putting on various activities. So, they naturally fill a void. “We used to have this back quite a few years ago,” said Marc Schooley, president of the Seney Snowmobile Association. “For various reasons, they stopped doing it.

Seney Snowmobile Association Helps Sponsor Lumberjack Festival


22 NOVEMBER 2020


out. Now, this was not the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but it was pretty cool. They had most of the local emergency equipment there. Plus, the snowmobile club had both of its groomers in the parade, which was a big thrill for most of the crowd. Then, as the parade ended, Mike told me, “Now, the real parade starts.” A bit puzzled, I gave him the old “double eyebrow” look. “Check out all of the ORVs. We’re heading out onto the trails,” he said. I think I was looking at about a good dozen, perhaps maybe 20, ORVs. Both side-by-sides and quads. And, as the Seney club is also an ORV club, it was most appropriate. I headed over to the rest of the event. There, the crafters and the vendors were getting up and running. I checked out a local blacksmith, Caleb Tranchita, who makes some totally awesome blades, knives, axes and a variety of other items, most of which are both functional and a work of art. Many of the knives have deer-horn handles. Then, there was a lady who made mittens, and a host of people selling jewelry and many other items. Most of which were handmade. Food vendors also were there and, in keeping with my journalistic ethics, I had to try out a couple. First, I had some frozen lemonade, which was like a lemonade slushy — so tasty I had to go back for another. That was because I needed something to wash down the awesome smoked BBQ brisket I tried. My old


friend, Howard Bliss, had his Old Town Smokey Delights food wagon there. Years ago, my old friend, mentor and publisher Lyle Shipe always teased me about how much I enjoyed the food at the events I would attend. He often asked whether it was the snowmobiling or the good food I liked best. Usually, I replied, “The food. This snowmobiling stuff is just a good excuse to get some really good food.” He would laugh. At the festival, as I was walking by, Howard asks, “Wanna try some brisket?” I responded, “No, but my dog might.” He came right back, “Your dog!” He got over my little quip and handed me a very nice sample. Before I even tasted it, I knew it was awesome. The smell alone was incredible. He had smoked and roasted and done whatever to it. It had great taste and just the

right flavor from the BBQ sauce. For years, I always said the best BBQ I ever had was from a vendor down at the MSA show in Hastings. But Howard has just moved into the No. 1 spot. (Don’t tell him this, but my little doggy, Prince, thought it was paw-licking good as well.) Anyway, the Seney Lumberjack Festival was a pretty good way to spend a day. The weather was a damp, but the weather did not dampen the spirits of those who attended. A squall would come through. Everyone would duck for cover. The squall would pass. We would pop back out. And it looked like everyone was having fun. So, next summer, make sure to be in the Seney area on the weekend before Labor Day. Not the biggest event I have ever attended, but it was small town fun at it’s very best.•


Seney Snowmobile Association

Striving to provide you with safe and smooth trails.

Groomer’s Ball - February 13, 2021 Vet Rides - March 7, 2021 & June 5, 2021 Trail Maintenance - September 19, 2021 Meet at Groomer Barn in Seney

NOVEMBER 2020 23

Heavy snow fell across the Upper Peninsula in late November. Most trails were closed or near impassible.

Chasing the Snow BY JIM DUKE


inter enthusiasts from within the motorized and non-motorized recreational community, including me and many friends, feel that familiar itch beginning around Halloween that stays with us well into the first quarter of the new year. Even though we may not see snow for more than a month yet, we are breaking out the maps to plot, plan and, yes, even predict where the first snows might appear and how we might be able to take advantage of it! Last season looked like it just might be a banner year with early snow coming, at least for many parts of the Midwestern states, and meteorologists were forecasting an abundance of stormy weather. The storms did

24 NOVEMBER 2020

come in late November to the Upper Peninsula, with heavy, sometimes gale force winds and wet snow that caused limbs to break and trees to fall, most prevalently on the recently brushed and prepped trails in anticipation of Dec. 1, the official opening day for Michigan snowmobiling. The newly revised Michigan Snowmobile and ORV Association (MISORVA) arrived in the Upper Peninsula’s hamlet aptly named Christmas for the scheduled meetings of the Snowmobile Advisory Workgroup with the DNR on the first Thursday in December. The first ride of the new season was on Friday, followed by the Association’s Board of Directors meeting on Saturday. Recent storms had

closed, at least partially, most trails in the area due to many trees down and snow drifts as high as rooftops in many locations, making travel nearly impossible. On Thursday afternoon after the workgroup meeting, a few hearty souls ignored warnings that all trails were mostly impassable and left for a ride to a favorite trail stop restaurant. They informed others of their plans and said they would return no later than 9 p.m. This had become a customary precaution, just in case some unforeseen incident might occur. Of the nine riders, six returned within the first half-hour stating the ride was too difficult. The other three riders were unaccounted for over the next several hours, but eventually returned

with stories that would have deterred even the most adventurous from going out. All three riders were soaking wet and completely worn out from the rigors of digging the sleds out of deep snow drifts and lifting them over several trees that had fallen across the trail. One rider said it was a three-hour, 15-mile ride from Wetmore back to the motel in Christmas. In fact, he said the mileages may be off a bit, but the time was pretty darn accurate; the exertion necessary to get all three snowmobiles back was more than any of them would want to do again. It was little wonder none of the three were up for breakfast early Friday morning or interested in going out


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

well as getting our trails Westshore Spring land owners satisfied as put in, in a safe manner. well as getting our trails Westshore Spring put in,Lead groomer driver Dinner Dance in a safe manner. Steve Bell was recogLead groomer driver again until Dinner Dance with a period of fellow- nized for the tireless efBy Andy Tworkmuch later Steve Bell was recogin the day. In fact,

almost daily, providing adequate coverage for ship time for stories and forts that he exerts each with a period of fellow- nized for the tireless efByonly Andya Twork handful of the grooming. laughs from the previous and every year in his You know when the ship time for stories and forts that he exerts each Whether it be many hours of grooming. members to season. Because I had been snow begins wanted to melt and from the previous and every year in his You know when the laughs getting a groomer stuck He is still enjoying our head immediately unable to go for even the greenout grass starts to Whether it be many hours of grooming. snow begins to melt and season. or being broke down or snowmobile trails even beafter a nuisance to the breakfast, all a short ride during the a groomer stuck He is still enjoying our the green grass startsand to getting perhaps having a fine though hes not able to point where you needabout to or being broke down or were cautioned meeting weekend due to snowmobile trails even be a nuisance to the time out on a snowmobil- ride anymore himself. cut it every week, the perhaps having a fine though hes not able to the where possibility of to fallen hosting responsibilities, point you need ing adventure, either on Whitehallhimself. and MonTrail Boss Brian Vanette awards Randy Ackersnowmobiling season is time out on a snowmobilride anymore cuttrees it every week,the thetrail. blocking I began planning a ouradventure, trails on either the West tague are towns that berg a kind ofVanette a "Snowmobiler of the year over. ing on Whitehall and MonTrail Boss Brian awards Randy Ackersnowmobiling season is The local grant sponsor couple of outings forthis shore or on trails else- support snowmobiling as award" for his efforts in the council past The work for the seaour trails on the West tague are towns that berg a kind ofmyself a "Snowmobiler of the year over. whereorin on ourtrails greatelsestate support came by and stated shore and any family well assnowmobiling businesses and year son is not over, preventaas The SAW meeting award" for his efforts in the council this past The work for the sea- of Michigan. contractors that donate that a crew would members who wished tive maintenance has to where in our great state well as businesses and was very well year son is not over, preventaThese are the people Muskegon, The ring leader, Brian their time and materials. bebe done on all the equipworking on Trail to join me —first just Newaygo Michigan. contractors that donate tive maintenance has to ofVanett attended. and Oceana Newaygo county has the are many that Muskegon, kicked the their As intime many the ef- from These theclubs people ment and stored under be The ring leader,off Brian andcases materials. #419, it would a Shore day ride andsystem later that they be done onbut all the equipform the West a trail eveningkicked alongoff the with As forts of their employees that and Oceana county has cover forgoing the next few Vanett in many cases the ef- from the many clubs tough due to the ment and stored under a twoorcan three-day Snowmobile Council, be proud of. The trails across the of past snowmobiling Oscar Reed by recognizin making sure that our form the West Shore a trail truly system that they months, resting, waiting evening along with forts of their employees cover for the next few amount of damage. saddlebag adventure. and it is because of them can truly bepproud of. ing theReed trail captains from intrails are sure maintained Snowmobile Council, Upper Peninsula were adventures for the resting, upcoming sea- Oscar by recognizmaking that ouras were months, waiting One or two members For the day ride, the the different areas in our wellorare as maintained kept safe and p from trails stillcaptains pretty much hit plentiful. son.the upcoming sea- ing the trail as and it is because of them for volunteered to foregosystem. plan was to depart from Then oninSaturday’s to safely throughareas oura well as marked kept Within safe anda week or so miss after son.The equipment is the the different wonderful dinner includout our trail system. their ride and help out my home and take Tail Then on to a safely through- the meeting easy but the people Thepart, equipment is the system.MISORVA Board of marked following ing the salad along with Our dining group was dinner includ- out our trail system. with and wonderful #7 from Christmas, need tothe have one easy part, butcutting thethat people Directors meeting and dates, the trails had a steak and baked powell impressed with how ing the salad along with Our dining group was weekend each yearas clearing of that brush, pick up Trail #8 and need to have one only abaked few members been of debris tato, and served right to well the impressed tables were setcleared up as a steak and powith how when all of our volunweekend each year supervised and directed head west through remained overnight and were yourand table. thetables double tables tato, served right to the were setgroomers up with as teers and groomers getcrew; when all of our work volunby the local Chatham, Eben, Rumley Snowmobilers from all the chairs all thereporting way around before heading back your table. double tables with a slight together atgroomers a local estabteers and get in fact, thereletwere verySnowmobilers and Little Lake, then the wellall as them all aloud for from chairs the increase waycommuniaroundin snowmobile to area theirashome turf. lishment.atThey off a over together a local estabfewsteam takers for a Friday into Gwinn where we otherthe parts our cation without beingThe lim- local trails areaofas wellstate as stay them aloud for communilittle and Those who did traffic. lishment. They lethave off aa over ventured to Whitehall just talking to a ride, most would have lunch and of our state being limVISIT AREA THIS WINTER!!! fine evening ofopting food little steam and haveand ato other parts got together for cation aited towithout around Munising andIRONS that evening to partake couple of people. Our ventured to Whitehall ited to just talking to a do a bit of shopping get fuel. Then, still on drinkevening and fellowship. fine of food and great dinner andcouple Christmas stillVISIT had aIRONS AREA THIS WINTER!!! of this wonderful event. group included Randy to partake that evening of people. Our Thelocal West Shore Snow- or at businesses drink and fellowship. Trail #8, head north fellowship Saturday fewBishop unfrozen wetIRONS spots AREA TOURIST Brian made aevent. point to group Smith,included Jamie as of this wonderful Randy mobile council has been The West Shore Snowheading some 40 miles evening, followed toward Marquette and but nothing that would IRONS AREA TOURIST bring the afact well asJamie Dan Bishop and Robin Brianupmade pointthat to Smith, as having a Spring fling mobile council has been west to Marquette, bring at Trail #417 turn back ASSOCIATION do well the fact that Phil and Taylor andbe byvolunteers an impromptu considered a hazard as Dan and Robin dance every year for as many up having Spring fling wherea shops were more east over the mountain, ASSOCIATION many gathering different volunteersthings. do at Cheryl And andof Taylor and toPhil back the Alvesteffer. riders, and “H snow long asevery I canyear remember. dance for as many OME OF THE ANNUAL FLEA ROAST & OX MARKET” plentiful. bypassing Harvey different things. Some motel volunteers do Cheryl Alvesteffer. And of course ourwas favorite girl long as I can remember. This year was no differ- many where stories beginning to fall “HOME OF THE ANNUAL FLEA ROAST & OX MARKET”

This was difference no different, year the only ent, the only this year was difference the venue, this was thefor venue, the year Spring fling 2019 the Spring fling for 2019 would be held at the Vetwould at the wars Veterans be ofheld Foreign erans of Colby Foreign warsin post on street post on Colby street in Whitehall. Whitehall. The evening began The evening began

Some volunteers do great things for the clubs great things forthe thematericlubs by obtaining by materialsobtaining that theythe need to reals they need to repairthat bridges or perhaps pair or perhaps put bridges in a drainage ditch. put a drainage Or in one of many ditch. other Or one of many other tasks that need to haptasks need to happen inthat order to keep our pen in order to keep our

course our favorite Carla Buchan out ongirl an Carla Buchan outwith on an evening dinner us, evening dinnerwas with gone us, since Tom since Tom was gone trout fishing. It was truly trout fishing. It wasoftruly a great evening food aand greatdrink evening of food along with and drink along with some great fellowship some greatand fellowship with family friends. with family and friends.


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11:48 AM Page 12

continued from page 25

and taking a break at fuel. Lakenenland, where As we continued there’s usually a nice the ride, we stopped N SNOWMOBILER - September, fire just off the trail for 2019 briefly at the spur trail ent organization a warm-up. Continuing that would take us as a shelter. to the junction with into the Crossroads. WHY?? Trail #418, we take We discussed whether quite time the short spur into the we For should gosome in Brownstone for dinner, and see was there haswhat been discusthen follow Trail #418 new about and exciting sion the combining east through Au Train at efforts the snowmobile of to improve and and back to Trail #7, dealership simplify the located various catemobile Association, where we head back there. Fortunately, gories of motorized which has proven and itself Karyn said we would toward Christmas e recreation and the sevtime and onto time Ridge again, just be wasting daylight eventually eral different vehicles sometimes through Road, then back to oura since neither of us employed to achieve the nions and very starting point. environ- needed or planned to hostile level of enjoyment, adxpressed ment, Executed its entirety to beinboth a reli- buy anything anyway, venture, and performwithoutand incident, my so we continued on. re strictly able acceptable ance of each. Those daughter Karyn and I We had a repeat of with uthor and source of credible inforto regulate made the first leg to of the the the the authority same scenario as pertaining t the offi- mation such activities on public trip inofnear record time, we approached, and snowmobiling, e Associ- sport lands, state or even though we were stoppedwhether at, the spur a worthy ally to other formation and in no particular hurry. trail thatwere would allow for federal, looking motorized recreational was pre- Departing just before 9 appropriate us to go into Harvey — guidance pursuits. In the Off-Road againthose the decision was eetings of on a Thursday morning, from who particiVehicle sector, however, made toand keep going. Directors we encountered very pated, what better there appeared to be too few other snowmobilers As we approached not have many obstacles, and organization than the along the way and Lakenenland, we en altered quite frankly too many snowmobile association arrived in Gwinn a could see quite few to spearhead theaproject. ng. different types of vehifew minutes after the snowmobiles parked Obviously, not all noon lumped whistle blew. cles into We the along the trail and types of off-road vehicles It? enjoyed a lightfor lunch at a nice fire already ORV category there would be compatible for of the A is an toone ever be local any eateries sort of ablaze in the fire on the same near the trail and and some spent use pit. We pulled in trails, he Michi- compatibility, most of which were deless than hour there, bile and types wereanfairing much and joined the other veloped by the snowmoincluding stop for on. It is a better thanthe others, hav- sledders, introduced n almost ing already found a par- bile community and are d snowation and ized trail with adions but failed in CEDARVILLE ........................906-297-3060 pts to CURTIS ..................................906-586-9533 ition as a espected DETOUR VILLAGE.................906-297-3060 reational DRUMMOND ISLAND ...........833-817-7851 a familyGRAND MARAIS ...................906-250-7985 phere. an SnowNAUBINWAY...........................906-477-6298

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ourselves and had a absolutely enjoyed and brief conversation about recommend it to anyone conditions of the trails, having the time and an where we had come adventurous spirit. from and where we There are many were heading, all while attractions along the getting warm by the way, but we elected fire. Declining an offer not to stop because to join them for snacks of time. They include and drinks, we decided the Eben Ice Caves, it was time to move Laughing Whitefish Falls on, anticipating a nice State Park, Marquette sit-down dinner a bit than 100 A full house of more members Mountain and and Scottguest further down themeeting trail. to Falls. Thethe trail east from at the May 18th approve change The to only downside of Au Train parallels MSA MISORVA. was arriving at the state highway M-28 restaurant where we and the viewasofmulti-use, Lake groomed and maintained earmarked had intended to program have Superior spectacular, by snowmobile meaningisthey are availdinner and discovering a definite must-see grant sponsors during able for use by anyand other itthe was closed. On the a great place for photo winter months, approved motor vehiupside, we found a opportunities. specifically from Decem- cles. As stated previlocal café open in Due to the onset of the ber 1st until midnight on ously, not all types of Au Train and dined coronavirus pandemic, March 31st ofGerman each year. we off-road vehicles on authentic were unable to goare During this time,just it is con- on compatible when cuisine. It was the saddlebag ride it sideredsunset illegalwhen to operate comes to but sharing before we last season, I havethe a wheeled on ittrails. arrived back vehicle home and all planned out and anythe of snowmobiles the 6500 plus we are Dirthoping Bikes for examput to be miles This of ride designated ple, to have worked out a away. was able make it happen 171 miles, according to this So, ifcoalition the snowmobile trails. veryseason. acceptable my odometer, may Lord is willing Outside ofbut the spe- Good with the Cycle Conservabe a few miles more and with Old Man cific dates set aside ex- tion Corps, and the or less depending on Winter’s clusively for snowmobile Jeeps, blessing, Full-size we’ll Mud stops, track spin and be chasing the snow, use and other than Runners, and Rock where backtracking down tracks and where trails cross private laying Crawlers all appear to be might be necessary. making memories. • property, designated very satisfied with their It is a trip we wilderness, or other sen- own individual recresitive areas, most are ational endeavors, and

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26 NOVEMBER 2020

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ISHOF - Honoring Snowmobiling Heroes!

the Manufacturing sector; they may be an Explorer & Adventurer; they might be involved with Trail and Program Development; or maybe they come from the Publishing & Journalist fields. All are equally noteworthy, but none more so than those selected from the fifth category, the Volunteers & Club Organizers, without whom the industry and the sport BY JIM DUKE could not survive. hroughout the past 60-plus tribution to snowmobiling to make it The Class of 2020 Inductees repyears, there have been a num- one of the most popular winter recre- resent four of the five categories and ber of visionaries, volunteers, ational activities in today’s busy and all come with a long list of qualificaindustry giants and those destined ever-changing environment. tions, having excelled in their respecto write about any or all the noteIt has been more than 30 years tive fields. Terry Hutchinson is both a worthy accomplishments of these since the first individuals were nomvolunteer and a club organizer who individuals. There also have been inated, selected and inducted into hails from Prior Lake, Minnesota. any number of local clubs, commuthe Hall of Fame. Better known simHe has nearly five decades of organity organizations and even state ply as ISHOF (pronounced ice-hof) nized snowmobiling to his credit snowmobile associations that have by snowmobiling aficionados the and was instrumental in negotiating occasionally gathered to honor and world over, it is quite a unique instia merger of three snowmobile clubs pay tribute to all their efforts. But tution supported primarily through into a single group called Sno-Trails none has ever come close to the private donations and other snowInc. global recognitions one particular mobile-related sponsorships. The Peggy Spieger of LaPine, Oregon, organization bestows on snowmobil- original location for the Snowmobile was a nominee in the Trail Program ing enthusiasts and those who have Hall of Fame was Grand Rapids, Developer & Volunteer category. Her labored tirelessly to make the winter Minnesota, and the first induction first ride on a snowmobile was some sport what it has become today. ceremony was held there in 1989. 40 years ago and she was hooked The organization is, of course, the Several years later, it was moved to almost immediately. Shortly after, she International Snowmobile Hall of its present location. and her husband first joined their Fame. ISHOF is a 501(c)3 organization local club and the Oregon State The International Snowmobile Hall and all funding received is rediSnowmobile Association, where she of Fame is located in the World rected toward future recognition of has continuously made contributions Snowmobile Headquarters in Eagle those who have made an impact to the sport of snowmobiling. River, Wisconsin. Currently, more on the sport of snowmobiling in John Prusak was nominated for than 125 past inductees and awards one or more of the five eligible induction into ISHOF as a publisher recipients are recognized there, and selection categories. They may be and journalist, and he brings a full all have made some significant con- Inventors & Designers or from within basket of qualifications. John began


continued on page 28

CLOCKWISE: Terry Hutchinson of Prior Lake, Minnesota, honored and inducted for his achievements in the Club Organizer & Program Developer category; Peggy Spieger, of LaPine, Oregon, achieved notoriety as a trail program developer and tireless volunteer; The late Linda Rockwood of Utica, New York, was a pioneer in the SnowmobileTrail Webmap and smart phone app design business. Her vision in snowmobile navigation development and GIS technology was truly a ground-breaking achievement; John Pruzak of New Hope, Minnesota, has the reputation for being a highly qualified journalist and publisher of several national magazines.


NOVEMBER 2020 27

continued from page 27

his journalistic career in 1993, when beverages, picked up their credentials hall of fame members in attendance he was hired into Ehlert Publishing as and got a first peek at items in the and other VIPs. an associate editor for the company’s silent auction. Later in the day, some International Groomer of the Year several magazines, including Snow opted for the pirate ship cruise on the Award was presented to Don Wild Goer, Snow Week and Snowmobile of Antigo, Wisconsin. International lakes while others preferred to do a Business. John continues to be a bit of shopping in town. Regardless of Snowmobile Club of the Year went AM Page 18 major player in the magazine busito Sno-Trails of Hayward, Wisconsin, choice, everyone arrived at the local 1:58 AM Page 18 ness today, keeping the sport of snowand the International Snowmobile VFW hall for the Friday evening fish mobiling as a top priority. Dealer of the Year was Day’s fry and dinner program. The final nominee for induction was Powersports in Bloomer, Wisconsin. Saturday morning, attendees were NOWMOBILER - September, Linda Rockwood2019 of Utica, New York. left to their own devices. Not ISHOFBeginning with the induction ceremoSNOWMOBILER - September, 2019 She was nominated in the Inventor related, but after lunch, ACSA’s Trails nies, each inductee was introduced & Designer category. As founder of Users got together at the Derby Track with stories of achievements and Mohawk Valley GIS in 2003, she saw for a brief meeting, and accommoda- why they were selected for inductions were made for a webinar contion into the prestigious International the need for snowmobilers to have a nection for those unable to make it to Snowmobile Hall of Fame. They then Snowmobile Trail Webmap and rallied to the cause. Her vision of having Eagle River this year. were presented with their traditional the ability to locate such amenities Trails Chair Bob King kicked off portrait, clock, name tag and lapel of the aftermarket part as aftermarket gas, food and the meeting with a short welcome pin. of the part lodging as well numbers Camso (then as snowmobile trails from a mobile and presented the agenda of action Once the induction ceremony was numbers Camso (then Camplast) produced. phone items to be discussed. Attendees from completed, the final presentation of Camplast) produced. from a dream to same blossomed business we try Those Those same hnewe reality asbusiness she to worked to design and Michigan were MISORVA’s President the evening was the Edgar Hetteen continue of tryobjectives objectives continue to nThis one ofguide the the family develop smartThe phone app that for the KeltsUSA andrun. Secretary Karyn seated on Memorial Award of Merit, prepeople makeJim Track Tony Vruwink guide the family s. This business today. ing a owned sented this year to James Lewis of Snowmobile Trail snowmobile. Webmap. Sadly, Hautamaki well as Past Presidents The people that make Track USAas run. Tony Vruwink on Back, Kathy Vruwink, Ben Dahline and Bruceseated Vruwink. business today. snowmobile. Back, Kathy Vruwink, Ben Dahline and Bruce Vruwink. taking a owned Track USA knows USA. Linda succumbed to a serious illness in Ron Corbett and me. ACSA Executive Springfield, Missouri, in recognition Track USA knows swith USA.their tracks from theyear and was inducted Director Christine Jourdain is also a of his many accomplishments and January of this The business intheir tracks from the Soon after the busi- leading snowmobile en with race track, trail riders, s. The branched business inSoon after the busi- Michigan leading snowmobile innovations in the design, manufacresident. issue evitably into and tunnel exten-A common raceposthumously. track, trail riders, ness started customer rail ars. mounhy on cross-country, evitably branched into ness started customer rail and tunnel extenture and improvements of the “Top Some other awards alsoled presented of primary concern the statesmarket Tracksamong the ATV/UTV demand to the de- sion for which mounKathy and utility (well and ontaincross-country, Tracks the ATV/UTV market demand led to the desion for which Cog” snowmobile drive belts that are the induction ceremony the has USA seems has to be become the intrusion of wheeled through which they revelopmentwas of what tainat100 and utility (well he different busi-andover USA world has wide. become tail through which they revelopment what has known andesignatultimate variety become theofindustry over 100 different he busistandard on all snowmobiles built in 2020 International Snowmobile Club vehicles onto groomed and ago. models) and they are tail an ultimate variety become the industry known world wide. and they ars ago. models) ed snowmobile trails, which destroys today’s industry. Year, theare 2020 International their USA happyoftotheshare to share their s USA happy the trail surface for snowmobile use. The evening ended with more socialSnowmobile Dealer of the Year and with cusnow- knowledge with cuse snow- knowledge izing and accolades to the 2020 The main event kicked off Saturday theThe International goal is to Groomer Operator of the tomers. in the tomers. The goal is to awards recipients and hall of fame afternoon with a social hour and the Year, just to name a few. they get the customer lined they get the customer lined rightbegan Friday, Sept. nown up with silent auction, followed by a fantastic inductees. Once again, the event was The the festivities e known up with the right first nding considered very successful by all in dinner. After dinner, ISHOF President 25, at thetheWorld track/parts first Snowmobile tandingtrack/parts ge, time around. Joann Smith offered opening remarks attendance and plans are already in Eagle River. edge, timeHeadquarters around. rvice They welcome eunder way for next year’s event. • and recognition of honored guests, Attendees were treated to snacks and service They welcome e-

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was impacting other areas of the country. One day, late in the 1996-97 winter season while watching the weather channel and peering outside into a relatively warm and snowless

Northern Illinois backyard, they cut to a picture of a winter wonderland that still had massive amounts of snow in Marquette, MI. With winter seemingly done in my area, it seemed like a

A Destination for All Seasons

continued on page 32



ooking for an outlet to be able to breathe deeply and be revitalized by the freshest air on earth? Look no further than the best kept secret of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and immerse yourself in the history of the copper boom in this wild and wondrous place. Whether by snowmobile, ski, snowshoe or fat tire bike, Copper Harbor is waiting for you to explore miles of rugged back country trails and soak in the incredible scenic beauty. Beloved by tourists and locals alike, a venture to the northern most point of Keweenaw County, MI is a “trip to the top

30 NOVEMBER 2020

of the world” as it holds the north bookend of US Hwy 41 (the south point lands in Florida) and has unmatched views of mother nature’s finest. If your visit us by sled you won’t be disappointed! Copper Harbor is part of the largest trail system in Michigan, comprised of 250 miles of groomed trails. Trails are open December 1st through April 1st (weather permitting) and with an average of 270 inches of annual snowfall, the trails are often blanketed in white and ready for adventure! When you’re ready to take a break, rest up and refuel, the local business owners are here to serve

you through the winter months with many amenities available. Dining and lodging are available at The Mariner North (www. manorth.com), The Pines Resort & Restaurant (www. copperharborpines.com), and The Eagle Harbor Inn (www.eagleharborinnmi. com). Lodging is also available at Fanny Hooe Resort (www.fannyhooe. com) and at Trailside Lodge Motel & Copper Country Rentals (www.thetrailsidelodge.com) where a variety of rentals are waiting for you to hit the trails! Wondering where to fuel up? Conveniently located and easily accessible by all motors, Copper Harbor

Fuel Stop (www.copperharborfuelstop.com) is here to supply you with gasoline, diesel and any trail supplies and accessories you may need. Finally, as you ride through town, whether it’s a last-minute holiday purchase or the hunt for post-season deals, pop into one of our many gift shops to find that something special to commemorate your visit! No matter the mode of transportation you choose, please plan ahead and visit www.copperharbor. org for the most recent updates. Tomorrow is too long to wait. Copper Harbor…where the road ends and adventure begins! •


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chains on their trailers. With out them I would be replacing my SXS and trailer. So make sure you take a look at you ball and chains before your next trip. And I don’t mean your wife.

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great time to try to convince my parents about a quick adventure where I could see all this snow and possibly do a bit of snowmobiling. With a bit of convincing, thanks mom, my dad and I headed out on our first trip to the Upper Peninsula. The Upper Peninsula, and later the Keweenaw, quickly became our go-to destination for snowmobiling as we evolved with the sport. There was just something about the Keweenaw that resonated with me, with its elevation changes, scenic views, and ample amounts of glistening Lake Effect Snow; This was truly a unique place. The snowmobiling was always excellent, with many miles of well-maintained trails throughout the Keweenaw to explore and many miles beyond this that were all seamlessly connected. With each trip I learned more about the area, its rich history, and the wonderful people who help to make this such a great place. This truly became a special area to me, and it all started with my first snowmobile adventure. Fast Forwarding to today. I now find myself as a resident of the area, along with my wonderful family, and I currently volunteer on the Keweenaw Snowmobile Club Board. The organization currently maintains and grooms over 200 miles of snowmobile trails in the Keweenaw Peninsula. It truly takes a team effort to make this operation successful, with our groomer operators providing pristine snowmobile trails throughout the season to help make great snowmobile memories for our many visitors. As we look to the future, and the long-term viability of the Keweenaw Snowmobile Club, we need your help. We are in dire need of a new groomer barn to help store and maintain our fleet of 5 groomers. The current facility is in incredibly poor shape and doesn’t have adequate space to store the groomers; along with a lack of proper heating. The facility and its poor condition make groomer maintenance very challenging and contributes to an increased level of equipment breakdowns. In order to maintain excellent trails throughout the winter season a groomer barn would provide the needed facilities to keep the groomers on the trails making the trails great for everyone. So please make a difference by contributing today at www.gofundme.com/keweenaw-groomer-barn-fundraiser •





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November 1990 BY BILL TISRON


ovember 1990 and the hunters where getting ready to bag the big buck. Snowmobilers have gotten out their sleds to prep and clean them to get ready for the upcoming snow season. Getting ready for the season and talking about last season’s Winter Fest in Gaylord held on Feb. 9-11. The weather was perfect for snowmobilers who came to Gaylord for races, safaris and just plain snow fun. A radar run was held on Saturday, with 33 machines entered. The Antique Snowmobile Club of America brought a dozen sleds for display and, as always, was a big hit. Six of the sleds ran against the radar gun. A Ski-doo 2-cycle with a speed of 21 mph took first and an Arctic Cat 4-cycle with a speed of 18 mph. A Safari ride was held with 43 riders on Sunday and the weather was picture perfect. Les Cheneaux Snowfest takes a bite out of old man winter and gives snowmobilers a great time. More than 40 miles of groomed

trails provide an inside view of beautiful countryside and wildlife. But the festival wasn’t all about trail riding. Saturday was filled with drag races for every size engine. Many sleds lined up for the one-eighth mile raceway to fill the air with a thunderous roar. A poker run from Cedarville to Hessle and back was a fun time for the 20-plus snowmobilers to get the best hand. Snow sculptures were seen all over town. And the famous Da Yoopers performed to a standing-room-only crowd. A fun weekend for the entire family. Snowmobilers raise 2.3 Million for charity this past year, according to the International Snowmobile Council. Up 15% from last year. Way to go snowmobilers! Back in the day, Cadillac was one of the main hubs for snowmobiler in our great state. Even back in the ’90s, Cadillac had many miles of trails that are safe and well groomed. Cadillac and the whole community have been working hard to promote snowmobiling and winter

TOP TO BOTTOM: Doug Edwards, Jamie Bellman, Jim Bellman, Dick Edwards and Brian Bellman of Bellman Racing, Bremen, Indiana, won $1,000 in the Budweiser/Tyler Sales Shootout. One of two groomers keep Cadillac trails smooth and clean. John Weidman, Paul Felske and Bob Benner talk about John’s favorite recipes as Debbie Tomei and Chris Knotts watch a vollyball game.

continued on page 36

34 NOVEMBER 2020


tober, 2019

Kim Fredenburg season. My husband and I The mens Snowmorode in the Cadillac area and the UP from bile suit Winner was Reeves of Newberry to Paradise Joel Special artist designed tote bags with “Coca-Cola Trail”products. Franksville, WI. when Makes our kids were a great Christmas gift! young. My husband Each tote bag includes: pulled a sleigh behind Signed Copy of his with 2 Thesnowmobile Coca-Cola Trail The Coca-Cola Trail:People and Places in the of the kids in it, while i History of Coca-Cola features historic photographs rode two-up with bottlers the and memories that recall how pioneering created what would become the world’s most other. famous products.We had many with(12 the good timesJelly Cola Pepper oz) made with real Coca-Cola syrup kids on the trail. Now Coca-Cola Candle that we are Collecor’s glass candle has the aromaempty of Cherry Coca-Cola nesters we still love to The 13” x 13” exclusive tote bags are a quality ride inSelect the Munising, made product. from either design Splash or the Colorful Bottle. Grand Marais and Seney areas. We

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HEARST.qxp_HEARST 8/26/19 11:37 AM Page 6 HEARST.qxp_HEARST 8/26/19 11:37 AM Page 6

Odie the dog was 6 MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER - September, 2019 6 MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER - September, 2019 sculpted by the fourth grad Randy Giffore of East Jordan class as Lesto Cheneaux meet with us. My oh’ takes first run on his 1971 to meet with us. My oh’ schools for the snow festthings and have really my, Thunder jet 348, time 62.8. won my, 2nd place. things have really changed during these changed during these past two decades, continued from page 35 past two decades, haven’t they? haven’t activities in their area. members converged on they? guns for all ages, roundSo, beginning at high At the 2019 ACSA At the 2019 ACSA More than 200 miles of Paul and Sandra Fly-In Felske’s out this fun-filled week- noon and ending close the edMichigan Fly-In the Michigan groomed trails, trails for strawberry patch Snowmobile for a end. to midnight, the races AssociaSnowmobile Associacross-country skiers, ice weekend of camping Muskegon tion sent four dele- Great Lakes were held with more than tionand sent Invitational four dele- Snowmobile fishing with many ice-cov- fun. John Weidman 352 entries. Drag racers gates to attend the gates to attend the Morning meeting of the ACSA Board con- meetings ered waterways, downhill wifeBoard provided to Challenge and to gather 1990 with the came from all over the Morning meeting of the ACSA con-a pig meetings and to gather vened early Sunday morning. skiingearly and so muchmorning. more. be roasted for Saturday sleds on ice wasThe Capital Midwest.Building. The farthest informationhottest to discuss vened Sunday information to discuss The Capital Building. Make congressional plans to spend aRepresentatives, evening’s smorgasbord Feb. 24-25. The came more than 650 with our held legislators and with ing our legislators Representatives, and ing congressional winter weekend in the picnic buffet. MIRA memfour-lane, 660-foot drag to race. Over during our visit to the ceptive to our miles committees or mem- even though many of during receive abundant con-justtricts our visit to the ceptive to our conmany of even though committees or memreceive abundant tricts Capital. With fourteen Cadillac area. bers spend weekend strip was getting dumped 4,000 fans came for a year bers of Congress. At them were somewhat Capital. With fourteen cerns and have a sin- snowfall every them were somewhat bersMIRA of Congress. At snowfall every year cerns and have a sinCongressmen / cere its first afteras weekend the on with snow, lots interest of racing and confused to pur-during the end ofheld the day be-annuingreat whatday areofacutely aware of / cere the end of the day be- confused as to pur- Congressmen are acutely aware interest in what women andsnow. two Senaal “Strawberry winterwelcomed camping together Race officials were notthe disappointed at of fore anyone is Jam” ex- pose, most we havehad to say. Those impact snowmobilwomen and two Senafore anyone is ex- pose, most welcomed tors, where possible, we have to say. Those the impact snowmobilCampout in courteous the race pits postpone Saturday’s all.dis- ing has on the winter in- and thewheretopossible, cused, we June have16-17. our us with legislators whose cused, we have our us with courteous in- tors, legislators whose dis- ing has on the winter we met the appointterest. camaraderie In today’s socibriefings as tofields talking Strawberry forever shared by races and hold everySad that racing doesn’t met the appointbriefings as to talking terest. In today’s soci- we ments as a team, but of our ments points of interest and a ety most (words to this old this unique groupas athing Sunday, even if happen like it did back in team,onbut of racing our when points of interest andBeatles a ety most the visits overlegislators use the reminder of issues song) amply the is a true family. it meant under the lights. the day. Maybe someday the visits overusefeeling the ofwhen reminder of describes issues legislators lapped in Wow, time, too wemuch snow for it will come back hot and state associations as lapped most important tomemfun weekend MIRA Horseshoes, volleyball in time, we most important to state associations as went in groups of two. their primary source of squirt snowmobiling in every bers had when over 100 and, of course, a race. heavy. • went in groups of two. snowmobiling in every their primary source of This scheduling information when This snowbelt state. scheduling information when worked well snowbelt state. in order issues worked Tuesday, the final snowmobile in order issues for us to well Tuesday, the final snowmobile visit each and day of the event is arise. for us to visit each and day of the event is arise. office, either with For the past sev- every office, dedicated to “storming either with For the past sev- every dedicated to “storming a senior staff member the hill” to meet with eral years since 1999, a senior staff member the hill” to meet with eral years since 1999, or with the Congressour state’s Senators it is no longer much of or with the Congressour state’s Senators it is no longer much of men/women in person. and Congressmen or a chore to get appointin person. and Congressmen or a chore to get appoint- men/women We have always been women, or at the very ments, and in many We have always been women, or at the very ments, and in many welcomed in both Senleast, their knowledge- cases the ACSA office welcomed in Senleast, their knowledge- cases the ACSA office ator’s officesboth to meet, able office staff. Al- receives calls or e- ator’s offices to able office staff. Al- receives calls or e- albeit briefly, withmeet, them though it was difficult mails inquiring when briefly, with them though it was difficult mails inquiring when albeit personally. to do, Christine was “the snowmobilers” will to do, Christine was “the snowmobilers” will personally. It is most gratifying very successful in ac- be coming to the CapiIt is most gratifying very successful in ac- be coming to the Capi- that the majority of quiring appointments tal so Senators and the majority of quiring appointments tal so Senators and that Michigan’s federally with most of the offices Representatives can federally with most of the offices Representatives can Michigan’s of both Senators and try to adjust schedules elected officials are re- Group photo of the 2019 Fly-In attendees. of both Senators and try to adjust schedules elected officials are re- Group photo of the 2019 Fly-In attendees.



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36 NOVEMBER 2020 Emailed Trail reports Emailed Trail reports




R - September, 2019out pretty good. MarWith tin said, “We had a re-

they made the move to By Stephen King ER - September, BILER - September,2019 2019 ally good turn out. make the move. they made movefun. to OK, there is rushthey made move to Some really good Anyhow, itthe worked round the end ofoutmake the move. ing it a bit and then make the move. pretty good. MarAnd, some really good or the first part oftin said, there is rushing it a bit. Anyhow, Anyhow, it worked “We had aworked recomradery.� R - September, 2019 But, when it comes to pretty good. Marst. Not in June.allyout outgood pretty good. Mar-of Asturn for out. me, snowmobiling, there tin said, “We had rethey the move tinmade said, had aatorewhen I got this e-Some really good fun. course I had to sample really is no rushing it, ound the end of make the move. ally good turn out. ally good turn out. inviting me overAnd, some really good all of this, in the name because in the heart of Anyhow, it worked r the first part of Some really good fun. fun. Some really good comradery.� rgers, brats, corn around the end of ct.around end ofoutAnd, all true snowmobilers, pretty good. Marof journalistic integrity, Not inthe June. some really good And, some really good As forhad me, of e cob, and a few or the first part of snowmobile season ly or the first part of tin said, “We a rehen I got this eof course. So, I can comradery.� comradery.� course I had to sample ust. Not in June. never really ends. But, out. ed marshmalugust. June.ally goodAsturn me, nvitingNot me in over ofa The Sault Groomer Barn, where everything Asthe for me, of say that without all of this, in name Some really good fun. that being said, on when I got this eo, when I got this efor brats, a end second happens. Here is Dennis Hank of Chippewa course II had sample gers, corn ound the of course had to sample doubt that the burgers And, some really good of journalistic integrity, June 18th, the Sault inviting me over ail, inviting over all of this, in the name ,r cob, I thought Ifew had Motors, and LeeAnn Izzard. the first of and part ame all of this, the name were really good. The comradery.� Snowmobile Associacourse. So, I can brats, corn rurgers, cornof of st. Not inabrats, June. about month integrity, dburgers, marshmalofjournalistic journalistic integrity, The Sault Groomer Barn, where everything As for me, of tion held their annual corn on the cob was that without a he cob, aaefew the cob,and and fewsay 150 members. Then, the fire for ishis grandHank hen this of So, canhappens. of course. course. So, II can for I agot second nap. Had some Here Dennis of Chippewa course I had to sample Summer Picnic. that theMartin burgersand I The ted awesome. The SaultGroomer Groomer Barn, where everything asted marshmalSault Barn, where everything nviting marshmalme over doubt they also have Maybe about rushing the daughter Alexa. Izzard. She that without say that without allsay of this, in the name aaMotors, I, thought I had and LeeAnn h issues lately forfor a a second really good.burgers The happens. Here is Dennis Hank of Chippewa gers, brats, corn ws, secondwere Here is to Dennis Hank of Chippewa both commented 30 Commercial mem- just a bit. really seemed enjoy of doubt journalistic integrity, doubt that that the burgerson happens. about a month season eally took a good e, I thought I Ihad cob, and a few on the cob was Motors, and LeeAnn Izzard. ere, I thought hadcorn Motors, and LeeAnn Izzard. the fact that this was 150 members. Then, his grand tasty of were course. So, I can really good. Thethe fire were really good. The bers.everything Martin also told the fortraditional When I got the enap. Had some at those bot-awesome. marshmalThe Sault Groomer Barn, where nd about apill Martin and I ken about amonth month say that without a they also have about daughter Alexa. She really tasty corn for the corn on the cob was corn on cob was mail from SSA Presiissues lately 150 the fireof for grand memembers. at Then, the motreat summer. How150 members. Then, the fire for hishis aHad second happens. Here isgrand Dennis Hank ofthat Chippewa nap. some f for you know what Iboth ng nap. Had some commented on doubt that the burgers 30 Commercial memreally seemed to enjoy awesome. Martin and I dent Martin Cottle, I early part Martin of summer. awesome. and I Motors, they have about daughter Alexa. She ally took a Igood I thought had they alsoalso have about daughter She LeeAnn Izzard. ment, they groom ever,and I Alexa. did somewhat th issues lately issues latelythe fact that this was were really good. Theon .alth bers. Martin also told the traditional tasty both commented on did of a double both commented And, the funky green really apill month Commercial mem- kind really seemed enjoy tdabout those 30 30 Commercial memto to enjoy about 102 miles of of aseemed faux paux. At first, really took corn on the cob was really tookabotagood good really tasty corn for the But, when I got 150 members. Then, the fire for his grand take. Had me a real the fact that this was me that at the motreat of summer. Howthe fact this was the nap. Had what someI bers. Martin also the traditional tasty fluff marshmallow you know bers. Martin also told told 9 traditional tasty awesome. Martin and stuff I daughter at those pill botTrails. Including mistook Alexa for a ok at those pill botearly part of summer. they also have about Alexa. She Rip Van Winkle mo, Martin me really tasty corn forthe theever, ment, they groom I ofdid somewhat issues told lately really tasty corn for that at the motreat ofsummer. summer. Howmeme that at within the motreat Howwas also downright both commented on really If you know what IAnd, s. If you know what I 30 Commercial memseemed to enjoy miles the City him. OK, she is 13, the funky green ment. part of summer. summer. ally took good 102 miles of of ever, aever, fauxI paux. At first, about early hey just told You see, they ment, groom Idid didsomewhat somewhat ment, theythey groom fact part that this was my But, whenadecided I got theearly n. tasty. Plus, Prince, bers. Martin also the traditional tasty ean. fluff stuff skinny, andfor had short Limits of the Soo. have their pict those pill bot- marshmallow And, the funky green And, thecorn funky Trails. Including 9 usually Alexa afirst, ove itBut, up to June. about of afaux faux paux. At really tasty forgreen the mistook about miles of ofofaof paux. At first, Martin told me me that102 at102 themiles motreat summer. HowBut, when I Igot when little five pound Shiyou know what Igot was also downright fluff stuff stuffhim. marshmallow hair. But, not afor him. ATrails. Which is fluff marshmallow within thepretty City9 cool, OK, is for 13, early part of summer. Including 9 in mistook Alexa ament, Trails. Including mistook Alexa a miles w! No long nap eyMartin just decided they groom ever, I didshe somewhat e, told me ere, Martin told metasty. Tsu mix side kick told Plus, Prince, my was also downright wasthealso her. itself. A+ the And, funkydownright green skinny, and had Limits of within the Soo. miles the CitySoo him. OK, she is13,13, miles within thefor City OK, she isfirst, about 102 miles of ofhim. a faux paux. Atshort .) they thatlittle ve it Seems up to decided June. they just at just But, when Idecided got five pound Shime that the hot dogs tasty. Plus, Prince, myhair. fluff stuff marshmallow tasty. Plus, Prince, my But, not ahad him. Aato Which is of pretty in9Soo. on being sledder Anyway, back the skinny, and had short Limits of the Trails. Including mistook Alexa for skinny, and short Limits thecool, Soo. w! Noit itup long ove totonap June. year, many SSA Martin told me move up June.Tsu mix sidedownright kick perfect. told little five pound Shi-her. was also were also just little five pound Shiitself. A+ for the Soo miles within the City him. OK, she is 13, hair. But, not a him. A Which is pretty cool, hair. But, not a him.happily A Whichfriendly. is pretty cool, in in SSA. Martin hey just ) Seems that ew! NoNodecided long nap Whew! long napme bers always tasty. Plus, Prince, my Tsu mix side kick told that the hot dogs Tsu mix kick told skinny, had Limits of Soo. Then, I watched as her. itself. A+ for the Soo on being sledder Anyway, back toshort the her. itself. A+ forthe the Soo ve to June. The SSA has three toldand me that the club n.) Seems that year, many SSA ken.) Seems thatwere little five pound Shitoit up have someme that the hot dogs also just perfect. hair. But, not a him. A Which is pretty cool, in me that hot dogs Anyway, back to the on being sledder friendly. SSA. Martin happily Martin’s brother Al Anyway, back to the on being sledder w! No long nap hers year, many SSA groomers, two Tuckers has about 60 Family always ch year, many SSATsu mixalso kick told to do around the were just perfect. her. itself. A+ forhas thethree Soo Then, Iside watched as were also perfect. SSA. Martin happily friendly. ) Seems that The SSA told me that the club SSA. Martin happily friendly. toasted up some mbers always to have someembers alwaysme that theI watched hot dogs as Anyway, and a sledder Piston Bully. memberships, which back to the on beingSSA Then, brother Alashas Then, watched of themany picnic, year, SSAsoMartin’s told methat thatthe theclub club has three told me TheThe SSA three groomers, twohas Tuckers about 60 Family m to toaround have marshmallows also just perfect.over havesomesome-were oem do the friendly. SSA. Martin happily They are pulling two translates into about Martin’s Almemberships, Martin’supbrother brother Al some ers always toasted has about 60 Family groomers, two Tuckers hasme about 60 Family groomers, two Tuckers and a SSA Piston Bully. which Then, I watched as told gng to dodo around the to around the fto the picnic, so that the club The has three toasted some memberships, have some- marshmallows toasted up some memberships, which apulling Piston Bully. which andand a Piston Bully. They are two about Al translates of ofthe so Martin’s brotherover me thepicnic, picnic, has about into 60 Family groomers, two Tuckers o do around the so marshmallows over marshmallows over translates into about They are pulling translates into which about and They aare pullingBully. two two toasted up some memberships, Piston

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of the picnic, so


nic around the end of July or the first part of August. Not in June. So, when I got this email, inviting me over for burgers, brats, corn on the cob, and a few toasted marshmallows, for a second there, I thought I had taken about a month long nap. Had some health issues lately and really took a good look at those pill bottles. If you know what I mean. But, when I got there, Martin told me that they just decided to move it up to June. (Whew! No long nap taken.) Seems that each year, many SSA members always seem to have something to do around the time of the picnic, so




translates into about


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Planning for O 40th Annual East Jordan 2020 Sno-Blast SIDEWINDER S-TX GT Underway rganizers of the East Jordan SnoBlast Winter Festival have started making plans for the 40th annual festival. The committee is proud this festival has reached this amazing anniversary and are committed to

providing a familyfriendly schedule of events for 2021. The festival will run Feb. 19-21 in East Jordan. Most events will be held on the East Jordan Sno-Mobiler’s Club grounds on Mt. Bliss Road in East Jordan. The schedule of events will be


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HR TOWING & RECOVERY Balloon Shane Tisron: When planning your fall fall color color communities offerand from or- When Call forfrom Vacation spots and your • New Used Parts planning The East Jordan Jordan Sno- communities offer orEast ed • 4 x 4 WreckerThe w/Wheel Lift Sno• AUTO • HOME • SNOWMOBILES tour and event destinations… chards, corn corn mazes, mazes, pumpkin Owner/Operator tour and event destinations… pumpkin Winter getaways Blast Committee has has kicked kicked chards, Blast Committee • Full Service (All make Makes) Outs • Wreckmaster Certified make sure East East Jordan is patches, art galleries, galleries, resale sure is art resale •Jordan SEASONALS • COMMERCIAL off their their festival festival planning patches, off planning Close to snowmobile trails number #1 on your list! Email shops, hand blown glass number #1 on your list! Email shops, hand blown glass meeting for the 39th 39th Annual Annual 824 Water St. wner/operator:meeting Steve for Bernier the Bridge St .~ East Jordan, mosherts@charter.net or call call us us today today for for color color tour tour shop,612 antiques, restaurants 231-536-3331 shanetisron@gmail.com or shop, antiques, restaurants Sno-Blast Winter Festival East Jordan, Mi Sno-Blast Winter Festival routes, area information and 231-536-3332 - Fax and much more. routes, area information49727 and 231-676-0784 scheduled forestimate February 21 21 –– and much more. Contact for freefor scheduled February more at at 231-536-7351 231-536-7351 or or The East East Jordan Jordan Pumpkin Pumpkin more The 23, 2020 2020 in inBoyne East City, Jordan. insuranceshop@sbcglobal.net 23, East Jordan. for celebrated more information eliableEast and Insured MIFest Jordan email info@ejchamber.org Fest will be on will be celebrated on email info@ejchamber.org –– Looking for for another another wonderwonderLooking ful family-friendly family-friendly festival festival celcelful ebration winter in northern ebration winterKnight in northern 2020 Winter Josh Specializing in all of Michigan forand snow and nonMichigan for snow nonPeck Belleand of the • Good used Sleds For Sale snow-lovers alike! The The festifestiyour Embroidery needs snow-lovers alike! Blizzard Alyssa Dunson Tisron: val offers offers aa multitude multitude of of • New and Used Parts val 250 S. Shane Lake Street #4 activities including including snowmosnowmoactivities East Owner/Operator Jordan, MI 49727 Jordan Valley and • Full Service (All Makes) bile radar radar runs, runs, antique antique bile River have both seen 231-222-2192 ~ 231-675-0705. snowmobile snow, snow, snow snow snowmobile asculpture lot of visitors and food 612 Bridge St .~ East Jordan, competition, MCDesigns08@gmail.com sculpture competition, food shanetisron@gmail.com residents enjoying the events ATV ATV and snowmobile snowmobile Megan Herriman Cindy Bennett events and Contact for free& estimate recreational amenities rides, plus plus much much more. more. rides, 5586 MT. MT.Co-owners BLISS RD RD 5586 BLISS Reliable and Insured Boyne City, MI they offered In the thehave meantime, Eastover Jordan In meantime, East Jordan EAST JORDAN, JORDAN, MI MI EAST “owns” the fall falland whenfall. comes the summer “owns” the when itit comes Bill Pardee to fall splendor and beauty! Soon it will be time Service & isMaintenance area abundant with fall Specializing in all of toThe enjoy spectacular Repairs of allgreat kindscountry foliage and snowmobiling, your Embroidery needs roads and scenic overlooks snowshoeing, cross250 S. Lake Street #4 108 Mill Street to get those “ahha” and country skiing and East Jordan, MI 49727 “oohs” from Leaf Peepers of East Jordan, MI 49727 raft trips Downtown) as winter all(M-32) ages! There are also a 231-222-2192 ~ 231-675-0705. settles in. If you have number of festivals and At the end of the Trail MCDesigns08@gmail.com never our area eventsvisited celebrating the fall Megan Herriman & Cindy Bennett 231-536-2624 in the winter, please Fest season including…Fall Co-owners Before the Snow Flies... Flies... in East Jordan at the consider visiting us beautithis Before the Snow • Breezeway Fall Color Saturday Cruises ful Tourist Park locatedYou on the upcoming season. • Breezeway Fall Color Saturday Cruises • September 26 • October 3 & 10 South Arm of Lake won’t be disappointed. • October 5th &fall 12th Charlevoix – Saturday, Sep“We Own The Fall”• September Discover our 28th area for the finest hiking, camping, We are a snowmobiletember 28th, the 11th Annual • East Jordan Fall Fest September 28 fishing, paddling, nature preserves, scenic drives, biking, hunting plus more! friendly community Fall Breezeway Color SAVE THE DATE FEBRUARY 19-21, 2021 • Pumpkin Festival, October 16th and offer lodging, Cruises – September 28, OcSNO-BLAST WINTER FESTIVAL SAVE THE DATE: FEB. 21-23, 2020 SNO -BLAST WINTER FESTIVAL dining and shopping tober 5 & 12. Cruise at your experiences. Please Snowmobile the beautiful scenic Jordan Valley Trail, own pace “discovering” all contact the East Jordan that The C-48 Breezeway (26 for a fabulous riding.experience Area miles Chamber long from of Atwood to “Visit our Snowmobile Friendly Downtown Area” Commerce for complete Ellsworth to East Jordan and on toinformation Boyne Falls)athas to area offer after you pick your 231-536-7351, atup our goodie bag full of tour tips, website ejchamber.org special sales/coupons/swag or e-mail us at info@ from businesses located ejchamber.org • 231-536-7351 ~ info@ejchamber.org along The Breezeway. Experience all that the Breezeway MAIN STREET • EAST JORDAN, MI


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NOVEMBER 2020 39

Vintage Sled of the Month:

John Deere Spitfire O BY STEPHEN KING

K, guys, you all know me … What other sled could I possible have picked for my sled of the month than the John Deere. Hey, we all it is Deer Season in Michigan in November. But for collectors of antique and vintage snowmobiles, it is always Deere Season. First, John Deere is pretty much a household name. For many years, they have made farm tractors and lawn and garden equipment. So, back in the golden age of snowmobiles, John Deere was in a pretty good position to enter the snowmobile market. This very sound company had been in business well over 100 years and already had a network of dealerships across the country. As any farmer could have told you, pretty much every little farm town had a John

40 NOVEMBER 2020

Deere dealership. And most dealt in products for homeowners as much as cow owners. So, by the late 1960s, the snowmobile market was booming. With their dealerships, their name and their existing manufacturing capacity, John Deere was well poised to enter the snowmobile market. By about 1970, articles appeared talking about John Deere doing just that. In 1970, John Deere announced it was true and noted they had about 2,000 dealers in states with enough snow to warrant sales.

Sleds would be made at their plant in Horicon, Wisconsin. (I will not even go there with that name. Cheeseheads…) So, in 1972, John Deere entered the market, starting off with the 400 and the 500. The 400 was smaller and powered by a 339cc Canadian Curtiss-Wright engine estimated to put out about 28 hp. The bigger 500 was powered by a 436cc engine that put out a whopping 36 hp. Compare that to the 2020 Ski-Doo E-Tec that is supposed to spit out 165 horses. As for the rest of the

sled, it was about standard for the time. It had an aluminum chassis, a fiberglass hood, a comfy seat, plus headlights, taillights and all the rest. As for a suspension, this was back in the good old days of bogie wheels and leaf springs. From experience, when you landed a jump, you had to land perfect, otherwise … Well, 50 years later, and I still feel some of those not-so-perfect landings. With all this going for them, the John Deere snowmobiles took off like a deer. As a matter of fact, one of their slogans became something of a marketing icon, namely “Nothing runs like a Deere.” That slogan soon became the mantra of the company. They were producing good sleds and soon became a major player in the industry. As a matter of fact, they pulled off a little coup back in 1980 when they became the official provider of snowmobiles for the Winter Olympics held in Lake Placid, New York. On this, John Deere survived the 1970s, when the fuel crunch put a crunch on a lot of snowmobile manufacturers. But they could not survive the 1980s. First, the market was changing — for the worse. Then, Executive Vice President Robert Carlson left the company. These factors combined to let those running John Deere put the John Deere sled out


easy part, but the people wonderful dinner includ- out our trail system. Our dining group was need to have that one ing the salad along with a steak and baked powell impressed with how weekend each year tato, and served right to the tables were set up as when all of our volunyour table. the double tables with teers and groomers get Snowmobilers from all chairs all the way around together a local estabto atpasture. John Deere fans — like the over the area as well as them aloud for communilishment. They let off a Now, part of the deal farmer that wants a sled to little steam and have a other parts of our state cation without being limwas that theand brand was to match his tractor. Or,talking just to a ventured Whitehall ited to just fine evening of food that evening to partake couple of people. Our sold to Polaris, which had as often, a child or granddrink and fellowship. of this wonderful event. agreed to Snowkeep producing child who group wants included a sled toRandy The West Shore Brian made a point to Smith, Jamie as mobilesleds council beenDeere dealforhas John match his or her dad’s Bishop or bring up the fact that well as Dan and Robin havingersa who Spring flinginterested. were grandfather’s tractor. volunteers do Taylor and Phil and danceBut, everywith yearthe for market as many the I still see a lot of John long as I can remember. many different things. Cheryl Alvesteffer. And of way it was, this never hap- Deere snowmobile suits This year was no differ- Some volunteers do course our favorite girl pened, and the 1984 sled foratthethe snowmobile shows. great things clubs Carla Buchan out on an ent, the only difference by obtaining the materiwas the last production Way back when, a lot ofwith us, evening dinner this year was the venue, als that they need to resince Tom was gone model produced. ladies liked to look really the Spring fling for 2019 pair bridges or perhaps trout fishing. It was truly would beAlong held atwith the Vetproducing good in the winter, and in a drainage ditch. a great evening of food erans sleds, of Foreign John wars Deereput also the John Deere suits looked Or one of many other and drink along with post on Colby street in produced a lot oftasks associreally good. Today, a fair that need to hap- some great fellowship Whitehall. ated products. They made amount of women also like The evening began pen in order to keep our with family and friends.

snowmobile suits, helmets, to look good in the winter. gloves and a whole lot At a snowmobile show, more. Back then, a suit those old John Deere suits was about $75 and a hel- still are a fashion statemet about $25. Try and ment. buy a new suit or helmet Finally, as usual, if you today at that price. (Along want to take a closer look with doing the whole writ- at a John Deere snowmoVELTMAN HARDWARE ing thing, I also own a bile, check out the Top 231-861-2442 small flea market. A few of the Lake Snowmobile ago, I picked up a Museum in Naubinway. •years Snowmobile Parts • Service • Trail Permits John Deere snowmobile They have a couple on for two sleds. This display. They haveEra, a MI On trailer the Hart-Montague Trail 4736 1st St. - New little lost deer stayed at my 1978 Spitfire and a 1976 store maybe a week until it Liquidator. They also have found its “forever home.”) suits and even a helmet, The John Deere is still plus a few other John one of the most popular Deere items. So, stop in sleds out there. I don’t and give them a visit. have any numbers for this, And I just can’t resist … but at just about every because finding a Deere show I go to, I see John in Michigan can be rough Deere sleds. They made right now. Because nothing lots of them. And there runs like a Deere in Deer are still a lot of diehard Season. •





Blessingof of the Blessing theSleds Sleds

@ Skinner Park - Irons, Jan. 2, 4, 2021 2020 Skinner Park – Irons, MIMI | Jan. SnowOut outDate date|Jan. Snow Jan.18, 16, 2020 2021

For trail conditions or up coming For trail conditions or web upcoming events visit our events visit ironsarea.com @ironsarea.com


Call or Email us to advertise in this space 231-536-2371

Calumet, Michigan publisher@michsnowmag.com

Trail Access from Parking Lot


Large Trailor Parking

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Black Bear Resort Motel • Restaurant & Lounge • Gas • Trail Permits • Bowling Lane • Gift Shop

Located right on the snowmobile trail and just a few miles away from Lake Superior and the Porcupine Mountains in White Pine, MI www.thekonteka.com 906-885-5170


NOVEMBER 2020 41

November, 2019 - MICHIGAN SNOWMOBILER 29

we ail me te

land, and back roads and were back at the cabin in no time. And it was still only -4

We rode about 75 miles, with the trees covered with fresh snow, it was very beautiful. Getting back to the “warm” cabin this time, the dog was happy to see us to stoke up the

fire and start dinner. We have ridden that allow an individual to area for over 35 years and know our ride way an off-road vehicle (ORV) around very well. It without a crash helmet was a lot of fun even or protective if he or she with the cold. Aseyewear we snowmobilers say,possessed “It’s a written verinever to cold to Ride!” fication from a physician

Senate Helmet Update


that he or she could not, he Michigan LEGISLATION AFFECTING for physical or medical Legislature has been “MOTORSPORTS” reasons, wear a helmet. in session severSenate Bill 0922 Sponsor: Sen. Ed al days in October as would amend Part McBroom COVID-19 protection 821 (Snowmobiles) of Status: Senate Natural measures needed to be the Natural Resources Resources Committee enacted into law, follow- and Environmental Act ing a Michigan Supreme (NREPA) to allow an Senate Bill 1120 Court ruling that struck individual to ride on or would amend the of riding, our cabin in down the governor’s operate a snowmobile Revised Judicature Act to ur dog, Casey, waiting coronavirus-related exec- if he or she possessed a specify that a physician utive orders. written verification from would not be liable for SRViper LTX GT While the focus has a physician that he or civil damages that resultbeen on pandemic-relat- she could not, for physiAt the heart of the 2020 Yamaha Viper L-TX GTed is from the physician’s ed issues, several pieces cal or medical reasons, provision of or failure to Yamaha’s proven 1,049cc three-cylinder engine, which of legislation related toupdated has been with aanew electronic control module wear helmet. provide a written verifimap that Sponsor: is designed Sen. to offerEd a boost in power. motorsports and(ECU) recrecation that an individual sophisticated closed-loop fuel injection system ation introduced“With thisaterm Districtdelivers who was under his or and 4-valves perMcBroom, cylinder, theR-38th 1049cc engine could still see movement Status: Senate Natural her care was unable, instant throttle response and class-leading horsepower, this year. If not aenacted thick torque curve that jets you from corner to corner Resources Committee for physical or medical blink of an eye,” “All with great fuel economy and before the end inofa the reasons, to wear a crash a reputation durability.” year, the legislation will for bulletproof Senate Bill 0923 helmet, safety belt or need to be reintroduced. would amend Part 811 both. (Off-Road Recreation Sponsor: Sen. Ed INTRODUCED Vehicles) of NREPA to McBroom



Status: Senate Natural Resources Committee Senate Bill 0032 would amend Section 805 of the Michigan Vehicle Code to change the recreation passport fee information on the vehicle registration application to include state trailheads as authorized unlimited entry recreation areas. Sponsor: Sen. Roger Victory, R-30th District Status: Senate Natural Resources Committee House Bill 5551 would amend Part 821 (Snowmobiles) of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA) to state that a person who displayed a registration decal or trail permit sticker on a snowmobile somewhere other than as required would be responsible for a civil infraction and could be ordered to pay

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a civil fine of up to Sponsor: Rep. Greg es Northwest CABINS ON SNOWMOBILE TRAIL $150, as opposed to a Markkanen, R-110th www.Snoshuinn.com of the criminal misdemeanor District Wood Linens, Groups and Rentals charge which can Stoves, curStatus: House Natural nac Bridge rently be 906-876-2324 assessed. The Resources and Outdoor snoshuinn@gmail.com bill reduces the penalty Recreation and sanction for the improper display of House Bill 6174 registration decals and would eliminate the trail permits. helmet requirement for Sponsor: Rep. Julie the operator of or pasEASY ACCESS TRAILS Alexander, R-64th senger on TO a 4-wheel District off-road if the Direct TV andvehicle, Showtime Status: Senate Judiciary operator has a motorcyDiscount Ratesunder & Public Safety cle endorsement Section 312a of the Sunday-Wednesday House Bill 5776 Motor Vehicle Code. 906-292-5556 would amend Part 811 Sponsor: Rep. Gary (Off-Road Recreation 5961 Eisen, USR-81st Hwy.District 2 Vehicles) of NREPA toEPPOUFETTE, Status: House Natural MI allow an individual to Resources and Outdoor ride an off-road vehicle Recreation (ORV) without a crash House Bills 5684, helmet or protective 5689, 5692, and eyewear if he or she 5693 would amend possessed a written verification from a phy- several sections of the Natural Resources sician that he or she and Environmental could not, for physical Protection Act (NREPA), or medical reasons, the Michigan Vehicle wear a helmet. Code and the Motor Sponsor: Rep. Beau LaFave, R-108th District Carrier Fuel Tax Act, generally to remove Status: House Natural Resources and Outdoor criminal penalties for certain violations of Recreation those acts and instead make those violaHouse Bill 5780 tions civil infractions. would amend Part Violations include snow821 (Snowmobiles) of NREPA to eliminate the mobile and registration issues, road travel and helmet requirement for crossing rules, and snowmobile use when sales of snowmobiles riding or operating a lacking proper safety snowmobile on his or features, among other her private property, issues. or for a person who Sponsors: Reps. John possesses a written verification from a phy- Cherry, D-49th District, Beau LaFave, Greg sician that the person, for physical or medical Markkanen, Status: Senate Judiciary reasons, is unable to & Public Safety wear a helmet.



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

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continued on page 44


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

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

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NOVEMBER 2020 43

continued from page 43

U.P. Lawmakers Support Natural Resources Trust Fund BALLOT PROPOSAL



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The Upper Peninsula’s members of the state Legislature recently announced their support for a proposal on November’s general election ballot that would reform the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (NRTF) to allow more dollars to be used for recreational improvement projects each year. “The Michigan NRTF has served its original purpose well since its establishment nearly five decades ago. These reforms are timely to help ensure that today’s needs are better funded, which is why I support this ballot proposal to change the state constitution,” said Sen. Ed McBroom. “We should be focused on taking better care of ®the attrac® RENEGADE X-RS tions and assets we have, including our parks, trails and water Choppy trail, bumpy terrain, wild access. This corners – devour themproposal all on the will provide Renegade X-RS flexibility featuring the while allowing needed new rMotion™ X® rear & RAS™ X® use of the funds for generations to front suspension. Pair it with come.” a powerful Rotax® Engine and

rMotion™ RAS™ X® corners –new devour themX®allrear on &the Renegadefront X-RSsuspension. featuring Pair the it with a powerful Rotax® Engine and new rMotion™ X® rear & RAS™ X® REV® Gen4 platform and you’re front suspension. Pair it with ready to easily handle anything a powerful Rotax® Engine and the trail throws at you. REV® Gen4 platform and you’re ready to easily handle anything the trail throws at you.

The budget was also a focal point of lawmakers this fall. The bipartisan fiscal year 2021 budget was balanced, on time, and increased investments to important priorities like job training, K-12 education 989 -684 -9872 and public safety without raising 3636 S. Huron St. | Bay City, MI 48706 www.stevenscycle.com taxes. The recently approved budget did not contain specific funding for trails-related projects. The state continues to be in a statewide spending freeze, but some trail ® projects are moving forward after receiving approval for advance® ment. • ® © 2020 Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP). All rights reserved. , TM and the BRP logo are trademarks of BRP or its affiliates. Products in the United States (U.S.) are distributed by BRP US Inc. Always ride responsibly and safely. ® © 2020 Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP). All rights reserved.

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

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

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

44 NOVEMBER 2020

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

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


Waterfall Watching: Wagner Falls near Munising, Michigan

Vacation or Staycation BY JIM DUKE


ince the onset of the coronavirus in the U.S. some six months ago and once the governor relaxed the “stay home-stay safe” order, the Upper Peninsula has become a virtual mecca for tourists, both from around the state and from other locations as well. About three months ago, the word “staycation” first hit the media and news anchors explained it as a new phrase for those folks who regularly take a vacation every summer but have decided they are staying closer to home because of the pandemic. This didn’t apply to everyone, mind you; a look at license plates on local streets reveals an invasion of tourists among

and to see attractions such as the waterfalls and lighthouses across northern Michigan. A trip to the former K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base to see the aircraft on display is an admission-free opportunity. us. Likewise, visitors from Some visitors needed a period of self-isolation surrounding states are enjoying the beauty of once they arrived, and the area — and keepmany were forced to ing motels and campviolate that restriction grounds continuously due to the number of filled to capacity. A days available before three-day mini vacathey had to return tion to the western UP’s home. Regardless of where the tourists come Porcupine Mountains from, the one thing com- State Park and the mon to all is the require- nearby town of Silver ment to wear a face covering when in public, outside one’s own dwelling or off their own personal property. This didn’t seem to bother most folks and it eventually has become common practice. Acquaintances from downstate are crossing the Mackinac Bridge in droves to experience what the Upper Peninsula has to offer


Enjoying the ORV Trails of Alger County.

City is a very popular excursion, and the view at Lake O’ the Clouds is always breathtaking. Recently, the state government released funding to the grant sponsors responsible for the maintenance of the 65,000-mile statewide trails system; most clubs were anxious to get started with trail cleanup and grading. With the popularity of offroad vehicle use, almost every stretch of trail is seeing a big increase in use. The tourism effect isn’t limited to the Upper At Bayshore Park in Grand Marias watching the seaplanes taking off and landing.

NOVEMBER 2020 45

nd tractors are becoming more mong the grant sponsors.

s on display, ht red Pisten ys standing he sun, and en machine n Deere stase, the everckers with orange paint ery easy to e line-up. Aluite as cont equally as re the, the olland, and noth Husky. ter, ArrowSno-Boss actors (more known as also on disfar the one d the most s the Dubie ng snow

ation in producing a surface that can endure the heaviest of traffic and remain in a smooth and safe condition for a longer period of time, the At the Grand optimum time to scenic groom Island overlook, top of or is during the late night Hill. very early Forest morning hours. This puts the operator, usually alone, at risk should there be an equipment failure or breakdown somewhere along the trail in an isolated area where no cellular phone service exists, or if it does and he/she is able to make contact with the trail boss, there is still the danger of hypothermia of freezingthis while waiting Couple with the for a rescue. A more cancellation or post-dangerous scenario is if no ponement of scheduled contact is made and the activities and events operator must try to nationwide, from counmake his/her way back ty fairs to international out of the wilderness conventions, and the where contact can be pandemic has touched achieved, but still vulnerevery citizen in one able to the elements until way or another. help comes. We To willovercome, get through or at this as we have other least minimize, this dansuch calamities. The gerous and possible inconveniences and the deadly situation,

Throughout the weekend, spontaneous fundraising gimmicks proved both beneficial and entertaining, There were silent auction items to bid on, there were 50/50 raffles, and of course the door prizes for both general attendees and at least one for Peninsula either nor to grant sponsors only, the our state. Michiganders latter being the pole saw are traveling outside donated annually by the state to other Agency destiV&V Insurance nations From a locatedas in well. Cresco, Iowa. week-long trip to V&V provides thesuminsurmer-long excursions, ance coverage for the and from the program East coast snowmobile to tothe thegrant West, the pansponsors. demicOne is not of preventing the primary folks from exercising concerns brought to light their freedoms of the during the several previopen road. has Onebeen fellow ous events opsaid he only hadbecause a erator safety, few days offthan fromnot, his the discomfort we are more times

“essential” employment and very little cash to spend, but he still wanted to get away from home, so he headed over to some friends’ home in a neighboring state. So, it is with many others as well who know folks who live or have a camp on some beautiful river or lake and have received invitations to visit. One of the unfortunate affects of the COVID-19 crisis is the closing of the border between Canada and the United States, and the inability of visiting our northern neighbors.

experiencing is just temporary; we will eventually get back to some degree of normalcy, even though it may never be exactly as it was before. The fact we are yielding more to this virus than we have done to others many folks believe were as serious, if not more so, is due in part to how the mass media has portrayed it. Just keep repeating that old adage, “This, too, shall pass,” and hope for better days ahead. If we just follow some simple rules, we will survive. •

popular Tuckers with 50/50 raffles, and of their bright orange paint course the door prizes was also very easy to for both general attenpick out of the line-up. Al- dees and at least one for though not quite as con- grant sponsors only, the spicuous but equally as latter being the pole saw popular were the, the donated annually by blue New Holland, and V&V Insurance Agency the silver Prinoth Husky. located in Cresco, Iowa. Mogul Master, Arrow- V&V provides the insurhead, and Sno-Boss ance coverage for the snow compactors (morerange snowmobile Dominating the demo was program John to commonly known as the grant sponsors. Deere’s Big Green Machine. drags) were also on disOne of the primary above and beyond all exMichigan Snowmobile play. but by far the one concerns brought to light pectations and bepreviAssociation’s Office that attracted the most during theshould several Silver City, Michigan Fuelevents Available applauded for their ef- opManagerattention took906.885.5311 itwas upon the Dubie ous has been on Property wing safety, CALLthis DIRECTto ANDsnow forts. erator I’m told that because six herself double to bring SAVE 15% OFF RACK RATE Trail Access processor. times than not, the sponsors were public awareness and grant more from Parking Lot


A Moyle Hospitality Property

solicit contributions to purchase a “survival kit” for each groomer in the entire statewide fleet. She says the donations began pouring in almost immediately with enough funds to kick-off the project, and at this workshop, was able to present the bags to the thirty-two grant sponsors in attendance and is working on getting enough bags to outfit every piece of equipment before the start of the 2019-20 season. Those responsible for organizing and overseeing this event have gone

forced to cancel to Large Trailor due Parking inclement weather, makSaltwater Pool ing travel hazardous Hot Tub from their particular locaSauna tions, however, more than one hundred and five individuals did register and make the trip to the Kewadin Casino & Conference Center in Sault Ste. Marie, and when the question was asked whether the event was beneficial and worthwhile, they answered with a resounding YES!

Visit the Marquette ar MARQUETTE

Visit the Marquette area

46 NOVEMBER 2020

contact w boss, ther danger of h freezing wh a rescue. gerous sce contact is m operator make his/h out of th where con achieved, b able to the help comes To ov least minim gerous a deadly s

N 46° 27’ 611” W 87° 26’ 498”


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

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

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

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order Suite 114 to: We now accept Southfield, MI 48034


orders by phone.

Credit Card Number credit231.536.2371City______________State____ Canadian subs. Add $19.00 Per year Michigan Snowmobiler Exp. Date Security Code card for phone in orders Zip/Canadian Code_____________ P.O. Box231-536-2371 417 ~ East Name_______________________


~ $15.00



Jordan, MI 49727


NOVEMBER 2020 47



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