The 50th Season on Snowmobile – Cecil Ryan
By: Cecil Ryan Sr.
Well he’s at it again, or should I say he’s still at it, the 83-year-old “teenager” Cecil Ryan of Seal Rocks, St. George’s, Newfoundland. Cecil is very busy these days preparing himself and his snowmobile to travel the country for the 50thconsecutive winter. His “trip of choice” is always travelling the country and ice fishing in the ponds at the head waters of the rivers that run into St. George’s Harbour and Bay St. George.
It all began back in early January of 1971 when he bought a used snowmobile, a 1970 single cylinder, 14 HP, 280 CC Alouette from a dealer in Corner Brook. Later in mid-February of that year, a partridge hunting season was opened for 2 weeks, so he and a good buddy of his at that time, Xavy Alexander went to Cross Pond Dam and stayed in a cabin belonging to the Power Commission. They got a few partridge and rabbits on that trip.
He rode the country for many years afterwards while hunting and fishing in the country. Other people that also rode the country with him and worthy of mention are Bob and Corey Garnier, Fred Delaney, Walter White, Fintan Alexander, Raymond LeRoux and Dawson Cutler. His most loved companions and riding buddies of course were his son Fred who frequently travelled with him, as well as his other sons Jim and Cecil Jr. who rode with him when they were home, as they lived away. Sadly, Cecil’s son Fred passed away suddenly in 2012 at only 44 years of age and he was devastated by this loss. Fred was not just his son, but his best friend and snowmobiling buddy.
In April 2015, Cecil along with some of his children, sons-in-law and grandchildren made a 110 mile trip in memory of Fred. They travelled around the head waters of the four rivers making a complete loop leaving from his house in Seal Rocks up the trail bed to Fischells then in through Pasture Road to the country he loves most. When finished, they ended up back in Seal Rocks that evening.
Despite being nearly 84 years old, Cecil is still an avid outdoorsman and snowmobile enthusiast and he feels he still has many trips ahead of him. Cecil hopes to cover a lot more ground and plans to ride snowmobile for the next number of years.