Retired And Riding
At the beginning of this new year January 2017, I am reflecting on my many years of enjoying the great outdoors and more precisely, my first experience with ‘’snowmobiling”. While growing up as a boy, we never had the luxury of owning a snowmobile or a ”Ski-doo” as they were all called back then, regardless of the brands that were around at the time, but some of my friends had access to one or two and we soon learned to”’ride” whenever we got the chance to and could buy a couple dollars worth of gas of course. It wasn’t until 1970, that my older brother began selling them and brought home a demo for us to ride, a 12 HP Boa-ski. That soon became my very first favourite after school past time. How I would long for 3:30 pm each day to get out for a ride with my friends. The phrase ”I would rather be riding’’, I believe was born way back then and is used today by many avid snowmobilers, young and old alike.
As time went on and I went to work, I purchased my very first brand new Snowmobile, a 1981 Bravo for a whopping $1495.00, but it was well worth it in my mind and provided many hours of winter fun. There were no groomed trails then, but the possibilities of places to ride were endless it seemed, everyday was a new adventure. As I worked over the past 41 years, there has been many times when I wished I had more time off to really enjoy what became a very popular winter sport and I continued to do so as often as my job would allow. It wasn’t really until groomed trails became a reality, that my passion for even more riding and much longer trips was at the top of my list of things to do in winter on my days off.
[sc name=”HorizQuoteBorders” param1=”There were no groomed trails then, but the possibilities of places to ride were endless it seemed, everyday was a new adventure.” ]
Then came my first 2-up Touring machine in 2005 and we joined a large group of couples who would do some very nice excursions on the newly groomed trails on a weekly basis. Before one trip was finished, usually on a Saturday, plans were already made for our next trip. It could be leaving from our back yard here in Springdale (NL) and making the trek to as far away as Corner Brook, which would be an all day and overnight trip, or just to a warm up shelter for a good scoff. It was always a great day out for sure. Now that I have been finished work for two snowmobiling seasons, a ride can be planned for any day of the week ,as long as there is someone to join in and have a day out on the trails. Last March, a friend and myself took three days and covered a lot of trails from Green Bay, Baie Verte area and on to the Grand Falls Badger area. Being retired though opens up so many options as to when and where one can ride, whether it be a short trip or an extended stay at many of the places we have available, just off the trail system. The best advantage I have seen of being able to go out when I feel like it is that in mid week or before the weekends, the trails are usually freshly groomed and to take advantage of less traffic and have a groomer go through just a few hours before your ride is certainly a bonus. Hopefully we get plenty of snow this winter and can again take advantage of what Mother Nature throws at us in the form of snow. We are so fortunate to have the many KMs of trails to enjoy here in this province and all the back country winter ”playgrounds” to meet every riders style and I encourage everyone to get out. Whether you are working, semi-retired or fully retired, just get caught up in what has become a very popular winter activity for thousands of snowmobilers of all ages.
For me, there is nothing like a good groomed, well marked trail, great friends and of course good food on a sunny winter day, Just to see the beauty of nature as you wind your way through tall trees will make one appreciate what winter has to offer. I am looking forward to three to four months of snowmobiling this season and to see where the trails take me on each adventure. Each trip is always a new experience and with my camera always with me, there are so many scenes just waiting to be captured.
Seeing such a change over the past 40 plus years in ”what we ride and where we ride” is such an eye opener in itself as to where this present 125 hp touring sled, the latter being very comfortable on which to spend an extended ride with many comforts unheard of back in the early years of snowmobiles…….So have a great winter of riding, no matter what you ride or your style……….just enjoy!