Next Issue: November 2017

Print Date: November 1, 2017

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ISHOF… Say What??

When snowmobilers speak about the ISHOF, it’s usually in hushed tones or in loud and excited comments about those selected few from among the countless throngs among us, but either way it is always with an air of dignity and reverence. It’s true that not everyone can be inducted into the ISHOF, or better known as the International Snowmobile Hall of Fame, but I would bet I can name at least a dozen or more snowmobiling enthusiasts who deserve to be considered, and are more than eligible for that consideration.

That being said, those who are nominated and finally accepted for the honorable and most noteworthy recognition afforded to any snowmobiler, whether he or she has demonstrated to ability to go above and beyond what most would think is common, or better yet show positive results in a rather controversial issue that may, or more likely would, have a devastating effect on the national, or international, snowmobiling community.

 

So exactly how did the ISHOF get started, and why? Well, that’s a story all its own, but in answer, a brief history might be in order...

On Saturday, September 16th, the Les Cheneaux Snowmobile Club celebrated its 50th anniversary with a ceremony at the Clark Township Hall in Cedarville. That afternoon, Club members and supporters gathered to remember the last 50 years of the Club’s existence and talk about where the Club is now and where it is going.


The afternoon began with a social hour that started at about 3:00 p.m. Then, at about 4:00p.m. there was a presentation and awards. On this, the keynote speaker was John Griffin, area businessman, long time LCSC member, as well as a Past President of both the LCSC and the Michigan Snowmobile Association.


Griffin noted, “The Les Cheneaux Snowmobile Club was founded on November 7th 1967. The first meeting was held right here in the Clark Township Hall. There were about 35 Charter Members there. Three of the key members were George Cunningham, Archie Visnaw, and Tony Autore.”


He noted, “They were a group of people who enjoyed snowmobiling. They started out to clear trails and establish trails.” He also quipped, “We didn’t know at the time that someday the DNR would make us get a permit to do this.”

Cedarville Snowmobile Club Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Every year my wife (Patti) and I take some kind of trip as soon as we print the last issue of the Michigan Snowmobiler Magazine some time in February. Last year we went out west. This year it was decided to go to the far reaches of the beautiful state of Michigan. We wanted to go as far north as we could in our state.


On February 21 we headed north to Baraga, but found very little snow, so it was decided to head towards Twin Lakes where we found a lot more snow. We unloaded, put our saddle bags on, and headed north to Houghton–Hancock.


We spent the first night of our trip near Houghton on the way to Copper Harbor. It was a long day of driving and riding. After a quick meal we were off to bed.


We were up bright and early, had some breakfast, jumped on our sleds, and kept going north. The trails weren’t too bad for that time of year and they got better the farther we went. The banks along side of the roads where still very high and the groomers were still out doing a great job.


We took our time and enjoyed the sites. We made our way up to Copper Country Rentals and Trail Side Lodge where we met up with Chris and Sue Bushong, owners of the two properties. A few years ago we became friends with them and their family at the Novi snow show. Our booth was close to theirs. By the end of the weekend they wanted to advertise and were inviting us up to ride.

Our trip to Copper Country and Trailside Lodge

For some years now, just about every year, one of the first things I do after the start of a New Year is to head over to Rapid River. The reason is that each year, they have a very nice Antique and Vintage Snowmobile Show. Each year, hundreds of people and a whole lot collectors start their year off the same way.


As for shows, it is about average. They usually have a fair amount of sleds on display. And, each and every year, I have always found at least one new thing I have never seen. This year was no different. Once again, there were things that made me go, “Wow!” and others that made me giggle and go, “You’ve got to be kidding.”


This year, on the “you’ve got to be kidding” part of it, there was a cutter. You know, back in the day just about every manufacturer had a tow behind sled to put the kids into. And, over the years, I have seen a lot of them, some pretty cool. At Rapid River, I saw one that made me kinda giggle. It was made out of a 50 gallon barrel. Someone had cut a hole in the top, added on a couple skis and a hitch, and there you have it. Instant kid carrier.

Rapid River Kicks Off New Year With Snowmobile Show

With the hint that the coming winter maywell be one of the snowiest in recent years, enthusiasts flocked to Nelson’s Speed Shop anxious to see what the newest innovations the snowmobile manufacturers has incorporatedinto their 2018 models, their clothing and accessories.


Anticipation was running high as the early shoppers anxiously waited for the gates to open… and open they did, promptly at 9:00AM Friday morning.

Of course, not every shopper was there to look for a new snowmobile.


Some were ready, with cash in hand, to stock up on necessities such as oil, hy-fax, traction products & carbides, and just about anything else one might think of to enhance their snowmobiling experiences this season. Of course, many came to see what might be found in the huge swap meet that has become an integral part of the Sno-Motion event.

 

Located just three miles north of Greenville, Michigan on state highway M-91, Nelson’s Speed Shop has the reputation of being the snowmobiler’s friend, but it’s not just the snowmobilers that were forming the long lines for entry into the parking lots… not by a long shot! Since Nelson’s Speed Shop was acquired by Ed Richter of Lakeside Motor Sports fame a few years ago, several other products have been added to the already huge inventory at this facility.

Sno-Motion 2017

2017 MSA Outdoor Recreation Swap Meet

The Saginaw County Fairgrounds was the site of the this years Michigan Snowmobiler Association Outdoor Recreation Swap Meet in Chesaning, MI on September 22 & 23, 2017.


It was a very good venue for this type of show. The big problem was the heat. All summer long we had mild weather, then of course, when MSA has their show, it seems like every year some weather problems happen: rain, snow, wind, then this year 90 plus temps. MSA sure could use a break.


The swap meet is a outdoor recreation swap meet like their flyer said. Motor or not, includes anything to do with outdoor recreation: ATV’s, UTV’s, motorcycle’s boat’s, trailers, campers, and of course snowmobiles. Anything to do with the outdoors, except gun’s and ammo.


I spoke with Jim Dickie, who told me even with the heat they still had over 50 swappers and venders, a good turn out.

The time has long past when Michigan citizens could just pick up whatever equipment they might need for their recreational activities and head out for a day on the trails or wooded pathways, and as popularity in both motorized and non-motorized sports has escalated, so have the conflicts between trail user groups over just who has priority use, and how it is determined. There is no dispute that there is a limited number of trails available within the public landscape, whether it is on state owned properties or controlled under federal regulations, and obviously not enough for every user group to have their own exclusive trails. So how do those who must decide dictate which users get which trails? The answer is by appointing advisory committees from each user group to assist in making the difficult decisions and support in the development and maintenance and, most important of all, funding of the trails once they have been established.

 

It’s no secret that quite a few decades ago, most of the conflicts just didn’t exist, and if they did there wasn’t much ado made of them. There were very few off road vehicles to contend with, at least in the winter months, and most of the snowmobile trails were nothing more than loops of various lengths, almost always across farm fields rather than venturing too far into the forests. This was because, back then, reliability was a huge factor and no one wanted to be isolated in the woods with a disabled sled. It holds true even today that one can travel into the woods over snow further in five minutes than they can walk back out in several hours, so it’s pretty much survival dependent. That’s why the basic rule of never ride alone unless absolutely necessary is so important… and if you must, let someone know where you’re headed, which route you are taking, and when you expect to arrive at your destination or when returning home.

Recreational Trails Users Meet in Marquette

On Saturday, September 16th, the annual Swap Meet and auction was held at the Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum in Naubinway. However, this year the event also included the dedication of the new library at the museum which is now called the “Bud Knapp, John McGuirk Library.”


The library was part of the recent expansion project at the museum. As you may recall, about a year and a half ago, the Museum was gifted 33 snowmobiles by the Bombarier museum in Quebec. This resulted in the Museum having to expand, to be able to house the new additions. As part of that expansion, the Directors of the Museum made the decision to include a library as part of that expansion.


The expansion was funded by an effort by Museum members. Long time supporters Roger and Karen Jarema created a “$1000 Challenge”. With this, and many other donations, the money was found to finance the expansion. About this, Museum Director, Vice Chairman, and past Antique Snowmobile Club of America President John McGuirk stated, “We were worried that we might have to add the cost of the expansion to our mortgage. But, with the fund raising efforts, led by Roger and Karen, we are happy to say that the expansion has been fully funded.”

Library Dedicated At Snowmobile Museum