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snowmobiling November 1990

Remember When: November 1990

By Bill Tisron

November 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!

Randy Giffore of East Jordan takes first run on his 1971 Thunder jet 348, time 62.8.
Randy Giffore of East Jordan takes first run on his 1971 Thunder jet 348, time 62.8.
Odie the dog sculpted by fourth grad class as Les Cheneaux schools
Odie the dog was
sculpted by the fourth grad class as Les Cheneaux schools for the snow fest and won 2nd place.
groomer keeping Cadillac trails smooth and clean
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
John Weidman, Paul Felske and Bob Benner talk about John’s favorite recipes as Debbie Tomei and Chris Knotts watch a vollyball game.
Doug Edwards, Jamie Bellman, Jim Bellman, Dick Edwards and Brian Bellman of Bellman Racing
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.

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 activities in their area. More than 200 miles of groomed trails, trails for cross-country skiers, ice fishing with many ice-covered waterways, downhill skiing and so much more. Make plans to spend a winter weekend in the Cadillac area.

MIRA held its first annual “Strawberry Jam” Campout June 16-17. Strawberry fields forever (words to this old Beatles song) amply describes the fun weekend MIRA members had when over 100 members converged on Paul and Sandra Felske’s strawberry patch for a weekend of camping fun. John Weidman and wife provided a pig to be roasted for Saturday evening’s smorgasbord picnic buffet. MIRA members spend weekend after weekend during the winter camping together in the race pits and the camaraderie shared by this unique racing group is a true feeling of family. Horseshoes, volleyball and, of course, squirt guns for all ages, rounded out this fun-filled weekend.

 Muskegon Great Lakes Invitational Snowmobile Challenge 1990 with the hottest sleds on ice was held Feb. 24-25. The four-lane, 660-foot drag strip was getting dumped on with snow, lots of snow. Race officials had to postpone Saturday’s races and hold everything on Sunday, even if it meant under the lights. Wow, too much snow for a race.  

So, beginning at high noon and ending close to midnight, the races were held with more than 352 entries. Drag racers came from all over the Midwest. The farthest came more than 650 miles just to race. Over 4,000 fans came for a great day of racing and were not disappointed at all. 

Sad that racing doesn’t happen like it did back in the day. Maybe someday it will come back hot and heavy.

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