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Dear Central Maine Snowmobilers, I’m Sorry! I Can (and do) Commisserate

A boney ride
John Moore/Getty Images
My heart goes out to those who are spending weekends having to trailer more than a hundred miles north to jump on the sled and go for a ride. And even more to those who don’t have the time or money and sit at home on a sunny winter weekend looking at your snowmobile sitting outside in the dirt or on the grass. This isn’t winter.

Several years ago I owned two sleds and, luckily, a trailer. Too many winters were spent traveling to Millinocket or Greenville or Rangeley just to find snow. Although I LOVE to ride in the afore mentioned places, I like to go because I WANT to not because I HAVE to. Fact was, I had the choice of either spending half the day traveling to get a ride in or sit at home and find something else to do. I got tired of that and bought a boat. Years like this (which seem to be the rule), I have no regrets.

Worse, when there’s no snow from Bangor south, have you SEEN how many sledders there are on the ITS (Interconnecting Trail System) in the northern part of the state? For me, someone who likes wide open spaces so I can enjoy the beauty and peace of the woods, the large numbers of people and machines is overwhelming, not to mention the smell of snowmobile exhaust (which I actually like in small doses).

This isn’t good for the Maine economy. Thanks to snow making, skiiers are skiing but I’ve got to believe that things could be a lot better for them, too.

Let me finish with a recommendation, and this is just me. If the only place you ever go snowmobiling is north, maybe you aren’t affected by the snow drought. That’s great. It’s a beautiful place to ride and, God knows, the smaller towns need the dollars. If, on the other hand, you find yourself sitting at home too many weekends wishing you had some white ground cover, do yourself a favor. Sell the sled and get a boat. Summers in Maine are a lot more predictable.

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