Well, we can officially say the 2012-2013 snowmobile season has ended…..although there is still some good back country riding but, remember, it is privately owned land so make sure you check locally before setting out.
Most people take riding for granted……I say that the land is privately owned, but most people don’t digest that……they see big expanses of forest land and fields and can hardly wait to thumb down on the throttle and make tracks……….but someone does own that……and everyone that veers off the marked trail or sets out back country riding without a proper guide really is making it difficult for all of us.
We are very fortunate that hundreds of landowners across The County, and for that matter, across the State, offer up their lands to allow us all to enjoy our outdoor recreation…..not just snowmobiling but hunting, fishing, atving, etc. Up here in The County there are lots of folks that make their living off the land…..and believe it or not, snowmobiles and grooming equipment can impact fields and wooded areas despite the snow cover. Groomers and snowmobiles tend to drive the frost a bit deeper in the ground which impacts when a farmer can start to plow and plant. So when we deal with a landowner and they request that we place the trail in a certain area…..well….we do and we appreciate it if, when you ride, you follow the trail.
This year was particularly tough and we had lots of complaints about sleds digressing and driving across fields and across harvested forest areas. The problem is sometimes equipment is left in fields or in the woods, or there is irrigation equipment including pipes and inlets, that although marked, might not be visible to the snowmobiler when there is blowing snow and drifting. So remember, riding in Maine and here in The County is a privilege and not a right. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the landowners that are willing to open their lands….so respect that and make sure you thank the landowners you know for the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors !
On a sad note this week was also the end of an era of sorts here in The County. We lost two pretty well known folks that take with them a great deal of history from this great region.
Gary Pelletier was an iconic figure in northern Maine………he epitomized The County with his rugged individualism, his confidence, his ingenuity and his big hearted ways when it came to helping out others. He knew the north woods like the back of his hand and guided many folks on some truly memorable outings……..he will by sorely missed by his wife Linda and children Tom, Gary, Kevin, Kurt and Lori.
And Carol Derosier succumbed to a courageous battle with cancer this last week as well. For those that frequent Lakeview Restaurant and Camping Resort…..Carol and her late husband Dick were the pioneers of the establishment and always part of the landscape. Again, confident, courageous and creative entrepreneurs……folks that define what The County is all about. Carol will be sadly missed by her mom and three daughters Lisa, Becky and Jennifer.
Well now we wait for spring, warm temps and planting season……and oh…..did we forget……the other riding season…….yeah that’s ride….atving here in The County is some of the best in the eastern United States. Log onto visitaroostook.com and check out the atv promo clip…..if that doesn’t make you want to ride during the non snow season I don’t know what would…….
So…..clean off the sled, service it, remember to disconnect the battery cables because those darn electronics drain it quick…..and plug the exhaust or breather boxes if you have them to keep the mice and squirrels from infiltrating your system….jack it up and let’s hope for another great riding season next winter !!