A decade ago in our then-sister publication Snowmobile Magazine (may it rest in peace), we published a cover story called “101 Ways To Prove You’re A Snowmobiler.” Author Lynn Keillor quizzed the staff, regular contributors and many other snowmobilers to create this fun list. Seeing the snow falling outside right now in the Minneapolis area made us want to revisit this fun-loving article, and quiz our web readers on their own level of accomplishment based on this list. We realize nobody is going to get 101 out of 101 — some of these are whimsicle, others are in distant locations most people will never visit and yet others are borderline illegal. But most are items that are unique to the snowmobiling experience.
So, here’s Part 1 of the 101 Ways To Prove You’re A Snowmobiler story — the first 25. Read through them and, if you want, you can share your score in the “Comment” box below. Each weekday for the rest of this week, we’ll post another quarter of the list, wrapping up on Friday. Enjoy, and share with your snowmobiling friends.
Things All Snowmobilers Must Do, by Lynn Keillor
(First published in Snowmobile Magazine, Premier 2003 Issue)
What defines snowmobilers? What makes them tick — and what compels them to do what they do?
One can get metaphysical about it and talk about freedom, independence and oneness with nature.
Or, one can talk realistically and say that true snowmobilers are the ones who change jets bare handed in the cold, eat meals cooked on an exhaust pipe and wear checkers without shame.
A snowmobiler is a combination of the two qualities — we’ve determined 101 of them. Take pride in the number of “for snowmobilers only” things you’ve done, and look forward to
trying the ones you have not.
Just for the thrill of it …
#1 – If you’re a flatlander, take a snowmobile trip to the mountains.
#2 – Pass a car on the road while riding in the ditch.
#3 – Ride an awesome section of trail, then turn around and ride it again.
#4 – Snowmobile (on snow) in July.
#5 – Ride on Quebec’s one-way, divided trails.
#6 – Circle the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec.
#7 – Ride from November to April.
#8 – Volunteer as Hill Help at the Jackson Hole Hillclimb in Jackson, Wyoming.
#9 – Snowmobile above the Arctic Circle.
#10 – Make first tracks.
#11 – Attend a race and walk the pits — it doesn’t matter where or what kind.
#12 – Make the highmark on a mountain.
#13 – Drive wide open on a smooth lake.
#14 – Load your snowmobile onto the Snow Train.
The Algoma Central Railway operates a unique shuttle service for the 295 miles between the Ontario towns of Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst. Officially, it’s called “Tracks To Trails,” but most people simply call it the Snow Train. The train runs Friday through Monday, making three trips each way. Up to 15 snowmobiles fit in each box car (loaded by driving the snowmobile up a ramp), and passengers sit in vintage 1940s–style passenger cars. The train will stop anywhere along the route to let off snowmobilers. In winter 2003, a one-way trip was $77 per person and $54 per sled. For information on Tracks To Trails, call 800/242-9287 or view www.algomacentralrailway.com.
#15 – Carve a powder turn.
#16 – Load up on a tilt trailer.
#17 – Ride on the back of a 2-Up.
#18 – Enjoy a sunny spring ride wearing a helmet, T-shirt, jeans and boots.
#19 – Drive a Manta.
#20 – Snowmobile near or around Lake Superior.
#21 – Snowmobile from your garage.
#22 – Attend the Arctic Man in Alaska.
#23 – Take a saddlebag tour.
#24 – Stop in the middle of nowhere and look around, take a deep breath and thank God you’re alive.
#25 – Cornice jump.