Tick…tick… tick… You hear that? Tick…tick…tick… that’s the sounds of time melting away… tick…tick…tick… The only problem is, that’s not seconds, or even minutes… tick…tick…tick… it’s the sounds of entire DAYS disappearing, pulling us through summer and toward fall.
I remember when I was young(er), my parents would talk all the time about how fast time was going. “Geez, it just seemed like it was yesterday and it was Labor Day, and now it’s getting close to Christmas already!” For me and most kids, the time between those two holidays seemed like an eternity, filled with way too many days at school and not nearly enough days outside screwing around.
Now that I’m old(er), I’m the guy thinking time is going WAY to fast. It’s July already, for cripes sake – where is my summer going?!
Summer passing rapidly means we’re getting closer and closer to snowmobiling’s best-attended event – the Haydays Grass Drags and Swap Meet here in Minnesota. Over the last 17 years – and especially when we still had Snow Week magazine – I had people regularly call the office or strike up a conversation when I was at other snowmobiling events to tell me that their local event or one they were helping to promote was either “bigger than Haydays” or that it will be bigger than Haydays within the next couple of years.
Well you know what? None of them were, and none of them are yet. Haydays is still the king, drawing 30, 40, 50 and one year even allegedly more than 60 thousand people to the ultimate state fair-type atmosphere and celebration of all things snowmobiling.
This year, however, is different. After decades at a location just south of Forest Lake and north of Lino Lakes in the township of Columbus, the host Sno-Barons snowmobile club is moving to a new location in Sunrise Township, just east of North Branch, Minnesota.
In terms of miles, the new location isn’t THAT far away – 36 miles, according to Mapquest, although others says you can get there in less if you know the right route. Either way, it’s not like the Sno-Barons moved this thing to Kentucky.
Still, many are wondering how the move to a new site will play. For sled owners in the Twin Cities, it was almost a no-brainer to go to Haydays – to the point where you would almost be embarrassed if you didn’t go to such a cool event that was practically in your backyard. Plus the thing was the same weekend, on the same grounds for years. You didn’t have to really think about it until Labor Day weekend, and then you could make your plans for the following weekend in the north suburbs.
Now? A drive to North Branch for Haydays isn’t quite as convenient. Plus, somewhat disconnected folks may not know how to get there, or be sure about the new location.
At the same time, however, some folks are expecting a boom this first year, thinking folks who maybe only came every second year or whatever will be motivated to check out the new site.
Only time will tell what happens with the crowd. There are three things I can tell you for sure – we’ll be there, it will be a great time, and it will be here before you know it. Because the calendar, not just the clock, is ticking.