Right now, I’m sitting in an airport far from home, looking at the most beautiful sight. No, I’m not talking about the counter worker at the gate (though the tall brunette is rather fetching). Instead, I’m managing to look past her (mostly) at a snow-covered mountain range out the window.
I find myself this morning in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The past three days I’ve been in a rural area a bit south of here attending a Tread Lightly board meeting. For the uninitiated, Tread Lightly is an excellent, broad-based organization that deals with outdoor recreational ethics and education, and how wise, thoughtful recreating on public and private lands helps keep access to those lands open. Great message, great people, and a great board of directors. It actually grew out of the jeep industry 25 years ago, but now it represents many communities – snowmobiling, ATV & UTV riding, four-wheel trucks, hunting, fishing, boating, even mountain biking. From our little snowmobiling world, Yamaha and Polaris are very involved and Arctic Cat is a financial supporter (hey BRP – how about stepping up and helping this fine group?!).
Yet when the whether turned yesterday afternoon and rain started falling outside the window at the rural lodge that was hosting the board meeting, there was one snowmobiler in the room – me. And I was practically doing cartwheels when I saw that our rain was snow on the mountains outside the window. (I said “practically” because I’ve never been able to pull off a cartwheel, and I’m not about to perfect one now at my age.) Christine Jourdain from the American Council of Snowmobile Organizations was at the meeting as well, but she left just moment before I spotted the snow, so I had to celebrate alone. Some of the others had an “oh crap” look in their eyes, but I was dreaming of pulling a rope and climbing a hill.
As I said, I’m at the airport right now – my first flight today takes me to Chicago, my second flight to the Minneapolis airport, and then my Durango will take me to the site of the Haydays Grass Drags, where my co-workers are currently setting up our booth. It’s kind of sad that I’ve got to leave the fresh snow to go home to watch sleds race on grass and clay, but I’m looking forward to Haydays nonetheless, because it signals the unofficial start of the snowmobile season!
If you’re going, stop by our booth and say “Hi.” I’ll be the one with the huge grin on my face.