I’ve been lucky to ride snowmobiles in a lot of cool areas over the past eight-plus years as an editor for Snow Goer magazine. If not for this job, I’m sure I wouldn’t have ventured to Utah several times, or Brimley, Michigan; way-out locales in Quebec, or even Minocqua, Wisconsin. Instead, I’d probably be content to stick with what I know well: Minnesota.
The U.P. of Michigan has been a regular destination for me and I’ve ridden in the West Yellowstone area almost a dozen times, I traveled to Togwotee, Wyoming, this past winter and one of my favorite destinations is the Black Hills of South Dakota — winter or summer. So, I’ve gotten around, but there are some spots that are still on my “must ride there” list.
To me, the state of Maine is a mysterious one; it seems to fly under the radar, never making national headlines. It isn’t home to any professional sports teams, I’ve never heard of a natural disaster occurring there, nor have I heard about any political scandals. And since I’ve yet to ride a sled east of Detroit, heading to the East is in my Top 3 places to ride; specifically: Jackman, Maine.
Jackman is a small town close to the Canadian border, and because of that it’s under a lot of influence from French-Canada. Jackman is a town whose industry is logging, so it’s a remote, lonely area in the northern Appalachian Mountains. Trails and trail markings are extensive with clubhouses scattered about. The town couldn’t be more snowmobile friendly I hear.
I’ve been snowmobiling a lot during the past 20 years, but never before have I gone snowmachining. But if I get to lay down tracks in the snow up in America’s Last Frontier — Alaska — I’ll officially be a snowmachiner. I don’t know specifically where in the state I want to ride, but I know that I want it to be an adventurous ride including backcountry and trails, and I want to see dramatic scenery. Perhaps I should ride somewhere along the route of the famous Iron Dog cross-country race that starts in Big Lake and criss-crosses the state until it finishes in Fairbanks.
A good friend and fellow snowmobile club member makes two or three trips annually to near Steamboat, Colorado. He invited me to go with in February this winter, but my busy work schedule in the middle of the season prevented me from going along. Randy talks of the bottomless powder and stunning scenery, implying that no other Western snowmobile destination is as good. I’ve ridden in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Utah, but never in Colorado, so I want to make a trip to Steamboat to see how it stacks up to my current favorite Western destination: the Snowy Mountain Range in Wyoming.