toy snowmobiles
Cheap, dirty, made in China, but oh-so-inspirational!

It’s funny how a handful of toy snowmobiles ease the daily grind of creating Snow Goer magazine. While most adults would just stash these cheap, plastic toys on a shelf and forget about them, we look to them as a source of inspiration.

After spending all winter behind the handlebars, riding snowmobiles across the frozen landscapes of Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Maine, parts of Canada the mountain West and more — the glamorous part of our job — without fail we end up holed-up in our offices during the hot summer months of June, July and August putting together issues of the magazine — the not-so glamorous part of working in the snowmobile media. The riding season spurs a lot of stories and story ideas, but not enough to fill the pages of seven issues. And that’s when we turn to the miniature sleds.

Editorial director John Prusak, associate editor Tom Kaiser and I gather in Prusak’s cramped and dusty office for several rounds of editorial planning and story pitching. If our train of thought screeches to a halt, these toys help spur story ideas; most often tech stories like how-tos and technical features. Holding the sleds, flipping them over, opening their hoods, spinning their rubber tracks, gliding them across the desk and cycling their working suspensions gets us thinking and puts us back on track.

Now if only I had a way to come up with better blog topics …

— Andy Swanson, Snow Goer magazine managing editor

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