Gear heads, antique lovers brave cold for Transportation Museum’s WinterFest

Colby White, 5, of Topsham climbs aboard his father David’s 1964 Polaris Sno-Tracker during Saturday’s WinterFest at the Owls Head Transportation Museum.  Buy Photo
BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY WALTER GRIFFIN.
Colby White, 5, of Topsham climbs aboard his father David’s 1964 Polaris Sno-Tracker during Saturday’s WinterFest at the Owls Head Transportation Museum. Buy Photo
Posted Feb. 14, 2009, at 5:07 p.m.
Allen “Higmo” Higgins of Brunswick gives Tyler Bilodeau, 10, of Rockport a ride on his 1965 Polaris Colt snowmobile during Saturday’s WinterFest at the Owls Head Transportation Museum.
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BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY WALTER GRIFFIN.
Allen “Higmo” Higgins of Brunswick gives Tyler Bilodeau, 10, of Rockport a ride on his 1965 Polaris Colt snowmobile during Saturday’s WinterFest at the Owls Head Transportation Museum. Buy Photo
Bob King of Woolwich demonstrates a 1967 Gravely Super Convertible snow blower during Saturday’s WinterFest at the Owls Head Transportation Museum.
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BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY WALTER GRIFFIN.
Bob King of Woolwich demonstrates a 1967 Gravely Super Convertible snow blower during Saturday’s WinterFest at the Owls Head Transportation Museum. Buy Photo
Siberian huskies Pecoe-Turrell (left) and Alaska-Tu, owned by Lyndon Pendleton of Lincolnville, arrived to give a sled dog demonstration during Saturday’s WinterFest at the Owls Head Transportation Museum.  Buy Photo
BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY WALTER GRIFFIN.
Siberian huskies Pecoe-Turrell (left) and Alaska-Tu, owned by Lyndon Pendleton of Lincolnville, arrived to give a sled dog demonstration during Saturday’s WinterFest at the Owls Head Transportation Museum. Buy Photo
Eric Bessey and his daughter Mya, 2, of Newcastle enjoy the sled dog demonstration at Saturday's WinterFest at the Owls Head Transportation Museum.  Buy Photo
BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY WALTER GRIFFIN.
Eric Bessey and his daughter Mya, 2, of Newcastle enjoy the sled dog demonstration at Saturday's WinterFest at the Owls Head Transportation Museum. Buy Photo
Antique snowshoes owned by Lyndon Pendleton were on display at Saturday’s WinterFest at the Owls Head Transportation Museum.  Buy Photo
BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY WALTER GRIFFIN.
Antique snowshoes owned by Lyndon Pendleton were on display at Saturday’s WinterFest at the Owls Head Transportation Museum. Buy Photo

OWLS HEAD — Below-freezing temperatures and wind whipping across the airfield made for perfect weather at the Owls Head Transportation Museum’s annual WinterFest.

Saturday’s crowd was bundled up for the elements and spent the day gawking at the team of draft horses giving wagon rides, the Model T snowmobile, antique snow sleds, plows and snow blowers, sleighs, ice boats, toboggans and a team of Siberian husky sled dogs. There also were films and slide shows in the warmer comfort of the museum.

But it was the outdoor exhibits and events that grabbed the attention of the gear heads and antique equipment fanciers.

“I play music and collect old junk,” said Allen “Higmo” Higgins of Brunswick who showed up with a 1965 Polaris Colt snowmobile. “She runs real good. She’s a good old rig. If it’s got a motor, I like it.”

Higgins said the Colt hadn’t been touched since it came out of the crate. While it probably should be restored, he said, “It’s too much fun to ride. I don’t want to take it apart.”

David White of Topsham and his 5-year-old son Colby brought a fleet of 1960-era Polaris Sno-Trackers that were in excellent condition. White said he enjoyed tinkering with machines and working with metal. He said old snowmobiles were fun to work on because it was difficult to get parts, so many of the replacement pieces have to be made from scratch. White said he and his father have about a dozen restored snowmobiles and another dozen that need to be.

“I’ve been involved with snow machines since I was about his age,” White said while pointing to his son. “I’ve got a ’71 Polaris made the year I was born. We fixed it and just kept finding other machines to fix. A lot of stuff you end up making yourself because you can’t find parts. It’s a fun thing to do and it keeps the family together.”

Of course any transportation event couldn’t be pulled off without the hundreds of volunteers who show up to lend a hand no matter the season. Twelve-year-old Philip Reinhardt of Tenants Harbor has been volunteering at the museum for years and was out in the snow helping people climb aboard the museum’s 1926 Model T snowmobile for rides around the track.

“I’ve been really interested in cars and planes since I was a young boy and it’s really just a lot of fun to volunteer here,” Reinhardt said. “I’ve got a 1953 CJ3A Willlys Jeep that my dad gave me and right now I’m taking it all apart. I’m going to have to get a job next summer, probably mowing lawns, because I’m going to need a lot of parts.”

Bob King of Woolwich brought along his antique 1950 David Bradley hand-operated motorized snowplow that was sold through Sears Roebuck and a 1967 Gravely Super Convertible rotary-driven snow blower, that also has bushhog, plow and rototiller attachments. King said he did a welding job for someone many years ago and took the machine as payment.

Pointing to the exposed blower blade, King noted that the machine “was definitely not OSHA approved. And, it’s a real man-killer to handle. It’s rough, I tell you.”

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