I may not play in the snow as much as I did a couple of decades ago, but I’m still among those who enjoy a good old-fashioned blizzard.
I’m not too keen about the shoveling, but heck, I could sit in an easy chair in front and happily watch the snow pile up for hours.
So, while some might be raiding the local Hanny’s in search of the last pack of flashlight batteries or jug of water, I’m semi-eagerly awaiting the storm that will roll into Maine on Sunday, curious about how much of the white stuff we may actually get.
A foot? Child’s play. Two feet? Sounds better. Three feet? Well, that would be one to tell the grandkids about, wouldn’t it?
With that storm — especially on a holiday weekend — will come the chance for folks to fire up their snowmobiles, some for the first time of the season, and hit the trails.
Maine’s lucky, you know. We have more than 14,000 miles of snowmobile trails that are groomed by local snowmobile clubs, and more than 80,000 sleds are registered in the state each year. In some areas, the influx of snowmobile traffic outpaces the summer tourist trade and provides the economic lifeblood of the region.
Now the bad news: Sometime this weekend, someone’s going to crash their sled. They’re going to be seriously hurt. Maybe they’ll even die.
Sound stark? It is. Did it make you stop and think for an instant? Good.
Last weekend, three separate snowmobile crashes involved seven sleds and sent several people to Maine hospitals. Maine game wardens said that in most cases, excessive speed for the conditions has been the cause of those accidents.
In my book, that sounds like every one of those crashes was avoidable, had the riders simply slowed down.
John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their...
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