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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

GROOMING THE TASA TRAILS ON A BUSY WEEKEND

For my Yarns readers who aren’t into snowmobiling, the season will officially close on April 1st (unless weather does not cooperate and the trails are closed before that). So you’ve only got about 6 more weeks of snowmobile stories…hang in there!


But for my readers who ARE snowmobilers, you may get a kick out of some of the following….

It must have been about 1 a.m. before Dan got home from grooming. He left YESTERDAY morning about 8:30 a.m. so the run took him about 16 hours. Dan said there were a LOT of sleds out there yesterday (he groomed # 9 north). Grooming throughout the daylight hours isn’t something that any grooming association likes to do, but sometimes it had to be done. PLUS now that it is getting light earlier and staying light later, there will be times regardless of when we leave to groom a trail, it will end up being daylight.

Dan said that THIS grooming trip reminded him of how it USE to be when the economy was good and the trails were hopping ALL the time…not just during a 3 day holiday weekend.

Most people were giving him a big thumbs up, some people stopped their sleds and got off and bowed to him..and then there are always a couple of incidents that scare ya. After recovering from the initial scare then you can kind of chuckle about it.

Such as…. A man on a sled trying to pass the groomer and drag on a curve. It was a tight fit and the man tipped his sled OVER onto the drag. Dan stopped and made sure the fellow was OK, talked with him a bit before asking for the man’s name and address. TASA has to do this to “cover our butts”.

A while later and I don’t know how much further up the trail (hey, at a top speed of 8 mph and ducking and dodging sleds, ya don’t get too far very fast!), Dan stopped the groomer because he saw a group of sleds coming up behind him. It was in an area that they could safely pass the groomer. One sled and rider went by and gave Dan the thumbs up, the next sled went by without the rider…hmmmm….where did she go? With no one on the sled to man the throttle, it came to a stop up the trail a bit. Dan was looking around for the rider and SHE had toppled off the sled and rolled into the groomer track between the wheels (there are 3 wheels; one LARGE one and two smaller ones). Dan yelled out the window and asked if she was OK and she made an OK sign (didn’t want to talk) and walked up to her sled, got on and rode off. This could have been serious had Dan not already have been stopped. Several years ago, a similar incident happened with one of the Grand Marais groomers, only the man’s head got stuck in the track and he did NOT survive.

I know Dan will not miss these kind of things when he “retires” from TASA, but it does make him (and all the other groomer operators in the world) feel totally appreciated when the riders give them a thumbs up, or bow to them, or come up to ya and give you a special thanks and pat on the back when you are stopped and out of the groomer for a break.

We need snow to blend into the trails. It is still grooming like sugar but it will set up once we can get back to grooming at night and when there aren’t so many sleds on the trail. We are NOT complaining about all the sleds! Not after how scarce they have been all winter.

So if you are making plans to come up, Dan and I hope you will consider staying with us in either one of the cozy cabins or the Little Lodge! Visit us at http://www.northcountrycampground.com/.

Be safe on the trails! And only pass groomers when it is SAFE to do so; preferably when they come to a stop.

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