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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!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

TELL IT LIKE IT IS

I’m working on a true, kind of a sad, story to share with all of you. I haven’t actually put it down yet; still formulating in my mind (so THAT will probably keep me awake!).

But in the meantime, I wanted to let you know that I won’t be around tomorrow, Thursday, so there probably won’t be a post before Friday.

I also want to share some upsetting information with you. You know I go on and on about TASA and the good job the groomers do, how dedicated the group is, etc, etc. You also know that it has been very warm for this time of year for the past several days. When it is warm like this, it makes for BAD grooming conditions. In fact, we have been told by the DNR IF we groom when the temps ARE ABOVE freezing that there is a good chance the club will NOT be reimbursed for the grooming efforts. So with all of that said, I have received 4 “bad” emails about our trails and how rough they were this past weekend, how disappointed the people were, they would never come back to ride again and would make sure to tell others of the situation. Receiving those types of emails is hard enough but when you find out that even your locals are NOT supporting or defending what the club is doing, that is a big kick in the face.

Remember how I told you that Bob and Dan left around midnight Sunday night to groom?? I guess those things don’t matter. And I guess it doesn’t matter that in the past several days TASA has been trying to maintain our trail system WHEN THE WEATHER PERMITS with ONE GROOMER. And by groomer, this time I mean the equipment. One of our groomers (equipment) has been out of commission for over a week. We were waiting on parts which FINALLY arrived yesterday. But during this same time frame, our oldest groomer (equipment) broke down with a broken front axle. This groomer will have to be sent away for repairs and is going to cost a BIG chunk of change…we’re talking thousands of dollars. But people don’t think about these things. I guess we’re expected to groom 128 miles of trail (that is just ONE WAY, we DO have to come back so double that as far as miles spent per run) in warm weather, in the rain and with one groomer (equipment).

As it was yesterday with the warm temps and humidity, Prez Bob took the repaired groomer up trail # 9 and had a couple other guys meet him up there so they could hook up the drag that had been sitting there for close to two weeks (while waiting to get the groomer repaired). Bob doesn’t do much grooming any more due to health issues and poor old tired bones (the ride does shake the bajeebers out of ya), but he spent at least 6 hours in the groomer yesterday to go get the drag and then try to smooth the trail out on the way back. At 11:30 P.M. last night, Dan was called in to groom. We had NOT expected this, what with the temps still at 38°. But we’re trying to keep people happy, even if grooming wet trails makes them worse in the long run. Dan was advised to NOT RUN MORE THAN 6 MPH INSTEAD OF THE USUAL 8. So, Dan managed to get close to 16 hours in grooming that trail. He finally got back about 3 p.m. this afternoon. He said the trail was very hard to groom because the snow is so wet but he did the best he could.

At least, the temps are supposed to return to more normal and there is an inch or two of snow in the forecast over the next couple of days. Our trails will be back in true TASA form as SOON AS THE WEATHER COOPERATES! And let’s hope we DO get reimbursed for all of this.

Does all of this make us board members feel warm and fuzzy? What do you think?

OK, I’m off my bandstand and will return to it Friday…maybe with better grammar and a better attitude.

11 comments:

  1. I had no idea, until I found your blog, that those trails were even groomed. Not a snowmobile rider, so didn't realize. But wow. All those hours your husband goes through to keep them properly groomed. I think it's great all that you do for such a beautiful area. Those emails are by downstating trolls who have no idea what actually takes place to keep trails "up to par" for them. I hope it all works out and this weekend pulls in a snowmobiling crowd that can appreciate that Taquamenon area!

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  2. DVM's Wife, all grooming clubs in Michigan (and I think there are 60+) do the same thing that TASA does. Many do not have more than 50 miles to groom and some have more than 150 miles to groom. Snowmobilers know about grooming and should understand that there is a BIG difference in weight between a sled and a large tractor and drag. One of the emails was from a grooming association (at least that is what the guy said IN his email) from Marquette! Even Munising is posting on their trail reports that they WILL NOT BE GROOMING TILL IT GETS BELOW FREEZING. ARRGGHHH!!!!!

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  3. Cathy don't let a few bad apples drag you down. I and a friend personally put on 300 miles last Saturday around the Newberry area and the trails were absolutely great until the very end of the day when the trails turned to stutter bumps.Anyone with common sense should understand that grooming in above freezing temps is kind of pointless and the results don't last long. Tell TASA to keep up the great work!

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  4. Anonymous6:01 PM

    Cathy
    I was U.P. your way the first week of Feb. From Pittsburgh Pa,and could not have asked for nicer trails anywhere. All of the trails in and around the eastern U.P. were great and we had a great week of riding and will be back next year for more of the same great riding like we always have. I've been riding U.P. your way since the early 90's and I will come back again and again because of how your trails are taken care of and groomed. If it was not such a long drive for me I would come back more often to ride around Newberry, but it takes me anywhere from 10 1/2 to 12 hours to get to Newberry depending on the weather. you might remember me from last year, the guy who sent you the story about last years vacation and you posted it on your site, "A story from a snowmobiler and a reminder to be safe out there"
    Tell T.A.S.A. KEEP UP THE GREAT JOB THEY ARE DOING JUST LIKE THEY ALWAYS DO!!!!!
    No matter how hard T.A.S.A. works to keep the trails as great as the do they will never keep everyone happy. If someone wants to complain about how bad your trails are send them to Pa. and I'll galdly show them bad trails. The trails I ride in Pa. are groomed by the U.S. Forestry Service and they only groom Mon. thru Fri. 6:00am to 3:30 pm with 2 groomers and that is only if one or both groomer are not broken down. Oh yea one more thing, no drinking and snowmobiling in the national forest in Pa. 0.00% B.A.C. you can not have one drink with your meal, if you get stopped on the trails you will be charged with a D.U.I. Don't let people upset you about this, you know how hard T.A.S.A works on grooming and every thing else they do all year long.
    P.s. I'm going to miss your trail reports next year!!!!! :(
    Jerry C.

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  5. Jeff, it is hard to not let it bother ya when you know these guys (and the wives of these guys) are putting in some long, hard hours...and it even makes it harder when the people who complain are from your own neck of hte woods (or maybe from Marquette). Some of these people have been told year, after year that it makes no sense for us to groom when the temps are warm. But THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR POSTING. I am making a ocpy of it for Prez Bob. He oculd use some good comments too.

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  6. Jerry C. I DO REMEMBER YOUR STORY! Truthfully though I hadn't thought about it in a long time, but thank you for that reminder; it helps me remember "who you are" and what you went through!

    Yep, PA is a LONG way to come to play in the snow so your faithfulness to TASA is greatly appreciated. I will also copy your comments for Prez Bob to read.

    I didn't realize how the trails are groomed in your state (or maybe we should say NOT groomed??). I'm sure grooming operations vary from state to state but I always thing of each state having a grooming association such as TASA or any of the other Michigan associations. So thanks for sharing that info!

    Hope ya DO come back! And be safe where ever you ride!

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  7. Jerry, I forgot to add a BIG THANKS for saying you will miss my trail reports next year! It will be VERY strange not getting up at the crack of dawn, listening to various weather reports then collecting all the other area trail reports and putting it all together! I do three reports so not sure which one you read but the one that goes out by email is the Eastern U.P. trail report and that is the one I put all the other reports on too. I sure hope that someone will gladly take over the three reports. Thanks!

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  8. Anonymous6:21 PM

    CATHY, I'VE BEEN FOLLOWING YOUR TRAIL RPOETS FOR YEARS, LONGER THAN 10 PROBABLY AND Y OUR REPORTS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN HONEST, AND UP TO THE MINTUE. WHOEVER HAD THE COMLAINTS MUST NOT HAVE A SNOWMOBILE. WE WERE IN THE AREA LAST WEEKEND AND COME HOME MONDAY. WE HAVE NO COMPLAINATS ABOUT ANYTHING TASSA IS DOING OR NOT DOING. HAD A GREAT TIME! JOHN FROM DETROIT..PS OH AND WE WILL MISS YO UR REPORTS TOO. WILL YOU KEEP UP WITH YARNS SITE??

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  9. John from Detroit, Thank you. We're all glad to know that you have enjoyed the TASA trails for years and I am pleased that you have relied on my reports and found them to be helpful.

    As far as Yooper Yarns, YOU BET I'M KEEPING HER GOING! I have made so many "online friends" and when I was reporting on the Sleeper Lake Fire, I had people from as far away as Arizona write me personal thank yous (that came in the regular mail). Lots of people from WAY out of the area own property or have some kind of an interest in the area so they say Yarns helps keep them connected regardless of what I write about.

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  10. Anonymous10:51 PM

    Cathy,

    Just remember this one,

    T.A.S.A. groomers are gOOd with two OO's and not gOd with one O

    As much as people would like to think T.A.S.A can not control the weather, they have to work with what they have at the time they go out to groom the trails, temps, snow, ice,rain,blowing snow and people who have no idea when you can groom and when you can not groom and why!!!!

    Jerry C.

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  11. Jerry C. HA! That is a good one! We might not WALK on water but maybe we are expected to GROOM on water!?

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