Moose Country Minute – January 21 2017

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Well, my pal Wally McColl and I got out the ratchet wrench to tighten our sphincter muscles, and finally ventured out onto the ice of Baptiste Lake in our snow machines.

It was pucker up, and throttle to the medal.

We weren’t the first to venture out onto the ice, of course, and we were bolstered by the fact no one had been reported having gone through the ice.

Still, the first run across the lake every year does raise the anxiety level, not that water depth matters.

Whether it’s 100 feet deep or eight feet deep, you’re likely going to drown or freeze to death.

The first run followed the ice storm up here, and we found many trails blocked by fallen trees. If not, we were dodging low branches in order to keep our heads on our shoulders.

Within days, however, our local snowmobile club, the Maple Leaf Snow Skimmers, had the fallen trees removed and the trails both cleared and groomed.

They are magicians, albeit hard-working ones, and all are volunteers. I cannot say enough about them.

As a result, hundreds of thousands of dollars are annually spent at local businesses by the snowmobile crowd, a large portion of which travel in Bancroft to specifically ride the trails taken care of by the Snow Skimmers.

Restaurants that would ordinarily be closed in the winter remain open. Country gas bars, too.

Plus motels and lodges. They all reap the benefits.

If there is anyone out there who find the winter months to be an ugly time of the year, I suggest taking up snowmobiling.

It makes the winter go fast.

And, besides, it’s a blast.

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