Rangeley Lakes Snowmobile Club News-March 12, 2020
Hi Folks. We hit a rough patch last week with near record high temperatures but now we seem to be back to normal March temperatures. However, generally March is a very snowy month here in Rangeley and Western Maine. Not so this year. The good news is that we still have a good base over most of our trails. We plan to keep grooming as weather allows. The trails were really frozen up after the thaw but our grooming crew is making a rideable granular base. Looking at the long range weather, it looks cool over the next couple weeks. Our plan is to keep the trails open and to groom as possible until the end of March. Heck, it may even snow Friday March 13th.
Grooming elsewhere, especially to our east and south may be a day to day decision by the clubs responsible. Also, at this time, ITS 89 between Eustis and Grand Falls is closed for logging. It does not appear that there is any other options to head east toward The Forks. We have plenty of trail miles to enjoy right here. Final words for safety-the trails do have icy areas and there are some issues with pressure ridges on Rangeley Lake.
Our season social finally is our Annual Lobster and Steak Dinner on March 21st. It will be held in Oquossoc this year. Reservations are essential so visit our web site to find the reservation form. During the dinner, we will hold our elections for next year’s club officers and directors. At this time, the nominations are for Mary Brey-President, Johnny Wakefield-Vice President, Melissa Wakefield-Secretary and Ashley Quimby-Treasurer. Mike Koob has completed his term as President. He will take over the role of Trail Master. Lee Libby did a great job for the RLSC as Trail Master for many years. Lee has become too busy with his business responsibilities and needed to resign as Trail Master. Please thank Lee whenever you see him. Please thank all of our officers and directors. There work is more difficult that you know until you walk in their snow boots for awhile.
Trail conditions will change rapidly to the good or otherwise. We will try to keep the trail conditions very current. Time to get up here and get those last rides in. More soon.
Rangeley Lakes Snowmobile Club News Letter
February 11, 2020
Greetings to our loyal members and guests.
It appears that our snow drought has ended. We have 10 inches of new snow since Sunday and more forecast for Thursday. Trail conditions should be the best of the season which is great news as we will soon start the President’s Day weekend and School Vacation week. Rangeley has, despite the snow drought, had the best trail conditions at least in Western Maine since New Year’s, so, it has been very busy here which is great news for our business sponsors. Just so you know, we have opened up the ITS 84 Alternate Trail. Look for it after you leave the Boy Scout/Railbed Trail out of Oquossoc and cross the Kennebago River. It starts on your left heading out. It rejoins ITS 84 about 12 miles northwest. It provides an alternate for those heading to or from Bosebuck, New Hampshire or the Backcountry.
Snodeo was a great success. Nice weather, great crowds, good trail conditions and very generous members and visitors participating in all the Club events. Our officers and directors and some helpful volunteers make Snodeo happen. Thank you to them all and to the Town of Rangeley, the Rangeley Lakes Chamber of Commerce, Boss Power for the Rave X show, Bald Mountain Camps for hosting the Casino Night and to Moose Alley for hosting the Welcome Party and live auction, Larry Koob for his always masterful auctioneer skills and all the businesses that support our events. Thanks also to Federal Distributors for all the Snodeo signs and swag they provide. Their theme this year was Bud Seltzer.
So, now it is on to the Holiday Weekend, School Vacation weeks, the Cystic Fibrosis Event and Ride on February 15th hosted at BMC. Next up is the Annual Kelly Family Roast Beef Dinner at the Undercroft on February 22nd. If that is not enough, we can then take a breather from events and enjoy, six weeks more of trail riding late February and all March. We will cap off the season with our Steak and Lobster Dinner in Late March. See the RLSC Website for all details.
Finally, in the spirit of President’s Day, please take an opportunity to thank our Club President, Mike Koob and all of our Officers, Mary, Missy, Ashley and Lee. This is a difficult and mostly thankless job. Without them, well, I do not want to think about the alternatives. While I am on the topic, February is the month the RLSC looks for next year’s officers and directors. If you are interested in being an RLSC officer or director, let us know or at least ask what is expected. Despite what I stated about the difficulties and thanklessness of the jobs, it is still a great experience and you will be working with a wonderful group of people.
We wish you all good health, great riding experiences and enduring memories of the beautiful trails and scenery we have here in the Rangeley Region. Look for more news in early March.
Greetings from the Rangeley Lakes Snowmobile Club
RLSC: PO Box 950 Rangeley, Maine 04970
December 2019 Newsletter
We welcome all of our members, business sponsors and guests to the 2019-2020 snowmobile season. We wish you all the best for the New Year just ahead and a wonderful and safe snowmobile season. The RLSC is very proud to have been chosen as the Maine Snowmobile Club of the Year at the annual meeting of the Maine Snowmobile Association in April 2019. We hold this title until next spring. The RLSC could not have achieved this honor without the hard work of its Officers and Directors, our generous and dedicated business sponsors and to our wonderful members. There are over 200 snowmobile clubs in Maine so being the Club of the Year is a rare feat. Thanks to all.
Current Trail Conditions (as of Friday, December 27, 2019)
This November the Rangeley Region had nearly 20 inches of snow. So it looked like another fantastic early start to the snowmobile season. Fickle Mother Nature had other plans with a couple thaws with rain leading up to Christmas. We were able to get out and pack our primary trails, remove the many down trees and get our signs in place. We opened the trails on December 15th with “spring conditions”. Riding is OK north of Rangeley Lake and rough on the south side and to the east. We have had no snow for a few days but it looks to be a good snowstorm Monday and Tuesday (December 30 and 31). The lakes froze over December 18th and with the thaws and rain are rough ice with no cover. Please, do not ride on any lake or pond in the Rangeley Region. Lake riding is never “safe”. The RLSC does not have any trails on frozen ponds or lakes. We offer 160 miles of great riding on our groomed trails. Look for frequent updates on snow fall and trail conditions as we move into January 2020. We will provide more detailed trail conditions in our website Trail Report when we get snow.
Trail Maps and Snowmobile Registration
Our trail maps for the 2019-2020 season are available. You can find maps for sale at many Rangeley Region businesses and by mail order on line and by mailed requests for maps. Maps are provided for a $5 donation. Mailing is one dollar more.
Trail Changes for the 2019-2020 Season
Our trails at this moment are the same as last season. However, by Mid-January, we expect big changes to ITS 84 heading into the Back country, New Hampshire and Bosebuck Camps.
We will keep you posted on future newsletters. Logging plans change rapidly so please check our web site often. If you do encounter logging operations, please use extra caution. Be sure machine operators see you and wave you through the work area. The majority of our trails pass through commercial woodlands. Without these generous landowners, we would not have the world class riding we offer. Please respect these landowners and their logging operations. Thank you
Officers and Directors for the 2019-2020 Season
Officers and Directors were elected by Club members during the March 2019 Steak and Lobster Dinner. Mike Koob was elected as Club President, Mary Brey, Vice President, Melissa Wakefield, Secretary and Ashley Quimby, Treasurer. Lee Libby was appointed by the Officers to continue as the Trail Master. The RLSC thanks Karen Seaman for her three years as Treasurer. Karen will continue to provide the RLSC with book keeping and payroll services. Directors for the year are Jonny Wakefield, Tiger Sikes, Tyler Philbrick, Kyle Haley, Steve Dudley and Faye Zukowski. Faye will serve as the RLSC Web Master. All Officers and Directors can be contacted through the RLSC web site.
Club News and Events
Snodeo is January 23, 24 and 25 This year’s theme is Rodeo on Snow.
January 23rd Chili Chowder Cook Off and Casino Night
January 24th Welcome to Snodeo and Live Auction
January 25th Races at Airport, Rave X, Snowmobile Parade and Fireworks
All the details are provided on the website.
Please contact, Faye Zukowski, RLSC Web Master, firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments, suggestions and questions about the website.
Rangeley Lakes Snowmobile Club
PO Box 950
Rangeley, ME 04970
We wish everyone a wonderful and safe 2017. I read an article recently on snowmobile safety. I liked the statement made: “May all your snowmobile rides be round trips”. It is not a race out there and there are many others on the same trail you are riding. Please be considerate and operate safely.
Well, we began the season with one of our earliest trail openings in a few years great snow conditions. Mother Nature has thrown us a few curveball thaws and the latest one this week is the worst and certainly unwelcomed. Our grooming crew should be able to get trails loosened up and covered with some granular snow for this MLK Weekend. The lakes-well, they look to be very icy. We hope to get some snow showers to give a little cover on the lakes.
On the bright side, next weekend January 19 to 21, is Snodeo. Our trails should be in good shape and the number of events is fantastic. The events list and the schedules are on the web site. Casino Night, Rave-X, the Friday Welcome Party and auction, Sno-Cross races at the Airport, radar runs and a revamped snowmobile parade down Rangeley’s Main Street are some of these events. It will all be capped off with fireworks on Rangeley Lake Saturday night. We look forward to seeing you.
Here are some events after Snodeo to keep in mind and we hope to see you at any one of these or maybe every one of them. The Cystic Fibrosis Ride will be February18th based out of Bald Mountain Camps on Mooselookmeguntic Lake. The next weekend, February 25th, is the annual Fly-In at Bald Mountain Camps. There is food, beverages and music on the ice during this event. The evening of February 25th will be our February Member Meeting and Roast Beef Dinner. Former Club President, Brian Kelly and his family will prepare this meal. It is not to be missed. March 4th will be the 1st Annual Pig Roast to honor Clark Allen. The time and place will be on the web site. Clark was the Club President for many years. After he stepped down in 2007, he served as Trail Master until his untimely passing in 2015. No one was as devoted to the club and its trail system as Clark. The bridge over the Megalloway River on ITS 84 was built by Clark and is named in his honor. That bridge eliminated the need to cross Parmachenee Lake to get to New Hampshire (back in the good old days when us Maine registered riders could ride in NH without a NH registration). That lake was a perpetual slush pit and it was always a challenge to cross. The completion of Clark’s Crossing Bridge changed all that. This gathering is a wonderful memorial to Clark.
Rounding out the season’s events will be our 1st Groomer’s Ball on March 18th at Bald Mountain Camps. We will cap off the riding season with our final winter membership meeting and Lobster and Steak Dinner on March 25th. More details will be posted.
Other than this week’s thaw, Mother Nature appears to be in a serious Make-up mode after last year’s poor season. We began grooming December 15th this year and our trails were open before Christmas for the first time in a few years. We also got an early freeze-up on the major lakes and we began to see tracks on the lakes by New Year’s Weekend. Remember, no lake is ever SAFE. We have plenty of trails on land and they will get you wherever a lake ride will. If you are not absolutely sure of the ice conditions, ride a groomed and marked trail. The RLSC has no trails on lakes. For the first time in Club history, we have four Pisten Bully groomers operating and the results have been excellent. The trails have been wonderful. With all this equipment, we should be able to recover quickly from any weather event.
It happened!!! We got a reroute for ITS 89 and it is open. The temporary reroute we had to use which followed ITS 84 around the west end of Rangeley Lake was a 25 mile addition to ITS 89 between Rangeley and Eustis/Stratton. The new trail is very close to the old route so it is nearly the same in distance as the old route. Look for signs. We thank the landowners who allowed this trail to be constructed on their properties. It cost a lot in labor and equipment contracts to get it cut, cleared and stumped out. So, if you see a donation box at a local business, any donation to our trails fund will be appreciated. Special thanks again to Julie and Mike Ferguson at Rev-It-Up, for getting the trail flagged, getting owner permissions and doing lots of work on trail building. Thanks also to Club President Mike Koob and Trail Master Lee Libby for their work and donations of equipment and fuel. Much of the work was done at night after all these generous folks finished work. Check out the trail. It came out great.
Since our last newsletter, we had a great Christmas Party at Loon Lodge. There was a great crowd and a super band, Ragged Jack. It was good to see a lot of local people at the party. Loon Lodge did a great job with food and beverages. Thanks to all who did the planning and hosting. Thanks to all of you who attended.
Please take a look at our trail reports on the web site for all up to date information. Out trail system is basically the same as in previous years. As stated earlier, we have reopened ITS 89. We also have an alternate routing of ITS 84 between Oquossoc and Bosebuck. This trail may be opened soon, especially during heavy traffic weekends. It will be marked Alt ITS 84. The trail begins just after you cross the river bridge on Grant’s Camp Road. It rejoins ITS 84 a couple miles south of the Twin Bridges/Camp 14 area. The trail crosses one very busy plowed logging road so please do stop where signs say “Stop”. When open, it will also allow you to make a loop ride out or back when you travel ITS 84 to Bosebuck, New Hampshire, or the back country.
Please be aware that there is some logging and shared use of trails with trucks and logging equipment on various trails. Please be extra cautious in active logging yards. There have been close calls when operators are not aware that you are passing through. These safety issues can lead to a trail closing so please be sure logging workers see you and motion you through their work zone. It only takes a couple minutes to get passed through.
Stay up to date with the web site for upcoming events and trail information.
Let’s make it a wonderful and safe snowmobile season.
Steve Dudley, RLSC Reporter