Rangeley Lakes Snowmobile Club
PO Box 950
Rangeley, ME 04970
Greetings to our members. Greetings to all of you who have an interest in snowmobile trips to the Rangeley Region. Despite the warm weather so far this late summer and fall, the club is hard at work getting ready for the season.
There is a lot to report as it has been a busy off-season. Our newly elected officers began their terms in June. Mike Koob is the Club President. Mike takes over from Brian Kelly. Thanks to Brian for all his hard work. If anyone thinks being a Snowmobile Club President is easy. Try it. Please thank Brian for his time as president. Thank Mike Koob for taking the job on.
Mary Brey is our new Vice President. Mary replaces Mike Koob. Missy Wakefield was elected again as Secretary. Karen Seaman was again elected to serve as Treasurer. Congratulations and thanks to all these generous people. Next time, we will discuss our Board of Directors.
Mike Koob has set an aggressive agenda for the club this year. He is committed to providing the best trail riding in Maine. To do this, we have increased our equipment inventory, looked for the best groomer operators in the region and we have started improving trails that needed work. A bad snow year like this past season has one good outcome, it reveals trail problems.
First, we have upgraded our grooming fleet to four Pisten Bullys. We purchased a new tractor last season and we purchased a used Pisten Bully Edge this summer. The equipment was offered for sale by the Pittsburg Ridge Runners in New Hampshire. One look and it was very apparent that the groomer was in excellent shape and at a bargain price. New Pisten Bullys are now costing well over $200,000. We bought this machine for $70,000. We now have four groomers all capable of handling our terrain and snow conditions. This will allow the RLSC to groom more trail miles on a daily basis, especially on weekends and holidays.
Unfortunately, all this grooming equipment does not run without an operator. We are pleased that we have developed an excellent grooming crew over the past years. We expect all these folks to be back and eager to help the club meet its grooming and trail quality goals. It takes a special type of person to run this equipment effectively in the dark and cold of Rangeley winter nights. These folks do this night after night for the entire winter season. We are fortunate to have the crew we have. Thanks to each of them and to Lee Libby, our Trail Master, who works all the grooming details for us.
Our plans for trail improvement plan is on track as the leaves begin to fall. Mike Koob invested in a tracked machine with a brush grinding attachment. Mike is making this available to the club. One of our most difficult tasks is keeping trail width. Brush growth even here in the mountains is a major problem. Controlling this growth by hand is slow and the number of people willing to do this work is very limited. With this new machine, we anticipate we will be able to accomplish much more work and achieve our goal of recovering trail width. A wide trail is safer, it is easier to groom and it stays smooth longer. We are currently in the process of performing some significant upgrades to ITS 84/89 from Oquossoc to the east end of Rangeley Lake. We are also targeting most if not all of the brushy trails north of Rangeley.
We will provide more trail information in our next newsletter. However, we are sorry to say that there has been no progress on finding a solution to the portion of ITS 89 that was closed last year. We still plan to re-route ITS 89 from Rev-It-Up to Oquossoc and then route it back over to East Kennebago Mountain. We do have permission from the State Trail Bureau to mark an “ITS 89A” from Rev-It-Up to Rangeley along the north shore of Rangeley Lake. We planned to do this last season too. However, snow and ice conditions just did not help us with this plan. Our lakes were rarely ridable last season.
A few reminders. Please get your membership renewals sent back in. If you wish to join the RLSC, we have an easy on-line process or you can download an application from our web site. Also, our next club meeting and dinner is a turkey dinner at Bald Mountain Camps on November 12th. See our web site for details. More news next month.
Steve Dudley, RLSC Reporter