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