Greetings and welcome!

The snowmobile season is well under way with all of the fall events. This weekend there is a swap meet in Richfield at Pioneer Bowl on Sunday.

Next weekend is the big swap meet and grass drags in Wausau, as well as a vintage snowmobile show and swap meet at the VFW post on Beloit Rd in New Berlin.

October 8th the Amery Snowmobile Club is having a Swapfest.

The weekend after that is October 14-16th when the first Snowmobile USA show comes to Milwaukee. There are snowmobile safety courses and a swap meet going on there too. That is the same weekend as the big Jefferson, WI antique snowmobile show and grass drags.

There are more events to follow, and I will update those as we get closer to them. If you want to read ahead, check your AWSC magazine that comes with your snowmobile club membership.

Last Saturday I was at the 2nd annual meeting of the Bear Point Sno-Cruisers. There was a lot of good info that came up at the meeting. One item was that there are a lot of trees down on the trails from the summer storms and Wausaukee tornado. The Ranger City and River Road Riders clubs could probably use some volunteers to help clear trails.

It also came up that the Peshtigo River Inn, the motel with the swimming pool just south of Crivitz, is no longer going to be a motel. That has been purchased by new owners who will be making it into a convalescent care or extended care home. Details on that are a little sketchy, but they won’t be a motel this winter.

It was reported that Yellowstone will be open again this year for snowmobiling with a limit of 315 snowmobiles daily on guided tours only. That is THE epic battleground between snowmobilers and environmentalists, and so far they are finding a compromise with BAT snowmobiles and a limited number of riders on guided tours.

Our bought and paid for politicians have listened to the lobbyists over the people and instead of repealing the ethanol mandate for gasoline as is the popular will, they decided to go ahead and allow E-15. E-15 is up to 15% ethanol. Do NOT put this into your snowmobile unless it specifically says that it can take it. It WILL wreck your engine.

Personally I go out of my way to get the non-ethanol gas for all of my power equipment, snowmobile, and even the old Chevy 4×4. I won’t use the foul ethanol stuff unless I have to. I’ll pay 40 cents a gallon for better gas without the water in it, the wrecked carbs and gas lines, and reduced fuel mileage. In my truck it costs 10% more for 93 no ethanol, and I get 25-30% better mileage.

Some of you may have already noticed, but there is not going to be a Green Bay Snowmobile USA Show this year. They moved it to Wausau that weekend.

The Snowmobile Alliance rep reported that the Dun-Good Riders and Pemenee Club will be doing their own northern map this year exclusive of the Marinette County Snowmobile Alliance maps. Their map is said to include northern Marinette, Northern Oconto, and forest County.

The next Sno-Cruisers meeting is October 15th, at Bear Point, and right after the meeting is the Adopt a Highway road clean up.

The Sno-Cruisers also voted to support my efforts here with a nice donation, and they have my gratitude.

Something that I found a little unsettling at the meeting is that I was the youngest one there at age 49, with one possible exception. I see that at a lot of snowmobile meetings and worry about the future.

There was some controversy at a recent Forestry Department meeting about the Dun-Good Riders having about 13 miles of county forest logging trails closed to vehicles other than snowmobiles and ATVs this (2011) spring. Some of the other trail users like hunters and firewood gatherers didn’t like that much.

I understand their point, I have seen a freshly groomed snowmobile trail rutted up by tire tracks, and I have had groups of ATVs come up on me as I was cutting/scouting firewood. It also has the risk of questioning the ability of the forest roads/trails to be used by ATVs and snowm0biles safely, and will have new people opposing future trails.  We will see how it unfolds.

Someone at the meeting asked about my hit counts, and I guessed last year was between 130-150,000.  I checked the counter and had 147,117 hits and 118,249 were unique.

I have not seen the first snow flakes of the year yet, but a few were reported up by Eagle River and Land O Lakes about a week ago when we traded 80s for 60s. That big cold front brought the first freezing weather of the year, with two nights in the upper 20s and one that hit 24.

It looks like we are in for a La Nina winter again this year. La Nina is the cold phase of the ENSO, the El Nino Southern Oscillation. The warm phase is the dreaded El Nino, the cold phase is La Nina.

Because El Nino is bad, La Nina is good, right? Not necessarily. Last winter was OK, but many times when we got snow, it would melt down before the weekend or worse, during it.

We had a pretty good summer for whitewater rafting because the rains were coming at a pretty steady pace. The Fall has been a dry one though and the thought of the last month’s rainfall (2″) in January would mean a fairly sparse month for snow. The summer shows that it can swing the other way too.

Personally I am so not ready for winter that it is ridiculous.  I have walked past the snowmobiles a few times but that is about it. Right now the focus is on keeping my head above water after a very thin summer and working on getting firewood and pre-winter house projects tackled, and wrapping up some web site projects.

To the best of my knowledge I will be back at Rapids bar tending on snowmobiling weekends. That is great, but it is only one day on those 6 weekends a year. Hopefully I will pick up some other work. Last winter was pretty thin and I ended up selling off three cars and the engine and mods out of the XLT toward the end. There has to be a better way, and my mission is to find it.

Well, it is getting early again (3:30am), so it is time for me to wrap it up here. I will be back soon. Have a good Fall and thank you for visiting!

RJB