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jhwentworth

Old days

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I think I may have posted this story a long time ago. It's about a crew that traveled  on sleds from Vermont to Maine and back, fifty years ago.

The sledding conditions, and the sleds, were very different then.

This is the first part of three.

SnowAug.PDF

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Nice. I think these stories are really interesting. There are people out there who will do nearly that many miles in one day now, it's amazing how far we have come with the ability to travel long distances. 

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As someone who bought his first new sled in '72 and had been riding since '64, this article is very refreshing. Things really have transitioned in the last 50 years or so. I remember in 64 riding a 64 tin cab Doo, massive ten horse, and being amazed at being able to pass over snow at the blinding speed of 35 mph. Sounds crude but at 15 years old it felt like a new Corvette, and as tame as it was by todays standards almost killed me once or twice. Most notable was an adventure with two friends from school joining me one afternoon, riding triple on the lake in front of my house which had a new 6 inches of fluff, and we covered that lake many times, hootin' and hollerin' all the way. Got bored, went around a camp and out the driveway heading for a dirt road and came out the long driveway full speed, and suddenly noticed to stone columns at the end of the driveway with a tiny bit of chain emerging from the snow on both sides. Well it's safe to say the a a 64 Doo didn't have much for brakes, but I locked them up just as we were about to go through. All hell broke loose as the chain came up over the skis, cleaned out the lovely chrome headlight, obliterated the windshield and caught me right in the chest with the weight of my two buddies adding to the mix. Finally stopped with the chain trying to remove my head, with bad "rasberries" all the way up my chest. I think of this episode every time I see people putting their six year olds on a six hundred or worse.... Those were the days!

pathfinder

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On 9/4/2020 at 10:39 AM, pathfinder said:

Those were the days!

Ah yes, golden memories of almost getting your head ripped off.  The sort of thing that either builds character or kills you. Glad it worked out for you.

There's a lot of controversy over off-trail riding now, but it's nothing new. Back in the day,  many times you got the thrills of off-trail while riding on-trail.. 

Reading the part of the story about them getting stuck on a hilly trail sure brought back memories, as it was a fairly common thing. Plus, they were riding Ski-Daddler sleds, and if they were like the Ski-Daddler I've ridden it was a challenge. Those sleds were hard to get stuck with a wide track, but once they were stuck it was no fun.

SnowOct.PDF

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In those days, there were no ''trails''. Prior to changes around 2003, you could ride anywhere that was not signed against trespass. The change to positive signing for motorized access isn't even two decades old. In the early days, everyone had to trail blaze, and to keep navigation many times we would just place reflective markers on the trees at the end of a field to locate the connection. 

It wasn't until the late 70s, with the Bureau of OHRV that the modern trail system with state corridors and more consistent signage began to develop. At that time, with NH's less developed road/highway system, the groups consider snowmobiles a means of transportation - less a recreation and today's ''sport'' - and really sought to develop the trail system as a compliment to the road/highway system.

 

 

 

 

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