Saturday February 28, 2004 8:45 a.m
The snowmobile safety class is in session this morning
with 24 students attending. Mark is the instructers name
that is teaching and he came over from Traverse City to
do it. He said it was great to see that a shop like mine was
putting this on because he said to many places don’t really care
about it. I think thats what should happen that more of the places
that sell sleds should get more involved with making it happen in
their respective cities…. Its 20 out right now and supposed to be
another warm one into the 40s. I took the motel and trail survey thru
grayling this morning and the trails look surprisingly good and there
is a pretty good amount of sleds at the motels. As I was driving up here
at 7 this morning I saw and stopped a friend of mine from rockford
on the trail with his son. He said they were hitting it early to make
the best of the day. He said there were already sleds running at the
motel at 6 this morning. Lets hope the winter comes back with a
vengance…..Thanks for checking in. Pete
Friday February 27, 2004 9:00 a.m.
It sunny and 18 degrees here in frederic and its supposed
to head into the 40s again today. It was in the 40s yesterday
and every rider that came into here raved about how awsome
ALL the trails were. I know it wont continue to be like that but
is was great for the people that did get to experience them.
My guess is that there will still be lots of riders out there. I still
dont have a problem with letting rental sleds out in this but if
it keeps up to much longer I will start thinking about stopping
them. I even took my plow off my truck last night. Maybe next
week I will have to put it back on. The snowmobile safety class
is up to 23 now and happens tommorow here. Thanks for checking
in and Please Ride Safely. Pete
Thursday February 26, 2004 10:30 a.m.
Its sunny and 28 degrees here. It was way to nice and warm
yesterday and is supposed to be like that the next few days
still. I had an email last night that said Gaylord had one of their
groomers down. I went and checked the trail to gaylord from
frederic and it looks pretty darn nice out there right now. They
must have been down here sometime during the night. There is
still alot of snow on that trail and it looked the
way I would have liked to see it on tuesday when we went on
our ride. I have to say with all the snow we
have if we lost all the snow off the trails that we will still be able
to ride thru march off the trails because there is that much snow
in the woods yet. We should still have snow piles till May even
with it being warm. I got a call last night from the guys that I was
riding with on tuesday. They spent the first night in trout lake at
the old tony londons. They said they felt like they got ripped off
cause it was 90 bucks for a room and the clerk had a bad attitude
to boot. Last night they were inbrevort and heading back to frederic
today. They said all the u.p. trails were great and had rode 220
miles yesterday. Sure wish I was still with them. So far there are
18 signed up for the sled safety class. Grandma still is looking to
sell her house. I would have thought some snowmobiler would have
picked up that place by now. I guess I will have to start billing it
as a summer getaway close to higgins lake…Thansk for checking in
and Please Ride Safely…Pete
Wednesday February 25, 9:45 a.m.
200 miles even…Thats was my mileage when I got back here last
night from another unbelievebly great day of riding. 5 of us left
here about 10 yesterday and headed north to vanderbilt. I dont
know what has happened to gaylords grooming but they flunk
for grooming the frederic trail. It was rough all the way to vanderbilt
and its the middle of the week, I had heard complaints on it all
weekend and thought to myself that they would be along any time
but no signs of them. We headed straight east out of vanderbilt
to the piegon river forest and then started thru 2 tracks north
and east. I cant even tell you how many times we got stuck in more
than knee deep snow and the real surprise was when we popped out
about a mile west of tower. It was a pretty ride all the way thru there
and I was excited when I spotted fresh elk tracks in the trail, we stopped
and looked around but couldnt see any. I rode with the guys till about
20 miles south of cheboygan on that grade and that was smooth as
a whistle. They were going on to the u.p. till thursday and I came back
myself down to atlanta, lewiston and lovells to frederic. The trail from
atlanta to lewiston was really nice scenic and smooth. Lovells to grayling
was a little ripply but not to bad. The dear old weather man is calling
for 45 for fri,sat,& sunday. I would say riding should make it thru the
weekend but expect lots of puddles. When it gets that warm things tend
to deteriorate way to fast. Dont forget the sled saftey class here this saturday. Call to register, both adults and children are welcome. Its from
8:30 to 4. Just call me here at the shop 989-Dig Snow. Also this past weekend somebody turned in a pair of glasses they found in the snow somewhere near here. If you are missing your glasses check in with me. Thanks for checking in and Please Ride Safely. Pete
Tuesday Feb 24 8:45 a.m.
Its a sunny day here at 22 degrees , supposed to be 33. Yesterday
was a winter wonderland. 8 new inches of snow here and all around.
It was as pretty as a picture everywhere you went. Today the schools
are closed but I dont have a clue why. The roads are all clear.
I am heading out on a ride this morning, we are going to exlplore
the piegon river forest…..gonna fire up the thunder chicken for what
should be a great day of riding…….Thanks for checking in and Please
It is now 10:00 a.m. for some reason or another I haven’t been able to
get an update thru…. still trying, the other accident on the crest of
a hill Dan is talking about has left a lady in critical condition in
the Grayling Mercy Hospital…..Pete
Monday February 23, 2004 6:00 a.m.
Just a skiff of new snow overnight and its 25 degrees out. It got into
the lower 40s yesterday and and we lost some snow again. The weatherman is
calling for a few inches today but that looks like it for the coming
week and then he said 40s for friday. Not what I want to hear. If you havent
read the updates from sunday make sure you do. I am attaching another letter
here from a witness to the fatal accident on saturday. Copy this letter and print
it and pass it on to every snowmobiler you know, both kids and especially
adults. The news last night reported another fatal up by cheboygan from
this weekend. Heres the letter…………..>
dear pete, I`ve been in your shop many times and have been reading your pages
since day one. I`ve also been riding sleds for over 15 years . on saturday i
was unfortunatly in a position to witness the fatal accindent in kalkaska
(ithappen 60 ft in front of me and a friend )and felt the need to tell
you about it. it happened about 2 1/2 mi. north of the trail head
on 72 (near dingmans ) about a mile north of trailhead me and my
friend came up on 4 sleds just reentring the trail after they were
pulled over the first 2 sleds took off fast in front of us the second
2 stopped and waved us by, we slightly hesitated (my friend was
leading)then we took off not even sure if they were all together
or not. as we followed these two sleds they were both standing
up (straight up knees locked)the 2nd sled kept looking back at
us we found out later he was looking for the rest of his party.
He turned around enough times to know we were not his party
but he did not pull over and wait for them but continued to look
back while standing up the entire time, i thought this was very
odd but they were riding those newer skidoos with the real
narrow seats that ive seen people rideing in a kinda standing
position.i thought mabee thats how they ride those 900 rave or
something (not up on new skidoos) this continued for over 2
miles at 40 -45 mph . all of the sudden ON A STRAIGHT AWAY
about 100 ft in front of me i see a giant explosion of snow, at first i
thought he hit someone head-on because the last i saw him he was in
center or even slightly left of center of trail standing up looking
back. when the snow cloud cleared and i could see the trail again it was
literally raining snowmobile parts, windshield broken fiberglass ect.
everywhere. his sled bounced back on the trail and his body lay only 6ft
off trail motionless and face down. after a quick attempt to rouse
him and not being able to, we could not get cell signal, i dont know
if they had communicators or if he saw or heard it ,but the guy on the
lead sled came back in less than a minute . when he called the victim
by name we knew they were together, he also had no cell signal so i
quickly went back to gas station to call 911 they had gotten a cell
call by then and where in route. then we got back to trailhead lot
we saw rescue squad coming down 72 we followed them into lot
helped them unload their sled hitch up wagon load gear and showed
them the way, about a mile in the rescue wagon hit a large
bump came un hitched 1 fireman falling onto trail, with tow wagon damaged
and gear all over the trail we quickly picked up the gear off trail my
friend rode one fireman double ,while ibrought some of the gear back to
scene. but it was all for naught as he was pronounce dead at the scene.
other police and rescue had come down from co.rd. 612 there was nothing
any body could have done, i`m sure he died instantly . part of the
reason im writing you is im hearing alot of misinformation out
there about speed ,alcolhol,losing control on a curve,ect. none of
which is true, he was looking back and standing up and either lost
his balance or jerked the handlebars when he turned back around.
carelessness was the main cause. please let your
readers know this . AS MUCH AS THEY ARE SICK OF HEARING ABOUT SAFTY
.THIS COULD HAVE HAPPENED TO ANY ONE .how many times have we all
looked back at times.to look for someone or just to see people think
this cant happen to them, hell i thought that last week too like
everyone else we think im safe (enough) i dont drink (too much)
i dont speed(much) im carefull… bla blah blah …every week we hear
about some guy got killed its always some guy somewhere
else.but when it happens in front of you or to someone you know
and love its very different. this young man did not deserve to die
and i see people having close calls every weekend. and im sick from
it now and people doing stupid stunts on high pro sleds everyweekend
and just plain ignorant people stopping in the trail sometimes parked
3-4 or more abreast in the trail . we need to educate people somehow
with special endorsements on license and MANDITORY CLASSES.or something!
you cant stop in the center lane on I-75 and get out to take a break so
why do they on curves or in narrow trails in the woods, there is always
some place to pull off.PLEASE DONT WAIT TILL THIS HAPPENS TO YOU
OR SOMEONE YOU LOVE or to even someone you dont know. it may never
be fun again,. after this incident i rode straight home hugged my my wife and
reiterated to my 3 teenaged boys why i would only let them ride the trails
on tue,wed. and thursdays . ive paked my sleds and im done at least for
this season i only hope i feel diffrently next year.
as i think? it is still a good family sport. my thoughts and prayers are
with this mans family and the 23 or how everymany others so far this season.
and yet another letter…….
I have been reading your web page for years, thanks for your
dedication. I also came across the accident Saturday in Kalkaska.
Stating “Slow Down” unfortunately won’t change a thing for these
overage motocross want a bee’s. They go from bar to bar drinking
and riding snowmobiles as fast as they can to the next bar.
If there was ever a time to get out of this sport, it is now for
me and my family. That sled was a ball of unmentionable metal.
The trophy case at Paradise came to mind when I came across
this scene. Yep, another cross in the snow or mounted on
a tree to drive past. I have been riding for over 15 years with
my family we have traveled extensively through Canada, Montana,
Idaho, and Montana and now have resolved to either sell my sleds
or no longer ride on weekends in Michigan, period! I feel for
the family and will say a prayer for them.
Later that day I came across an ambulance parked in the M-72
parking lot recovering another crash where two snowmobiles hit
head on at the crest of a hill. There is nothing that will get
your heart thumping like seeing an ambulance parked at a trail head.
You see, Canadian’s do it right. There are posted and enforced speed
limits along with O tolerance for alcohol consumption. They care
about safety and it shows. Unfortunately, I feel, this is what
the State of Michigan must consider for our sport. Yea, I agree,
no one wants to see more government, especially in snowmobiling,
but a few are ruining it for the rest of us and not just in Kalkaska!
Michigan snowmobiling has pushed for years Take the O tolerance pledge
and for some it works but as we all know, it takes just one person
to ruin another snowmobilers life or theirs. Have you ever had to
take a breathalyzer on the trail? I have, three times, and it only
happened in Canada, at a rider checkpoints. You see most bars in
Canada take responsibility, they ask you if you are going back out
on the trail and you respond yes, the bar is closed. Period, no
With snowmobiles having the same horsepower as most cars, something
is going to happen soon in our state. Get ready!
Best regards and ride safe. ~Dan
Sunday afternoon 5:00 p.m. sunny and 40 degrees
Here are 2 letters I recieved so far on the accident from yesterday.
It happened near sunset trail and 612……….These will make you
Hi Pete, we are regular readers and enjoy visiting your website and your
shop. Unfortunately, we are reading about our dear friend who was killed
Saturday afternoon in Kalkaska. If you would please, send the word to please
SLOW DOWN! The pain we are feeling is so deep and bad I don’t want another
family to go through it. No matter how good you think you are at sledding
this could happen to you or a loved one. We are barely able to function with
this loss. Trent leaves behind a wife, son, and a daughter who is turning 5
March 3. Please pray for this family. As expected the children are having a
We have been told he lost control at a curve and couldn’t get it back. His
trauma was so bad he died at the scene. Please- pass this word on. These
poor children are waiting for a dad to come home and he won’t be arriving.
Remind these parents who ride without their children that the children
really suffer when the parents don’t come home. Riders need to ask
themselves-do you want your family, friends and co-workers to experience the
pain of the life lost due to speed?!!
I read your website all the time and i came upon that sled that had a person
killed on it yesterday (sat) it was about an hour after the accident and it
was out by the road with the wrecker there to take it away and he told us
the accident was fatal. the whole front of the sled was at least a foot to
the right and a goot back of where it should have been it was terrible. I
just want to say keep that Sled out in front of your store forever. that
will stop people from driving fast. after seeing that sled as bad as it was
and knowing that somsone had died on it i could not stop thinking about it
the whole night. so good job at putting that wrecked sled out there. and i
also wondered if you were going to post that site or a picture of that
Sunday February 22, 2004 9:35 a.m.
Michigan weather is great! Its hard to believe that from as bad
and ugly as it was with pouring down rain on friday to a great
wintery day on saturday. I think alot of people got scared off on
friday but riding was great on saturday. No new snow overnight and
right now its about 30 degrees out. Its a nice morning out here in frederic
and there are sleds already buzzing around. Yesterday at about the same time
I had 2 different sets of people in here from Indianapolis, one of them being
Todd Milkens (maybe Mickens) and he is a regular reader, but he wanted me to
send out a message to his children who are regular readers too so a big Hi Todds
Kids in Indy. They would be Chris, Kevin, & Kaylee…… Last night after I closed
Cathy and I went to the Holiday Inn in Grayling to do some night time cross country
skiing. What a beautiful night out. The cross country trail goes from behind the hoilday
down thru the golf course and basically all the way to downtown grayling behind the
golf course. Its nice and quiet out there and you can see the ski tracks by the moonlight
and even see deer running around like shadows in the dark. They also have a small lighted
loop up closer to the motel. Its a free trail too, no trail permit needed. Also towards the end
of the night last night I had a customer come in that told me that there was a fatal sled
accident somewhere by the blue bear trail last night. I verified it with the kalkaska sheriff
but thats all I know so far.Thats 22 this season…..Please Ride Safely…and thanks for checking
Saturday February 21, 2004 8:30 a.m.
Its about 24 degrees out and we had about 2 inches of snow
overnight. Its not the 4 to 8 that was predicted but after yesterday
its a darn welcome sight. What a nasty rainy gloomy day yesterday
was. It started out great in the morning and by 3 p.m. most of the sleds
dissapeared as it was raining alot. It sure made a mess of things. As long
as it holds today we should be able to make it thru this weekend. I forgot
to mention yesterday that there is a vintage snowmobile show this
weekend in Waters at the keg bar. If you would like to see a bunch of
vintage sleds thats the place to do it. Last night I went down to houghton
lake to see a friend that I have known since kintergarden. He now lives in
North Carolina and brought 3 guys up that he works with to go riding. Those
3 guys have never been in snow before and got their first taste of snowmobiling.
They managed to get 156 miles in all around the houghton lake area yesterday. I think
they got a great introduction to snowmobiling. We went to eat at Coyles and then
went onto the Limberlost. Boy I must be getting old, The waiter thought I was joking
because I wanted hot choclate. He asked me what kind of shot I wanted in it and I said
I only wanted whip cream……On the way back home I came up old 27 and by the big swamp
down there I saw a van pulled off sideways on the road and a ways north of that was a couple
dragging a suitcase down the road walking in the pouring rain, so I stopped and picked them
up. They were a youg couple and missed the turn at houghton lake for gas and ran out of gas.
I took them back into town to get gas and got them on their way. My good deed for the week.
Coming past the boat ramp at higgins lake I was amazed at all the cars,campers and trucks there
so I had to go into see what was happening. Both the boat ramp and the parking lot on 27 were
packed and there were lights all over the lake where people were fishing. Smelt fishing is what
everybody was doing and apparently they are getting them like crazy there. That was really
something to see. Thats about it for now so THanks for checking in and Please Ride
Friday February 20, 2004 7:00 a.m.
There is about 2 inches of fresh snow out there this morning. Its a
grainy heavy snow and at least everything is white again. The bad
part is there is a sleet in the air and the weather man is calling
for mixed rain today. Its 29 out here right now, the good part is he
is still calling for 4 to 8 inches tonight so who knows what the heck is
going to happen. It was 43 at one time yesterday and things sure didnt
look good, alot of black was showing up in my parking lot and there was
plenty of melting going on……gosh I sure dont like saying that. Keep up
the snow chants. The giant machine known as the wood hog by morbark
has been in frederic the past few days. It is chewing up the mountains
of railroad ties. I stopped and watched them yesterday, a loader grabs a
pile of ties and dumps them in and chews and spits them out into a semi
truck. I am sure the rail road guys would have liked to feed in the 2 fools I saw
riding arctic cats right down the tracks there yesterday morning.
STAY OFF THE TRACKS!! That machine is impressive to watch it
work and for as huge as it is its amazingly quiet. I had a letter from a guy
in glennie and I thought I would pass this along so if you go there you know
where to buy your gas……..
heard you made it to glennie and liked the smooth trails my buddy and his dad
groom them along with a few others if you ever make it there again stop on in
to the family circle marathon station that his dad owns. The guy in glennie
owns half the town and doesnt even offer to help with the trails and he ends up
with all the business just aint right so stop in and help the little guy out
thats busting his but to keep the trails smooth and run a business.
The dvd is pretty much ready and I am sure my little friend James & Dillion
will be happy to know that they are in it. We just have to get labels done yet
for them. It ended up at 11 and a half minutes long. I learned a little about movie
making, you sure have to shoot a lot of footage to get the job done. It covers
things about frederic and sledheads and a part about the display out front too.
It will be a great way to show people what they are missing in the little town of
frederic. Thanks for checking in and Please Ride Safely. Pete
Thursday February 19, 2004 10:00 a.m.
Its about 25 outside here in frederic. The snow looks well
worn. Luckily yesterday it didnt get as warm as they predicted and
we didnt lose much snow. I hauled my sleds to luzerne on my open
trailer and both ways they didnt even get dirty….
The ride started out at Ma Deeters. Because I thought I was cool
and had 4 wheel drive I thought I would park out of the way. So right
away I got stuck and spent the first 45 minutes getting unstuck. So
we headed out towards oscoda, trails were pretty dirty within 5 miles
of luzerne but then turned nice and white. Once we hit alcona county
trails were super smooth, up to that point I would have rated them a 5.
We only made it as far as glennie but it was a great ride. We dropped down
onto a different trail on the way back and passed 2 groomers and it was alot
smoother on the ride back to luzerne. 123 miles all together and it was about
when we returned. Cathys sled is just ready to hit 4000 miles and mine is just
ready to hit 8000. Ma Deeters has steak nite on wednesdays and it 2.99 for
a steak so that sounded good for dinner to us. Oscoda will have to wait for
a different day, at least it was a great try. Several calls came in yesterday
for the snowmobile safety class. I have tables and chairs lined up now for it
so you dont have to bring your own chairs. The weather is calling for a winter
storm for friday and saturday for all of northern lower michigan. WE sure could
use that. Thanks for checking in and Please Ride Safely. Pete
Wednesday February 18, 2004 6:30 a.m.
Its about 6 degrees out and no new snow. Weather is supposed to
be high 30s to 40 today. We are heading out on a ride, going to start
at ma deeters in luzerne and try for oscoda. The snowmobile safety
class is a go for saturday Feb 28. It will be taught by Deputy Alexander
from the sheriff department. Hours will be from 8:30 a..m to 4 and you
will need to bring your own lunch and chairs. Anybody can take the class
but a child has to be at least 12 to recieve the certificate. Younger is o.k.
to take the class but they can not get the certificate. Please call the shop
at 989-344-7669 so we can put you on the list. I cant stress how important
this class is to a youngster in light of the 2 emails I recieved last night on
a 15 year old tustin girl in wexford county that died on monday after losing
control of her machine. That puts the fatality count at 21 this season.
I also did something yesterday I should have done years ago. I ordered
a port a potty for outside in the parking lot. So many people ask for the
bathroom and my little system in the building cant handle it so I am going
to make sure I keep one out there. Thanks for checking in and Please
Ride Safely. Pete
Tuesday February 17, 2004 9:30 a.m.
Its a calm morning here in frederic and about 20 degrees out.
Nothing exciting has happened here, just waiting for some snow
to freshen things up. The weatherman is calling for maybe 40 tommorow
so I dont look forward to that even though Cathy and I are going to ride.
Not sure where yet. Yesterday Cathy & I went cross country skiing at
hanson hills. So nice quiet and pretty back in there and then all of a sudden
here comes 2 guys around a corner on a set of rossignols on my side of
the trail going way to fast. I had to dive into the woods to get out
of their way and the other guy hooked ski tips with Cathy.
There always has to be a few bad ones in every bunch.
Just kidding skiing was great but my warped sense of humor
couldnt resist typing that. Our cottage is still available for this
coming weekend and I have been working with Jim on some
of the final editing on the dvd. Hopefully I can have some of
them in here for this weekend .Thanks for checking in and
Please ride Safely. Pete
Monday February 16, 2004 10:30 a.m.
It started out at 18 below zero this morning and its already
up to 12 degrees. NO new snow overnight. I was surprised at
the amount of sleds that I saw at the motels as I came up here
this morning. Trails should start getting back in shape now as most
of the crowds are gone. A guy came in yesterday and told me his story
on his run in with the dnr this weekend. He had just bought a sled
and went and got it registered. He got stopped and checked and the dnr
wanted to impound it because his registration numbers didnt match up
with the numbers on his sled, making the cop think the sled was stolen.
The right year was on the registration and make but the serial number
on it actually was for a ford f 150 pickup truck. This was totally the fault
of whoever worked at the secratary of state that issued the registration.
It took some talking and the dnr guy surprisingly was smart enough
to figure out that the yamaha really wasnt a ford pick up truck disguised
as a yamaha and there really must have been a problem on the secratary
of state end, so he got to ride on……Moral of the story is when you get
your registration check it with the numbers on your sled. Thanks for
checking in and Please ride Safely…..Pete
Sunday February 15, 2004 10:00 a.m.
Its about 18 out and there was no new snow overnight.
The snow that is out there right now looks well worn and
a little shot of white would clean things up. Lots of sleds
around yesterday and people are just starting to roll into
town now. Last night my friend JIm that is making the dvd
for me came over with his wife and we watched what he has
done so far on it. He sure does a great job. It has scenes of
lots of sleds riding around frederic and me talking about what
sledheads is all about. Lots of great shots of riders in the store
and outside too. I will be excited to get it done. So far its about
10 minutes long. Its amazing how much video we shot and by
the time you edit it all what it boils down to, but this thing is
a first rate professionally done video so it is definetly worth
watching. After we watched that we went up to the Ole Barn
for dinner. Once again Greg out did himself for us. We ordered
our dinners and he started sending stuff out for us to “test”.
I like that part. First a nice big shrimp coctail, then a big plate
of crab legs, and then a big piece of prime rib and we still
had to eat our dinners. Hey I am supposed to be losing weight
because the doctor thinks I am a tad heavy. Anyways it was
a great dinner and there were alot of sledders in there too.
And speaking of food yesterday Ken from the Northend Grocery
brought me in a monster piece of prime rib along with cooked
potatoes and carrots with rolls….How the heck am I supposed to
lose any pounds……He brought that down to thank me for posting
that letter on here last week about their store. People started going
in there talking about it and somebody printed it out and gave it to
him. So remember that they have a great fresh meat counter there
and also gas too………Thanks for checking in and Please Ride Safely. Pete
Saturday February 14, 2004 9:30 a.m..
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!!!!
There is a light snow in the air and its about 18 degrees out.
The wind has died down some but boy did it howl all day yesterday.
I had a call from the AuSable Valley Snowmobile Association and they
asked me to get the word out that one of their groomers is down and will
be down till some time next week. Its a pretty big mechanical failure on the
track system and its gonna take a bit to get it fixed. So they will be grooming
their 70 miles of trail with just the one ford tractor groomer. They will be runing
it 12 to 14 hours in the evenings. Remember all these guys are volunteers and
do not recieve any pay for what they do!! On top of having a major repair to deal
with they will still be out there running the groomer. So when you do see them at
night be sure to get out of their way and give them a thumbs up. Its a lonely
job out their in that groomer all night by yourself. Right now everything is in
pretty good shape and sleds are riding into frederic. Please remember to ride
safely and thanks for checking in. Pete
Friday February 13, 2004 7:15 A.M.
Its about 20 degrees out this morning and no new
snow overnight. From the way the weather looks I would say
its going to be a cold windy weekend without much new snow.
I didnt really like the looks of the forcast for next week because
he said possibility of 40’s. Things are in great shape right now so
enjoy the weekend and Please Ride Safely……Pete
Thursday February 12, 2004
Its about 18 degrees out and we had a couple inches
overnight again. Things are shaped up pretty well for this
weekend and it will be great riding. There isnt much else to
report. Grandmas house is still for sale and the info is above
here. It would make a great valentines present……..This weekend
is the first anniversary coming up of treat your sweety to a treat
from Petey. Spamfest…….well I havent been able to line up my friends
griddle that I used last year and alot of people have been asking about
spam fest. It is not going to be this weekend but hopefully I can do it yet
this season. There will be marshmallows out by the fire again this weekend
and if you want to bring your own hot dogs to cook on the fire you can use
our sticks. I will have catsup and mustard here too…… Thanks for checking in.
and Please Ride Safely. Pete
Wednesday February 11, 2004 10:15 a.m.
What a great power ride we had yesterday. After Alpena
we headed north on trail 992 and went thru posen, hawks,
metz, millersburg and onoway. All railroad grade and all
smooth riding. A bit past onoway the trail turned and
headed north at tower so I started into the piegon river
forest just hitting 2 tracks and trails and using my compass
to head south and west. That is one huge forest and we finally
came out into wolverine just before dark and hit the trail south
to gaylord and frederic. We made it back to the cabin after
243 miles and eleven and a half hours on the trail. That sounds
more like a u.p. ride than a lower penninsula ride. Snow is just
great everywhere. Most of those little towns we went thru I never
even heard of and it sure seems nice to check out some new
places. 370 miles total for 2 days of riding , I sure like that. Now
I am a little jealous because my brother just left here and is heading
to paradise with some of his friends and I have to stay here and work.
I had a lady call this morning trying to find out info on a antique snowmobile
show thats supposed to be around here this weekend, if anybody has any
info on it please let me know. (monte where are you?) Also in regards to
the sled safety class I have had about 6 people inquire about it but it would
run from 8:30 to 4 and you would have to bring your own lunch. Kids have
to be at least 12 to get a certificate but younger kids can attend but can not
get the certificate. I need to have at least 20 to do the class……..Its a nice day
here in frederic this morning but no new snow…. I think there was about 6
new inches yesterday though…..Thats about it for now. Thanks for checking
in and Please Ride Safely!! Pete
Tuesday February 10, 2004 High Noon
Here I am at the Hillman Library. What a beautiful morning.
My brother and I left the cabin this morning at 8:30 and
its been one great ride. So far we have gone about 80 miles
and we are only about 20 from alpena. The trail from atlanta
to here has been a smooth as a babys butt and the thunder chicken
is humming along and hasnt missed a peck. I dont know where to
after alpena but I am thinking more north and then cutting over
towards indian river. From grayling to lewiston we were the first
ones on the trails and they were covered with about 3 fresh inches.
On yesterdays ride we had 8 riders and we rode to roscommon and then
on to st. helen. That was a great ride too but I rate the trail
conditons for that ride at just fair. Today my rating for the trails is awesome.
Next time somebody see Carl from the lewiston hotel tell him I owe him
a big thanks for telling me about the alpena run. I stopped here in
hillman to see my friend Doug Morrison at the IGA store here and he told me the
library was just down the alley. He has a drag sled for sale so if anybody is
looking for one give him a holler. O.K. daylight is burning up so we have to
hit the trail……Thanks for checking in and Please Ride Safely…..Pete
Monday February 9, 2004 7:00 a.m.
Its 22 degrees out and we only had a little skiff of
snow overnight. I am happy to say that it was a pretty
uneventful weekend around frederic in regards to accidents.
I did hear that a sled got hit out by the far parking lot
on 72 but no major injuries. On the other hand a spectator
was killed at the I-500 in Sault St. Marie. I went to Pat
Modos’s funeral yesterday. The service was very nice and the
church was way beyond full. It still is hard to believe the
way all that happend and what happened. Wertz Warriors were
all there as they have all had a horribly hard week but they
did press on to raise money for special olympics as Pat would
have wanted them to. I have my sled on the trailer and this
morning I am heading out to the Camp Grayling Conservation Club
cabin for our annual guys ride for a couple days. My brother came
up from Kzoo to ride too. The cabin is only a couple miles out of
grayling and is a great spot. Its a nice sized very comfy log
cabin and it has plenty of sleeping room. I know there were already
5 or 6 guys out there last night. As I stood in line at the funeral
yesterday I was talking with Carl from the lewiston hotel. He said
there is a new trail that goes to Alpena and that he has had quite
a few riders from Alpena into the hotel. He said you go from lewiston
to atlanta to millersburg to alpena. I am hoping we can try that
route. I will try my best to get an update on the next couple of days
but if I dont get to a computer I will update on wednesday. I got the
following letter from a reader this morning here it is…..
Last weekend while snowmobiling, we stopped to get gas in Frederic at
the North End Grocery. We weren’t asked to show our ID, we didn’t have
to pre-pay, I didn’t have to remove my helmet and mask, I didn’t get a
big “sigh” when I gave them my debit card instead of cash, and when we
left the lady behind the counter told us Thank you we appreciate you
stopping in! It was a great experience compared to the opposite end of
town. – Pass the word there are people who appreciate the business
that snowmobilers bring! Tom from Ovid
Thanks for checking in. Pete
Sunday February 8, 2004 9:30 a.m.
Its a still 12 degrees here in frederic this morning.
There was no new snow since yesterday and by last night
people were saying the normal things like the trails were pretty
beat up. Sled traffic was steady all day but it didnt seem like
as many as the past couple weekends. Nothing else really to exciting
going on so I will just leave this short and sweet….Thanks for checking
in and Please Ride Safely!!Pete
Saturday February 7, 2004 8:30 a.m.
Its a clear 18 degrees here in frederic this morning
and there was only a little skiff of new snow overnight.
Today is Cathy’s Birthday so Happy Birthday to her and I cant
believe that she is ** years old….I guess I shouldnt say her
age. Anyways the sled traffic seemed a little slow around
frederic yesterday. T.V. 9 & 10 came here yesterday and
did a story on the display sled outside. It was a great
plug on t.v. for snowmobile safety. The story was titled
snowmobile safety and it was their top story. The funeral
for Pat Modos will be sunday at the big log church in
Bear Lake right on m-72 by Dingmans Bar.
I also received this bit from some readers so here it is:
The Grinch who stole OUR Christmas
On Christmas Eve, 2004 [should say 2003], the Grinch Who Stole Christmas made
a stop at the Michigan Governors mansion, and instead of taking away all the
presents under the tree, she took away our right to spend our own funds. Yes,
Gov. Jennifer Granholm line item vetoed two special appropriations in the state
budget that would have given us the right to spend $3 million that, today, just
sits in the snowmobile fund.
The appropriations would have had zero impact on the state budget. It wasn’t
money coming from the state budget. It was money sitting in our Snowmobile Trail
Improvement Fund. The money in that fund comes from 100 percent of your registration
fee, all trail permit money and a very small amount of the gasoline tax we pay.
My question and the question all snowmobilers should be asking is this: how can
the Governor justify that she has an industry in her state that generates a billion
dollars a year and costs her state nothing, yet, she won’t allow them to spend their
own money? You might recall that last year we had a fund balance in the snowmobile
fund because of the way our funds were appropriated. We were able to work with the
DNR and state appropriations committee and increase our appropriation. We were also
able to use the nearly $1 million that was in our fund balance last year.
Several months ago, the DNR told us that, because of the governor’s spending
freezes and an increase in the gasoline tax, we were going to have a fund balance
again this year. Being proactive, we began working with our state legislators on
appropriations that would give us the right to spend that money – our money. Both
the House and Senate agreed that we should be allowed to spend the money that has
built up in the snowmobile fund. Both bodies had already approved those appropriations.
The two line items vetoed by the governor consisted of $2 million going toward out
new permanent trails and $250,000 going toward the repair of bridges in the northwest
We contacted the Michigan’s Executive Office and asked why these appropriations were
line item vetoed. Greg Bird, of the State Budget Office said “The Governor is very
supportive of recreational opportunities in this state, and the opportunity to expand
on them, however, this appropriation was put in during the late stages of the process
and the Governor’s office didn’t have the opportunity to review them.”
When explaining that these appropriations would have zero impact on the state budget,
Bird said, “With the enormous budget deficit facing the state, the governor felt it
wasn’t prudent to purchase additional lands at this time. The governor felt it just
wasn’t wise to appropriate money to purchase additional lands … perhaps in the future.”
Actually the governors office had more that 30 days to research exactly how we were
going to use these funds, and they were provided information on exactly what we are trying
to do through the Snow Country Conservancy and permanent trails.
As far as the purchase of property or easements costing the state money, let me stress
that the property or easements would be purchased through the Snow Country Conservancy,
not the state. Taxes are not required on the easements, and taxes on any property would
be paid for through the snowmobile program, our funds. The same funds we are asking to spend.
In other words, permanent trails in this state will never cost this state a dime, and
we have put that in writing to the governor’s office.
Finally, Bird was asked why snowmobilers weren’t being allowed to spend money that
have paid for the right to snowmobile in this state and he said he would have to double
check on where those funds were coming from. He said it was his understanding that the
funds were to be used for trail improvements. Actually the snowmobile law says that they
can be used improvements, Maintenance and the purchase of easements. He said he had to
check on that and get back to us. He hasn’t gotten back to us.
Now we have to start the process over again, asking the DNR to put in a special
appropriation, not only to use those funds but also funds left in the Sheriff and DNR law
funds. The total now stands at over $3 million. We have to work through the House and Senate
asking them to gives the right to spend our money. At this point, it seems like we have to
beg them to use our money.
Also remember, even though these funds are “dedicated funds” the governor, with one stroke
of her pen, could take them for use elsewhere in the state budget. That is the same governor,
with the stroke of her pen said “no” to allowing us to use our funds. We continue to keep a
watchful eye on what’s going on in Lansing, but have learned the hard way, nothing is a sure
thing.I am asking that you drop a note to Gov. Granholm and remind her of some of the things
that I have mentioned. Tell her that you just want to be allowed to use the funds you paid
to snowmobile in this state, on snowmobiling.
Contact the Governor:
Governor Jennifer Granholm
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, MI 48909
Phone: (517) 373-3400
FAX: (517) 335-6863
Friday February 6, 2004 7:15 a.m.
Its about 22 degrees out and we had about 4 inches
of new snow overnight. I just shoveled off our front
porch and its kind of a wierd grainy salty feeling snow,
but what the heck its snow. From watching the t.v. it looks
like alot of northern michigan got it with still more to
come today. A couple things I have been meaning to say all
week is that I went over to my friends house the other night
to review the sledheads dvd that we are making and was pretty
impressed with what he has done so far, hopefully it will be done
within a couple of weeks. Also I bought a bunch of bags of
marshmallows this week for use out at the bon fire on the weekends.
I have roasting sticks too so if you ride in with your friends or
kids feel free to roast yourself some marshmallows on the fire.
It should be a great weekend as every trail that I have heard of is
in great shape. The only problem with that is that they dont last
long enough. So everybody have fun and Please Ride Safely. Pete
Thursday February 5, 2004 11:00 a.m
Its about 8 degrees here this morning and a big east storm
is in the forcast for tonight and tommorow. Trails are in
great shape right now. Cathy and I rode up thru gaylord yesterday
and down to lovells and back to frederic, a beautiful 103 mile loop.
I only wish we didnt have to come back to the news we got last night.
I have had several emails and calls on this accident and I want to
clarify that it was Pat Jr. that was killed not Pat Sr. Apparently
he tried to stop to avoid sleds that were stopped and fell off and
was hit by other riders in his group. This has really bothered me
all night and I know there nothing can be done to change the past
but I keep thinking about how I led those guys over here yesteray
and how things might have been different if I didnt do that. They were
planning on riding by here anyways with or with out me. This is the
first time that I have personally known somebody killed in a riding
accident and it sure hurts….Thanks for checking in & please ride safely.
Wednesday Night 7:00 p.m.
Just got back here to frederic a bit ago after a great days ride.
I hate reporting this bad news, it seems like all I keep writing about
is deaths. This morning as Wertz Warriors were over at the swamp for
breakfast I talked to and shook hands with Pat Modos. A long time Wertz
Warrior supporter and rider. He also owns Dingmans Bar. Unfortunately
Pat was in an accident during the Wertz Warrior ride today and died this
evening at 6:11 P.M. I am still dumbfounded as I saw him this morning
and this just blows me away.
Wednesday Feb 4, 9:30 A.M.
I forgot to mention this morning that wertz warriors were riding into
frederic. They had breakfast at the swamp and I was over there taking
pictures and video when I talked to one of the guys and he said they
wanted to ride over here to the shop and see the sled display. I was
honored to lead them with the thunder chicken from the swamp and
thru the alley to here where they all rode past the display. They are on
their way to fife lake and traverse city today.. Quite an impressive
display of sleds riding all by in a row and they raise over half a
million dollars too for special olympics.
Wednesday February 4, 2004 7:25 a.m.
Its about 10 out this morning and there has only been about an inch of
new snow since yesteday. It was a pretty quiet day in frederic and the
trails are all excellent right now which is why Cathy & I are going riding today.
I cant try the oscoda run today because grandma can only watch
the kids till early afternoon but I am sure we will get a good ride in.
I did something yesterday I havent done in a few years. I went cross
country skiing on the trails behind the holiday inn. If you really want
to enjoy nature and the beauty of the winter without zipping by it to
fast to take it all in thats the way to do it. It was so pretty and
quiet out there and I even got to see 4 deer. Mo Mo Nah Chee Chee Nah,
you have all seen me use this many times as we chant for snow. Well
I actually got that saying from my friend Jack Tripp. Years ago before
I came up with this brainstorm I used to work bridge construction for
Midwest Bridge Company. I was staying with Jack at that time and after a late
night out I heard him outside screaming that at the top of his lungs. I came
out and said what the heck are you doing? He told me he saw it in a John Wayne
movie and that it was actually an old indian chant for rain. Well lo and
behold when we woke up in the morning it was raining and Jack looked at me and
said “See it worked” so we didnt have to work that day. So thats how the story came to be
where I got Mo MO Nah Chee Chee Nah from. Well my dear friend Jack “Tripper” passed
away on Monday morning from a heart attack.. He lived up in lakes of the
north at lake arrowhead and he was only 54. So I just want to send out a big
MO MO NAH CHEE CHEE NAH to my friend Jack Tripp. Thanks for checking in.
Pete… and Please Ride Safely!!!
Tuesday February 3, 2004 7:30 a.m
Its about 28 degrees out and we had about 3 to 4 inches of fresh snow fall
overnight here at Lake Margarethe. It was in the high 20s yesterday which
is alot warmer than I would like to see it. There were not many sleds out
and about yesterday but the groomers were out and about and things should
be great today. I only wish I have personally been on the trails to give
you the first hand report. I have had many emails from people regarding
their experiences on the trails meeting up with unsafe situations. I also
had a letter from a guy regarding sleds riding towards him with their high
beam lights on and asking me to just post something about that. I haven’t
personally had much problem with that but I guess its the same as a car
coming at you with its brights on. thanks for checking in. Pete
Monday February 2, 2004 11 A.M.
No new snow again overnight and now everything is looking worn. Trails are
slowly starting to get back into shape and should be good again by
tommorow. They just can’t keep up with the heavy traffic on the weekends.
One thing that I had alot of questions on this past weekend on my ride
to the U.P. last week is “how do you get across the mackinaw bridge?”
When you ride into mackinaw city go to the rest area there and you can
call the bridge authority. If its during the day they will call for you
from the desk in the rest area. The number is 906-643-9600. They will then
come pick you up and take you to st. ignace and drop you at the shell
station there. Just call again when you are coming back. The cost is ten
bucks each way… Thats about it for today. Thanks for checking in and
please ride safely… Pete
Sunday February 1, 2004
Its sunny and 2 degrees here this morning and for the first time in I think a
week we had no new snow overnight. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my little Haley this
morning who is all the way up to 4 years old. It seems just like yesterday when
we were waiting for Baby Sledhead to arrive. There were lots of machines out and
about yesterday and as usual the trails didnt keep up with the heavy traffic.
Today is the day for the Girls Ride called Friends for Miracles leaving this
morning from Terry Sport Center. There are 32 of them riding from Grayling to
Boyne Falls. They are raising money for a local 16 year old boy with cancer.
Their scheduled stops are at local spots that made donations to the rides, The
Keg, The Hideaway, The Green Lantern, and Larry’s. The ride was organized by
Pam Terry from Terrys Sport Center and Crystal Filley from Riches Cycle
Service. They also wanted to thank Ohio Mike for the use of his communicators.
Anybody wishing to donate can contact Pam at Terrys Sport Center @ 989-348-7513.
I was amazed yesterday at how many cars I saw yesterday pulling up to the sled
display outside and how many people got out to look at it. Last night I went
out for a tour of the Grayling night life with my flint friend Dangling Chad
and his step dad. After checking out Growlers, the Sawmill and finally back to
the Ole Barn, we decided The Ole Barn is the king of the Grayling night life.
They had a great band and I had a great dinner but the thing that sticks out
the most last night is a snowmobiler that came up to me and that had said he
stopped at the sled display a couple days ago and that he had nightmares that
night about what happened in that accident. My whole point is that it really
is making people think. I just had a phone call from a friend who told me that
he has heard from a few people that they are sick of hearing me talking about
safety and that they quit reading me. Well they are probably the people that
need to hear about it the most… that really kind of surprised me but I guess
with the things that I hear that go out on the trails nothing should surprise
me… Thats about it for now and thanks for checking in.
Please Ride Safely… Pete