Page 35 - WCM 2022 Winter
P. 35

 Courtesy Arnold Trail Snowmobile Club
Arnold Trail snowmobilers enjoy a gorgeous Eustis sunset.
precise begins in April. Rangeley has come a long way from a dual track machine pulling a pipe drag, and Kennedy has been there to see it grow. “I’m a legacy,” he explains, “and the orchestrator of organized chaos.”
Fryeburg Area Snowmobile Association
David Richardson grew up on his family’s farm in Fryeburg. In his seventh decade he still lives there. At different intervals over 20 years, he was club president, stepping down from the Interstate Snogoers (now the Fryeburg Area Snowmobile Association) for good in 2020. “I was 33 when I got the bug. My friends were getting machines, and it seemed like families had two or three. I got a used Sno-Jet. It got me outdoors; I was able to see things I otherwise wouldn’t. My longest trip was over 100 miles when my son and I flew out to Yellowstone. We covered a lot of ground.”
Richardson explains that his club wanted him to be president, and that he was happy to oblige. “We had 125 members then, and now we have about 75. If we get eight on a Sunday it’s good, and most of us are over 55.”
“Another problem,” he adds, “is that it’s a rich man’s sport these days. In ’74 you bought a new machine for about $1,250; it was every man’s sport. The MSA workshops and the Pine Tree Camp in Rome were packed, but they stopped those meetings about ten years ago. I think survival depends on mergers. It’s an endless struggle. It’s still in my blood though. I just wish everyone would join their club, and work for the common good.”
Arnold Trail Snowmobile Club
Steven St. Jean is a native Mainer, and vice president of the Arnold Trail Snowmobile Club in Eustis. He bought his first machine in 1972, a brand new Moto- Ski. “It’s a passion,” he says, and muses about whether there will be a generation to whom to pass the torch. “Young families are busy and the desire isn’t there.” The club boasts 170 miles of trails that connect with Rangeley, Carrabassett Valley, Grand Falls, The Forks, and north to Canada. St. Jean has plenty to consider regarding the strenuous work of maintaining a robust club of 1,000 members. “Only about eight people are truly active,” he says. “Many are from Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania.” St. Jean understands the trends of snowmobiling well, having spent 42 years on the trails of Maine, and serving as an officer for eleven years in Eustis. He targets climate change and “blatant disregard for landowners” as two major issues informing the future of snowmobiling in Maine. “If landowners close access to trails down, we see more off-trail riding, and that’s a problem, because when long track sleds on perfect trails take off into the woods, it digs the trails up. We then spend hours repairing them. We’ve already lost access to the east side of Route 27. Landowners may just finally decide not to deal with recreation.”
St. Jean notes that officers are mostly in their sixties and weary of the work required to fundraise. “We used to hold events from September to May. Polar Blast was an entire weekend of events. It generated income and enthusiasm. We did this for twenty-five 35

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