Prep Almost Done - We Just Need Snow!
December 9, 2013
Story and Pictures by Larry Gomes
After starting our trail work on April 13, 2013 (nearly 8 months ago), we are just about ready for the start of 2013-2014 snowmobile season. We had dozens of volunteers show up for 16 different trail work days and completed over 3 man-months of work! Many thanks to all of the volunteers who gave generously of your time to help us out.
Last weekend, we had two crews out on the trail system. Crew #1 consisted of Bryan MacDonald and Matt Godbout and they went to investigate a report of a flooded ditch on one of our trails. It turns out that some work was done by the NH DOT on Rt. 110B which caused increase runoff to flow into a drainage ditch across Primary Trail 114. This trail provides access to the Milan Luncheonette and also allows riders to cross over the Ammonoosuc River to the Milan All Weather Riders trail system.
After some quick thinking, the guys came up with a simple solution - they stuffed the ditch full of hay bales so the groomers and sleds could get across for this winter. The hay will get covered in snow and eventually freeze into place providing a solid bridge for the winter.
Next summer, the club will file for a DES permit to install a culvert in this ditch as a permanent solution to the problem.
This is a
picture of the drainage ditch that Bryan and Matt filled up with hay as a
temporary solution. In years past,
this ditch has been filled with snow, but with the increase in water level, the guys were worried about riders breaking through
the icy on top and having them get stuck in water up to two feet deep. With hundreds of sleds crossing this ditch every day,
they had to make sure it would be a safe crossing.
Further north, crew #2 consisting of Carl Bull and Larry Gomes were busy putting out signs on the trail system in the Dummer/Millsfield area. This year two miles of Corridor 19 is going to be plowed and shared with logging trucks. So in addition to putting up junction signs, the club had to make sure there were proper warning signs in place for the plowed section of road.
This road sharing is not ideal, because this section of trail services thousands of sleds each winter. Also the road is narrow and curvy in places and there is no other alternative north/south route other than taking Corridor 5 to Corridor 28 or taking Corridor 12 to Corridor 18.
With Nash Stream Road (Corridor 5) also scheduled to be plowed this winter for logging, thousands of riders are going to be impacted, so be sure to watch the trail reports carefully and plan your route based on the available conditions.
Map showing the location of
the two-mile long section of Corridor 19 that will be plowed this winter.
It's one of the most heavily traveled sections in our trail system and there is no way around it
other than taking Corridor 5 to Corridor 28 or Corridor 12 to Corridor 18.
Here is one of the junction signs put up last weekend.
Other club members have also been busy. Two weeks ago, our Treasurer George Falardeau and groomer operator Mike Roy scrubbed down the front of our clubhouse and then power washed it. They said it was full of spider webs, dust and dirt and it had not been done in years.
Groomer operator Shaun Roy and another club member Pete Peare took on the task of straightening out a bent brush guard on our Pisten Bully groomer (red). It came out like brand new and we really appreciate the great work they did on this groomer. Groomer operator Matt Godbout volunteered the use of his dump truck and low bed trailer to transport the groomer to and from the garage where the welding work on the brush guard was done.
Another groomer operator, Scott Riendeuu coordinated the transportation of our Tucker groomer (orange) back to Vermont for service and the replacement of a cracked windshield (which was repaired under warranty). He also made sure our new drivers seat was installed. (It was on backorder when we took delivery of the groomer last year.)
Our two newest groomers stand ready for the
upcoming season in front of a sparkling clean clubhouse.
With just a day's worth of work remaining to finish putting up trail signs, all we need is snow. Everyone is watching the weather and hoping for a big storm to get the season going.
Stay tuned to our website and trail conditions page for the latest info.