Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Early Winter 2016 | 23 Judy Valente, Northern Vt. Riding snowmobiles started late in life for me. Growing up, my family didn’t participate in motor sports. In 1982, I joined the Army. Now fast forward to year 2001. My service career was winding down and as luck would have it, I met a new group of friends who rode sleds. First I rode as a The suspension bridge in Waterbury had Judy smiling from ear to ear in 2009. Why I Snowmobile passenger. They invited me to Maine where I rented and drove a machine for the first time. Let me just say that the experience was life-changing. My friends and that trip to Maine got me hooked on snowmobiling. I was 40 years young and haven’t looked back. My first sled was a 2003 Black Polaris Supersport. Gosh, did I love that sled! After gaining confidence, I moved to a red, white and blue liquid-cooled 600. Next came an IQ600, and then a Ski Doo 600 E-TEC. Yes, sledding became a lifestyle for me. My vacations became trips all over Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Quebec to go snowmobiling. Over the last 15 years, I’ve grown to love the camaraderie of the Vermont snowmobile community. My passion is to write trail reports and take pictures to promote the sport I love. Snowmobiling has given me friendships that will last a lifetime. Everyone I’ve met on the trails has given me something I hold close to my heart. We all have a common bond, a love for our sport, for being outside in nature, for snowy winters and miles of trails. I’m forever indebted to my friends who introduced me to snowmobiling. They changed my life and I want to do the same for future snowmobilers. Mario V. D’Acunto Jr. , Meriden, Conn. I was introduced into the snowmobile world when I was 8 years old. My best friend’s father had a 1970s Polaris Colt 340 that he would use to take us for rides on in the yard, through the woods and up the back roads during snowstorms. As we got a little older, his dad started to let us drive the 340 Colt by ourselves. Man, did that sled beat us up! We used to ride that old Polaris in a large field across the street, zipping up and down the field and sometimes towing a tube on the back, swinging each other around the field. A couple years went by, and my buddy and I started making our own trails through the woods. We ended up connecting a trail from one field to another, eventually creating our own trail system. I got away from riding in the late ‘90s when I went to high school and college. I was talking with my brother one day and he was telling me all about his new toy, a 1996 Arctic Cat 580 EFI, and how much fun he had riding in Vermont and Maine over the past winter. Right then and there, I knew I had to get back in. I wanted to have some good times with my brother and enjoy what I always loved to do as a kid. I didn’t have much to work with, so I bought a 1995 Arctic Cat 580 with 5,000 miles on it. I had a ball with it around town, in the yard and fields, but never traveled north. My sled ended up getting stolen from my yard and that incident moved me to buy a 1999 Cat ZR 700. I got my brother to go in with me on an enclosed trailer and then we were on a mission for snow in Vermont and Maine. Man, we had some laughs! Over the years, my brother has gotten out of sport, but I have grown to love it more and more. In fact, my wife believes I’m obsessed! I think, dream and obsess over riding my sled in the most majestic areas of the world: the North Country woods! There is nothing better than experiencing the beautiful sights that are out there in the mountains. Words cannot express the views that I have experienced, the quietness of the forest, the beauty of snow for what it really is. As the saying goes, “it’s all about the smiles, not the miles.” Mario and Scott are brothers just doing what must be done when snowmobiling: having fun!