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 | 25 Why I Snowmobile Shelley D’Amato, Conn. and Island Pond My husband and I started snowmobiling in the winter of 2004. My brother Jim has been an avid snowmobiler in the NEK for many years and convinced us to join him one weekend. I didn’t need much convincing, but my husband thought it was a ridiculous idea. I clearly remember him saying, “I work construction outside all winter, why would I ever want to drive four hours to go where it’s colder?!” It didn’t sound the least bit appealing to him. Shelley can be found many winter days breaking trail in the NEK and loving every minute of it. When we arrived in Island Pond, it was obvious why it is known as “The Snowmobile Capitol.” There were huge snow banks that lined the streets and sleds were buzzing around everywhere! I’ve never seen anything like it. We got a good night’s rest at the Lakefront Motel and the next morning we rented our sleds and were on our journey through the trails of the NEK. It was absolutely amazing. Can it be possible to have this much fun? At the end of the day we had smiles from ear to ear and knew this was something very special. I love the adrenaline you experience when you crack that throttle on a freshly groomed trail while taking in the most beautiful scenery along the way. Snow draping the trees through the tight and twisty trails or the rolling hills of open fields or just taking in the view at an overlook. We also enjoy our many trailside stops at restaurants who support this sport we love. There’s Pond’s Edge, Chez Pidgeon and the Cow Palace, to name a few. This is where we’ve met some of the most amazing people who always make you feel welcome. It’s also nice to have a place to have a hot meal and thaw out! Now, here we are 12 years later and we share the same excitement for this sport as we did that very first day. We built a cabin in the beautiful town of Island Pond where it all started for us. We’ve created lasting memories with our children and look forward to many more years of snowmobiling with our family and friends and hope our love for this sport continues for generations to come. Joe’s involvement with motocross is a big reason why he now has an endless love for snowmobiling. Joe Maida, Southwest Conn. I’ve been a VAST member and snowmobiling since 2004. I became quickly involved and captivated by the sport of snowmobiling after riding and racing motocross for several years. A close friend then “convinced” me to come along with him for a trip I would not soon forget. After several invites, I gave in and we headed up to the NEK from Connecticut for a trip that turned out to be beyond my expectations. After arriving on a Friday afternoon we unloaded and having never ridden a snowmobile I took my “borrowed” sled for a ride around the parking lot. I knew right away that I would be hooked, especially after seeing the energy of the snowmobiling in and around town. After a weekend of riding the trails around the NEK, I knew this was the sport for me. This first trip led me to purchasing a snowmobile for myself as soon as I got home. What I didn’t know at the time was that I would become hooked with a passion that is just a strong today as it was in 2004. One trip became two, then three and so on. More snowmobiles came, bigger trucks were purchased, new trailers were brought home and finally a seasonal cabin was rented by a group of friends met through snowmobiling. To date, I’ve been fortunate enough to ride not only in Vermont, but New Hampshire, Maine and Canada as well. I’ve logged thousands of miles, spent numerous days traveling on groomed trails, through small towns, wooded forests, farms and fields. Every trip leads to a new story or adventure that will never be forgotten. The friends, relationships and memories forged from the great sport of snowmobiling will soon not be forgotten.