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
Page 65
Page 66
Page 67
Page 68
Page 69
Page 70
Page 71
Page 72
Page 73
Page 74
Page 75
Page 76
Page 77
Page 78
Page 79
Page 80
36 Snowmobile VERMONT Jon Foster Derry Sled Dogs by Patty Companik Whos in the Groomer Jon Foster is the Groomer Master for the Derry Sled Dogs of Windham County. He started grooming in the late 80s right after he got out of high school. The local club was looking for people to help groom at the time. He and his buddy Wayne Parker volunteered to groom. Wayne isnt involved anymore but Jon has continued his support and involvement through the years. Jon was born and raised in Weston Vermont and currently lives in the Mount Holly area. He always rode a snowmobile as a kid. His dad had an old snowmobile he used but in 1989 Jon bought himself a new Artic Cat. Jon has been the owner of West River Auto in Londonderry since 1999. Having a mechanic is a wonderful blessing to the club. Jon along with the support of Drew Fraser Mick Arce and Andrew Blanchard regularly work on the 1993 Tucker. Last year they rebuilt the rear tracks. This years focus was on the rebuilding the front tracks. The Derry Sled Dogs did a major reroute on their trail this year which I personally was thrilled to hear about. They were able to reroute halfway up Moses Road so now the trail takes you through Kinhaven Music School property in Weston. They still have the other half of the trail to focus on rerouting but this will take some time and planning to get done. This year they also put up a small bridge behind the firehouse on Route 100. This makes it easier to get to the gas station. They groom the main route Route 7 from the top of 155 Mount Holly to Mount Taber. They are responsible for 29 miles of trails of which 20 are corridor. Most of their main route is through the National Forest. An average night of grooming takes about six hours for approximately 14 miles. Jon prefers grooming at night. It is easier to see snowmobilers at night becasue of their headlights. The club has four people who groom. They almost always ride with two people in the groomer. Most of the area they groom has no radio or cell service so having two people is for safety purposes. Jon also is the person on the team who teaches folks how to groom. New volunteers are always welcome Drew Fraser Derry Sled Dogs Club President says that Jon is an excellent teacher. He is very patient and very knowledgeable. The machine is not easy to run. He explains what you should be doing and how to listen to the engine so you know if you need to stop and check it or get off the trail so you dont get stuck. A lot of grooming is how things feel and sound. By listening to the drag you can determine is it needs to be raised or lowered. Drew couldnt say enough nice things about Jon. He is a real down-to-earth guy who is always willing to help. Drew says that a clubs continued success is based on a good core group of people. Though they have many members it is always the same core group of folks who come out and help. He just became president this year but has been riding since he was seven years old. He told me that his dad said When you can start it by yourself you can ride it. With plenty of experience with the sport Drew and the core team will continue to work hard to keep their piece of the trail system a pleasant riding experience for all to enjoy. I asked Jon about the biggest challenge they face. Jon says its the maintenance of the equipment. Cold weather and steel really dont go well together things get broken. Making sure you keep the equipment greased is important finding the time to do this is also a challenge. Jon still rides but spends most of his hours on trail in a groomer. Grooming is something he enjoys and the reason why he has done it for over 26 years. Derry Sled Dogs received a grant from VAST this year that paid for half the cost of their brand new drag. Patty Companik photos