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Winter 2016 37 Whos in the Groomer Paul Racine Chittenden Dammers By Beth Godin When you hear the story of Pauls first grooming experience you might wonder why he wanted to keep doing it but most groomer operators will agree that when you get the grooming bug you just cant shake it. Paul shares his story I was asked to go grooming in our old 1980 Tucker one night. We all knew it wasnt dependable. It broke down and we had to walk a long way out of the woods to Mendon Pico Motel to use their phone to call for a ride home. We went back the next day and repaired it. It must be a sickness Even after that I kept grooming and working on the groomers Paul Racine started grooming in 1990 and was Trailmaster and groomer operator for the Chittenden Dammers from 1993-2005. Club president Doug Todd convinced him to start up again in 2012 as a groomer operator. His wife Gwen Paul Racine gives the Tucker a good groomingat the end of last season before storing it away. Gwen Racine photos When he isnt grooming Paul enjoys riding the trails with his family. He is pictured here riding last year with his grandkids Abigail and Collin. Paul repaired theold green draglast summer. He spent many hours working on it but also enjoyed doing it. What was once green is now a bright orange and blue. is also very active in the club and was an inspiration for Paul to get more involved again. These days he runs a 2006 Terra Track 2000 Tucker and is looking forward to getting a new one in the future. He says Ill run whatever brand or model the club gets. I like them all as long as they are not broken all the time He currently volunteers a lot of time on mechanical and welding repairs on the 10-year-old Tucker and two drags. Trailmaster Evan Smith and Vice President Wendal Smith also help a great deal with the repair work. After retiring in 2013 as a hydro mechanic for Green Mountian Power and CVPS he now has more time for his snowmobile hobby volunteering and for his family. His children grandchildren and wife all enjoy snowmobiling together and they often ride in the groomer too. His guest riders are also usually capable of driving the Tucker as well in case anything goes wrong. Last year he had 12 different riders in the groomer. Gwen goes out with him more than anyone and they often see wildlife on their grooming runs including fisher cats and moose. Riders dont often see what lies ahead of the groomer. These are small drifts on the Bloodroot.