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 68Late Winter 2017 | 61 Why I Snowmobile John Kruczek, Connecticut My first snowmobiling adventure began the winter of 2000/01. My wife and I, my brother and a few friends traveled to Jeffersonville, Vt. in January. We rented a log cabin and took a few guided snowmobile tours. It was amazing. We returned the next year, this time renting a few snowmobiles to take out on our own. These were Polaris fan-cooled sleds. The third year had us buying used snowmobiles. I purchased a Yamaha 600 liquid-cooled sled and then later bought my first Ski-Doo, a 440. Life moved along and some friends stopped sledding, but I still had the itch. I bought my first brand new Ski-Doo, a Blue GSX 500ss. With the wonders of the internet, I met up with a bunch of Connecticut guys on a snowmobile chat forum. I was introduced to the Northeast Kingdom through Derby, Vt. I was also invited to a cabin on the Vermont/New Hampshire border. Known as the Canaan crew, we rode Vt., N.H. and into Maine. My normal 100- mile days were now just a warm up. Sledding would start at sunrise and sometime go until 2 or 3 a.m. Over several seasons, I racked up over 6000 miles, with memories and stories to go with every mile. I’m now on a Ski-Doo Blizzard 900. I have a goal to explore more clubs and trails all across Vermont, not just the hot spots. Once again, the online snowmobile forum provided great opportunities to meet new riders, and explore new VAST trails. There is so much natural beauty, from riding along the edge of a river to 100 mile views from a high ridgeline. Many areas are only easily accessible once nature provides snow and volunteer club groomers lay out the inviting white carpet. Hope to see you all on the trails! What’s your story!? Tell us “Why I Snowmobile.” Please send your stories and high resolution photo files by e-mail to Joe Murad, Connecticut Is it odd to anticipate next winter as soon as this winter is over? If you love snowmobiling, it makes perfect sense. We stick with our sport in warm weather, poor snow conditions and even rainstorms. Some people wonder what could possibly engender our loyalty. The sights, sounds, friendships and the rush of excitement snowmobiling brings is like no other activity. I have been Joe enjoys his trips north and riding the VAST trails. After a full day of riding, a little relaxing in a snow bank is a way to reflect on the day’s adventure. snowmobiling for 20 years. It all started with a 1981 Arctic Cat 500. It was not much by today’s standards, but good enough to catch the bug. I started my first adventure in Woodford and soon worked my way up through the whole state of Vermont and beyond. Every trip amassed greater adventures, stories and memories than the previous one. Riding a sled removes me from life’s daily stresses and dealings, drops me into a certain calm that makes me totally relaxed and focused at the same time. I call it “sledding therapy.” Some of my riding buddies have since moved, dropped out of the sport or moved on to other things, but I always manage to find and meet new people who share the same passion and commitment that snowmobiling demands. When I look back at 20 years of pictures of all the places I have ridden and all the people that I have met through this sport, I am grateful to have had an opportunity to participate. Hopefully, this sport can continue to move forward. It would be a shame if future generations didn’t get the chance to experience it. John has been chasing snow for many years now. He always looks forward to his trips north and riding with friends and family in Vermont.