Snowmobilers gather for poker rally

Andrew Wagstaff
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Successful gathering a highlight of ‘intermittent’ season

SEAL BROOK – If the sunny day and fine trails were not enough to please snowmobilers here over the weekend, the fried scallops and barbecued hamburgers probably sealed the deal.
It was all part of a poker rally held by the Chignecto Glooscap Snowmobile Association on Feb. 8, where about 100 snowmobilers took part in the 92-km run, which started and finished at the Chignecto Game Sanctuary.

“So far it’s going very well,” said association member John Collins, one of several volunteers working the scallop dinner at Mike and Etta Fraser’s camp in Seal Brook. “We have a groomed trail, and people coming from everywhere. Comments have been excellent so far. People like the trails, the weather and the rally route.”

The event had been jeopardized when the club’s trail groomer broke down and the part it needed could not be acquired in time for the weekend. However, they were able to call on their friends in the Cumberland Snowmobile Club, who groomed the trail for them.

This type of co-operation among snowmobilers is indicative of what it takes to provide quality trails and activity, according to Chignecto Glooscap association president Rick Harvey. He pointed out that 45 per cent of organized snowmobiling is funded through Nova Scotia’s Off Highway Vehicle Fund and Snowmobile Association of Nova Scotia (SANS) registration, while the remaining 55 per cent is carried on the backs of volunteers.

“The co-operation and generosity of the clubs make it all work,” said Harvey. “Without the co-operation and generosity of the Collingwood club (Cumberland), we couldn’t have offered folks today near the ride we were able to do.”

He described the current snowmobiling season as one that showed great promise, with heavy snowfall in December, but has since been “intermittent” due to ice storms and a January thaw. The ice storms caused many trees to bend over and block the trails, requiring a ramped-up brush cutting effort from the volunteers.

“Essentially, a core number of our membership have probably put just as much gas through their chainsaws as they put through their snowmobiles this year,” he said. “To date, it hasn’t been a great season because we haven’t been able to manage the trails effectively.”

But February has so far provided great riding conditions, and local snowmobilers are hopeful that there is still plenty left to their season.

“If we get a good February, hopefully we can bail out of it,” said Collins. “Hopefully the snow co-operates for the next month. We just need a couple more small storms.”

Twitter: @ADNandrew

Organizations: Cumberland, Chignecto Glooscap association, Highway Vehicle Fund Snowmobile Association of Nova Scotia

Geographic location: Seal Brook, Nova Scotia

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Recent comments

  • Cecil Smith
    February 10, 2014 - 05:22

    Really enjoyed the rally on saturday. Great food and hospitality at the Fraser's camp. Scallops were the best I have ever eaten. Trail route included all forms of terrain. .... Made for a great ride. Many thanks - Folks from Pugwash and Linden area