Snowmobiling

Old Man Jones

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I was riddled with rock salt from the old man in Jones’s Field. The big kids in the neighborhood told me about this man who lived in a farmhouse next to the pasture not far from my house. One cold and blustery day I decided to take my moto-ski snowmobile into the pasture and with a curiosity I pointed the snow sled toward the edge of where he lived. I looked up ahead on the trail and I was coming up on the dwelling. I just about got to where the trail opened up to his lawn when I heard a pop sound and something stinging in my chest area. The old man had shot rock salt at me to get me off his property. It was a good thing I had my full face helmet , I would of taken the shot into the face without it.

I turned my sled around real fast as to get a quick escape when out of the corner of my eye I see three dogs running full tilt toward me. I was only about twelve years old at the time I am  about crapping my pan’st at this point. Pop! I hear another shot but this time he missed me. I’m thinking in my head this guy is a lunatic and I’m about ready to get eaten by a wolf pack. I looked back for a few seconds and the dogs were right at the back of the sled and I’m punching the throttle right to the pin when it happened. When I was looking back, I forgot to also look forward and I collided into a cement slab that was probably there from where an old silo sat. I went head over tea kettle and landed on the other side of the slab. The dogs stopped right in their tracks and didn’t even come at me. The dogs sensed that I was done in for and walked slowly back to the farm house.

I stood back up, checking myself, when I looked at the damage on the snowmobile. My god, dad was going to kill me, my quest to be a snowmobile racer was never going to happen. I can see my dad now, Son?  YOU WILL NEVER RIDE A SNOWMOBILE AGAIN!  I knew my dad well. He didn’t take equipment failures and stupidity very good. The skis on the sled were in a v-shaped pattern, or snowplow pattern now. I have skied before and you know with snowplow it is a method of slowing you down. I had about eight miles to get back home with this sled. I started up the snow machine ,very slowly limping back to my home. My chest was still stinging from the rock salt attack. I was so afraid to report to my dad of the encounter with the farmer that I had to make up a story.

His eyes lit up when I showed him the damage to the sled. What in the heck happened? Dad, I went around a corner when going through the woods and smacked into a tree. He didn’t need to know the right story, right? I still to this day will have nightmares about being shot at from this old man. It kind of gave me an “Wizard Of Oz feeling”, he was like a character in a movie. The wicked farmer of the East, all the pigs are singing and the horse’s are talking. I come upon his land and I’m walking up a white road, I presume is salt blocks.

Old man Jones passed away a few years back, I wonder what kind of a person could do this to a young child. I certainly was not out to cause harm to this person. I was not there to steal anything. I was only being a twelve year old kids with an inquisitive mind.

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

 

 

 

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Snowmobile Riding North

snowmobilingThis could probably be counted as one of the worst or best trips from hell. The wife and I had planned a trip to Moosehead Lake in Maine. We made plans to go snowmobile riding up there and we rented a room at a local hotel in Rockwood.

I decided it was time to get the snowmobile ready before the trip. I started it up, and took a short ride on the back lawn where I live. Something was terribly wrong with the sled. I could hear metal to metal, and crunching sound. This sled was damaged and we had no time to send it to the repair shop before our trip. My wife and I talked, we decided to go buy another snowmobile. We went to the local sled dealer and bought a used sled. Good one too, with a long seat, and longtrack.

With the sled loaded, we made our way up north. We arrived and checked in. It was still early in the day and we wanted to make our way to Pittston Farms. A place we could go get a cocktail and a bite to eat. We took off across the lake on the pole trail which led us back to land. The first sign I saw stated Pittston Farm this way to the right. I turned and went down the trail, noticing a sign that said snowmobile shop. We went a little further and another sign showed the restaurant going the opposite direction than what the first sign showed. I turned the sled, backing up into deep snow, using the reverse the sled had. We just started the other way when my wife tapped me on the shoulder and said, What is that green stuff in the snow where you backed up? I stopped in the trail to inspect if any damage and anti-freeze was  pouring out of my heat exchanger.

I remembered the sign, snowmobile shop ahead. I made it to this shop and the repair man told me he didn’t have time to work on it because he was so busy. He said, I can give you a bottle of antifreeze so you can get back to Rockwood. We made it back to Rockwood Hotel and the owners were at their desk. I asked if any snowmobile repair shops around. Hang on a minute the lady said. I could hear her talking. Joe, can you work on a sled? She got off the phone and the guy told her, Yes. His shop was a mile down the road. I loaded the sled into my pick-em-up-truck and off we went.

It was time to chill out so we decided to have some cocktails and eat some dinner. It was about 8 o’clock that evening and the owner told us the sled was done and we could pick it up. I brought my truck down and paid the guy. I off loaded my sled at the hotel parking lot and put it back up near the hotel. I went back into the restaurant with my wife and finished dining with her. I was looking outside the window, enjoying seeing all the snowmobilers riding around when I noticed a flash of something out of the corner of my eye. I then saw my red pick-em-up-truck jump about five feet sideways. I knew at this moment a snowmobiler had hit my truck at a very fast rate. I jumped up from the table and started running toward my truck . The owner of the hotel was following me because we wanted to make sure no one was injured. When we just about got to the truck, the owner replied; Oh no that is my son. I was floored with that statement. What really happened was his son’s sled did a runaway when he started it. Maybe the throttle was stuck so when there was ignition it took off at a fast rate. The sled was in bad condition along with my truck. We was glad the son was not injured but the damage was severe. The truck still could be driven, we exchanged names and numbers, and waited for a warden to file a report.

Fun comes in many ways. We took a bad experience but still had a lot of fun. Everything was taking care of at the end, and I would recommend going to Moosehead snowmobiling to anyone. Just make sure you bring lots of lucky charms. We never did make it to Pittston Farms, Bad Omen! Make sure you take the Black Fly Loop. This trail goes all the way around the lake. Just Beautiful.  http://www.pittstonfarm.com 2011TrailsSwett
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