5 Things Sledders Are Thankful For
Thanksgiving marks a day that we all take a second and appreciate the things that are in our lives. Family, religion, our country, food, and close friends. Here at Sled Wyo, we are thankful for all of those. We are also thankful for the opportunity to ride sleds. We are a small group when you consider how big the world is so that means hardly anyone gets to experience the things we do. Here is a list of five things that all snowmobilers are lucky to to witness each time we ride.
#1 Modern Sleds
If you’re relatively new to this sport, then you may not understand this part. But, for most of us, we have all ridden an older piece of junk sled at one point in our lives. Ok, maybe at the time you didn’t think of it as a piece of junk. Back in the day you probably thought it was a top of the line powder shredding machine that could out climb anyone of your buddies. If you’re still riding an old sled and keeping up with the modern sleds, then that is awesome. I admire you. It takes a special kind of individual to be able to hone in their mountain riding skills on a sled that still has trailing arms or leaf springs. But, if you’re on a newer sled now, you have to admit that you’re grateful for how far technology has come. When I was 10, I was on a 1986 Polaris Indy 440 that my dad bought for maybe $100. At the time I felt spoiled. Carving up meadows, hitting drifts, learning how to sidehill, I felt like a true pro. I’d stick one leg out while I was sidehilling because I saw the pros do it in videos. Anyway, as much as that sled taught me, and as much joy as it gave me, I am thankful for modern sleds and how much they have allowed me to explore the backcountry. Which brings me to my next point.
#2 The Backcountry
No matter where you ride, whether it is the Upper Peninsula, Wyoming, or Revelstoke, you can all be thankful for the terrain that we are given. Have you ever had chills from a good view while out riding? Or just stopped for a second to soak in the moment? Riding in Wyoming, I definitely have. There’s no sport quite like snowmobiling that allows you to explore the backcountry like we do. We can cover so much ground, climb up some of the tallest peaks, or drop into the gnarliest most scenic canyons while there is six feet of snow. Who else gets that opportunity? We get to see the mountains from a whole different perspective. We should be thankful for that. We should fight to keep it open and work to keep it clean.
#3 Snowmobile Clubs
Members of snowmobile clubs are the true spokespeople of the sport. It’s not the pro riders, it’s not the manufacturers or the dealers. It’s the average joes who are passionate enough about the sport to help keep it alive for others. Whether it’s grooming trails, cleaning up litter, fighting legislation that wants to shut your areas down, or cutting firewood for warming huts, these folks work hard for you and me to keep riding.
#4 Deep Powder
The only way the backcountry can get even better is if mother nature decides to completely remodel with a fresh layer of deep, fluffy, bottomless powder that we seem to all day dream about while we’re doing anything other than snowmobiling. As much as we love powder, it seems that the perfect day only comes around every so often. The bluebird, 20 degree day with 2 feet of fresh pow. The odds of all that lining up on the days we can actually ride is pretty rare. But when it does, it’s what dreams are made of. It’s the day you talk about for years to come. It’s what some people would drive 15 hours through the night for. It’s a magical feeling that you can’t explain. It’s something you just have to feel. Next time you find yourself riding on this kind of day, take a second and just appreciate the moment.
#5 Riding Buddies
You can’t ride alone. First of all, it’s not safe. Second of all, it’s just more fun riding with the right people and giving your buddies a hard time for riding Polaris. Or Ski-Doo. Or Yamaha. And yes, even Arctic Cat. No one is immune to smack talk when you get stuck or break down. We’ve all been there a time or two. Spending time in the backcountry with family and close friends is something you’ll forever appreciate long after your riding days are over. Your friends help you get unstuck, they help you fix your junk, and they’d even risk it all to rescue you if something went wrong. With the right friends, this would also apply to outside of snowmobiling.