The blizzard known as Juno is currently blasting its way through Maine, and for snowmobilers it just doesn’t get any better. Even though there’s been some pretty good riding in a lot of areas since Christmas, the season has started off a bit slowly this year. The infamous “backyard syndrome” had kicked in and was having its expected affect. For those unfamiliar with this condition, it is widely known in skiing and snowmobiling circles that if people don’t see snow in their back yard, they immediately assume that there is no snow anywhere. This is a difficult condition to treat, although advances in technology, particularly the combination of GoPro cameras, Facebook and Twitter, have a powerful effect on the skeptics out there.
When a storm like Juno rolls in, there’s no denyin’ that winter is indeed here in spades. Thanks to the great job Maine’s groomers have been doing with what they had to work with, the blizzard will land on a solid icy base and last a long time. Any more snow that comes (another storm is already in the forecast) will just make things better. Incremental snowfall for the rest of the season will keep things going, but if Mother Nature chooses to drop bombs like Juno, that’s just fine with us.
These storms bring out the weirdest calls and e-mails of the season. Already today we’ve been asked if it’s legal to ride snowmobiles on roads during a State of Emergency (No), and what conditions will be like in Rangeley or Greenville or Millinocket this weekend (Probably pretty darn good).
Most of the calls though, focus on what the groomers are up to. The quick answer is probably the same as you – staying home, keeping warm, and planning for some busy nights ahead. If the snow ends at noon tomorrow, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all 14,500 of Maine’s snow trails will be open at 12:10 pm. Most groomers are volunteers, and like you, they have homes and wives and kids and grandmas and jobs. There’s no question grooming is on their mind too, but all things need to happen in order. Once folks get out they’ll be reporting in and the MSA’s Trail Conditions page will be updated as info come in. Patience is a virtue and is certainly rewarded. If you haven’t done so yet, now is a great time to join either your local club or one at your favorite riding area.
We’re hunkered down in the MSA Command Bunker monitoring conditions. Fresh warm apple cider donuts greeted me when I came downstairs this morning and there’s a pot of beans in the oven, so as long as the power stays on, life is good. Stay warm and safe and enjoy what’s coming.