Every summer for the past several years we've sent out thousands of surveys asking our readers to rank the best places in the West to ride and tell us their favorite riding spot. Some who respond to our survey take the time to make comments-on a variety of topics (all related to snowmobiling)-some serious, some not so serious.
I always get a kick out of those readers who write under the "Other Favorite Riding Areas" section, "That's a secret" or "No way" or something similar.
Instead of just round filing the comments we received this year, here are a few that have been sent to us. Names have been left out to protect the innocent, but I am giving you their hometowns.
Under the grooming section a Lander, WY, reader wrote, "Who cares?"
A Littleton, CO, reader wrote, "I only got to ride twice last season-appendix removed 1-17-04. Real bummer."
From Boise, ID, this reader said, under the trail map section, "Use my own, made on computer with Topo USA."
A Rancho Cordova, CA, reader wrote, "Although I've been to many of the areas you've listed and did some awesome mountain climbing, I've only really snowmobiled in Ohio, Michigan and California. Okay, the first two didn't even spark an interest, but California, that's where to go for the snow. Right? Every chance I get I ride. The first day after a storm the snow is light, fluffy powder. Day two it starts to set up and by the fourth day, a first timer could ride on it. Love the constant change which keeps you on your toes, oh and yes, those first day tracks are all mine. So few people go to the Bear Reservoir, Iron Mountain and Kirkwood area that they have stopped grooming except for one day a year (a poker run). I've often went the first two or three days after a storm and only found my own tracks. Truly the most overlooked snowmobiling in the West is California. I love your magazine and the only complaint I've ever had is not enough about California riding. We also have one of the longest riding seasons of all. I've ridden from the first of October to mid-July. To make it better, I've been wakeboarding on the Sacramento River on the first of January (with a wetsuit)."
This from Mendon, UT, "Too many hot shots and discourteous buttheads riding now. 800, 900 and 1000 plus motors should be banned from the slopes. They are destroying the sport we love."
And this from Salem, OR, "You mention Diamond Lake and Bachelor but never mention that there is a Cascade Summit trail (called Border to Border trail) between the two areas. There is lodging, food, gas and service available along the entire way. The distance is only 110 miles one way and gives you many opportunities along the way for off-trail riding. The crowds have not appeared yet, but because of the use over the last two years, this will end sometime soon.
". since I am 72 years old, I only snowmobile once or twice a year with my grandsons. Then I head to Arizona to play golf."
A reader from Hermiston, OR, wrote, "Steve Janes is a great guy. I have a 900 RMK 166-inch coming. Steve Janes and SnoWest made my mind up to buy the '05 Polaris Snow Check."
From Wendell, MN, we got this, "Never again," is what this reader wrote about riding in one of the areas on the survey.
From Gering, NE, "Have been in the Snowy Range Mountains now for 10 years, the last few because of the long going drought. It has been fair but groomers out of Albany area do a super job on the trails. The unloading area off Highway 130 up from the ski area is always a mess. So many environmental issues are really taking its toll on a lot of places. Albany is real nice now but very costly. That also on weekends is overrun by Colorado bandits. Wyo/Colo area is best to unload. Plenty of room. Place for gas and great food also. Black Hills area hasn't had the great snow the last couple of winters. From here the less time to go somewhere has been the Snowy Range."
From Brooklyn Park, MN, a reader wrote, "Just a note to thank you for a great magazine. As a `flatlander' who was new to deep snow riding, I have found your articles most helpful in learning to ride in western snow. Please keep them coming as they have saved me and my fellow flatlanders from a few embarrassing moments. I have a daughter and son-in-law living in Island Park, ID, so most of my riding has been done there. Along with the great snow, trails, scenery, food and hospitality are you great Idaho people who always make us feel so welcome. The last three to four winters have not been kind to us Minnesota snowmobilers so we act like we are in snow heaven when we come out. Keep up the great work."
And finally, from Cheyenne, WY, "I know your survey says last season but it changes each year. Overall I say the Snowy Range is excellent except for the need of lots more parking. The Forest Service needs to do something. Also the highway department."
Thanks to our readers for another great season. And now that all of our deadlines are past for this year, I can just go out and ride. Enjoy the rest of the season.