White Out & Wide Open—The Blog
The World Snowmobile Expo in West Yellowstone, MT, was created over 20 years ago to usher in the end of winter. You know, that one last hurrah on snow before the white stuff disappears.
This past weekend the Expo appeared to do just that. The weather was beautiful—bright and sunny. Snow was melting and where snow drifts once stood, now water puddles were forming. The streets in this small southeastern Montana town were clear of snow, yet there were still enough at the trailheads next to town for riding.
It was a good time to take that one last ride of the season up to Two Top or on the trails in the area. It was also a perfect time to see all the new model snowmobiles coming out for 2015. The crowd was enthusiastic, although at times rather sparse.
The West Yellowstone expo had seen better days. In years past the crowds were larger, the racing better and the activities at various venues were always filled to the brim with those celebrating winter. But over recent years, due to a variety of reasons, the racing got less important and the attraction to Expo seemed to fade. Don’t get me wrong, the activities are still there … it’s just the crowds are smaller.
Yet for some, Expo represents a time when old friends can get together and swap stories of the glory days of past expos. Some from as far away as Minnesota dropped by the SnoWest booth to trade stories and renew friendships. That was pretty much the case with all the venders who have supported the town of West Yellowstone over the years.
The West Yellowstone expo is truly a community effort designed to showcase the town one last time each winter. For those who went, it was a lot of fun, as usual. For those who didn’t go, likely there were some old friends there who missed seeing you. Hopefully we will see you there next year.
As for the official closing of winter … why was it that I couldn’t see out side my fourth floor office window here in Idaho Falls on Monday due to the falling snow? Sometimes you would think Mother Nature has no idea how to read a calendar.