So you think your job stinks?

Column Ryan Harris
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So you think your job stinks?

Let me tell you about what we have to put up with around here. In the middle of Summer, when everyone else is thinking waterskiing and golfing, we're stuffed in our offices writing about the last thing on anyone's mind-snow.

In early Fall, right when we're in the crunch of our deadlines, we spend hours of precious time on the phone talking to owners of aftermarket companies, hearing about their latest creative ideas. Everyone wants his product out and out fast, and telling us all about it is the first step in doing that.

The hours we're not talking to aftermarket builders are spent on the horn with factory reps, getting the latest specs on the coming new models and trying to squeeze out any top secret info on late releases.

When the early snows come, we're cruising around the West to all the different trade shows, checking out the latest products, swapping stories with the exhibitors, even hosting a couple shows of our own. We stand for hours on end just to talk sleds with anybody and everybody who wanders by.

As soon as there's any accumulation within a couple hundred miles, we're loaded up and on our way to it. By the time most guys are wiping the dust off their machines, we're taking our new model demos back in for their 10-hour checkups.

Speaking of the fleet, we don't have the luxury of getting used to one sled. We have to bounce around on whatever's available, whether it's a King Cat or a Summit Highmark.

By the time January rolls around, we've already experienced one phase of burnout for the season. But by then, we're off to Thief River Falls, Roseau, Quebec and Minocqua to ride the next year's new stuff, just so we can write about it in time for our March issue. When we get back to the mountains, we're loaded in the truck headed to Cooke City, Pinedale, McCall, Daniel's Summit or some other hole-in-the-rock the manufacturers have found for us to ride their new mountain sleds in. These places can't just be a stop along the nearest convenient highway. No, they have to be buried somewhere in the deep backcountry, where the powder is always chest-deep and the only tracks you'll ever see are directly behind your snow flap.

Before we have a chance to catch our breath we're back up in our own back yard, setting up for the annual SnoWest

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