February 11, 2013
Snowfall brings snowmobilers
Riders trying to make the best of an up and down winter
PREBLE — Snowmobilers were out on Cortland County trails Saturday for the first time since early January, after Friday night’s snowfall dropped about 7 inches on the ground.
A pancake breakfast fundraiser for the Tully Trailblazers Snowmobile Club at Denny’s Mountain View Restaurant in Preble saw a stream of hungry snowmobilers come through the door from 8 a.m. to noon.
The president of the club, Mike Dannan, was taking children with special needs for rides on the trail groomer and on snowmobiles throughout the morning.
Dannan said the trails still need about another foot of snow for optimal conditions.
He said the trails need a hard packed base below the fluffy snow to support the snowmobiles, but added that there are good conditions on some of the mountains and in more remote parts of the county.
Jackie Tucker took her developmentally disabled nephew Sam Procita out for the ride on the trail groomer and snowmobile with Dannan Saturday. She and her husband, Courtney, said Sammy likes anything that goes fast.
“He loves tractors, farm equipment, he likes to ride riding lawn mowers, so it’s an easy transition,” said Courtney of Sammy’s snowmobile fascination.
Cory Burhans and Matt Menotti, of Little York, sat eating a late breakfast at the bar of Denny’s Mountain View Saturday. They said they had ridden their snowmobiles for the first time since Christmas.
Burhans joked that it was hard to ride behind Menotti, whose snowmobile was kicking back rocks and grit at him the whole time. But he said once the trails are fully groomed conditions will not be bad.
Dannan said he will groom the 38.9-mile network of trails about four or five times a week if there is a lot of traffic on them. He said he has three Class A groomers, which means they are at least 8 feet wide.
David Morse had ridden up from Marathon, saying it was the first time he had ridden on the local trails since the first week of January.
“They are rideable but you’ve got to think about what’s under the snow,” Morse said.
He said when there is a solid base beneath you all you have to focus on is where you want to ride.
On Saturday after his coffee break at Denny’s, he expected to head to Truxton and DeRuyter in search of deeper snowfall, before heading back to Marathon with his two friends who accompanied him.
Morse expects the weather to stay cold and is hoping for more snowfall to add to Friday’s accumulation.
The forecast calls for temperatures in the mid- to upper 30s this week with a mix of rain an snow.
“If it doesn’t warm up too much and we get more snow coming down, we’ll be good,” Morse said.
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