North Dakota Parks & Recreation
A big hello from the frozen Gorge! After old man winter welcomed us with an arctic blast in January, let’s hope February ushers in a spectacular riding month. In the north we saw our first major snowstorm on January 2nd with 10 inches of snow! Although it isn’t quality snow yet, it is a great sign that many more inches are to come! This year’s snowmobile safety classes have been going great. The excitement many of the kids exhibit towards snowmobiling is always fun to witness first hand. One major point I stress to the students is that even though they are taking a safety class to learn how to safely maintain and operate a snowmobile through various terrain and conditions, the true desk and classroom is physically driving the snowmobile out on the trails. So for the parents or guides taking kids and other first timers, I implore you to help them to become wise and safe drivers. I want to talk a little more about the attitude towards snowmobiling. About 90% of the kids I have taught so far have some to a lot of riding experience. From being passengers to riding on their own around the yard, almost all of these kids have been heavily exposed to snowmobiling. With the decline we have witnessed lately, I think the next generation of riders is vital to keep this great sport going strong for the years to come. I imagine many of these kids will become club members, officers and maybe directors. I want to take the time to thank all of the individuals who have taken their time to exposing these kids to the sport. Keep up the great work! Lastly, I want to give a big thanks to the clubs for helping and providing support for these safety classes The North Valley Riders club members brought a snowmobile to the Cavalier class and explained all the components to a snowmobile. The Lake Region club provided supper and gift certificates to the Devils Lake class. The Fordville Ridge Runners provided snacks and paid for all 14 students who attended the Fordville class. With the month of February packed with great events, I hope to see many of you out on the trails. Ride safe and ride smart!