It is certainly appropriate Dungannon plays host to an annual vintage snowmobile rally each winter. I think of vintage stuff as things time has forgotten, and time has forgotten the wee wee hamlet of Dungannon - no offense to two loyal readers Joel and Sherry....
There was no shortage of pre-fuel injected, pre-carbide skiied, pre-gps, and just about any other"pre" creature comfort snowmobiles have today at the rally. The newest machine there was probably from the early 90s - it looked out of place. No, the machines there were from a by-gone era of craftsmanship and dependability which was second to none. Machines with no ergonomics, or no heated features, yet they somehow have lived on in old barns and sheds to see a few flakes of snow each winter pulling laps around the perimetre of a field, or to simply make an appearance at a rally like today's.
Molly and I made the trip. She wasn't too excited, but a bit of bribery with the promise of potentially riding on one of the yee-old-beaters, and a few toboggan slides at a nearby point, was the push she needed. We walked around causally, nodding our heads at each old sled like we new all of the quantitative and qualitative statistics of them, and said hi to many familiar faces. I spied a few kids in the class I teach who rode their snowmobiles to the rally and hoped to shore up a ride for Molly and me, but no. I maybe didn't ask as point-forwardly as I should have - like when I get kids to sit and get mindful with their work in school. However, lesson learned and taken from my angle.
The obvious manufacturers were well represented; Ski-Doo, Polaris, Artic Cat, but then there were a number of makers which was a bit more unique; Harley Davidson, John Deere, Mercury, & Chrysler had this really odd looking dirt-bike like contraption.
I got thinking a lot today about my youth. Our family had a mid 70s Ski-Doo Olympic. It was a 340 cc engine with one spark plug. It was yellow and had a black seat. Of course you had to mix the oil and gas just so, choke it, and yank the hell out of the rip cord to get it going. It had a wind shield, but by the time we were teenagers it was busted from our aged abuse of it, along with the protective cover. It wasn't all that powerful, and would get stuck quite easily if you were turning in the deep 1980s snow. I remember quite often going in a straight line on it with snow so deep it would cascade over the windshield, before it was broke, and go on my face and down the front of my jacket. We had an old 6 or 8 foot long wooden toboggan that we were towed on. The snowmobile clothes were stored in an over sized hockey bag and they had this smell to them. Maybe a bit moldy and perpetually wet, but not enough to be toxic. After taking turns riding it with my siblings, we would prop up the rear track with a single larger piece of wood - something about not wanting the back track to ice to the snow. There were lots of good times with that snowmobile.
At any rate - all is well here. No real news or information to share = I was in a concert last week actually with the Teeswater Bag Pipe Band. They had about 13 or 14 songs to perform with various instruments, and I accompanied along on 5 of them I suppose. It was fun - I don't have any photo evidence, but I might to able to load up a video of a rehearsal that I taped so I could practice on my own.
No much else....