That’s 18,000-pounds of groomer & drag equipment crossing the lake.
As the morning brightens over Pokagama Lake one or two households near the LaPlant landing look out over the lake and wonder. Is this the morning we see the Driftskippers Groomer make that first pass across the lake? It’s the 20th of the month and we’ve had sub-zero temps for the last couple days.
As they look before they head for work here it comes rolling down to the lake – Lights on, beacons flashing. The Big Red is here getting ready to cross. Can’t leave now – need to watch as the operator slips his life jacket on, checks his ice picks, opens the escape hatch on the roof. You hear the engine pickup rpm, the drag lowers and the tracks start to turn. He rolls past the first trail marker. Snow is filling the drag as he cuts thru the first drift. Past marker 2. Looks like he’s running about 5 mph. Keeping it at a steady pace. Not going to fast. Steady he goes. Keeping the wave that’s forming in front of him under the ice as small as possible to keep the ice from cracking. Marker 3…4…5. It looks so desolate across the lake. Not a signal sled in site. It seems for ever for it to get to the north shore. Marker 6…7…8…9. Wow look at the trail. The drifts are flat. 10… 11… 12. He is almost across. I wonder how deep the drifts are there. 13…14. He made it! Pushed right thru the drifts. He is coming back. 14…13…12…7..4..2…1. He’s turning going back a 3rd time! 1…5…8…14. He’s coming back again! The trail must be 40 or so feet wide. 14…8…5…3..2..1.
And so it is an annual event that has taken place around the 15th of January each year. I think only a few get to see it. I have been one of a very very few that has lived it year after year. The first run across the lake with 18,000 pounds of Groomer & Drag – 1.2 .3……
Thank you for your support. Ride Safe and Ride to the Right. Doug Lord aka Groomer Dude.