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Be safe on snowmobiles

December 16, 2011
By Brian Durkee , Tri-Lakes Snowmobilers Inc.

Happy holidays to everyone, especially to those of you snowmobilers putting money into our local economy.

There have been a lot of things going on in our area with trying to either get a recreational trail along the side of the railroad tracks or doing as one organization has studied and removing the railroad tracks, and paying for it with turning the rails in for scrap metal. It is good to see that people are doing things to try to better our local economy.

I would like to give a club-wide thanks to the new organization in Franklin County, which is the Franklin County Recreational Organization, for entering a real gray area that the northern Adirondacks has been trying to do for a long time, and that is to set up a recreational trail system in the Adirondacks, which is very much needed for the local economy in all of Franklin County.

I am sitting here typing this letter from my hospital bed after researching what's going on in our area. I would much rather be typing from my office chair, but we don't know from one second to the next what's going to happen. I went to the doctor thinking I had the stomach flu and ended up having to go get a CT scan, then admitted to the hospital for diverticulitis and put on a liquid diet. I would really like to advise all of you that if you don't think you eat healthy, then step back and do something about it because it's not fun. It's just like carbon monoxide or a tree in the trail: You don't know it's there, then it's there in front of you, and you could make it or there is that possibility that you may not, so do something before it's to late.

Not trying to be personal, but it's just like I always say year after year: Slow down and ride sober. You never know what's going to happen as you go around that next corner, and we really don't want the rescue, Life Flight or the coroner being called because somebody else rounded that corner too fast or intoxicated and didn't make it. Happens year after year. We can't make you do anything, but please ride carefully.

We all know that law enforcement has really stepped up to the plate and has been getting people for uninsured, unregistered and riding while intoxicated. They have been putting out traffic point stops everywhere and at all hours. Some of us appreciate that they are doing this while others continue to complain about it and say they are taking away all the fun. Well, it's your responsibility to make sure you are licensed and insured. If you don't, then you are using the trail system without a pass to do so. And the New York State Snomobile Association is reminding all of us to remember the Trail Defender System, and any time we see anybody stealing or destroying private property, please call 911 or the state police, 897-2000. We need to protect where we ride to keep a good name; don't let the people who break the law ruin it for those who don't.

I would like to send out a great big thank-you to the Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad along with the other area departments. I would like to say thank you to Life Flight and the Adirondack Medical Center for all that you do. Have a happy new year, everyone.


Brian Durkee lives in Lake Clear and is president of Tri-Lakes Snowmobilers Inc.



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