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I Do Not Like The Snowmobile Man

On January 18, 2011, in Environmental Ethics, Nature, by Meghan
18

The Uinta Mountains are pretty enough to make my heart bulge, overfilled, right up into my throat. I want to roll in them, until my skin smells like sagebrush and the snow coldkisses my cheeks. I spent last weekend roaming the Uintas, resisting the urge to flail my body onto the ground and do just this (I didn’t want to scare my friends.).

Like some people love people, I love places, including the Uinta Mountains. I’m, thus, sad to report that this range is a haven for snowmobile enthusiasts with little apparent care for the world through which they recreate. Up there, rules govern where snowmobiles are allowed, or not, to travel. Our cursory, three-day glance indicated that few follow and no one enforces the rules.

Friends Matt, Danni, and Beth snowshoe on the designated snowmobile trail while a dozen other illegal tracks adorn the hillsides.

The Uinta snowscape is littered with snowmobile tracks, on-piste, off-trail, everywhere. Anywhere the machines can travel, people take them. So selfish are they, it seems, concerned only for their own good times. I wish I could shake their snowsuit collars and say, “For one minute’s time, think of something, someone, anything but yourself.” I can’t, nor should I, do this, so I instead soapbox myself here. With apologies to Dr. Seuss, shame on The (proverbial) Snowmobile Man.

With dozens of illegal snowmobile tracks around me, I prepare for a sunset ski off this hill.

The fact that there is no legal pathway for snowmobiles in this Uinta Mountains drainage has not stopped its use by snowmobilers.

The Snowmobile Man

I am ma’am.

I am ma’am.
Ma’am I am.

That ma’am-I-am.
That ma’am-I-am!
I do not like
that ma’am-I-am.

Do you like
The Snowmobile Man?

I do not like Him,
Ma’am-I-am.
I do not like
The Snowmobile Man.

Would you like Him
here or there?

I would not like Him
here or there.
I would not like Him
anywhere.
I do not like
The Snowmobile Man.
I do not like Him,
Ma’am-I-am.

Would you like Him
in a house?
Would you like Him
with a mouse?

I do not like Him
in a house.
I do not like Him
with a mouse.
I do not like Him
here or there.
I do not like Him
anywhere.
I do not like The Snowmobile Man.
I do not like Him, ma’am-I-am.

Would you like Him
in a box?
Would you like Him
with a fox?

Not in a box.
Not with a fox.
Not in a house.
Not with a mouse.
I would not like Him here or there.
I would not like Him anywhere.
I would not like The Snowmobile Man.
I do not like Him, ma’am-I-am.

Would you? Could you?
In a car?
Like Him! Like Him!
Here He are.

I would not,
could not,
in a car.

You may like Him.
You will see.
You may like Him
In a tree?
I would not, could not in a tree.
Not in a car! You let me be.

I do not like Him in a box.
I do not like Him with a fox.
I do not like Him in a house.
I do mot like Him with a mouse.
I do not like Him here or there.
I do not like Him anywhere.
I do not like The Snowmobile Man.
I do not like Him, ma’am-I-am.

With our party traveling the designated snowmobile trail, tracks diverge illegally in every direction.

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18 Responses to “I Do Not Like The Snowmobile Man”

  1. Derrick says:

    Oh boy, can I ever relate. I do not like the snowmobile man either. It’s actually a love-hate relationship with the snogos. I do like that they have actually opened up some new trails for us to run on in winter, but just hate the noise and air pollution spewed from those nasty things. Although, I would say that they are one notch higher than the dreaded ATV…and rednecks that go along with them.

    • Meghan says:

      Derrick, I couldn’t agree with your love/hate relationship more. By the way, thanks for commenting, and coming out of the woodwork. I enjoy Sarah’s blog, but didn’t realize you had one. Consider yourself bookmarked!

  2. Cute. Creative. Passionate. Love it!

  3. Danni says:

    If they would stick to designated trails that would be tolerable. I respect everyone’s right to recreate and to some extent think that allowing more people to enjoy public land better ensures its protection, but the recreation has to be responsible. Disobeying rules/laws is not responsible.

    • Meghan says:

      Danni, it’s like you’re speaking right out of my mouth. Actually, I do have the internal debate as to whether or not I think snowmobiles should be devices for recreation at all. But, you’re totally right. If they are out there, they should abide by rules.

  4. Ewa says:

    Can’t stand their noise and can’t stand the smell.
    It looks to me that at least in parts of the Sierras there must be some enforcement. We managed some trips in places that look like they would be snowmobile heavens but there were no tracks at all. There was peace and quiet and fresh air. Heaven.

    • Meghan says:

      Ewa, the Sierra is fascinating. It seems like a winter wonderland for snowmobilers, but, you’re right, there are lots of areas closed to them. In many parts of our country, snowmobile closures mean nothing. Users drive right past the signs to play. I didn’t see this in the Sierra, though. Snowmobilers stayed in their territory. Admirable! I’m glad you got to enjoy the pristine and the quiet.

  5. Keith says:

    Banff National Park….Nuff said….

    • Meghan says:

      Or almost every one of America’s national parks and wilderness areas, too, are off limits to snowmobiles. As you know, America has lots of different federal land designations and we were trapsing across national forest land last weekend, open to snowmobilers. This national forest land had rules that snowmobiles had to stay on designated roads, but the rule was a joke that no one followed.

  6. Keith says:

    …but the real comment is…

    The Marketing of these machines as recreation and adrenalin-sport vehicles creates the image of ‘raw freedom’…of course the actual dealers may preach co-existence, restraint, etc..to ensure access..but they do so with a wink and a nod….they’re selling this adrenalin…!

    The distant noise reminds me of Mosquitos in my tent….

  7. Russ says:

    While I don’t like the smell, in Alaska we need snowmachinces, they make it so I can ski miles and miles of backcountry trails. Normally when I go out I see 0 skiers without them these oppurtunties would not exist. Doing the Sustinia 100 or the white mountain 100 would not be a race without snowmachines.

    • Meghan says:

      Russ, I couldn’t agree with you more about snowmobiles as travel/utility devices. It’s the use of snowmobiles as machines of recreation that bothers me some. While I’ve never lived in Alaska, I’ve spent time in Wyoming. There, I had friends who would never be able to leave their home, get groceries, or go to the dentist in the winter without their snowmobiles. I totally empathize with where you’re coming from.

  8. Pam says:

    Meghan, I found you through Gretchen and I am blown away by your blog. You are living my dream life out there in the wild outdoors. I’m thrilled to be along for the ride!

    (And, yes, snowmobile men are the worst. Zoom zoom zoom, whine whine whine, stink stink stink. Bleh…)

    • Meghan says:

      Thanks, Pam, for commenting. I, too, found and subscribed to your blog via Gretchen, and I’m glad to “know” you. 🙂

  9. JeffO says:

    I’ve had snowmobile discussions with people in the past. I hate the noise and the pollution. I’ve asked dealers why they don’t make 4-stroke snowmobiles with real MUFFLERS. He said because it hurts the power. Really? How much power do you need? What for? Maybe we should all drive smelly 2-stroke cars with glass-packs? Of course, that wouldn’t work! Then why would it work for snowmobiles? Using snowmobiles and dirt bikes to catch air isn’t an important task. You want to catch air? Strap on a board. The vast majority of 2-stroke demons are lazy, garbage haulers – and they haul their garbage the wrong direction. 2-strokes recreational bikes should be outlawed from federal lands.
    Then manufacturers will start manufacturing 4-stroke machine!

  10. Andrew says:

    All I wanted to do today was fly fish at the Utah Idaho border. I couldn’t hear my own thoughts over the rumbling engines of redneck snowmobilers. I would love to see ATV’s and Snowmobiles banned.

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