This page is for all of us to share some of our information, photos, stories, experiences or even recipes while enjoying the beautiful outdoors. Send your article or picture the way you would like it to appear and I will copy and paste it to the web page. Just email your article to the Webmaster.
We all have something to submit. Everyone has a story or photo to share that happened when they were on the Moosehead Trail, 100 Mile Wilderness or the back roads of Elliottsville, Monson, Willimantic, Abbot, Guilford, Moosehead Lake or Greenville. Or maybe more locally around Borestone Mountain, Greenwood Pond or Onawa Lake.
I am glad you came to Camp Chat to see what I have written and why I feel it's so important that you come and read it. Before we start, I want you to know I am no expert in safety or that I do everything in a safe manner. I'm horrified when I think of some of the crazy things I have done over the years. Someone had to be watching over me!
As one of your Trailmasters, I want you to know that I don't feel my duties are to just keep the trails open and groomed. I feel the most important thing is to keep them well marked, free of hazards and safe for everyone that rides the trails that I maintain.
I have 2 items I feel are very important to discuss before the season starts.
1. Survival Kits
2. Safety while riding
First I feel a survival kit on every one of our sleds is a must. It might sound crazy to some but just go on the internet and read about the accidents and deaths that have occurred while people were out snowmobiling or in the woods. It's a real awakening. Snowmobilers are killed or injured after breaking down and walking on the trail in the dark or when it is snowing without a flashlight or other safety equipment. I know when I use to smoke, I carried a lighter in every pocket when I went hunting or snowmobiling. Now that I don't smoke, I never think of bringing a lighter or even matches. See, I am one that needs to think more of having a kit on my sled or even when I am just out in the woods. A Safety and Survival kit is very important. I am interested in your ideas and input regarding contents, etc of survival kits. Please submit any ideas to me and we can all work together to have a safe winter. Email: WildlifeLodge@aol.com
Second, I'm not going to try to tell you how to ride safely, I think we all know how, we just have to practice doing it. Also, we will be teaching our young people safety by example. While snowmobiling we also have to worry about the other snowmobilers safety practices. Pay attention to on coming sleds. But, most important if you don't know a lake stay off it.
Many people think that only out of staters break the safety rules or have snowmobile accidents, I have attached articles regarding the first 2 accidents of the 2008 season. ( one hits home and close to our trails )
These are only a few of the many safety issues to keep everyone safe this coming sledding season and I look forward to your input.
1. On Friday, Jan. 4, Christopher P. Jackson, 23, of Kennebunk was killed when he tried to avoid a gate on a shared trail in Sanford.
2. This in from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:
SEBEC, Maine – A 17-year-old boy from Atkinson died Friday night when riding his snowmobile to a friend’s house for a sleepover.
Adam Brown, of Atkinson, drowned when his snowmobile fell through thin ice near the East End Outlet of Sebec Lake. This area of the lake is considered to be dangerous in the winter because the flow of water there lessens the opportunity for solid ice formation.
“Water goes through the dam there,” according to Warden Daniel Carroll Jr. of the Maine Warden Service, who investigated the accident. “One day you’ll have ice and the next day you’ll have open water.”
Mr. Brown spoke to his family by cell phone around 5 p.m. when he was in Sebec Village. He had set out earlier to ride from his Atkinson home to Parsons Landing Road in Sebec, Carroll said.
When Mr. Brown did not arrive at his friend’s house, his family was notified and they attempted to reach him by cell phone. They got no response and contacted law enforcement to report him as missing.
The Maine Warden Service was notified at 9:45 p.m. Friday. Warden Carroll and Warden Mike Morrison set out on snowmobiles to search for Mr. Brown, and he was located at 6:30 a.m. today. (Saturday, Feb. 2).
“He was located in a place which had snowmobile tracks going to it but not leaving,” Carroll said.
Because of the thin ice conditions, the wardens needed to switch from snowmobiles to an airboat. Mr. Brown’s sled and gear were found first in eight feet of water, and Mr. Brown was located a short time later.
“He was on a dangerous section of the lake and the weather was extreme,” Carroll said. “It was raining even though it was 20 degrees out. So the rain was freezing on your windshield as you were riding and you had to keep clearing it off.”
Mr. Brown’s family was notified of Adam’s death Saturday morning, and he was transported to a local funeral home.
Mr. Brown’s death is the second fatality of this year’s snowmobile season. On Jan. 4, a Kennebunk man was killed when riding on a shared trail in Sanford.
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