A good day to ride

Sixteen-year-old JJ Wyatt demonstrates the skills he's learned as a member of the White River Snowmobile Club during a club ride last Sunday. Approximately 50 members enjoyed the beautiful day, camaraderie and snow conditions.

Sixteen-year-old JJ Wyatt demonstrates the skills he's learned as a member of the White River Snowmobile Club during a club ride last Sunday. Approximately 50 members enjoyed the beautiful day, camaraderie and snow conditions.
MEEKER I Sunday I was lucky enough to be invited to go on the White River Snowmobile Club’s ride. The scenery and welcoming manner of the club made the day nearly perfect.
We began our day at the Lost Park Campground, with approximately 50 snow machines ready to go by 10:30 a.m. The organization and work the club provided ensured all riders, regardless of ability, a great day. Three groups — experienced, intermediate and less experienced riders — all began from the same location and started up the beautiful north fork of the White River.
It was a gorgeous day, with groomed trails, pristine sights and the sought after, untracked bowls and parks all snowmobilers dream of. One member of the experienced group, Wade Shults said, “There was a park without a track or mark on it, we couldn’t wait to ride it.”
The groomed trail leading up Ripple Creek Pass made for an easier, enjoyable trip to the Pagoda Lake trail head where members of the club tested their skills jumping and carving the fresh snow. The scenery from the top of the pass was truly breathtaking and snowmobiles could be seen climbing Sand Peak as we enjoyed our lunch.
Following lunch, two groups met in an enormous park near Pagoda Peak. It was at this time that the camaraderie of the club was witnessed. Two snowmobilers had a collision and both sleds were damaged. Had it not been for the incredible efforts and knowledge of long-time members, the snowmobile would have been left up in the high country until an appropriate piece of equipment could get to the machine.
However, the nearly 30 riders packed a trail back to the main road with the mechanical ability of Troy Hilkey and the knot tying of his father enabled Tyrell Turner to tow the sled out. Although it was heart-breaking for the two riders, there were no injuries and everyone made it safely back to the campground for chili and visiting.
I was, by far, the least skilled rider and this experience taught me so much about the importance of the snowmobile club. It reminded people how important it is to never ride alone and brought out the very best in what a community club should be.
The assistance and thoughtfulness for all riders was a great example of experience teaching and encouraging future members. I was absolutely amazed by the way five riders would immediately help another member if they were stuck or had machine problems. It made the entire day a safe and enjoyable experience despite unfortunate circumstance.
The ability and expertise we have in this small area is remarkable. One young man, JJ Wyatt, only 16, demonstrated what he had learned as a member of the club, not only his high flying jumps but his willingness to help anybody, anytime.
Sixteen-year-old Nicole Hilkey is a third-generation member raised riding snowmobiles. She certainly held her own with the intermediate riders and was also willing to help whenever needed.
The White River Snowmobile club has approximately 25 members and grooms 178 miles of trails and rides approximately 100 miles of ungroomed trails in the White River area.
The club welcomes new members and the dues are only $45 for a family membership, $55 for a business and $75 for a combination/ business family membership which works well for the small business owners in the area.
The dues go towards purchasing and maintaining the groomers and the club works in conjunction with other clubs in search and rescue as well as continuous trails.
The club has gone out nearly every weekend this winter, often both Saturday and Sunday with the great snow. They are committed to creating experiences that cater to all abilities and the White River Valley provides an environment second to none.
If you are an experienced rider, simply would like to take a scenic ride, or find yourself somewhere in the middle, the White River Snowmobile Club has a place for you. For more information visit the Meeker Chamber of Commerce.