Today, I reflect on a wonderful winter that I’ve had here at Deep Creek Lake and all the wonderful adventures that came my way. I finally put down my old-school 10-year old parallel skis and stepped into a set of modern shape skis and had a go on perfect powder at Wisp Resort. I can’t believe that I went this long without experiencing the amazing engineering and control that this has brought to my skiing. As always, Devils Drop is my go-to slope when I want to carve through the trees and experience that “out west” feeling that Wisp can give you in certain areas of the mountain.
I have also had a lot of “first time” experiences this winter which has me buzzing more than my norm with excitement over other winter activities. Since I was a very young girl, I have always loved ice skating and thankfully I had the opportunity to put the skates on again at Wisp’s Ice Rink this winter. I felt exhilarated gliding across the ice with a bonfire roaring along the outside of the ice rink and dozens of people sharing the experience.
Make no mistake about it; my absolute new favorite sport is snowmobiling! For years I have heard from my local friends how they routinely drive their “sleds” across the lake; the safety net in my mind always spoke to me when I would hear this wondering “if these folks were a little short of common sense?!” The old question, “Why would you jump out of a perfectly good plane?” comes to mind as I contemplate driving over frozen Deep Creek Lake waters. I mean, there are plenty of trails around the county on perfectly solid ground that would serve as a safer outlet for me and this sport. The fact is that the lake is impeccably safe after it gets 6+ inches of ice buildup and it’s strong as solid ground when it gets 15+ inches, as it was when I when crossed it for the first time. I’ll never forget the rush of just casting aside my fears and hitting the throttle wide open launching straight across the center of the lake. The change in perspective in viewing the lake in the winter from the middle looking inward while racing at 100mph is something you have to experience to understand. It’s cool because you can cover 60-70 miles around the lake in a very small amount of time and the sights you see are some that many life-long residents have never and will never see. I urge you to put it on your list of things to experience here in Garrett County.
I feel fortunate every morning I wake up and relish every experience that is available throughout all the wonderful seasons we are blessed with here.
I have been seduced by the mountain life and loving it!!! Bucket list…Snowmobile drag racing…CHECK! I can’t reiterate how much I enjoy life here in Deep Creek Lake after the work bell rings! I am a self-professed surfing and beach junkie and wondered if I could ever be disconnected from the ocean life that has always been my roots and co-exist with the mountain lifestyle. The answer easily screams YES!!
Yesterday I participated in snowmobile drag races, an event that was put on by The Snowdrifters Club. Temperatures ranged from cold to freezing with stiff 20-25 mph West winds bringing horizontal snow and walloping wind chills. Sign up’s started at 8’ish and went on until 10am. The event kicked in with the classic old snowmobiles leading the charge. Next came everyone’s favorite class which was the Kitty Kat class. Little youngsters were getting their feet wet in a sport that surely will be engrained in their hearts forever. The smiles of these wonderful children and the cheers from the supportive spectators really kicked this ice cold event off with warm feelings by all. The rest of the day rotated classes ranging from 400 cc’s to 1100 cc’s and were separated by classes – Stock, Super Sock, and Pro Mod. The rush of sitting at the starting line awaiting the stage light to go green can only be experienced; words do not describe these types of emotions. As the light goes green and you hammer the throttle, you explode off the starting line like a rocket ship and the peripheral vision blurs as your focus becomes the finish line. Sure, these sleds hit speeds of 100- 120mph on the lake but you only have 500’ to reach your top speed when drag racing. Factors influencing speed are where you take off and the snow conditions beneath your sled, how you distribute your weight on the sled, the line you choose, visibility, and most importantly how quickly you get into the throttle as the light turns green. Unbelievably exciting event!!
We have one more drag race coming up next weekend for those of you that missed it this year. Check out Deep Creek Home this week for more details.
Let’s get ready to RUMBLE! Leave the boxing gloves at home this weekend, fuel up your snowmobile and head on down to the big drag races this Saturday February 12th, 2011. This weekend the crowd will be at Harvey’s Farm, 2482 Sandflat Road watching the bold and brave flex their ego’s and horsepower at this classic Garrett County event. I am bursting with excitement because this is my first sled drag race other than racing my husband Bob for bragging rights on the lake. I’m still on the fence whether I will suit up and represent the ladies in this all day event. Watching my new husband race may be about all the excitement I can stand in one day, personally. I can’t wait to watch the thunder in all the different classes which go from Stock, Super Stock, and Pro Modified. Word is that the big dogs are bringing in their super hot rods that will be thrilling to watch as they can reach some rally insane speeds. Bring your family, and tell your friends about this supercharged winter event.
Snowmobiling Deep Creek Lake. I consistently discover new things to do, being a “newer” resident at Deep Creek Lake. In a very short time, this special place has offered me opportunities to snowboard, wakeboard, fish, kayak, golf, paddle board, play on a manmade whitewater course, and has even inspired me to pursue photography and painting because of the immense beauty that surrounds me daily. This winter, I have become a snowmobile junkie. My wife, Betsy, and I have looked at DCL and Garrett County through a new and exciting pair of glasses since being introduced to “sledding”. We explore the lake, ride to breakfast and dinner, or just race each other on these 4-stroke Yamaha hotrods across the frozen lake. I have had my sled torqued out to 100 MPH on the smooth icy lake which will start a floodgate of adrenaline senses streaming through your veins and leaving chills of excitement down the back of your neck.
Out of towners and second home residents always give you a raised eyebrow look when you mention that you actually ride across a frozen lake on these monsters, but we are much thicker than the 6” minimum at the moment. We are closer to the 24” mark now. Some nights you will see many huge groups of snowmobilers riding in what looks to be motor cycle gangs. Get up here and join an experienced club so you can safely enjoy a sport that puts you maximizing life! www.gcsnowdrifters.org
If you have the need for speed or just like to be adventurous, snowmobiling is a great way to see Deep Creek Lake’s countryside in style. The Deep Creek Lake State Park’s Meadow Mountain Trail is one of the ways you can enjoy 5.5 miles of open terrain, perfect for a Sunday ride. For those who are really gung-ho, hardcore locals ride at their own risk at 70+ mph on the ice frozen waters of Deep Creek Lake. The lake offers 65 miles of shoreline, approximately 3,900 acres of surface coverage and is roughly 12 miles in length. A pretty large playground for the brave!
Snowmobile Drag Races will be held at Winter’s Field in Oakland, Maryland on February 20th beginning at noon. Registration begins at 9:00 to 11:30 and there are cash payouts for 1st, 2nd & 3rd places in each class. There are 7 classes this year: 1) Vintage “1990 & Older” sleds, 2) 500cc & Under, 3) 600cc, 4) 700cc, 5) 800cc, 6) 900cc, 7) 1000cc.
The race is sponsored by High Mountain On-Off Road, Auto & Truck Accessories. For more information call 301.334.5060.