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
Saturday was a big day for the NFL playoffs and for the Garrett County Snowdrifters Club who sponsored the Poker Run this year on Deep Creek Lake. This is a snowmobile event where local and out-of-state riders map out a route covering the whole lake stopping at designated stops to pick up a “card”. After a good 6 hours of riding, everyone meets at a final destination to see who has the best poker hand. The fun started at the Honi Honi for registration and the event began! Riders screamed across the county going from JG’S to Pawn Run to Black Bear to the Honi Honi, to Boardwalk, and all the way back to Pawn Run to find out who the lucky winner was. It was an exciting ride and a heck of a lot of fun seeing new faces and meeting good people. It didn’t matter what brand sled you were on or how old it was, it was all about enjoying the beautiful scenery of Garrett County and enjoying a wonderfully planned event.
The Maryland Park Service reminds all snowmobilers of the potential for unseen safety hazards on Deep Creek Lake, particularly at night. Starting on Wednesday, February 20th, an area of ice will be removed near Uno Chicago Grill on Garrett Highway to create open water for the Special Olympics Deep Creek Dunk. This area will remain unsafe for quite some time and will be marked with reflective traffic cones. Also be aware that lake surface conditions under bridges where road salt and abrasives are plowed from the pavement are often particularly hazardous. Other conditions that may cause unpleasant situations are unseen snowdrifts or pressure ridges that can act as ramps and cause sleds to become airborne leading to a loss of control and accidents.
Deep Creek Lake is a part of the designated ORV trail system permitting use by registered snowmobiles only. Permits are available by mail or at any of the local State Park offices during normal business hours. Snowmobiles may operate at night if equipped with working head and taillights. Access to the lake may be made at Deep Creek Lake State Park or with permission from a private landowner with a permit site adjacent to the lake.
Ice fishermen, hikers and cross-country skiers traveling on the lake should also exercise caution. The wearing of or having readily accessible life preservers could prevent a tragedy. If you encounter people, pets or wildlife that have fallen through the ice, contact either 911 or the toll free DNR Communications number 1-800-628-9944 for assistance.
For further information on ice conditions at Deep Creek Lake, contact a ranger at the Park Headquarters office (301) 387-5563 or the Discovery Center on weekends at (301) 387-7067.
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.