It is with heavy heart that I open this months newsletter with news of the passing of Ray ‘Gabby’ Burkhardt, an avid snowmobiler and Snowseeker friend, on November 9th, after a lengthy illness. Gabby could usually be found at the Westline Inn, or out on the trail, or at our Snowseeker club-house, sharing his magic tricks to the wonderment of all. You will be missed, my friend!
With that being said and with the Thanksgiving Holiday fast approaching, maybe it’s time we all reflect on how lucky we all are to be Snowseeker’s and the gem we have ‘up there’ in the Allegheny National Forest that we sometimes take for granted. I must say that after last weekends Thanksgiving/woodcutting at the Highland Haven, I couldn’t be prouder to be your President! Following is a brief summary of the Snowseeker’s that I was tasked to write for Rec Rider magazine by it’s editor at last months PSSA Powersports Show. Even if they don’t find it fit to be printed, a lot of you newer members have asked when we were formed, who started the club, etc., and a lot of us older members need a refreshing. So, here it is…
WELCOME TO THE PENNSYLVANIA SNOWSEEKER’S
With the 2013-14 snowmobile riding season upon us, I would like to introduce you to the Pa. Snowseeker’s Snowmobile Club, Inc.
The Snowseeker’s were formed in 1972 by local snowmobile enthusiast Dale Kline and his wife Ginny. As most of the riding opportunities were ‘up north’ around Erie or the Allegheny National Forest, Dale still figured there was enough local interest for a snowmobile club and held an organizational meeting on November 21st, 1972, and the Snowseekers were born! I am proud to say the Snowseeker’s still meet monthly, year round, till this day.
After that first meeting and traveling for 3 more winters to the Allegheny National Forest (ANF) for Saturday rides at member’s camps, the Snowseeker’s got serious and started looking for property “up there”. In 1975, an old general store/gas station that member’s rode to was put up for sale in Highland Corners, Elk County, Pennsylvania, right in the middle of the ANF. The Highland Haven, as it was named by the club, was purchased in 1976 with Roger Corl as our President and continues to be our clubhouse and our home away from home. To this day, it is our base for riding and camaraderie. We also use it for hunting season room & board fundraising, local elections, golf outings, canoe trips, an Annual ‘Thunder in the Forest’ motorcycle poker run for Breast Cancer awareness, and even a few wedding receptions.
We are unique in that our membership base is in the Pittsburgh area, but our clubhouse is 2 1/2 hours away in the ANF. Club members are very active in local trail issues on the ANF and meet twice a year with National Forest representatives about these issues and try and resolve them.
The Snowseeker’s have been the Pennsylvania State Snowmobile Associations “Club of the Year” many times and were named the #1 “New Generation” snowmobile club in the United States by Ski-Doo/Bombardier.
For you rec rider enthusiasts, our clubhouse is located at 13026 Rt. 948, Highland Corners, PA. 16735, approximately 10 miles north of the Marienville Trail Head and 1 mile from the Timberline Trail Head on the Allegheny National Forest.
General Membership is limited to the Pittsburgh areas of Beaver, Butler, Lawrence & Allegheny county’s and was later expanded to include Armstrong, Venango, Mercer, and Washington counties. To be a member with voting rights, you must reside in one of these 8 counties and currently own a registered snowmobile in Pennsylvania. The club also has a limited number of Associate Memberships available for non-snowmobiliers and outdoor enthusiasts. The club meets the first Thursday of each month, year round, in Zelienople, PA.
Stop in and see us sometime at Highland Corners, or find us on Facebook, or visit our web-site. See you on the trail, and, in the meantime, ‘Think Snow”!
That’s about it for this month. I truly am thankful for all your hard work that makes us the Snowseekers!
Have a safe and bountiful Thanksgiving Holiday!
Mark & Sandy
November 23rd, Bear Season opener, see Jim Hart
November 30th thru December 4th, Deer Camp fundraiser, see Scott Wilke
December 5th, General Meeting, 8 pm – Harmony Moose
December 7th, Breakfast with Santa, call Loretta Hayes
December 24th, Christmas Eve Winter Raffle winner announced….could it be you or a friend?? Sell, sell SELL those tickets and give Mike or Lauraine a call.