Hook and Bullet Club

by Nick Wognum

Who knew a dead sled rescue could turn into a party on Mud Creek Road?
Mary and I showed up with a trailer to help out a friend who’s sled broke down on the way to Lake Vermilion.
The Igloo Club grooms the trail between Burntside and Vermilion but early in the season it can be a bit bumpy. As we were chatting Bill Hane showed up with the Igloo Club’s Bearcat snowmobile and a drag to try to smooth out the bumps.
Bill is an expert at this and has often filled in on that trail early in the season when the BR-160 tractor can’t be used yet. Bill turned off the Arctic Cat and got caught up on how a suspension bolt broke and put an end to a day of riding.
He didn’t stay long, firing up the machine and crossing Mud Creek Road. Just past there is a spot where the water flows this time of year, making the trail much narrower until it can be froze down.
With Bill on his way, and the dead sled on the trailer we packed up and headed for town.
After selling our sleds at Hay Days two years ago we’ve been talking about getting back into the sport. I have an older two-up that will get me to the shack and back but it has a limited number of rides left in it.
Even if we could find a way to come up with the money to buy two sleds, I’m not sure there would be much to choose from.
Dealers don’t have many sleds in their showrooms and while that may not make prospective customers happy, it’s the first time in a long time dealers can say they are sold out.
Without a sled I’ve had time to work in my garage on the weekends. A heavy duty shelf to go under the workbench turned into a much more difficult project than it should have been.
Measuring and cutting the wood, I was thinking back to shop class so many years ago. After giving myself a bloody knuckle I was wishing I had paid more attention in class.
There were several trips to the hardware store and each time I headed out the door I’d look up Third Avenue, wishing I would see my friend Bob pulling up in his plow truck.
He would roll down the window and we’d talk hunting or fishing or spending time at the shack. “How’s the family?” he would always ask.
But I knew Bob wouldn’t be coming by in his truck anymore after passing away recently.
Knowing that put a damper on the weekend but I still have those memories and I’m grateful for that.