Snowmobiles and the Internet

May. 01, 1999 By Dan Canfield

Over this past season I've had cause to contemplate the cosmos. Actually, I've been out riding with some pretty good people that I count amongst my best friends. The thing that got me thinking is that in almost every case I originally met these people via the 'Net.

The Internet gets a pretty bad rap from the mainstream media, whether it's just the news media or even the snowmobile media. I could probably write a book on why this is, but it would just be more static. Instead, I find myself thinking how "Cool" the 'Net is and how big a part of mine and others' lives it has become. I know, that sounds like a complete "geek" thing to say, but it's true.

I make my home in the Rockies, here in Utah. My family and I enjoy most of what Utah offers us. As a snowmobiler, it's hard to beat with lots of places to ride, deep snow that lasts from November to June, and relatively few people. So how then did someone from Utah find himself on a trail sled in Ontario, riding with a bunch of flatlanders? The answer... the 'Net. I hooked up with the particular bunch of guys a few years back and we've been friends ever since. Met a couple of new friends on the trip, but in general, it was guys I've known via the Internet for a few years.

Then this past month my wife and I find ourselves in to Cooke City, MT to hook up with some Hill people from Washington, a couple of good friends from Idaho, a stray Montana resident, and a bunch of road-tripping flatlanders who have become addicted to mountain riding. Again, the common denominator is the 'Net... that's what brought us together. We shared a week of fun riding, good snow, great food, hilarious stories, and general BS'ing... just about everything any snowmobiler needs.

Yup, the 'Net and snowmobiles. Not exactly two things you would put together, but two things that have paid nice dividends for me. I've come to enjoy meeting people on the 'Net and even more, getting a chance to put a face with all those e-mail addresses. The media establishment may not be too excited about the 'Net, but for me it is a good thing and has enriched the human experience. Not to mention, hooked me up with a lot of people who are as addicted to this sport of snowmobiling as I am.

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