John Homer wants to bring back the excitement to the district’s snowmobile trails.
The Fort Frances resident and two-year member of the Borderland Snowmobile Club is spearheading Saturday’s snowmobile poker run, which will begin at La Place Rendez-Vous and head west to Emo and back again.
“I came up with the idea about a week or so ago,” noted Homer.
“My wife and I went to the one in Atikokan on Feb. 8, which had around 300 riders,” he remarked.
“We had a blast.
“I’m trying to be more active in helping the [Borderland] club, so we’ll see how it goes,” he added.
Homer said the Facebook page promoting the event already has had about 700 hits—and plenty of positive feedback.
And with milder weather forecast for Saturday, he’s confident about getting a good turnout.
“We have to give riders a reason to be out on the trails,” reasoned Homer.
“A lot of people don’t get permits here because it’s cheaper to get them and ride across the river in the U.S.,” he noted.
“I get that.
“But if we give them activities to make it interesting, maybe more people will get one here,” Homer added.
“Every time there is a permit bought, the money goes back into the club, which then uses it to cover the costs of the groomer, the gas, signage, and even the creation of new trails.”
In that vein, Homer said the club will be offering a special one-day trail permit for $35 to those who don’t currently own one, which is mandatory by law.
On top of the Fort-to-Emo route, Homer noted there will be a bonus route that goes to the JD Junction at Manitou Rapids and the Barwick Village Restaurant, with bonus prizes for anyone willing to go the extra kilometres.
Registration for the event runs Saturday from 10-11:30 a.m. at the Rendez-Vous, with riders encouraged to head out on the trail as soon as they have registered to avoid having too much traffic at one time on the trail.
Riders then should be back at the Vous by 4:30 p.m. with the stamps they collected at the various stopping points along the route, which will include Cloverleaf and Borderland Esso in Emo and possibly the Main Street Market (formerly Greensides General Store) in Devlin.
Cards will be drawn for the competitors at the end of the run to determine the prize winners.
Dinner will follow at the Rendez-Vous around 5 p.m.
Homer said anyone who wants to register for the event beforehand can contact him at 276-6526.
But he added he won’t be able to issue any trail permits until Saturday.